Though MLA Format is the general format followed for all the essays, the research papers, manuscripts, books, eBooks, etc. It seems to be something difficult to understand, something that can confuse a writers mind.
Let’s check out!!
MLA Format is known as the Modern Language Association, an organization that introduced a standard writing format for all the schools, universities, and researchers to use in their written papers to make the write up easily readable and understandable. This format is used nationally and internationally as the one standard format for subjects related to English Studies like Modern Languages, Media, Cultural Education, etc.
MLA Format is basically used in subjects like humanities, if you are writing the paper for a course then check with your Instructor in regard to special pointers to take care of.
Background of MLA Format
It will be very interesting to know that this began in 2003 during the 6th Edition when MLA Handbook Updated as MLA Handbook of Writers of Research Papers.
Followed by 7th Edition, through which online addition allowed the citation of eBooks and tweets.
And finally, the most recent Handbook was introduced in 2016, The 8th Edition. This format outlined for schools/University research papers, academic or commercial presses, or Journal Publishers.
Before we move on to the main components, let’s not down the few essential guidelines, that every Professor or Instructor look forward to in the essay format –
- Use a paper of the recommended size of 8.5 x 11″.
- One Inch Margin space has to get incurred from all the sides before starting the text. The word processing programs adhere to the same requirements.
- Font type – Few of the recommended font type are Times New Roman and Arial font. In case the writer wants to use some other font, they need to make sure that the Italics of the font differ from its original outline.
- The preferred font size for the paper is 12, as per the Handbook.
- The entire research paper should be double spaced; even the work cited page.
After knowing the basic guidelines, let’s find out the detailed version of the different components of MLA Format, an Essay that needs to be followed throughout while framing a paper with MLA Format.
Header of MLA Format
As every project requires a Head Page, so does MLA Format.
- Either a title page can be prepared under the guidelines of your instructor or teacher, in case required.
- Most recommended is the header page, with which there is no need for any separate title page to make.
- Guidelines to keep in mind while preparing a Header Page –
- Begin from the left margin, maintaining a one-inch space from the left side.
- Mention Your Name, Your Instructors Name, Your Course, or Class Number along with the Date of Submission, one below the other. Don’t forget to give double space between each of the mentions. For E.g. John Davis
24th September, 2020
- Mention the page number and the author’s last name (called the running head) on the top right corner of the header page.
- No cover art or the addition of images can get involved as a recommendation on the first page.
- Don’t add a (p. or page.) before the page number. Page number begins from the second page of the paper. For E.g. Peterson 5
Title of MLA Format
Tittle Page, as we all know, is another thing for of major depiction in the projects. Comes the title; it places in the centre of the page.
Few things that are needed to take care while writing a tittle are –
a. One should not underline the title; it should not be bold, or typed in capital case letters.
b. The writer can italicize the words required in the text.
For E.g. – The Trials and Tribulations of Lincoln’s Reciting of The Gettysburg Address
c. Do not place a period after the title or any heading.
d. Double-space after the title to start with the detailed text.
e. The form of the title is the capitalized case form. The First Letter of the first word will be capital along with the First letter of the last word.
f. First letters of nouns, pronouns, adverbs, and adjectives also should be capitalized.
Nowadays, the most common idea regarding submitting written or research papers is providing them through online networks. It is easier, quick, and without hassles, right.
But if required and asked by the teacher to present the article in hardcopy, then not to worry, here are few pointers to keep in mind that will convert your tensions into fun –
- The paper’s choice should be inclusive of the high-quality paper, that is readily available like printer sheets.
- No ivory sheets, off white or any other colour leaves to bring in place.
- Resume Paper is also not necessary as a paper option to use.
- Use the recommended size of the paper as per the guidelines mentioned above. Or else, the scope of the article, as instructed by the teacher, will be good enough.
Paraphrasing and Quotations
When discussing paragraphs, the first word in every section should begin one-half inch from the left margin.
What is Paraphrasing?
When we read a text, quote, or a saying from some influential person and understand its exact meaning and then rewrite the same in our own words, it is known as paraphrasing.
