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Using MLA Format For Your Research Paper (Samples And Rules)


The Modern Language Association or MLA format is often used in the structuring of academic papers, particularly those of English students. As with most formats, a sample goes a long way to helping the whole thing make sense. Here are some sources you can consider when you begin your search:

Good Students in your class

If anyone in your class is familiar with MLA formatting and has successfully produced research in that format, politely ask to see it.

Academic Professionals

You may have a professor, tutor or teaching assistant in your life who trusts you enough to let you see a sample of someone else’s work in MLA format. This is a good moment to call in a favor.

Verified Academic Writing Companies

When you pay a writing company you can request just about anything from them. This includes well formatted MLA samples. This requires money and you should have faith in the quality of the company’s writers before you attempt this.

Although it’s useful to have samples to refer to it still helps to know the rules so in summary form, here are some of the most important ones:

  • - Your heading should include the date as well as three names: yours, the teacher’s/professor’s/lecturer’s and that of the course of study for which the research is being submitted
  • - The title of your research paper should succinctly describe your research and not include extra formatting (such as underlining and italics)
  • - To the back of your paper should be a page titles “Works Cited” in which all of your references are listed by author’s surname alphabetically
  • - Your Surname should be placed in the top right corner of each page next to the page number
  • - Citations within the body of the text should be followed by the author’s surname and the page number from which they were lifted.
  • - Quotations of five lines or more should be indented and double spaced
  • - Wherever you allude to or paraphrase the work of another author, that author must be credited
  • - Margins of 1 inch must be included to the left and right of all pages

Even having read this article thoroughly you will need more complete instructions to ensure you’re using the format properly. For this purpose you’d benefit from accessing the MLA guidelines online.

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