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Learn How to Write a Research Paper in MLA Format with Samples
Published 04 Sep 2022
This guide will help you learn how to format and structure your research paper based on MLA format guidelines. We shall focus on general formatting guidelines and essential MLA research paper structure. Our guide will provide several helpful tips that will add to your writing confidence. Essentially, you will learn how to write a research paper in MLA format correctly.
What is MLA Formatting?
MLA stands for Modern Language Association and is currently in its 9th edition , which has been published in 2021. In simple terms, MLA style formatting is a special system of referencing and structuring research papers. The main purpose is to cite sources correctly and keep your research writing always accurate. By learning how to write a research paper in MLA format, you will be able to submit your college homework according to specified rules and will avoid confusion. You will also learn how to format and structure the list of bibliography references for a research or essay paper by using the Works Cited page. It is another essential aspect of MLA style format.
MLA style format aims to help your college professor and the target audience to navigate through your paper by turning to various in-text citations with an opportunity to see where information has been taken. Since MLA has specific standards, your academic advisor will check whether you have followed the rules and used the same format, font sizes, headers, and other aspects that make research writing universal. What is MLA format then? The MLA style is mostly used by college students majoring in English, Literature, social sciences, arts, and humanities. One can assume that MLA style format is one of the most accessible writing standards, which is why it is often required during an introductory course where students learn how to structure their papers and keep information properly referenced.
When you are looking for reliable sources online, it will be easy to recognize the use of MLA format because of the famous MLA header that is always included on the first page where you must mention your full name, instructor's name, your course, and the date. It is also necessary to use page formatting with your last name on each page, which also helps to determine that an MLA format has been used. We shall discuss this aspect further on as you proceed with our guide.
MLA Research Paper Format: General Guidelines
If you are already familiar with at least one other academic writing format, you will already know the basics and it will be easier for you to process the information in MLA style. The majority of formats of research paper writing stand for the general rules on how to structure your page layout and a list of rules regarding correct citation. The most important is to start with the MLA header, which will look this way:
14 May 2022
This header is always placed at the top left corner of the first page (no title page is required in most cases!) with the page number and your name aligned to the top right of the page. It will look this way:
The other rules on how to write a MLA research paper include:
- The recommended fonts include Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana in 12 pt size.
- All the margins of the page in MS Word or a similar processor should be set at 1 inch.
- The main content is double-spaced unless specified otherwise.
- The MLA header is included only on the first page of your research paper.
- The title of your work must be centered.
- Every new research paper paragraph should have a hanging indent.
- The MLA style uses the author-page citation pattern where you should list the author's last name with the page number.
- The Bibliography page has the "Works Cited" title at the top and center of the first page with your citations.
- The sources are listed alphabetically.
- Do not place a period after the title or headers.
- Do not underline words unless it’s necessary.
It is recommended to use the rules of inclusive language, according to the latest manual edition of the MLA style. It means that you must avoid certain terms that focus on ethnic peculiarities, religion, gender, disability, age, or social challenges unless it is absolutely necessary. You can also use words like "human-made" to specify gender-neutral aspects.
MLA Research Paper Structure: Essential Parts
One of the most important parts of writing a research paper successfully is following the correct structure that is specified by the chosen writing style. Here are the MLA research paper format parts that you should consider:
It should have your university's name on top of the page, then the title of your research paper at the center of the page, and at the bottom of the page: your name, course name, professor's name, and the paper's due date (all centered).
The main heading should include your name, instructor's name, relevant class information, and the paper's delivery date.
The other MLA page headings:
First Level Heading.
Second Level Heading.
Third Level Heading
Fourth Level Heading
Fifth Level Heading
Research Paper Outline
Title of the page (centered)
- Talk about the importance of your subject.
- An interesting topic sentence.
2. Thesis Statement
3. Body Paragraphs
- Research Justification.
- Research Findings.
4. Research Discussion
- Thesis explanation.
Introduction & Thesis
Talk about the importance of your research and use a strong thesis statement. Research paper MLA style guidebook recommends allocating about 10% of your final word count to this part.
This is where you must use in-text citations to support your arguments. Always introduce the subject that you want to explore, make a claim, and use citing only then to make it suitable.
The classic in-text citation will look this way: According to Darren Smith, “certain peculiarities have been noticed in Shakespeare’s perception of time and death” (9). The majority of references to youth and the fragility help to understand how age has been limited by social circumstances (Smith 11).
Works Cited Page.
If you already know how to format your Bibliography, it is essential to look for complete information and provide as much as you can. If you are citing from a poetry book or an analysis paper that has been published:
Last Name, First Name of the author. "Title of your research paper." Title of Collection , edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, page range of the data you have used.
Research paper MLA style Works Cited page example:
Stanley, Lace. "Shakespeare's Psychology." The Collected Classic English Poems, edited by John Langsley, Penguin Books, 2006, p.26.
Citing something from Jstor scientific database:
Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title.” Title of Scientific Journal , vol. Volume, no. Issue, Month Year of publication, pp. Pages, https://doi.org/DOI, or any relevant identifier.
Enciso, Patricia, et al. “Children’s Literature: Standing in the Shadow of Adults.” Reading Research Quarterly , vol. 45, no. 2, 2010, pp. 252–63. JSTOR , http://www.jstor.org/stable/20697185. Accessed 20 Jun. 2022.
Regardless of whether you are using MLA format or would like to learn how to use different styles, your research paper should have an introduction, a review of the literature that you have used, the methodology that has been chosen, the results of your research, and a discussion of the findings. You may also be limited by an introduction with a thesis statement, body parts with the arguments, and the conclusion part where you talk about the findings. It will always depend on your subject and research paper type.
Research Paper in MLA Format Writing Tips
Contrary to the popular belief, research paper writing in MLA format is not too difficult if you know the basic rules. If you plan to learn how to write a research paper in APA format , you will feel even more confident because you will be able to differentiate the styles. As a way to help you with your research writing, we have collected these simple MLA formatting for research paper tips:
- Always start with the sources and check for Bibliography pages that may be included.
- Use only verified sources and look for databases like Google Scholar, Jstor, PubMed, etc.
- Always introduce your subject and talk about its importance.
- Do not overuse citations in your research paper.
