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MLA Formatting Writing and Citation Guide - Top Academic Tutors

Are you a student? And has your instructor and professor requested you to format the essay or paper you are writing using MLA formatting and citations? If you are told to use MLA format, your paper must follow all the basic MLA formatting principles and guidelines. Every student struggles with different formatting styles, and learning new styles and formats can be tricky and there are certain guidelines that must be followed. Our services would provide you with free guides on how to write different formatting styles that would ensure you higher grades and appreciation of the class. This MLA formatting and citation guide would help you understand this format better.

MLA is one of the most commonly used formatting styles used in writing academic papers today. MLA stands for Modern Language Association, and this format is commonly used in the fields of language, humanities, and literature. Some students find this formatting and citation style easier to use compared to other styles such as APA, Chicago, Oxford, Turbianetc, and even though it is easier than the rest the preparation required to use this format is not so easy.

Academic Essay formatting is one of the most difficult tasks that students often struggle with. Every paper follows different rules and styles, and in order to follow any formatting style, the student must first create an outline. Outlines are mostly optional but it is still better to create it, and some professors prefer it that way as well.

Further, we would discuss what MLA formatting style is, and how a student can use it to write their academic essays. And How to create MLA citations for your paper.

The main areas and guidelines that deal with the MLA formatting style are:

  • Headings
  • Statistics
  • Abbreviations
  • Punctuation
  • Referencing
  • Tables Presentation
  • Manuscript Elements
  • And many other things.

MLA Citation Guide

When a student chooses to use the MLA formatting style and uses several other legal sources in the paper he can simply cite them in his own written text and that could save him from the accusations of plagiarising the academic writing content. So using MLA formatting style is quite helpful when it comes to referencing and borrowing from other sources.

If a student decides to cite a book in MLA format, he must learn a few basic points about the MLA formatting style. This style is used in several papers and sources, and must have come across it before but here are some text citation guidelines you should remember.

In MLA formatting, the cited sources are used in parenthetical style. Which means that you place the sources inside the parentheses after using the citation. You also mention the source, whether it’s a CD, internet or a newspaper. All the sources and references that were used in your paper must be included in the list of citations. When you use the sources just note it down upon adding it and then simply double it in the bibliography section list. The bibliography is another name for the works cited list. The MLA citation formatting is fairly easy to use and is commonly used in Academic journal articles.

Author Page: In-Text Citation Guide:

When writing in-text citations related to the author page you must follow these extremely easy guidelines:

When you want to cite an author, you must mention the number of the page the quote by the author was taken from and you must mention his last name in the text. Parentheses should be used when including the author’s name, or you could even mention it in your written content. Always remember that the number of the pages always goes inside the parenthesis. So when you use this simple method of citing the author the reader can easily know that the quotation was taken from a specific page, and it was written by a certain author. The entire purpose of using citations is so the reader can know the real source. And MLA format makes it the easiest format to cite information.

And if you are using in-text citation, and do not want to mention pages but only the whole work then you must use citations like “The article demonstrates how Eminem struggled prior to his rapping career. (Barrett).

Writing an Essay in MLA Style:

When formatting an essay in MLA style you must follow these guidelines and outlines, which is quite similar to creating an essay plan:

MLA formatting style is fairly easy to use and writing an essay using this format is quite easy if you know the basics. First, the student must mention the thesis statement as it is the most important part of writing an essay in MLA formatting style. It is the main statement and works as a solid beginning for your essay. It must be written in Capital letters. When writing in MLA format the essay outline must only consist of ideas which are relevant to the thesis statement, and no other detail should be mentioned there. Outlines mostly include two structure patterns, either short phrases, and words, or full sentences for each paragraph. The essay outline structure must be complicated as easy outlines don’t usually have a complete structure.

MLA style used in Research Papers:

Here are our several guidelines and tips on how to use MLA formatting in your research or academic paper well without failing. If you follow your guidelines we are sure that you would be able to learn a lot on writing the perfect research paper in MLA style.

Using Margins: When writing a research paper in MLA style always leave 1-inch margins on the right, left, top, and bottom side of the paper. And from the edge, each paragraph must include half an inch of space.

Using Spaces: Conventionally MLA papers use double space but sometimes the instructor or professor would require the student to use single spaces. And this spacing method is used in the paper overall to include quotes, list of references and notes.

Headings and Titles:  When formatting the research paper in MLA style, a separate title page isn’t required. Simply write your name, instructor’s name, course number, and then your name, and finally, the date at the top of the page left. The information must be typed double-spaced separately, and then include the title of the paper moving to the center. When writing a title avoid using bold font and letters for the title. Always capitalize the principal and starting word always. And if your title consists of foreign words and language then it must be capitalized suiting the rules and requirements, or the student could ask the professor for guidelines.

Tables and Figures: When using extra and additional material like drawings, photos, charts, and images, they should be numbered in a proper manner and must be marked as “figures”. And if you using tables then you must use Arabic numerals for the points and mark it as “tables”.

Numbering Pages: When you are numbering the pages it should be on the right corner of each page. The last name must be typed on every single page near the number. The number should be one inch from the page number. 

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