How To Write An Essay In MLA Format

The MLA or Modern Language Association format is a set of rules or guidelines which are universally known when creating the layout of an essay. The MLA format is certainly used in high schools and in colleges. Even if your educational institution does not require you to use the MLA format, it is a good system to know and use. It will certainly mean the appearance of your essay is easy to follow and understand. As to its content, well that's another matter and for another article.

There are a number of basic requirements in the MLA format. You can set your computer to these default positions and thus save time when you come to writing any number of essays.

The basic steps

  • the font size is 12 point
  • the typeface or font is Times New Roman
  • the paragraph margin is one inch
  • the spacing between lines is set to double

Once you have these four basic requirements in place, they can be used time and time again. There are other requirements in the MLA format and they are as follows.

The header, which is information which appears at the top of every page of your essay, is always justified to the right-hand side of the page. The header will include your last name and a page number. Do not put page numbers on the bottom of the page.

Then comes your heading which is distinct from the header. Your heading will consist of your first and last names, the name of your teacher, the name of your subject and the date. The latter is written as day, month and year.

Then will come the title of your essay and this should be at the top of the first page, centred without any alteration to the text. Do not use bold or underline or highlight or take any other action to make your title in any way different from the rest of the text.

If you use the name of a film or play or novel or similar, the title of these works should be in italics. Citing a reference requires some simple rules. Use quotation marks. List the author's last name and the page number and the document from which you have quoted.

You will find that the more you use the MLA format in writing an essay, the easier it will become. One of the best ways to learn the formula is to look at other essays which have been written in this format.


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