How to write a research paper in MLA format

Modern Language Association (MLA) style is primarily used by research paper writing service to write and citing sources within humanities and liberal arts fields. MLA style guide provides specifications for formatting scholarly papers using the English language in writing. It also guides researchers and writers through the system of referencing their sources using the parenthetical citation in their text and work cited pages. The following are basics on how to write a research paper in MLA format.

Guidelines to follow when formatting

graduateSet the first line of paragraphs indented 1.5″ from the left margin. MLA formatted research paper should not include a cover page unless stated otherwise by your instructor. Leave 1-inch margin from all sides. The recommended fonts- Times New Roman 12 pt. or Arial 12 pt. Use headings and subheadings to enhance readability for your text. The text should be double-spaced throughout the paper, including the title, headings, and subtitles. Include a header with page number and your surname on every page. Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5″ from the left margin. Only use italics when necessary, throughout your text in titles of longer texts. If there are any endnotes, you should insert them on a separate page before the work cited page. This section should be entitled ‘Notes,’ centered and unformatted.

Formatting the First Page

Don’t include a title page/cover page for your paper, unless specified by the instructor. List your name, instructor’s name, course, and date on the upper left-hand corner of the first page. Remember to use double-spaced text throughout the text. Centre the title (double-spaced). The title should be written in standard capitalization (not all in capital letters). Don’t italicize, underline or quote your title. Only use italics and/or quotation marks when referring to other works in the title, just as you would do in the text. Remember, the whole text should be double-spaced, including the line between the title and the first line of the text. Include a header in the upper right-hand corner of the page, including your surname (last name), followed by a space and then the page number. Leave a 0.5’’ space between the surname and the top margin of the paper. Each page should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4….) 0.5” from the top and inserted on the right margin. Some professors prefer not to include a running head on the first page. Always adhere to your instructor’s preference and instructions.

Guidelines for Referencing when writing a research paper

When writing a research paper in MLA, any reference to outward text in your writing should be done using what is known as parenthetical citation. The method involves inserting relevant source information in parentheses after a paraphrase or a quote. You should include a work cited page with a list of reference at the end of the paper. The work cited list should correspond with the in-text citations included in the text.

In-text Citation for writing research paper

MLA Research papers include in-text citations throughout the text. This writing format follows an in-text citation known as the author-page method. Under this method, the last name of the author and page numbers from where the paraphrase or quotation is obtained should appear in the text and a corresponding reference list included at the end of the paper. The name of the author may appear either in the sentence itself or parentheses following paraphrases or quotation, but the parentheses should always have a page number (s), but not in the text of the sentence.
When work doesn’t have an author, you may include a shorted title of the source instead of the author’s name. In a case of short work like an article, you should place the title with quotation marks. If it’s a long work like books, websites, TV shows, plays, etc. you need to italicize it and provide the page number (s) if available.

Work Cited Page

A list of cited sources should appear at the end of the paper, after the endnotes, if there is any. You should start the list on a new page, with a running head, like the rest of the paper. Center the title “Work(s) Cited.” Double space between the title and the first list in your entry. Each entry should begin with a flush on the left margin. If an entry runs more than a single line, then you should indent the subsequent line (s) 0.5” from the left margin. This format is all referred to as hanging indentation. The entire list of work cited should be double-spaced, just like the rest of the paper.

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