Correct Research Paper Formatting Helps to Avoid Plagiarism
Numerous college students often ask about the purpose of correct research formatting, be it MLA, APA, Chicago, or any other format. In addition to structuring things according to academic standards, the most important aspect of staying accurate, as you research, is to provide correct structure and citations if you use any external sources. It will help you to prepare your writing for publishing purposes and let you avoid plagiarism issues. It is the main purpose of correct research paper formatting. This guide contains the main rules that provide a checklist that will help you stay safe and follow all the essential rules.
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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide
A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.
Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.
This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.
Table of contents
Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.
Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:
- Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
- Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
- Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.
Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.
There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.
You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.
You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.
Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:
- A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
- A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.
Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.
- Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
- Are there any heated debates you can address?
- Do you have a unique take on your topic?
- Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?
In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”
A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.
The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.
You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.
A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.
A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.
Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:
- Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
- Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
- Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.
You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.
Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.
Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.
George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.
It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.
You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.
APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator
The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.
What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.
Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?
How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.
The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.
One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:
- topic sentences against the thesis statement;
- topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
- and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.
Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.
The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.
Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.
You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.
You should not :
- Offer new arguments or essential information
- Take up any more space than necessary
- Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)
There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.
- Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
- Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
- Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
- If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.
The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible.
- Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
- Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
- Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.
Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:
- each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
- no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
- all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.
Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .
Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading or create an APA title page .
Scribbr’s professional editors can help with the revision process with our award-winning proofreading services.
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Checklist: Research paper
I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.
My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.
My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .
My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .
Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .
Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.
I have used appropriate transitions to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.
My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.
My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.
My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.
I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.
I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .
I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).
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How to write an outline in MLA format
Published October 22, 2020. Updated August 15, 2021.
What is an outline?
An outline is like a floor plan for your paper. It is used to plan out the scope of the paper, what it is going to explore, and most importantly, what it is going to look like, i.e., its presentation. Outlines themselves have a structure and format that should be followed for the best results.
An outline in MLA format should have the following:
- 1-inch margins, with double spacing
- 12-point font, left-aligned text
- center-aligned title with capitalized words using headline case
For help writing your essay, research paper , or other project, check out these writing tips .
Features of an outline
Following are the basic elements that need to be included in any outline.
The outline opens with a title or heading that directly addresses the topic. The title should be short and easy to read. As it is the first thing you see, it should convey the basic topic or objective of the paper quickly and creatively.
This is the most important part of an outline. Not to be confused with an introduction or abstract, the purpose of a thesis is to highlight the topic under discussion. It is brief (not more than 4-5 lines) and presents the topic, aim, and logical conclusion of the paper. This is presented with the word ‘THESIS’ in capital letters followed by a colon (:) before you begin your statement.
Headings should be the main points that address your thesis statement. Ideally, headings should be labeled using numbers or letters and an outline typically does not have more than 4-5 headings, though the number of headings depends on the length of the paper and the complexity of the topic. These should be concise and should be keywords or short phrases that describe what you are going to discuss, rather than presenting full sentences or details. Use a logical and coherent order to arrange the headings in your outline. This order will correspond to the order and structure of your paper, meaning that the paper will follow the outline’s sequence for discussing these points.
These fall under the main headings and should also be numbered in a way that differentiates them from the main headings. For example, if you use letters to label the main headings, then you should use numbers for your subheadings or vice-a-versa. Subheadings are used to present the key points that support your headings. Again, these should be short and should only include keywords that represent what is going to be explored under the particular heading.
Note : Too many headings and/or subheadings can crowd the outline, making it look confusing and clumsy. So, include only the most important and relevant points in these sections. Outlines should be concise and precise, as their purpose is to provide an overview of the paper and not its details.
Sample MLA outline
The following is a sample MLA style outline:
Florida Panthers in Danger
THESIS: The Florida panther has become the topmost endangered species of America due to various causes. This animal needs immediate preservation and protection, otherwise, it will cease to exist.
- Natural Habitat
- Decreasing Population Statistics
- Loss of Habitat
- Illegal Poaching
- Natural Causes
- Preservation Laws for Forest Covers
- Anti-Poaching Laws
- Assistance from Wildlife Organizations
- Public Awareness
- Successful Implementation of Protection Measures
- Unsuccessful Implementation of Protection Measures
MLA Style Guides
MLA Format: Annotated bibliography | Abstract | Block Quote | Headings | MLA 8 vs. 9 | Outline | Page Numbers | Sample paper | Title page
Citing Sources: In-text citations | Works cited | Footnotes | Citing Multiple Authors | Citing Sources with No Authors | Using et al
MLA Citation Generator: Article | Book | Image | Interview | Journal | Movie | PDF | Textbook | Website | YouTube
Published July 14, 2021.
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Seafood Project: Conch (Research Paper Sample)
The research paper(bibliography)is very important to me. Please read the attachment --project outline for the seafood --- conch carefully. Complete the "Theory portion"(Word style)----according to the attachment ---requirements and criteria/checklist, plus, one conch dish cooking recipe(ingredients and amount) and procedures(step by step).
Seafood: Conch Student’s Name Affiliation Course Professor Due Date Seafood: Conch Description The conch is a type of large marine snail that has a pale brown shell with rosy-pink lips. It can be classified as a marine gastropod mollusk. It has many species that are all edible, but the queen conch is the most common form of the conch available in North America. Conch are mainly herbivores as they feed on algae and other small plants. Thus, they can be classified as prey in the food chain providing food for turtles, shark, lobsters, among others sea carnivores. Notably, the shell is a product of the calcium and carbonate ions that the conch absorbs from the seawater. The mantle of the conch is orange in color and it has dark spots in some cases (Laidlaw, 2020). The edible part of the conch is known as the foot and is mainly used for locomotion. It is muscular to facilitate the movement of the conch. At the tip of the foot, the conch has an operculum that is also used for locomotion (UNCTAD, 2022). Notably, the operculum is hard and sickle-shaped and facilitates the hopping motion characteristic of conch movements. The conch has an extensible snout known as the proboscis that is long and flexible. The proboscis has a radula that acts as the tongue and is mainly used for scrapping algae off the seagrass blades while feeding. At either side of the proboscis, the conch has two eyestalks that contain miniature sensory tentacles that are used for scent detection.
