MLA or Modern Language Association style is the major documentation and writing format, especially for humanities and literature. And if you are tasked to do an essay in the said fields or in English, it is then referred to as an MLA essay. You will usually encounter this term in your writing classes, so you have to be familiar with the said writing formant in order to meet the requirements. So here are the tips on how to write an essay in MLA format.
Writing an Essay in MLA Format
• Font style should be Times New Roman.
• Font size should be 12 points.
• All around margins should be 1 inch.
• Double space all through the body, with no space in between paragraphs.
• Tab for each new paragraph is ½ inch.
• For header and pagination, the last name and page number must be set in the right hand corner.
• Student identification and other information required by the professor must be at the left margin.
• Title must be correctly punctuated and capitalized, and should be situated at the center.
• With an in-text citation of sources and separated Works Cited page for the bibliography in alphabetical order.
• The authors you have mentioned in the body of your essay should also be listed on the Works Cited page. In the same manner as all sources on the Works cited page should also appear in your essay. In other words, no sources or authors must be in the Works Cited page if they were not mentioned in your in-text citation, and vice versa.
• Only use quotation that will make a mark in the readers’ memories. Avoid using dry phrases that will only make your essay dull. Instead, paraphrase the lines and just enclose the author’s name or article title in parenthesis. And if you quote something, make it as short as possible.
• Avoid relying on the same source or author. If you have five quotations, get it from different authors. In this manner, you will not compromise your own views.
• Expand the quotations that you used. Don’t just insert a quote and let the readers understand your purpose of using the said quotations without even trying to explain the relevance of the said quotes to your essay.
• Introduce each quotation using a signal phrase. It is a clause used before the quotation as a way of identifying the author. In this way, you will easily collaborate your own ideas and those of the said author. And avoid using the article title as a signal phrase.
When copying ideas and words from other writers, the sources must be properly cited in the essay to avoid being accused of plagiarism. It is then called an in-text citation. While the page that contains the list of sources at the end of your essay is referred to as the Works Cited page. The basic style given will guide you on how to write an essay in MLA format.