9 Basic Rules To Remember About An MLA Style Research Paper Format

The Modern Language Association created the unique norms of organizing scientific texts. One of the main goals was to cope with the problem of dishonest usage of information. Nowadays writing a paper in the MLA style is a usual practice for students of soft sciences. If you are one of them, here are some useful rules that will help you avoid typical mistakes.

Trifles That Are Really Important

  • Check everything.
  • Look carefully through the text of your research work. You also need common letter size paper (8.5 x 11) for printing.

  • Select the relevant font.
  • Neutral fonts are appropriate for research papers as they promote text clarity. Times New Roman is the most favorable. Remember to set a 12-point font size.

  • Adjust the page layout.
  • In the MLA style, a 1-inch margin is suitable. All sides of the page must be equal.

  • Choose 2.0 line spacing for the entire text of the research paper.
  • Apply the rule while making your first page as well.

  • Add page numbering.
  • Use a header with the upper right side positioning and enter only Arabic numerals. Teachers may also ask you to put your last name before the number.

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Tips on Structural Organization

  • Arrange the first page.
  • This point includes indication of the author, his or her teacher, course and date. Place this data to the upper left corner of the page. Then, make sure that the title is centered and unchanged in style.

  • Don’t forget to press the TAB key from time to time.
  • Paragraphs offer a good way to give your reader coherent data. As you outline your research step by step, express one idea in one paragraph and the next idea in another.

  • Make your text pleasant to the eye.
  • Outline the structural components of your paper by using different typestyles. Cursive type serves for subtitles, quotes and denotes various sources of information you are referring to (e.g. books). Use it to stress the most important facts you have learned during the research as well. Follow this rule moderately. Keep in mind that you must not format the main title of the work.

  • Make a list of the sources that were helpful for your research.
  • Establish the list on the separate page. Order it alphabetically and remember that the author’s surname goes first.

Scientific works have some distinctive features, especially structural ones. Rules exist to embody those features properly. Creating texts in the MLA style isn’t difficult as long as the basic instructions are closely followed.