There are lots of different requirements that you have to follow when studying at a school or university, including the number of sources, pages, etc. One of the things that your tutor may ask you to do is to follow a certain style when preparing your paper. In this article, you’ll find out how to prepare an MLA format essay.

What Is the MLA Style?

MLA stands for Modern Language Association, which means the professional US association for scholars of literature and language. Although people use this style in different fields, it’s mostly met in works related to humanities and liberal arts. The most recent update of The Association’s recommendations regarding formatting academic papers took place in 2016.

Before you start preparing an essay, it’s important to get an idea of how this format looks like. In essence, it’s a system of rules on how all the sources that you’ve used to prepare the paper should be formatted.

This writing style is also widely used by journalists and other writers in different countries. What you should keep in mind is that all writing styles are updated from time to time, and before you begin formatting the paper, check the latest recommendations.

Use special sources to go through in order to find clear and accurate guidelines on how to format an essay in the MLA style.

Basic Recommendations

Below you’ll find some quick recommendations that you can use for formatting a paper. It’s possible to write an essay and later, format it in a proper style, but it’s important to keep a list of all the sources that you’ve used in your work.

Body Text

The text of the paper should be double-spaced and aligned to the left. Each of the new paragraphs should start with the ½-inch indentation. Also, remember to use Times New Roman font along with 12pt font size.

Heading

In this section of the paper, you’ll need to include the following information:

  1. Your name;
  2. The name of the tutor;
  3. The name of the course;
  4. The date (Day Month Year).

Your heading should also be double-spaced and aligned to the left side.

Header

The headers of the essay should include the following information:

  • Your last name;
  • Page number.

This section is placed ½ inch from the top of the page.

Margins

If you have to prepare an essay in the MLA style, do not forget to have one-inch margins on all sides of your paper. It’s a standard letter size in the USA. Stick to this rule even if you’re going to submit your essay online.

Title

Place the title of your essay in the center of the page. Apply no other formatting styles to this section. Use examples (find them on the Internet) to see how to place it.

Block Quotes

You’ll need to use block quotes if quotes take more than four lines. Add them in the text as a separate double-spaced block with one-inch indentation. Such blocks do not require using quotation marks, but you’ll need to add them to indicate dialogue.

Although it’s important to read all the relevant information, remember that some websites can help with formatting parts of your text in the right style automatically.

Where to Find Comprehensive Information

Plenty of websites on the Internet allow you to get full information on this writing style. But your first choice should be the official sources that you’ll find below.

The MLA Style Center

It’s the official website, where it’s possible to find comprehensive information on MLA’s recommendations. You can even submit your questions there if you wish. The information provided has been backed with helpful examples, so you’ll find it easy to understand how the paper should be formatted.

The MLA Handbook

While this handbook can become a perfect choice for writers, it’s also suitable for students. It provides readers with explanations of the principles behind the main recommendations. It’s a good source of information that provides clear instructions on the MLA style.

If you go through this handbook, you’ll find out how to add sources properly. Moreover, you can learn lots of things about plagiarism and find various helpful tips.