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MLA guide For essays, research papers, etc. Rate Topic: -----

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:58 PM

For essays, research papers, anything that involves writing and turning that writing in for grading.

A brief summary:
MLA, which stands for ‘Modern Language Association’ is the most commonly formatting style used to cite sources when doing essays, research papers, or writing theses. There are several guidelines in which one must follow in order to properly format the paper in MLA style.

Step One: For the First Page
  • DO NOT MAKE A TITLE PAGE UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED. Small hint: in most cases your teacher would give you a nifty little paper called a syllabus that explains what the teacher requires from you, the student, in a paper. Sometimes these teachers are picky picky or will just go with the flow on basic guidelines.
  • List your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date in the upper left hand corner.
  • Be sure to center the title. Do not underline your title or put it in “quotation marks”. Instead, write in Title Case.
  • If you are referring to other works in your title, use what you would use in your normal text. An example would be:

o Analogies and Characteristics in “Macbeth”
o Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play
  • For the upper right hand corner, create a header that includes your last name, followed by a space and page number. An example would be:

o LastName 1
  • But be careful, sometimes your instructor may ask for you not to add the header.


Step Two: General Guidelines for the Rest of the Paper
  • Try not to handwrite this, type your paper on a computer and print on standard, white 8.5 x 11 inch paper. 100% of the time of what I have seen, a handwritten paper written even in perfect MLA format will receive bad marks for what is presented to the teacher. Try not to upset them.

  • Double space the paper and use legible font such as Time New Roman, Arial, or Courier. 10 to 1, teachers do not want to see fonts such as Cotillion or Monotype Corsiva on papers longer than 2 pages.
  • Leave only 1 space after periods or other punctuation marks unless your teacher has instructed otherwise. Believe it or not, most teachers know if you cheat by spacing more than 1 after punctuation marks.
  • Indent the first line, meaning press the space bar five times or press the tab button once. Set the margins so that it reads 1 inch on all sides.
  • If you have a header on the upper right hand side of your paper, be sure there that the pages are numbered but that is only if you have a header on the upper right hand side.
  • When using the titles of other works use italics or underline them.
  • If you have any footnotes or endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.

This is what I posted up so far; expect more later on. Please be patient, thanks. : >
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