homework assignment ideas

Tips for writing a research paper in MLA format


The Modern Language Association developed a writing format for students to use primarily in the humanities or liberal arts fields. It is a standard format that is used by college students so that every paper is primarily the same. If everyone uses a similar format, then the papers can be graded on their content alone and not by the style that they wrote their paper. Also, your professor will be able to get the same length of papers if they assign page number requirements instead of word count requirements. If a student was to use a larger font or large font size, they wouldn’t have to write the same amount of content. Also if a student used larger margins, the same thing would happen.

Writing in MLA format


  1. Make sure to have one inch margins on all sides of the paper.
  2. Indent every paragraph a half an inch.
  3. Quotations and works cited should be one inch from the left margin.
  4. Double space the text of your paper.
  5. Do not create a separate title page for this type of research paper.
  6. A heading at the top left of the first page should include your name, your instructor’s name, the course name, and date each on a separate double-spaced line.
  7. The title should be centered after a double space and should not be underlined.
  8. In the upper right hand corner of each page, there should be your name and the page number. It should be a half inch from the top of the page and one inch from the right side of the page.
  9. Label all figures and tables with an Arabic numerals and a label.
  10. The sources need to be specifically cited. Please be sure to reference a MLA guide for specific sourcing formats.

These are the basic formatting requirements for a research paper in MLA formatting. The actual writing structure should be the same as other research papers. There should be an introduction with a thesis statement. The thesis will be the main purpose of the paper and should state the reasons to support the thesis. There should be a body paragraph section to prove the thesis and a conclusion.

Make sure that you follow any of the other specific requirements that your professor requires. Those are the main requirements for writing your research paper in MLA format.

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