The Basics of MLA Style Essay

MLA Style Essay –Is Complicated Than the APA or Harvard Style Essay?

If you are a student who is studying liberal arts and humanities, familiarity with MLA style essay is essential for you. The most common styles used to write essays are the APA (American Psychological Association), Harvard and the MLA (Modern Language Association). All these styles have requirements which need to be adhered to very strictly. As one article is not sufficient to educate students on what they are, we will concentrate on the MLA style.

Writing an Essay to MLA Style

The general format of an essay written to the MLA style has many advantages. One of the most important is the fact that with the MLA students are protected from accusations of plagiarism. This is a very important matter when it comes to essay writing. Students who are unsure of the MLA style should refer some synthesis essays samples written to this format.

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Page Format

The page formats for an MLA style essay should adhere to following:

  • Students have to use standard A4, white paper and print their essays only on one side.
  • The paper should be double spaced and the standard font of Times Roman should be utilized at size 12. Works and quotations cited should be double spaced as well.
  • As with all formatting systems, the margins should be aligned on all sides by 1”.
  • A space of one should be left after the full stop or period.
  • The first line of all paragraphs should always be indented 11/2” from the left margin.
  • The pages of the essay should be numbered in the upper right hand corner. This will depend on the tutor’s advice. Some prefer students not to number their first page.
  • The use of italics is recommended for titles throughout the essay.

The First Page

Unlike the APA style you may have used to format your Global Warming essay, there will be no title page in the MLA essay. This once again, depends on your tutor. It is advised that you refer to him if you have any questions regarding the formatting of the essay.

  • List your name, course, date and tutor’s name on the upper left hand corner of your paper.
  • Title should be centred with no highlighting or underlining. The first letter of every word in the title should be capitalized.
  • There should be header with the student’s last name and the pages numbered in Arabic numerals one space after this. This should be done 1 ½” from the top and flush with the margin on the right.
  • Students should always use quotation marks when referring to other works.

In order to obtain a better understanding of this essay format for you to write your MLA style essay, you should consult the MLA style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition) and other books available in your local libraries.

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