Paraphrasing used in the research paper is the content written in our language, but the author still needs credit for the same. After all, it’s their hard work that helped us in our write ups.
What is a Quotation?
Any text or source added in the paper is precisely the author’s words and not the writer of the research paper.
And, while adding the quotations, the author needs the credit for the same too.
For, E.g., Write a person name at the beginning of the quote –
Martin Luther shares a glimpse of a plot “quote.”
Or Mention a person name et the end of the quote enclosed within a bracket.
For, e.g., “quote” (Luther 5)
They say -Education is not success, but it can help us in succeeding. Then why not with a help of a quote.
Which is better?
Quotes are a part of the paper to create emphasis or liven up the project.
They should not take the majority of the paper’s space that it overpowers the voice of the article as of author’s and not the writer’s.
And on the other hand, paraphrasing is variedly used in the research and writing background as it depicts as the content showcasing the writer’s perspective, which is more influential.
Footnotes and End Notes
Footnotes or Endnotes are essential in the text when you add info that is likely to be less connected to the paper but very important for the reader to know.Imagine, Life would be boring without some mentioned footnotes.
When you are referring to no authors and sources, then also they are applicable.
Both the paraphrasing and quotation need references.
These references need to be placed after the quotes and paraphrases or at the end of the assignment.
- In the world of Social Media nowadays, abbreviations are paramount. After all who does type a complete word. But when it comes to the MLA Format. Abbreviations are another component of the MLA Format that finds a home in the research paper.
- This component is not a recommendation to be used in the paper.
- But it can be used for some texts – HIV or DND, where the periods should not get a place in between e.g., H.I.V.
- It also can be used for small letters like e.g., where periods can take place in between.
- Months, Full names of months should be visible.
- In case the name of the Month is more than four letters, then the abbreviation is recommended.
- Other abbreviations like
P. – Page
Vol. – Volume
Ch. – Chapter etc. can be mentioned in the paper as per the guidelines in the Handbook.
Numbers are again extremely playful and useful, when they are mentioned in cards, or if it’s about numerology.
With MLA format, if numbers are used in the text, then the amount should be mentioned before the measurements For E.g. 291 millimetres.
Mostly, the whole number written in the text is noted in the letter form, like two ninety-one.
If the number is to in fraction form, then the amount should be written in digits.
Last but not least, we jump onto one of the artistic components for the research paper.
Images, Tables and Musical scores
Most favourite part of the project, which is actually responsible for the project to look good. MLA Format comprises of distinctive rules for all the Images, Tables and Musical Scores.
- For Images, Mention the abbreviation over the image – Fig. 1 or Fig. 2 and the caption after the image.
- For Tables, Mention abbreviations Table 1/Table 2 with the title above the table, and the source will be mentioned below.
- For Musical Scores, The abbreviation is Ex. 1/Ex. 2, and the title will be mentioned below the musical scores.
Lists in the research paper are mentioned horizontally and not vertically with a colon placed after the introductory sentence. Well, We all love making lists.
For E.g. Few of the write ups by Shakespeare describe the same; Henry V, Julius Caesar, Hamlet and As you like it.
- Inclusive of above all pointers are what pictures the MLA Format for essays.
- It is precisely like any other essay, which includes an Introduction, a Body, and a Conclusion.
- The introduction is the paragraph leading the audience towards the right context, which is explained in detail in the Body section, ending with the final note in conclusion.
MLA Format type essays were a bit tough for me to grab too. But as now I got it right. I hope this brief write up acts as an aid to your essay writing issues and it blends with all the positiveness you look forward to add in an essay. Like, it did to me.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. 1) The full form states MLA as Modern Language Association, who created a uniform format for every write up to be executed.
Ans. 2) Yes, the MLA Format essay has to be double spaced throughout.
Ans. 3) MLA Format essay begins with the header page inclusive of Your Name
Your Instructors Name
Your Course and Number
Date of Submission
It is placed in the left corner, leaving a space of 1 inch.
Isn’t it what we usually bring in notice for all the essays….
Ans. 4) A few of the recommended font type is Times New Roman and Arial font. In case the writer wants to use some other font, they need to make sure that the Italics of the font differ from its original outline.