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MLA Essay Format -Basic Guidelines
MLA Essay Format -Basic Guidelines
MLA Essay Format -Tips

MLA essay format is generally followed for the arts and social science papers. MLA or Modern Language Association of America, a very common writing patten in the US and Canada, follows certain standard norms while writing in-text citations within the essay, and the Works Cited page at the end.

Recently in 2009 there have been certain changes in the MLA formatting. Browse through the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition) to check out the changes that have been made.

To write an essay in the correct MLA format, start with a standard white 8.5×11 inch paper for writing. Unless otherwise specified, the essay must essentially be computer generated and written on only one side of the paper.

While writing an essay the font type used should be Times New Roman or Arial, and font size should be 12. Writing should be double spaced and the starting line of each paragraph should be indented half an inch or the space button pressed 5 times.

There should a margin of minimum one inch space around the essay. In a MLA paper there should a header on all the pages, in which there should written the writer’s surname and page number. MLA papers generally do not carry a title page, but that depends on specifications by the instructor. The first page of the essay should contain the writer’s name, followed by the instructor’s name, the course name and then the date, all with double spacing and on the left hand upper corner of the page.

The title of the essay should come next and aligned at the center of the page. one will have to use Title case for writing the title. It should not be written entirely in capital letters. Punctuation marks, underlining the title or using quotation marks are not allowed while writing the title.

An in-text citation for a book in the MLA format will be as follows:

“Several types of flea can carry the disease, but the most effective vector is the rat flea: Xenopsylla cheopis. These will not, for choice, seek non-rodent hosts if available, but may be driven to find new hosts as rodent communities are thinned by the plague” (Horrox, 5)

It will have the author’s surname and page number.

The Works Cited page for this would be

Horrox, R. The Black Death. New York: Manchester University Press, 1994.

For an internet citation it will be

“roughly 26 percent of the land area. All totaled, agriculture has displaced one-third of temperate and tropical forests and one-quarter of natural grasslands” (Mock, Domesticating the World: Conversion of Natural Ecosystems)

The works cited page should look like

“Mock, G. Domesticating The World: Conversion Of Natural Ecosystems. World Resources
Institute. September 2000. Web. 20th April 2010.


In case of journal reference – Author. Name of the article. Name of the journal. Date of publishing. Pages. Print.

MLA essay format is very easy to write. Once the basics are clear it will not be a problem at all. If you happen to face any problem while doing your essay assignment, and are looking for professional help, then do not fail to log on to our website. MasterPapers.com is the best place for you to place an order for your custom term paper.

This post originally appeared on http://essaywritingblog.com/essay-formats/mla-essay-format