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MLA Format Guide

MLA Format Guide

Formatting enhances the document’s presentation, whether it is a research paper or any other type of article. There are different types of writing styles. It might be difficult for students to stick to one type of format. MLA format is used for specific research papers and essays in language and literature, and gaining knowledge about it is useful.

What Is MLA?

MLA is an abbreviation of the Modern Language Association. This organization was founded in the year 1883 to promote the scientific, medical, educational, literary, and especially the academic objects and purposes to have a look at the literature of English, German, Spanish, French, and many other languages.

What Is MLA Format?

The MLA format was developed by the organization named Modem Language Association which is not only used by college students and instructors but also the terrific researchers and pupils inside the field of language and literature. Other than that, there’s a common use of this format within the fields of humanities and social sciences research.

MLA Format: Advantages

It provides the composers with a steady layout to jot down their research papers and assignments in a decent way. It makes it easier for the readers and makes the product presentable, more assembled, and convenient for the one who composes it.

Also, unlike followed by APA format, MLA allows the user to add references regarded ascites with additional information sources.

Nowadays, this layout is used in the subject of language and literature, but others take advantage of it. If we see on a broader level, there are formats other than MLA, which may assist and guide college students in jotting down their papers in a unique manner.

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MLA Format: Latest Edition

The Modern Language Association released the eighth and most recent edition of the handbook in April 2016. According to them, a handbook helps and guides in citing and structuring your work in line with the MLA guidelines.

What Makes MLA Different From APA Style:

The difference between the MLA and APA format is the following:

  • The page number and writer’s last name is included in references and citation.
  • When it got published, the author’s last name and date are included in the references and citations within the parenthesis in the APA format.

MLA Format: Title or Cover Page Instructions

There is no standalone cover page for an MLA paper style but if your teacher asks you to create one, ask him to provide you with all the specifications.

There are no particular instructions for creating an MLA style title page. In case there is no proper guidance, here are a few suggestions:

  • The main title should be placed in the middle of the page with no text in bold or quotation marks. Italicized font should only be used when there is a title of any other source in it.
  • Write down the first and last letter in capital. Also, capitalize all the verbs, adverbs, nouns, and pronouns
  • Write down your full name, instructor’s name, name of the course code, and last date for submitting the paper. Add double space and left and top alignment.
  • Keep the size of the text 12pt. To make it look professional and presentable, you can add the page number.

MLA Format: Heading

Since there is no separate title page for an MLA format, the MLA heading format can be written at the uppermost part of the document’s front page. If you choose to add an MLA format heading, the following are four main components that must be included:

  • Full name of the writer
  • Full name of the instructor or the teacher
  • Course name or code
  • The due date for the assignment
  • Make sure to add a space of an inch in the left and top margins.


  • The first thing that is to be jot down on the document is the name of the writer.
  • Write down the name of your teacher after adding double space beneath the name of the writer.
  • Right after the instructor’s name, push the space bar twice on the keyboard under it and write down your course code or its name.
  • Add another double space below the instructor’s name and mention the due date for the submission of the assignment.

Make sure that you followed the instructions carefully and added the correct details. Proofread to remove the errors.


Sarah Johnson

Professor Berlin

Information Assurance C-102

24 July 2021

MLA Format: Title

The title of the assignment is mentioned right under the due date after adding the double space. It is aligned in a way so that it sits in the middle of the screen.

Underlining the text, text in bold, and use of quotation marks are not allowed in the title or main heading. Use of the italicized font is only allowed when it consists of any other source title.


“The Trials and Tribulations of Lincoln’s Reciting of The Gettysburg Address”

MLA format: Adding Numbers

It is not hard to cite numbers in an MLA format. It clarifies where to use numbers in Arabic, Roman, and in words. For example, if one can spell a number in a few words, the number is of small size, then go for it.

However, if you need a whole sentence and the number is large, it’s better to stick with Arabic numerals like 1,309,267.

MLA Format: Adding Figures

MLA format is mostly used for artwork and language paper topics. Therefore, the use of pictures, illustrations, and maps plays a huge role.  Formatting a picture in MLA is much like formatting a table, but there are some differences between them

  • Label “Fig.” was observed via an Arabic numeral and mentioned beneath the image. (Fig. 1)
  • Right next to the label, write down the caption. (Fig. 3. Map of America)
  • The caption can consist of source statistics, after which it doesn’t must be stated in the text.

MLA Format: Adding Tables

When you add a table or records set into an assignment, there is no need to write down the label “fig.” underneath all the information, unlike citing pictures. You can write the label on the top of the table, “Table.”

The name of the table ought to be written in the form of the upper case (the first letter of every word is written in capital, except for small phrases and prepositions).

MLA Format: Spacing and Formatting

When it involves the spacing and formatting of your document, use double spacing in the complete frame and in the lists of work cited. Keep your textual content left-aligned so it stays in the center.

