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Basic MLA Essay Format Rules For College And High School Students

The Modern Language Association developed a formatting style for essays. This style is designed to give students a format to use when they are creating papers for academic purposes. The idea is to give a uniform look to all of the papers. It also makes it fair for all students because it requires the use of a certain font size and style. That makes it so that one student doesn’t write a shorter paper because they use a larger font size. It sounds horrible, but those things do happen.

Here are the basic guidelines to follow when you are writing your paper in the MLA formatting style.

  • Use 8.5” by 11” computer paper to type or print your paper.
  • Double space your paper and use an appropriate font like Times New Roman.
  • The font size should be 12 and the italicized and regular fonts should be noticeably different.
  • The margins should be one inch on all sides.
  • A single space should be left after a period.
  • A half inch tab should be indented at the beginning of every paragraph.
  • Longer works should be italicized through the paper.
  • Do not make a title page. The information should be listed on the top of the text on the left hand side. It should list the name, instructor’s name, the course, and date.
  • Make a header that lists you last name and the page number in the upper right hand corner.

When you are formatting your paper, it is a good idea that get an example paper to use as a guide. It will help you understand these instructions. It is a great way for you to actually see what the paper looks like when you are done. It is a way of creating a nice looking piece that is easy to read and that looks the same for every student.

When you are creating a MLA formatted paper, you need to make sure that you follow all of the instructions. The citations need to be properly formatted as well. Most resource libraries will give you the proper citation information. You can get a copy of the MLA guide book to learn the exact citation for any of the sources that you are unable to find the citation for online.