In writing academic papers, it is important to use credible references in order to introduce concepts related to your topic and back up your own ideas with previously established findings. For you to come up with a good academic paper, you must be systematic and organized not only in the process of doing it, but also in the way you present it. With this, you definitely need to familiarize yourself with different formatting rules and citation styles, such as the MLA format.
This formatting and citation style is developed by the Modern Language Association to provide guidelines in writing academic papers in the fields of humanities and liberal arts. The MLA Style Manual, which is first published in 1985, has served as a guide for scholars, students, and writers. The most recent edition, which is the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.), provides examples which show the general format, in-text citations, footnotes, as well as the Works Cited page.
It was mentioned earlier that you need to present your paper in an organized manner. Several formatting rules were created in order to achieve this, and the preparation of papers is covered in the fourth chapter of the MLA Handbook.
When writing an academic paper in MLA format, you need to use an 8.5 x 11 inch white paper with 1 inch margin on all sides. Additionally, the text of your paper must be typed using a legible font, such as the Times New Roman, with a font size of 12. Furthermore, the text should always be double-spaced, and the first line of each paragraph must be indented half-inch from the left margin. You also need to create a header half-inch from the top margin and flush with the right one to number all your pages. If you have footnotes, you must include them on a separate page entitled Notes, and place it before the Works Cited page.
In writing an academic paper in MLA fomat, you do not have to make a title page unless requested. For the first page of your paper, you need to include your name, your professor’s name, course, and date, at the upper left-hand corner. The title should be centered and written in standard capitalization. You do not have to put quotation marks, italicize, or underline your title. Italicization and quotation marks are only used if you are mentioning other works in your title.
Example: Oedipus Rex as the Greatest Tragedy
One of the most important components of an academic paper is proper referencing. When writing in MLA style, in-text citations are necessary for you to be able to acknowledge your source briefly, but clearly. Parenthetical references will also enable your readers to easily find the source that you used in the Works Cited page. Below are the general guidelines in making in-text citations:
All of the references that are included in your in-text citations must appear in the Works Cited page at the end of your paper. This list of references must provide adequate information regarding the sources that support your paper, so readers can also retrieve them and probably use as reference. Below are the basic guidelines in writing the Works Cited page:
You can use this article as a reference on how to acknowledge and give credit to the authors of your sources. Using proper formatting and citation styles do not only make your research paper look well-organized, but will also make it more credible. Furthermore, this can also prevent you from being accused of plagiarism, which is a major offense in most institutions. Using MLA style can be a bit challenging and confusing at first, but with constant practice, you will surely be able to get accustomed to this in no time.