Step by step guide to MLA format and citation


Formatting is one of the crucial elements of writing styles. It not only helps to design text in terms of a specific way but it is also one of the major academic requirements. Different universities use different citation formatting styles to line up with the academic requirements. A few of the commonly used formatting styles are APA, Chicago, MLA, and Harvard. Each formatting style follows its own method which needs to be followed for good grades and better scope.

Introduction to MLA Citation format

MLA stands for Modern Language Association, and it is considered one of the most commonly used citation formats. Although APA is the first preference, but then MLA is deemed important. In April 2016, MLA released its updated version, which tends to provide a thorough set of instructions on how one can cite and structure the work. The purpose of this writing is to help students understand how paper can be formatted in MLA, MLA Format guide, and how writing goals can be achieved. MLA is widely used by technical kids and engineering students. This formatting style allows students to cite both the source and the references. Whether a student is writing a research essay or a short story, the same anthology of citation style is applied because it helps and adds to the credibility of the wiring. Alike APA, MLA is also deemed crucial for academic writing.

How one can do MLA style citation

As the name indicates, MLA format is defined and understood by the Modern Language. The standard is used by the students, researchers, and teachers for subjects such as literature, philosophy, and other humanities subjects. It is one of the ways through which smooth reading of the document can be made while understanding the references. The aspect that differentiates MLA from other writing formats is the attention given to locating the references and resources that can in return help in understanding the context. Also, the main feature of MLA is, that it has no title page, but some students do add it for their convenience.

Some shortcuts to understanding MLA

There are some simple shortcuts that should be kept in mind before wasting time studying the full-length papers that are written for the clarification of the students.

  • One should always be careful about the name of the writer because MLA is all about the writer’s name. It is important to have a clear understanding of the citation of authors.
  • While citing any content in MLA, it is important to have a clear understanding of the page number also, because MLA is specified for the tasks in literature and linguistics, which usually require citing the exact page number.
  • The quotations should always be added to ensure that the writer has accurately studied the suggested material and has accurately fulfilled the obligations of academic integrity.
  • The references should always include the URL to the original work because most of the time, it is not possible to find the documents that are published years ago, so adding a URL conforms to academic excellence.
  • Always try to make use of the citation tools such as Citation Creator and Zotero because this software can help you come up with some error-free citations.

Since academic standards and the approach towards writing the content and citing it shifts and changes with time, it is hard for students to keep updated about all the current and unique modifications. To overcome any issues that are the product of negligence, it is crucial to have a system or software that can help to come up with excellent tasks without any errors or issues.

How to make an MLA title page

Alike other writing formats, the MLA paper format uses a different approach to writing. In this type of writing the name of the author and the page, and the number is included along with the citation source and the edition of the book. The MLA title page is not separated from the first page, rather it is integrated. A student is only required to add the name of the student, teacher, course name, and date to the left side of the paper.

Headings in MLA

Another MLA format heading approach to understanding the type of formatting is the designs and formatting of the headings. In MLA, there is no need of including a title page, which means there will be no headers and no running head. However, there are some important MLA headings to be added in the paper, mentioned below

  • The full name of the students
  • The full name of the teacher
  • The title of the course and the number of courses
  • The deadline of the assignment.

In order to make a quick and accurate MLA header, the following instructions should be kept in mind

  • The name should be written in full and it should be placed at 1 inch from the left margin
  • The name should be mentioned at the top of the page
  • Double space should be added beneath the name
  • The course name should be included
  • Double space should be maintained throughout the paper

Works Cited page in MLA

The reference page in MLA should be titled "Works Cited", rather than references or end notes. Following the 8th edition of the paper, the following approach to references should be used

  • Name of the author
  • Title of the website
  • Title of the article
  • Date of publication
  • URL
  • The authors' names should be placed in reverse order
  • The last name should be placed in the first
  • It should be followed by a comma
  • The first name will be followed by a period
  • Italics should be used for writing the title of the website
  • All the entries should be made in the alphabetical order

In text citation of MLA

Regarding MLA citation format the intent citations are to be placed where a quotation is added or the content is paraphrased. The best approach to incorporate a quotation is to add the last name of the writer in the parenthesis, for example: (James)

In case, there is more than one author, both the names are added in the parenthesis. For example, the two names will be cited as (James and Matthews).

If there are more than two authors then et al. should be used.

For example

James, Mathews, and Vivek, "How to write some best papers"? It will be cited as (James et al.)

In the same way, then quotations can be cited as writing the name of the person in the sentence, adding the whole quotation and the name of the person. While citing the book, one should add the name of the author, the information related to publication, and the title of the book. In addition, you can also cite the time, year or the season, if it is provided. Also, the MLA format for dates is the same.

How one can format the annotated bibliography in MLA

The bibliography is defined and considered as the list of references or the resources that are recommended or utilized for completing the paper. There is no need of having a different referencing structure. However, the basic feature is the same where a reference is analyzed in terms of summary, how it is used and how it will be effective for the paper.

The basic approach to writing annotated bibliography is as follows

  • Every annotation should have at least 6 to 7 sentences
  • The lines must be double spaced
  • The citations should be organized by the topic
  • Always use 3rd person narrative

A student must be aware that annotate bibliographies always require critical analysis. In addition, the main points of the articles or the resources should be summarized along with the point of view of the authors, and negative and the positive aspects.

Formatting website in MLA

Citing a website is also equally important. It is crucial to understand that the websites should also be cited. One of the examples of the citing the website is as follows

“James, David. “Music as a therapy for the depressive state of mind”. (URL)

Designing research paper in MLA

Usually, research papers are written in MLA format, because of the details that are oriented with the formatting style. Following are some of the common and crucial aspects that are to be noted while formatting your research paper in MLA.

  • Always use a white paper that is 8.5 and 11 inches
  • Always ensure to maintain a margin of 1 inch on all the sides of the paper
  • The paragraphs should be intended so that the first words are almost half inches intended
  • The quotations should also be intended from the left side of the paper
  • However, italics should be used to differentiate any text
  • The standard format is always 12 Times New Roman
  • A paper should be designed as double spaced
  • One space should be left after using the punctuation marks or the period.

Outline in MLA

The 8th edition of the MLA template should be formed by using the following guideline

  • Roman numerals
  • The use of capital letters and the lower case
  • Numbers
  • Using the suffixes
  • Ramses III
  • King George IV

Essay formatting in MLA

Although there is a set approach that should be used for citation, the best way to have the perfect paper writing is to edit in the template that is already provided by the universities. In addition, the templates can be downloaded from different websites. One has to make sure that the essay follows some defined headings such as Introduction, ending with the thesis statement, discussion section, and the conclusion section. Then, the references should be replaced with the Works Cited page.

MLA formatted example

The attached examples can help you completely understand how MLA formatted paper can be created. It is a complete MLA format example. Also if you think that you don't have the required skill yet, you can reach out to us for all sorts of help. We at TopEssayWriter.Net have a team of professionals who can help you with all the academic tasks. We ensure quality work with zero plagiarism, you can always get a free revision, and we always care for the deadline. In a nutshell, we never disappoint our users.

Order your quality paper and get it done within 5 hours because we believe in quality and quality requires investing time.