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MLA Research Paper Format: Ultimate Guide for Students
Do you know how to properly use MLA research paper format? If not, you’re in the right place. Writing a research paper is a delicate and complex matter. You need to choose the right topic, ensure structure is proper, and reach your conclusions using facts and information you've gathered. In addition, you need to make it unique, innovative, and fresh. Your paper needs to contribute to your area of study and shed new light on research topic. However, none of it will be considered valuable or significant if you don't know how to format your paper.
Abbreviated for Modern Language Association, MLA writing style has a wide spectrum of usage. It’s used in college research papers, dissertations, thesis, and other forms of academic writing. This article covers how you’re supposed to use it for research paper writing. Below, you’ll find our ultimate guide for an MLA research paper format.
What is MLA Format: Definition
Before we dig any deeper into how you’re supposed to use MLA research paper format, let’s first understand what it is. Here’s what you need to know.
MLA (Modern Language Association) format is a style used in academic writing that specifies how to write a paper that can be considered credible, professional, and worthy of academic community. Specifically, it tells you:
- how to structure a research paper
- how to cite the resources you’ve used
- how to avoid being accused of plagiarism
Style is defined by clear guidelines you need to fully understand and apply without any exceptions. That is the only way to make your work solid and satisfactory.
Research Paper Formatting Basics
Formatting your research paper according to MLA style guide is not as difficult as you may think. Naturally, you need to know how to do it right and which basic steps to follow. That's why we're first going to cover formatting basics and move on to more complex steps later on.
Basic rules on how to do MLA format properly are following:
- Use standard white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
- Make one-inch margins on all four sides.
- Double-space your entire paper.
- Indent the first word of every new paragraph by one-half inch.
- Use a font that’s easy to read (e.g. Times New Roman) and set the size to 12pt.
- Leave one space after periods and other punctuation marks.
This is the bare minimum that you need to know by heart when it comes to writing MLA format. Adopt it as something that's not supposed to be altered. Once you master the basics, you can dive into more detailed instructions and requirements.
General Guidelines on How to Write in MLA Format
We’ve got the basics down, and now it’s time to go over general guidelines. In other words, we'll go into greater detail on MLA format rules and what each of the rules stands for. Let’s discuss them one by one.
- Font. It’s very important that you use a font that’s easy to read and allows the reader to focus on the content, not the aesthetics. Times New Roman or something very similar works great and is heavily recommended. Also, make sure the italics are different enough from regular font style so that reader may easily spot distinctions. Font size 12 is necessary.
- Italics. Using italics in MLA formatting plays an important role. You should use it to indicate and highlight the titles of books, newspapers, dissertations, periodicals, databases, etc. Also, you're not supposed to use italics for emphasis, unless necessary.
- Indenting Paragraphs. The first word of every new paragraph needs to be indented by one-half inch from the left margin. To do this the right way, just use the tab button instead of pressing space.
- Double-Spacing. If you’re asking is MLA format double spaced entirely, the answer is yes. Entire research paper you’re writing needs to use double spacing, all through the work. That means you’re not allowed to add more space for aesthetics, in places such as between the title and opening paragraph.
These are general guidelines that you need to follow, and now you know-how. Let’s now inspect other important rules for writing an MLA research paper.
- Format Header in MLA. Opening page of your research paper needs to be written according to specific MLA rules as well. Creating your header will require you to follow same rules for rest MLA research paper, but also apply some new ones. We’ll teach you exactly how to format a research paper header properly and make sure you respect all requirements.
All of this information will be on the left side of your paper while your last name and page number will be on the top right side of this and every other page of your paper. However, some instructors and mentors may ask you to omit the page number or do things differently. Always follow their instructions first. Here’s an example of what it should look like:
Paper’s title should be placed right below the due date, after a double-spacing. Do not create any more space between the two. Instructions further state that title should be placed center of the paper and written in standard font style and size. You shouldn’t use italics, bold, or underlining in the title. You should use italics if title of paper contains name of another source, like in the example below.
After another double-spacing, begin with introduction of your research paper. If you’re not sure how to start a research paper , learn more about writing an introduction. Look for a research paper template online to help you get the gist of it.
MLA Heading & Title Page
Sometimes, as a part of your research paper formatting, you'll be asked to create a separate, standalone title page different from the one we've described above. However, there are no official MLA guidelines for creating a standalone title page. Still, there's a standardized academic norm that we’ll share with you. Information you'll include on your title page is:
- name of your school
- title and subtitle of your research paper
- your name
- your professor’s name
- name of your course
- date of submission
Also, you’ll be once again following basic MLA format principles we’ve covered above, in terms of font, spacing, and indenting.
Think of title page as cover page. Now, let’s see what the MLA cover page format is. Here’s what to do:
- put your school’s name on the top center of page
- put your research paper title at page’s center middle
- use title case to write your title
- place subtitle below title
- place your name, your professor's name, your course name, and due date at the center bottom of the page
You can add or omit the header with your last name and page number, but you should consult your instructor for this decision.
Here’s layout of research paper title page in MLA style.
Follow these rules to create a standalone title page quickly and easily.
Quotations for MLA Format Essay
For your research paper to be solid and credible, you'll need to prove your arguments and support your claims. The best way to do this is to use other authors' findings and reference them in your work.
Naturally, if you're using someone else's ideas, you have to disclose them using quotations and citing. MLA style guide has a strict policy on how to use quotations and reference sources you're using, and you’ll find them explained below.
Short in-text citation
A short quotation is one containing four or fewer lines of typed text.
If you're using an author's direct words in MLA format paper and repeating them in your research paper, you need to follow rules of in-text citation. Those imply that you put their words under quotation marks and specify who the original author is.
There are two ways to mention author: as a part of your sentence, or in parenthesis at the end of quotation. In both cases, specify number of page from original work where citation can be found. Provide all other information about this author and work on the Works Cited page.
Here are examples in accordance with MLA format requirements:
We can see that the allusions are not here by accident and that ’’Márquez primarily uses allusion to create a strong bond between himself and the reader’’ (White, 166).
White also implies that ’’Márquez primarily uses allusions to create a strong bond between himself and the reader’’ (166).
