How to Apply an MLA Format to An Essay: Essay Guides to Follow


The MLA format is often used for history and for English papers. The format is different that the APA format, which is often, used for science and math papers. The paper will have size twelve font, double-spacing and use a plain font such as Arial. Additionally, the side, bottom, and top margins will be one inch in size. There are other things you will need to know about the MLA paper.

No Abstract

The APA format calls for an Abstract, or a summary, of the overall paper. The MLA paper does not have an Abstract.

In-Text Citations

The in-text citations are different with the MLA. The cite will still be in parentheses, but it will have the author and the page number, instead of the author and year of publication. Make sure to close the parentheses.

Graphs and Pictures

Graphs and pictures are usually not allowed in a MLA format paper. If you teacher tells you otherwise, do go ahead and follow his or her instructions.

Works Cited or Bibliography

You will have either a Works Cited or a bibliography page. This page will list the references you looked at and used. You should make sure to ask the teacher if they want it annotated.

Heading and Page Numbers

The first page will have a full heading on the left side. There is no title page like there is with an APA paper. The heading will be double-spaced and have y our name, your teacher’s name, the subject name, and the date. After the first page, in the right hand corner of all following pages, you will have a header. The header will be your last name and the page number. Do not write the word page or put a p. or pg. Simply put the numeral.

As you prepare to write your MLA paper, use this guide to assist you. You may also want to have the official MLA guidebook beside you for information on how to do your Works Cited page. Additionally, you will find a number of good online sources that you can bookmark and use as a reference as you write your MLA style paper. There are many specific and detailed nuances to the MLA format. Knowing them ahead of time or having a handy reference close-by will help you as you write your paper.

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