Guide to Writing College Essays in MLA
A popular topic among college students and professors is formatting an academic paper. It is a daunting task for both local and international students. The latter is the most challenged as English is not their first language. So, formatting a paper correctly is a headache.
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Modern Language Association is a method of writing research papers. It is commonly used in the fields of Philosophy, History, and Humanities. The style is appropriate for students who submit their assignments a day to the deadline. However, this should not encourage lazy students out there.
How to Format your Essay in MLA
Just like Kenyans and Chinese cook in different ways, writers also follow certain rules when formatting their papers. When a professor tells their students to employ the MLA style in their essays, it means that the work should adhere to the rules of MLA.
Double space the entire document, including the title block and the work cited page. Students tend to forget the title block when in a rush to complete and hand in assignments. The all-round margins should always be one inch. Use parenthetical citations when acknowledging scholarly works related to the essay. We don’t want our assignments sent back because of plagiarism now do we? Italicize or underline the titles of books, newspaper articles, periodicals, and books that appear in the essay. Number all pages in the upper right hand corner.
MLA In-text Citation Format
When it comes to in-text citation, many students confuse it with other formatting styles. For MLA, the rules of citing within the text are simple and easy to remember. Use the surname of the author and the page number within the parenthesis. If cases where there are more than one author, list the names followed by et al within the parenthesis.
Yes it is okay to quote from a source as many times as you wish. Professors like this because they feel that you have grown through the course material. However, there are rules that apply to the length of quotations. If the quotation is less than or equal to four lines, include them within quotation marks. Quotations with more than four lines should be indented. If the direct quotation is more than two paragraphs, then each additional paragraph should be indented by another one inch.
Works Cited Page
This is the section that follows the body of the text. The names of the author should appear in an alphabetical order.