Long in-text citation
If the text you’re quoting is longer than four lines of typed text, you need to make it into a separate paragraph. In addition, you’ll need to indent this paragraph half an inch more from the rest of the text to make it stand out. Here’s a sample of what it should look like. We can easily spot those allusions in his descriptions of love and longing:
Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance, and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs. (Márquez, 112)
The important thing is you know how to insert citations and use quotations to avoid being accused of plagiarism or breaching the standardized research paper format. At the end of your research paper, you'll provide a list of all the resources you use in your annotated bibliography. If you don't know how to create one, find an annotated bibliography writing service online. Their professional writers will do the job for you.
Abbreviations: How to write in MLA Format
When writing your MLA formatted paper, it's only natural you'll want to use abbreviations and make it a bit easier on yourself. But, there are specific rules here as well that you need to follow to respect the MLA style guide. Remember to edit research papers accordingly to all rules.
Here’s how to abbreviate in your MLA format research paper.
- do not include periods between capital letters in abbreviations (US instead of U.S.)
- you can include periods between lower case letters in abbreviations (e.g.)
- use a full stop and a space between each initial in a person's name that includes a full surname (J. R. R. Tolkien)
- do not use full stops or spaces between names that are entirely made up of initials (e.g. MLK)
- abbreviate months longer than four letters (Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.)
Abbreviations need to be inserted and used according to the above rules, so ensure you're not improvising any of them.
Formatting Numbers in MLA
Whether you’re doing a scientific research paper or a literature project, you’re bound to have numbers used all over your research paper. Formatting numbers in MLA is yet another thing you need to master to make sure your MLA formatting for research paper is top-notch.
The rules to apply include:
- Avoid starting a sentence with a number (122 teachers were asked to answer the questionnaire).
- Use digits when the number is preceding a unit of measurement (6 tablespoons, 4 pounds, 18 inches).
- Spell out the number that can be written as one or two words (seven, seventy-six).
- Use digits for longer numbers, decimals, and fractions (4½, 17.099).
These simple rules will help you with your MLA format setup, so try memorizing them all. Remember that page numbers in headers are presented as digits.
Read also: Buy reaction paper from top writing experts 24/7!
MLA 9 Updates
The latest edition of the MLA Handbook was released in April 2021. The MLA constantly works on updating, informing, and helping academic writers improve their skills. The handbook is for all of you still wondering what does MLA format look like but also for skilled writers who just want to make progress.
The latest MLA 9 edition brings updates and changes to the former version. The main updates cover these aspects of MLA writing:
- the in-text citation is explained in greater detail
- inclusive language is introduced
- grammar mechanics are further explained
- the creation of the Works Cited list is digested into details and explains each element
- MLA in research papers is covered
Regardless of your current skill level or knowledge about the MLA essay format, you should make sure you’re fully aware of the rules and changes that may be introduced. Therefore, always read the latest version of the MLA Handbook to stay well-informed and improve your writing skills.
Read also: No time left till deadline? Use our research proposal helper to have your task ready on time.
Writing a research paper in the MLA style means knowing all the rules and following all the instructions set by the MLA like any professional online research paper writer would do. Our ultimate guide for an MLA format teaches you everything you need to know about formatting, structure, and different elements of your MLA research paper.
Hopefully, you’ll use this guide to improve your MLA writing and write better papers according to the rules we’ve explained.
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- How to Start a Research Paper: Definition, Introduction, Examples
- Research Paper Outline Step-by-Step Guide
- APA Research Paper Format Basics
- Research Paper Format: Required Elements
- How to Structure a Research Paper Step-by-Step Guide
- How To Use Citations In A Research Paper
- Essay Writing
- Essay Topics
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Research Paper Guide
Research Paper Example
Research Paper Example - APA and MLA Format
12 min read
Published on: Nov 27, 2017
Last updated on: Jan 26, 2023
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Do you spend time staring at the screen and thinking about how to approach a monstrous research paper ?
If yes, you are not alone.
Research papers are no less than a curse for high school and college students.
It takes time, effort, and expertise to craft a striking research paper.
Every other person craves to master the magic of producing impressive research papers.
Continue with the guide to investigate the mysterious nature of different types of research through examples.
Research Paper Example for Different Formats
An academic paper doesn't have to be boring. You can use an anecdote, a provocative question, or a quote to begin the introduction.
Learning from introductions written in professional college papers is the best strategy.
Have a look at the expertise of the writer in the following example.
Social Media and Social Media Marketing: A Literature Review
APA Research Paper Example
While writing research papers, you must pay attention to the required format.
Follow the example when the instructor mentions the APA format .
Effects of Food Deprivation of Concentration and Preserverance
Research Paper Example APA 7th Edition
Research Paper Example MLA
Once you are done with APA format, let’s practice the art of writing quality MLA papers.
Found Voices: Carl Sagan
We have provided you with a top-notch research paper example in MLA format here.
Research Paper Example Chicago
Chicago style is not very common, but it is important to learn. Few institutions require this style for research papers, but it is essential to learn. The content and citations in the research paper are formatted like this example.
Chicago Research Paper Sample
Research Paper Example Harvard
To learn how a research paper is written using the Harvard citation style , carefully examine this example. Note the structure of the cover page and other pages.
Harvard Research Paper Sample
Examples for Different Research Paper Parts
A research paper has different parts. Each part is important for the overall success of the paper. Chapters in a research paper must be written correctly, using a certain format and structure.
The following are examples of how different sections of the research paper can be written.
Example of Research Proposal
What is the first step to starting a research paper?
Submitting the research proposal!
It involves several sections that take a toll on beginners.
Here is a detailed guide to help you write a research proposal .
Are you a beginner or do you lack experience? Don’t worry.
The following example of a research paper is the perfect place to get started.
View Research Proposal Example Here
Research Paper Example Abstract
After submitting the research proposal, prepare to write a seasoned abstract section.
The abstract delivers the bigger picture by revealing the purpose of the research.
A common mistake students make is writing it the same way a summary is written.
It is not merely a summary but an analysis of the whole research project. Still confused?
Read the abstract mentioned in the following research to get a better idea.
Affirmative Action: What Do We Know? - Abstract Example
Literature Review Research Paper Example
What if a novice person reads your research paper?
He will never understand the critical elements involved in the research paper.
To enlighten him, focus on the literature review section. This section offers an extensive analysis of the past research conducted on the paper topics.
It is relatively easier than other sections of the paper.
Take a closer look at the paper below to find out.
Methods Section of Research Paper Example
While writing research papers, excellent papers focus a great deal on the methodology.
