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How to Write in MLA Format

MLA Sample Paper

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MLA Formatting and Style Guide
What is MLA Formatting?
Language & Lit

Do not italicize or underline your title, put it in quotation marks or boldface, or type it in all capital letters. Follow the rules for capitalization in the MLA Handbook 67—68 , and italicize only the words that you would italicize in the text.

Do not use a period after your title or after any heading in the paper e. Begin your text on a new, double-spaced line after the title, indenting the first line of the paragraph half an inch from the left margin. A research paper does not normally need a title page, but if the paper is a group project, create a title page and list all the authors on it instead of in the header on page 1 of your essay.

If your teacher requires a title page in lieu of or in addition to the header, format it according to the instructions you are given. Number all pages consecutively throughout the research paper in the upper right-hand corner, half an inch from the top and flush with the right margin.

Type your last name, followed by a space, before the page number fig. Do not use the abbreviation p. Your writing program will probably allow you to create a running head of this kind that appears automatically on every page.

Some teachers prefer that no running head appear on the first page. The list of works cited appears at the end of the paper, after any endnotes. Begin the list on a new page. The list contains the same running head as the main text. The page numbering in the running head continues uninterrupted throughout.

For example, if the text of your research paper including any endnotes ends on page 10, the works-cited list begins on page Center the title, Works Cited , an inch from the top of the page fig. If the list contains only one entry, make the heading Work Cited.

Double-space between the title and the first entry. Begin each entry flush with the left margin; if an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines half an inch from the left margin. This format is sometimes called hanging indention , and you can set your writing program to create it automatically for a group of paragraphs. Hanging indention makes alphabetical lists easier to use.

Double-space the entire list. Continue it on as many pages as necessary. Place tables and illustrations as close as possible to the parts of the text to which they relate. A table is usually labeled Table , given an arabic numeral, and titled. Type both label and title flush left on separate lines above the table, and capitalize them as titles do not use all capital letters. Give the source of the table and any notes immediately below the table in a caption.

To avoid confusion between notes to the text and notes to the table, designate notes to the table with lowercase letters rather than with numerals. Double-space throughout; use dividing lines as needed fig. Any other type of illustrative visual material—for example, a photograph, map, line drawing, graph, or chart—should be labeled Figure usually abbreviated Fig.

If the caption of a table or illustration provides complete information about the source and the source is not cited in the text, no entry for the source in the works-cited list is necessary. Musical illustrations are labeled Example usually abbreviated Ex. Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, Symphony no. Earlier editions of the handbook included the place of publication and required different punctuation such as journal editions in parentheses and colons after issue numbers.

In the current version, punctuation is simpler only commas and periods separate the elements , and information about the source is kept to the basics. End this element with a period. Depending upon the type of source, it should be listed in italics or quotation marks.

Unlike earlier versions, the eighth edition refers to "containers," which are the larger wholes in which the source is located. For example, if you want to cite a poem that is listed in a collection of poems, the individual poem is the source, while the larger collection is the container. The title of the container is usually italicized and followed by a comma, since the information that follows next describes the container.

Interview by Gareth Von Kallenbach. In some cases, a container might be within a larger container. You might have read a book of short stories on Google Books , or watched a television series on Netflix.

It is important to cite these containers within containers so that your readers can find the exact source that you used. Accessed 27 May In addition to the author, there may be other contributors to the source who should be credited, such as editors, illustrators, translators, etc. If their contributions are relevant to your research, or necessary to identify the source, include their names in your documentation.

In the eighth edition, terms like editor, illustrator, translator, etc. A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.

Annotated and with an introduction by Vara Neverow, Harcourt, Inc. Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. If a source is part of a numbered sequence, such as a multi-volume book, or journal with both volume and issue numbers, those numbers must be listed in your citation. Current Conditions and Future Directions. The International Online-Only Journal, vol.

Accessed 20 May The publisher produces or distributes the source to the public. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Problems of the Digestive System. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Daniels, Greg and Michael Schur, creators.

The same source may have been published on more than one date, such as an online version of an original source. For example, a television series might have aired on a broadcast network on one date, but released on Netflix on a different date.

When the source has more than one date, it is sufficient to use the date that is most relevant to your use of it.

This is the way to create a general citation for a television episode. However, if you are discussing, for example, the historical context in which the episode originally aired, you should cite the full date. The location of an online work should include a URL. The eighth edition is designed to be as streamlined as possible. The author should include any information that helps readers easily identify the source, without including unnecessary information that may be distracting.

If a source has been published on more than one date, the writer may want to include both dates if it will provide the reader with necessary or helpful information. The seventh edition handbook required the city in which a publisher is located, but the eighth edition states that this is only necessary in particular instances, such as in a work published before When you cite an online source, the MLA Handbook recommends including a date of access on which you accessed the material, since an online work may change or move at any time.

Accessed 4 May As mentioned above, while the eighth edition recommends including URLs when you cite online sources, you should always check with your instructor or editor and include URLs at their discretion.

A DOI, or digital object identifier, is a series of digits and letters that leads to the location of an online source. Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Wiley Online Library, doi: The in-text citation is a brief reference within your text that indicates the source you consulted.

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For example, if the text of your research paper (including any endnotes) ends on page 10, the works-cited list begins on page Center the title, Works Cited, an inch from the top of the page (fig. 3).

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Jerz > Writing > Academic > [ Titles | Thesis Statements | Blueprinting | Quoting | Citing | MLA Format ] ) If you’ve been asked to submit a paper in MLA style, your instructor is asking you to format the page and present the content in a specific way.

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Feb 24,  · MLA is the formatting style of the Modern Language Association. It is used in areas such as English studies, comparative literature and foreign language. Writing a research paper using MLA style is a bit different from other formats. This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the updates. To download the MLA sample paper, select the MLA Sample Paper PDF file in the Media box above. Research Papers. Writing a Research Paper; Genre and the Research Paper; Choosing a Topic; Literature Topics and Research; Formatting; Writing in .

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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. MLA style refers to a method of writing research papers recommended by the Modern Language Association. The style is used when writing about Philosophy, History and some areas of Humanities. How to Format Your Research Paper in MLA Style.