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What Is MLA Format In Academic Writing?
If you are a student and you have been asked by your lecturer to present your term paper in an MLA format, do not begin to sweat. Formatting your paper in MLA style is just presenting your content in a specific way and nothing new to stress you. MLA style is commonly used when writing papers and citing sources within the liberal arts and humanities. Use of MLA formatting protects the writers from being accused of plagiarism.
How your essay should look like when using MLA format.
The first page
- Your paper should not have a title page unless your lecturer requests for it.
- Your details like name, lecturer’s name, course, and date should be listed on the first page, at the top-left corner.
- Always double-space your text. Center your title and do not underline, place it in quotations or italicize it. Ensure it is in Title Case.
- A double space is required between the title and the first line of your content.
- A header is created in the upper right-hand corner, including your surname followed by a space with a page number. Use Arabic numerals to name the pages. Set the numbers at a space of 1½ inches from the top of the page. The numbering should also be flush with the right margin.
Note that you may be asked by your lecturer to omit surname or page number header on the first page. It is good to follow your lecturer’s instructions.
According to MLA formatting when dividing an essay into sections you must number those sections with Arabic number and a full stop followed by a space and the section name. For example;
- Causes of Malaria
- Treatment of Malaria
When incorporating research into your essay, the following basic principles are important to consider;
- All authors cited in the body of your essay must also appear on the Work Cited page. Similarly, all the sources listed in the Work Cited page should appear as required.
- Only memorable phrases or sentences should be quoted. Unremarkable quotations should be paraphrased and followed up with the author’s name in parentheses.
- The same source should not be used too much in your essay. Too much quotation will compromise your own voice and sense of authority about the issue you are discussing.