Yes, the research sample and methodology define the fate of the papers.
Are you facing trouble going through the methodology section?
Relax and let comprehensive sample research papers clear your doubts.
View Methods Section of Research Paper Here
Research Paper Conclusion Example
The conclusion leaves the last impression on the reader.
“Who cares for the last impression? It’s always the first.”
Don’t be fooled!
The conclusion sets the tone of the whole research paper properly.
A key list of elements must be present in conclusion to make it crisp and remarkable.
The Conclusion: Your Paper's Final Impression
View the sample paper and identify the points you thought were never a part of the conclusion.
Research Paper Examples for Different Fields
Research papers can be about any subject that needs a detailed study. The following examples show how research papers are written for different subjects.
History Research Paper Sample
Many Faces of Generalisimo Fransisco Franco
Sociology Research Paper Sample
A Descriptive Statistical Analysis within the State of Virginia
Science Fair Research Paper Sample
What Do I Need To Do For The Science Fair?
Psychology Research Paper Sample
The Effects of Food Deprivation on Concentration and Preserverance
Art History Research Paper Sample
European Art History: A Primer
Scientific Research Paper Example
We have discussed several elements of research papers through examples.
Introduction in Research Paper!
Read on to move towards advanced versions of information.
Scientific research paper
Let's have a look at the template and an example to elaborate on concepts.
- Related Work
- Research Methodology
- Results and Discussion
- Conclusion & Future Work
The name itself sounds terrifying to many students. Make no mistake; it sure is dangerous when touched without practice.
Students become afraid and hence aspire to locate an outstanding essay paper writer to get their papers done.
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Science Fair Paper Format
Example of Methodology in Research Paper
The words methodology, procedure, and approach are the same. They indicate the approach pursued by the researcher while conducting research to accomplish the goal through research.
The methodology is the bloodline of the research paper.
A practical or assumed procedure is used to conduct the methodology.
The Effects of Immediate Feedback Devices in High School Chemistry Classes
See the way the researcher has shared participants and limits in the methodology section of the example.
Research Paper Example for Different Levels
The process of writing a research paper is based on a set of steps. The process will seem daunting if you are unaware of the basic steps. Start writing your research paper by taking the following steps:
- Choose a Topic
- Create a thesis statement
- Do in-depth research for the research study
- Create an outline
You will find writing a research paper much easier once you have a plan.
No matter which level you are writing at, your research paper needs to be well structured.
Research Paper Example Outline
Before you plan on writing a well-researched paper, make a rough draft.
Brainstorm again and again!
Pour all of your ideas into the basket of the outline.
What will it include?
A standard is not set but follow the research paper outline example below:
View Research Paper Outline Example Here
This example outlines the following elements:
- Thesis Statement
Utilize this standard of outline in your research papers to polish your paper. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you write a research paper according to this format.
Good Research Paper Examples for Students
Theoretically, good research paper examples will meet the objectives of the research.
Always remember! The first goal of the research paper is to explain ideas, goals, and theory as clearly as water.
Yes, leave no room for confusion of any sort.
Fiscal Research Center - Action Plan
Qualitative Research Paper Example
Research Paper Example Introduction
How to Write a Research Paper Example?
Research Paper Example for High School
When the professor reads such a professional research paper, he will be delighted.
Grant of funds for the project!
Appreciation in Class!
You'll surely be highly rewarded.
Research Paper Conclusion
“Who cares for the last impression? It's always the first.”
Don't be fooled!
A key list of elements must be present in the conclusion to make it crisp and remarkable.
Critical Research Paper
To write a research paper remarkably, include the following ingredients in it:
- Justification of the Experimental Design
- Analysis of Results
- Validation of the Study
How to Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper
Theoretical Framework Examples
The theoretical framework is the key to establish credibility in research papers.
Read the purpose of the theoretical framework before following it in the research paper.
The researcher offers a guide through a theoretical framework.
- Philosophical view
- Conceptual Analysis
- Benefits of the Research
An in-depth analysis of theoretical framework examples research paper is underlined in the sample below.
View Theoretical Framework Example Here
Now that you have explored the research paper examples, you can start working on your research project.
Hopefully, these examples will help you understand the writing process for a research paper. You can hire an essay writer online if you still require help writing your paper. You can buy well-written yet cheap research papers by contacting our expert and professional writers.
So, contact our essay writing service now.
Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)
Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.
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Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
According to MLA style, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text.
- Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
- Only the title should be centered. The citation entries themselves should be aligned with the left margin.
- Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.
- Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
- List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as pp. 225-50 (Note: MLA style dictates that you should omit the first sets of repeated digits. In our example, the digit in the hundreds place is repeated between 2 25 and 2 50, so you omit the 2 from 250 in the citation: pp. 225-50). If the excerpt spans multiple pages, use “pp.” Note that MLA style uses a hyphen in a span of pages.
- If only one page of a print source is used, mark it with the abbreviation “p.” before the page number (e.g., p. 157). If a span of pages is used, mark it with the abbreviation “pp.” before the page number (e.g., pp. 157-68).
- If you're citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should type the online database name in italics. You do not need to provide subscription information in addition to the database name.
- For online sources, you should include a location to show readers where you found the source. Many scholarly databases use a DOI (digital object identifier). Use a DOI in your citation if you can; otherwise use a URL. Delete “http://” from URLs. The DOI or URL is usually the last element in a citation and should be followed by a period.
- All works cited entries end with a period.
Additional basic rules new to MLA 2021
New to MLA 2021:
- Apps and databases should be cited only when they are containers of the particular works you are citing, such as when they are the platforms of publication of the works in their entirety, and not an intermediary that redirects your access to a source published somewhere else, such as another platform. For example, the Philosophy Books app should be cited as a container when you use one of its many works, since the app contains them in their entirety. However, a PDF article saved to the Dropbox app is published somewhere else, and so the app should not be cited as a container.
- If it is important that your readers know an author’s/person’s pseudonym, stage-name, or various other names, then you should generally cite the better-known form of author’s/person’s name. For example, since the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is better-known by his pseudonym, cite Lewis Carroll opposed to Charles Dodgson (real name).
- For annotated bibliographies , annotations should be appended at the end of a source/entry with one-inch indentations from where the entry begins. Annotations may be written as concise phrases or complete sentences, generally not exceeding one paragraph in length.
