Using MLA research paper format appropriately

MLA format of documenting research papers was developed by the Modern Language Association of America; hence the name MLA format. This was developed to suit the documentation needs of scholarly documentation purposes in literature. But due to the simplicity of the documentation style and the flexibility of the rules, MLA format is used in many subjects other than literature also. Even though it is a simple format, it is necessary to know how to use the MLA research paper format appropriately while preparing an academic research paper in this style.

There are certain aspects which differentiate the MLA format from other formatting styles.

• The title page of the research paper document need not be separated in MLA style. The information to be given in the title page would be accommodated in the top portion of the first page of your research paper itself. The information included in the title space is somewhat the same as the others. The top right corner would have the surname of the author of the research paper and the page number. On the top left corner would be the full name of the author, the subject details, the name of the professor and the date. A couple of spaces below, centrally aligned, would be the title of the research paper. This would be followed by the first line of the research paper leaving two spaces downwards. Very rarely, some professors request for a separate title page in MLA format also. If not specified, then it is to be taken for granted that the title page is not to be separated.

• The bibliographical reference page in MLA research paper format is known as the ‘Works Cited’ list. Please note that it is called ‘Works cited list’ and not ‘Works Cited page’. Start the list on a new page. The list should be alphabetically arranged with respect to the surname of the author. The details to be given should be ascertained from the latest style manual.

MLA research paper format also asks for the use of in-text citations. You are supposed to give the surname of the author and the page number must be given in brackets next to the cited portion. Footnotes and endnotes are not encouraged even though they are not strictly forbidden. You may go by your assignment guidelines to determine what kind of citations should be used.

• The pages should have one inch margins on all sides and the typing should be double spaced; preferably in Times New Roman, 12pt font. That will ensure legibility of print and make it easy to read.

Formatting a research paper using MLA style is challenging, quite ironically, due to its flexibility. Flexibility in formatting would mean that you will need to tally the style rules with the assignment guidelines, perfectly, to manage the job. It can happen that your research has not left you any time to format your research paper as per the guidelines. In which case, you can opt to get your research paper formatted using MLA research paper format, by our professional writers. Or, if you wish, you can also opt to buy a custom research paper prepared for you in MLA format.