research paper prompts

How to write a research paper in MLA format: examples can help out

Numerous times through your scholastic career you will be required to write research papers. As you get further along in your studies teachers will begin assigning research papers that have to be written using MLA format. MLA format stands for Modern Language Association and is a commonly used writing style that allows you to write papers citing multiple sources. There are several criteria that have to be met when writing a research paper in MLA format:

General formatting guidelines

  • Double space
  • Legible 12 pt font
  • One space after each punctuation mark
  • Use 1 inch margins
  • Indent the 1st line of every paragraph ½'' from the left margin
  • Use a header that numbers the pages in order making sure it’s placed in the top right corner, ½'' from the upper margin
  • Only use italics for long titles and emphasis
  • End notes should be titled “Notes” centered and unformatted on the page before the Works Cited page
 

Formatting first page guidelines

  • No title page
  • List your name , your instructor’s name, class name, and date in the upper right corner ½'' from the upper margin
  • Double space and center the title
  • Double space between the title and first line of the text
  • Create a header in the upper right corner with your last name, a space, and the page number using the 1,2,3, etc. numbering system ½'' from the upper margin

Various other formatting items

  • In-text citations
  • Quotations
  • End notes
  • Foot notes

Works cited

  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Electronic sources
  • Examples – Before you being writing your MLA format research paper it is necessary to look for examples in research papers that have been previously written. Using those examples will provide you with a platform in which you can compare and model your paper after. There are several examples of such papers both online and various other sources.

Although there are set guidelines for writing research papers in MLA format it is also important to seek clarification from your instructor on any deviations from standard guidelines that they are making to the assignment to ensure you are fulfilling all the requirements correctly. The more research papers you write in MLA format, the better you will become.

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