Capitalization and punctuation
- Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose .
- Use italics (instead of underlining) for titles of larger works (books, magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles)
Listing author names
Entries are listed alphabetically by the author's last name (or, for entire edited collections, editor names). Author names are written with the last name first, then the first name, and then the middle name or middle initial when needed:
Do not list titles (Dr., Sir, Saint, etc.) or degrees (PhD, MA, DDS, etc.) with names. A book listing an author named "John Bigbrain, PhD" appears simply as "Bigbrain, John." Do, however, include suffixes like "Jr." or "II." Putting it all together, a work by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be cited as "King, Martin Luther, Jr." Here the suffix following the first or middle name and a comma.
More than one work by an author
If you have cited more than one work by a particular author, order the entries alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author's name for every entry after the first:
Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives . [...]
---. A Rhetoric of Motives . [...]
When an author or collection editor appears both as the sole author of a text and as the first author of a group, list solo-author entries first:
Heller, Steven, ed. The Education of an E-Designer .
Heller, Steven, and Karen Pomeroy. Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design.
Work with no known author
Alphabetize works with no known author by their title; use a shortened version of the title in the parenthetical citations in your paper. In this case, Boring Postcards USA has no known author:
Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulations. [...]
Boring Postcards USA [...]
Burke, Kenneth. A Rhetoric of Motives . [...]
Work by an author using a pseudonym or stage-name
New to MLA 9th edition, there are now steps to take for citing works by an author or authors using a pseudonym, stage-name, or different name.
If the person you wish to cite is well-known, cite the better-known form of the name of the author. For example, since Lewis Carroll is not only a pseudonym of Charles Dodgson , but also the better-known form of the author’s name, cite the former name opposed to the latter.
If the real name of the author is less well-known than their pseudonym, cite the author’s pseudonym in square brackets following the citation of their real name: “Christie, Agatha [Mary Westmacott].”
Authors who published various works under many names may be cited under a single form of the author’s name. When the form of the name you wish to cite differs from that which appears on the author’s work, include the latter in square brackets following an italicized published as : “Irving, Washington [ published as Knickerbocker, Diedrich].”.
Another acceptable option, in cases where there are only two forms of the author’s name, is to cite both forms of the author’s names as separate entries along with cross-references in square brackets: “Eliot, George [ see also Evans, Mary Anne].”.
Formatting Your Research Project
To learn how to set up your research project in MLA format, visit our free sample chapter on MLA Handbook Plus , the only authorized subscription-based digital resource featuring the MLA Handbook, available for unlimited simultaneous users at subscribing institutions.
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How to write an Outline of a Research paper in MLA Style?
16 Oct 2021
Thesis statement of research mla paper outline, headings and subheadings of research mla paper outline, check-list of a good mla outline for a research paper, the template of mla research paper outline, alphanumeric outline example, decimal outline example, frequently asked questions about mla outline.
Today we are going to help you understand all about the MLA research paper outline. This is something you will need to write and has a huge effect on your paper. The outline is basically a plan of your MLA paper, and it has a huge role. You will use it to organize all the paragraphs, sections, main ideas, and so much more.
Usually, students use bullet points to make all of this easier. MLA outline is important to use and can help you complete the task in less time and provide better information, eliminate mistakes, and so much more. An outline is mandatory or highly recommended for all writings, and you can really benefit from it. A research paper outline is something your professor will recommend you to write!
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Before you even start with the MLA paper, you need to write a thesis. It is important for any paper, and it is essential. It goes before the research paper outline, and it is an explanation of the paper, the ideas, and the main elements you are going to use. It should be 6-7 lines, but you can make it shorter if you like. Once you have it, you can proceed to college research paper outline and use the bullets we have mentioned above. It is important to add that the thesis is not an introduction for an outline, essay, or anything similar. It is not abstract either.
Now you will have to organize the ideas you will use. According to modern language associations, these have to be well-organized and important. In simple terms, do not use vague or unimportant pieces of information. You will create headings, and then you will create subheadings. A structured research paper outline will have as many headings/subheadings as you need in order to explain the topic in detail.
MLA format may be beneficial in this case scenario. An outline in MLA format will present all the main ideas. The key element is not to provide more or less information you need. If you do, a reader will not be interested, and you will end up with a bad paper. In addition, the outline must not use vague, inaccurate, or completely irrelevant ideas. This is something you will have to use for any MLA paper and most essays in general. The goal is to stay accurate and detailed but not go extreme. Use times new roman to keep things simple. Consider style 6th edition.
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- In cases where you are allowed to indicate corrections on printed research papers, use carets (ʸ) to show it. Correction is easy if you are submitting an electronic copy.
- Write complete sentences to support your thesis statement.
- All capital letters should be followed by phrases that offer proof, support evidence, or an explanation of the main idea.
- Use examples and statistics to expound your points. Here is an example:
Now, look at a sample template of the MLA research paper outline below. The theme of it is "Research on the effects of global warming":
Here we have an example. It is ideal for an MLA outline, and it uses a proper MLA format, so you can always modify it and apply it to your specific needs and goals. If this is too complicated for you or you need help, you can always use " write my research paper " services and get the job done in a minute. This is ideal if you need a complicated college research paper outline MLA or you just don't have time. Anyway, here is an example of a decimal MLA outline. The theme is "Facebook is a great place for making new friends":
What is an MLA Outline?
An outline in MLA format is precisely as you think. It is a plan you will use to write the assignment. It consists of the headings, subheadings, and the ideas you will have to use. Basically, this is a path you will take while writing, and it will reflect how your complete task will look at the end.
According to the modern language association, this is mandatory, and something all of you need to complete first. It eliminates mistakes and makes the whole task easier. Now you have a plan. You may want to follow these steps here and get the job done in less time and expect a better grade.
How to write an Outline for a Research Paper MLA?
You will have to start by explaining the main idea of your essay. Then you will start with defining the headings. Add all the subheadings now and try to focus each one on an important part of the writing. Each one should explain the idea. This is the guide on what you will write later on. The idea must be relevant and accurate, and it must be simple if possible. DO not use ideas that are not accurate or have flaws, or are completely irrelevant to the essay. These can make a reader get bored and not interested.
When does the page numbering of the MLA Research Title Page begin?