It’s also crucial to start every new paragraph with five spaces by pushing the tab button on your keyboard.

To keep the paper clean and tidy, comply with the standard punctuation rules for commas and full stops.

MLA Format: Use of Abbreviations

Abbreviations are usually used in lots of supply sorts within blogs, different magazines, and articles. Abbreviation can be used in all the cases, but if we are doing a college assignment, then according to MLA format, abbreviations are not preferred.

Write down the abbreviation in their full phrases. It makes the information look more authentic.

Tips for general abbreviations:

  • When an abbreviation is written into its full phrases, do not put periods between the individual words. For example, Compact disc can be abbreviated as C.D.
  • If the abbreviation is a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, it is recommended not to use periods between the individual letters. for example, MS and PhD

MLA Format: Text and Body Format

MLA Format: Listing Work Cited

The list of all the citations appears at the end of the document in an MLA format. The references are regarded as a citation in MLA format. It gives the readers complete detail of the textual content you added to the document. Align all the work cited like the rest of the MLA format paper style.

Add a double space and a gap of an inch from the margins at the top and the left.

According to the latest edition of the MLA format handbook, the work cited includes the author’s last name, first name of the writer of the book, edition (latest or old), title, the publisher, and year when it got published. Make sure to add a comma after each entry.

MLA Format: Citing In-Text

For each in-text citation in the document, the writer needs to add a reference in the work cited list at the end. The in-text citations are added when you want to refer to a quote or a text from and any other source to your document. It gives a brief source of information to the reader.

According to the MLA format for in-text citation, the page number and the writer’s name are mentioned when a quote or paragraph is taken from any other source.


(Brick 143)

Do not add the page number in the parenthesis if there is not in the source



MLA Format: Quote Citation

Quotes should only be added in the essay to justify the claims after the arguments. One can cite quotes in an MLA format in the following ways to avoid plagiarism:

  • Write down the quote and add the writer’s name on one side within the brackets
  • use the name of the writer within the quote
  • use of block quotes

MLA Format: Citing a Book

An MLA book citation consists of the author’s name, title in italicized font, publisher’s name, and the year it got published. It is added in the list of the citation that is present at the end of the paper. Commas are added after each instead of periods.


“Last Name of the author, First Name. Title of the Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.”

MLA Format: date citation

  • First, write down the date, then the month, and last the year after a comma.
  • The name of the months can be abbreviated e.g., Jan, Feb, Mar, Dec, Nov, etc.
  • if the season is known, you can also mention that


22 July 2016

(Winter 2016)

MLA Format: Annotated Bibliography Citation

The work cited page seems like an annotated bibliography, except that an annotated bibliography includes a quick summary or crucial evaluation of the source right after each source cited.

An annotation must consist of six to seven sentences. Add double space and make the text top and left-aligned. If the list of citations is lengthy, manage them according to their topics. It calls for a vital evaluation.

The annotated bibliography can be written in an awesome way if we investigate the writer’s perspective, look for the mistakes, and explain how the source proves to be helpful when you write a research paper.

MLA Format: Research Paper

Essential break down for formatting an MLA paper consists of:

  • 1-inch margins (all facets)
  • Indent new paragraphs
  • Only one space between sentences
  • Readable font
  • Double-spaced
  • Numbering the pages
  • Use fashionable 8.5 x 11 white paper

Now which you understand the basics, it’s time to examine the specific formatting factors you want for your cowl page, headings, headers, text formatting, and tables. You won’t be able to learn how to write research paper completely unless you don’t know how to cite properly

MLA Format: Outline

The latest edition of the MLA handbook does not have defined guidelines for outlining. However, if the teacher asks you to add an outline and does not provide you with specifications, follow the followings:

  • Roman numerals, Numbers, King George IV, Lowercase and Uppercase letters, Ramses III etc

MLA Format: Write essay or paper

Once you have learned the fundamentals, you are all set to jot down your paper. A few useful recommendations on the way to maintain the target area:

  • Add double space in between the texts.
  • Keep the font size 12.
  • Top and left align your document.
  • Push the tab button when you start a new paragraph to leave spaces.
  • Add spaces after using a punctuation mark.

MLA Format: Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading your assignment before you submit your assignment, make sure that it is fully edited and proofread to remove all the errors. Editing includes:

  • Spelling Check:

Review all the documents and check if all the words are spelled correctly. It is suggested to run the document through a spell checker to avoid any mistakes.

  • Grammar Check:

Check your document to remove all the double spaces and tenses mistakes. There are different sites available on the internet for free to check grammatical mistakes.

  • Punctuation Check:

Check to ensure that there is a period at the end of each sentence. Make sure that you have used the right punctuation mark in the right place. E.g., colons, hyphens, semi-colons, commas, etc.

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