It should start with the first page. It always uses Arabic numbers, and all pages should be numbered. The numbers will have to be present in the upper right corner of the page, and there are no exceptions. The only expectation is that some professors will ask you not to number the first page. If that is mandatory, you will start from the second page using number 2 and move on. Numbers must be 0.5 inches from the top, and they must be flush with the proper margin.
How to set Outline of a Research Paper in MLA Style in Google Docs?
Formatting your research in this case scenario is simple. You will have to start a new document and click on file/new/template. From there, you will have to search for the MLA template and open it when you find it. Then start with the main idea at the top. You will now have to write the headings followed or containing the subheadings.
As you can see, the whole process is super easy and far easier than when using other platforms. There is no need to manually adjust all the settings and optimize the content. Keep in mind that you should use font sizes 12, 11.5, or 11.
How to set the Outline of a Research Paper in MLA Style in Word?
To start with your research paper outline in Word, start a new document. Click on no spacing and choose font and size. Write the main idea. Click on multi-level numbering and define multiple level numbering then. Change the values. They should be A., I., 1. and so on (enter formatting for number). Choose number style for this number in I, II, III for the first level, A, B, C for the third level, and 1, 2, 3 for the third level. Now you can start writing.
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How To Format a Research Paper In MLA : Guide and Example
- June 4, 2018
Learn how to format a research paper in MLA style step by step by going through this guide. In the end, you will able to write good research papers in MLA as the example shown within the article.
MLA College Research Paper Format Guidelines for Students
The nature of your research does not matter, if your paper is centered on an effective outline. The outline is essential because it will assist you in not only aligning your thoughts, but it also serves as the outline for your entire assignment. A research outline is a constant, visual reminder that you should incorporate essential detail in your paper. It is the building block for your paper because it will guide you through the comprehensive process.
Students should understand that the introduction is massively important in a research paper. Beginning a research paper will provide the instructor with your primary intention that you will mention throughout the paper. It is done primarily by presenting the topic, and crafting a catchy thesis statement that will capture the attention of the reader.
Thereafter, a student needs to write a body that will cover vital parts of the essay comprehensively. The student need to ensure that their sentences are filled with important facts that will convince the reader that the essay is of high quality. It will also ensure that your arguments will be centered on strengthening your thesis statement. Furthermore, the body should also provide the insights into the methods that have been used to conduct your research, by providing formidable questions to pondered questions and investigative points.
A literature overview is also critical when drafting a research paper. It is achieved by providing peer reviewed scholarly sources to support your hypothesis and theories. The topic of your research and your literature review should be in sync, because students tend to provide literature reviews that are not adjacent with their paper.
If you want to include a data validation section in your research paper, they need to follow the literature and methodology sections. The section is critical because it will allow you to mention essential variables that you have covered and showcase your results. Tables or graphs can also be included, but a student should ensure they provide insightful explanation because some tables may be complex to the reader.
The conclusion is the final part of a research paper, but it does not provide further information. Instead, it provides a summary of the vital points addressed in the paper. It is also MUST to mention the thesis statement and mention how future research maybe conducted.
We are committed to help write a magnificent research paper, so we have provided you with research paper writing service with excellent reputations:
How to Format a Research Paper In MLA
There are a myriad of sources that you can consult, and they will assist you write an excellent research paper. They also have personnel that have specialized skills, so be sure that you will receive a paper centered on your desires. Excellent research papers will provide you with a glimpse of what is extensively required. The recipe of a deficient research paper is it has a bunch of texts and citations that have been written with the hope of attaining an excellent grade, with ascertaining it has all the qualities of a good research paper.
Attaining a distinction in your research paper needs an unmatched effort, and diligence. You need to ensure you have conducted thorough research on your topic, the paper has been appropriately formatted, all your sources are legitimate, and have been cited accurately. The guidelines below will assist you to draft a paper that has been professionally written.
Formatting a College Research Paper
Always ensure that your paper is clean, so that you can ensure that you submit neat work. Its background needs to be white, unless stated otherwise, and the margins need to be 8 ½” x 11”.
The margins of your essay should be 1” (2.5 cm) at the right, left, top, and bottom of every page. The page number should be at the top and are placed at ½” (1.25 cm) from the margin of the paper.
- MLA Title Page format
A research paper does not require a title page unless stated otherwise by the instructor. There is a general outline that an MLA research needs to be written, and how sources should be documented. If you are not sure, feel free to revisit the guidelines.
If you are instructed not to include a topic on your paper, you may begin 1” from the top of the first page by typing your name. Type your instructors name, your course code, and the date. If the instructor does not want the page numbered, you can begin numbering from the second page. You should ensure that these details are double spaced and flushed against the left margin.
Mr. P. Smith
16 TH March 2010
Gun Violence: What Needs To Be Done?
You should ensure that your title is not all capitalized, and do not also include quotation marks before, and after the title. You should also not underline the topic, or include the word period at the end of the sentences. All nouns and important words in the title should be capitalized. However, conjunctions and prepositions should be written in lower case letters, and the same should be done for headings and sub-headings. Acronyms such as the FBI that represents the Federal Bureau of Investigations also be capitalized. When including unpopular acronyms, you must provide its meaning at the first appearance on your essay, for instance, The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
If you are instructed to include a cover page on your paper, you need to begin on a new page. Use the formatted provided by the instructor, because if you fail, you will be subject to deductions of marks. Otherwise, ensure all contents are double spaced, which include, School Name (optional) paper title, school (optional), course code, and professor’s name.
The Following is how your first page should appear:
If you align your cover page as the example below, you will be destined for point deduction,
TITLE OF ESSAY: GUN VIOLENCE: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
TO MY TEACHER: MRS. PETER SMITH
FROM YOUR STUDENT: JAMES SMITH
ASSIGNMENT DUE DATE: MONDAY
MARCH 17 TH 2010
Adding words on the title page is unnecessary because it will seem like you are providing explanation to basic information. Proving a simple paper will make it look presentable and neat making the instructor intrigued about your paper even before they begin reading it.
- Page Numbers and Paragraphs
Ensure that all your pages in your paper have page numbers, which should be situated in the upper right hand corner. According to the MLA handbook, you should write your surname before the page number in case you misplaced your paper. The page number should be written in Arabic numerals, but you should not add decorations because the paper is formal. You should also not underline it, precede it with “P’, “Pg.”, or “Paper”. If the paper appears as the following, you will be subject to point deduction: 4. 4, “4”, (4), *4*, -4-, ~4~, #4, p. 4, pg. 4, pg. 4, Page 4, or PAGE 4.
In cases where the paper needs to be submitted to your professor’s email, they may advise that you add numbers at the beginning paragraphs consecutively and adding brackets, for example . Electronic submission has become increasingly common in recent years because of the massive advancements in information technology. People use email extensively because it is more convenient, especially in higher education institutions where assignments were submitted manually. This method of adding paragraph is essential because it enhances citation of sources because they can be easily identified in the paper.
- Spacing Between Lines
Your entire essay should be double spaced, whether you want to submit it manually or electronic. Its margins should also be 1” on all side so that your instructors can comment on different areas on your essay.
Spacing Between Words
It is advisable to leave a single space between words, and a single space after a colon, semi-colon, and a comma. You are also required to add one space at the end of the sentence whether it ends with a question or exclamation mark. Although, you cannot be penalized for leaving two spaces, it is not advisable because it is way that has been outdated. However, there should be no spaces in front of a punctuation mark, for instance you should write “Why me?” instead of “Why me ?”
If you need compressive and insightful details on how labels, tables, illustrations, figures, captions, musical notations can be added on your essay, please visit MLA Handbook .
An excellent essay that will earn you excellent grades needs to be double spaced, and begin each paragraph with a 1” indentation from the left margin. If you are not sure your paragraph is indented, you the width of your thumb to prove. However, your instructor may require you to indent or not, but your indentation must be consistent throughout your essay. If you have been instructed NOT to use indentation, you need to start each paragraph flush to the left margin. You should quadruple-space between paragraphs
When your essay is not being indented, you are supposed to begin each paragraph flush towards the left margin. Double spacing between each lines is integral whereas quadruple spacing is essential between paragraphs. This is because it’s difficult for a reader to differentiate between paragraphs when they are not indented, hence the quadruple space recommendation. Moreover 1” or 10 spaces are advised for the set-off quotations. And this is done from the left margin.
Automatic Hyphens and right justify:
When writing your essay using a word processor you should neither format your hyphens automatically nor right justify the whole essay. Instead, you should only justify or left justify where necessary and also type in hyphens manually where it’s required. The reason why the left justify is essential is the fact that it doesn’t leave huge spaces in between words.
Titles of magazines, books, journals, or Newspapers
Once, titles of complete length works, that may include plays, novels, or even books are used in the paper that you are writing, they are supposed to be underlined, for example Shakespeare’s Theater.
For shorter works however, quotation marks should be used. For example chapters of books, magazine, newspaper and journal articles and essays for example; “ Giving Back to the Earth: Western Helps Make a difference in India.”
When it comes to all title citations every word, this is with the exceptions of articles (“a”, “an”, “the”) conjunctions (“and”, “but”, “however”, “because”), prepositions (“in”, “on”, “under”, “over”) are supposed to be in capital letters. The only reason that they should be capitalized is when they appear at the beginning of titles or a subtitles, for example, “And Now for Something Completely Different: A Hedgehog Hospital.”
When you are not sure whether a word is either being used as a noun, a preposition, a verb a conjunction or an adverb, look it up in a dictionary. For instance, a word like “near” depending on the writer’s context may be used as a verb an adjective, an adverb, or a preposition.
For details complicated with regards to citation of quotations and titles that appear within titles, shortened titles, texts, exceptions to the rules, you should consult the MLA Handbook (102-109)
Writing a Research Paper in All capital letters
IN AS MUCH AS THIS SAVES TIME AND ENERGY USED TO COMBINE KEYS WITH THE SHIFT KEY, DO NOT WRITE OR TYPE THE WHOLE PAPER IN CAPITAL LETTERS. THIS MOSTLY HAPPENS TO THOSE PEOPLE THAT DID NOT LEARN HOW TO WRITE SENTENCES IN UPPER AND LOWER CASESPROPERPLY DURIN THEIR TIME IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. OTHERS USE UPPR CASE IN WRITING SO THAT WHAT THEY ARE WRITING MAY SEEM IMPORTANT. READING A PAPER THAT MAY HAVE BEEN WRITTEN IN UPPER CASE ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PAPER LACKS SPACES AND PUNCTUATION MARKS IS DIFFICULT MAY REDUCE COMPREHENSION OF THE READER, AND SLOWS DOWN READING SPEED THIS IS BESIDES THE READING PROCESS BEING EXTREEMELY ANNOYING. THIS UNDERMINES THE MAIN PURPOSE OF READING BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE. OUR EYES ARE NOT SUITED NATURALLY TO READ A LOT OF TEXT IN UPPERCASE. ALSO THE WORD PROCESSORS TREAT LETTERS NOT SPACED AS SINGLE WORDS.
Table of contents
Short essays and research papers do not require Table of Contents. Although it is helpful to include a Table of contents once the essay that you have written is extremely long showing each page number for easier navigation. This is a suggested order of how the Table of Contents should appear like.
Acknowledgements, Foreword, Introduction, Body(parts I, II, III), a conclusion or Summary, Afterword, Explanatory Notes, Appendices, Contact Organizations, Glossary, Endnotes or footnotes, Bibliography, Index.
There is also a lesser version of the Table of Contents and it may include: Introduction, Body where main sections are used, summary or conclusion, references or cited works this is along with the corresponding page numbers
Example of a Table of contents
Arts and Entertainment……………………………..10
End of Research Paper
The only thing that is needed is simply a period not fancy symbols or word or phrase is required.
Final Note on the Research Paper
Based on the author’s educational level and personal viewpoints, the research papers topics are usually inherently different, even when the topics are identical materials are unique. A research paper may turn out great if the author uses the research outline properly regardless of the topic or grade level of the author. The essay should include headings and subheadings that are bulleted; you should try and put in as much details as you can. Make sure to cross out each finished section so as to help you through as you finish
An example of a research paper
- A quick overview or introduction of the issue or topic
- Thesis statement
- Full review of the sources applied and corresponding literature
- Brief explanation of research relevance
- Detailed information on main points of the argument
- Use as many paragraphs as possible. Different point in each paragraph
- Brief summary on main points mentioned in the body
- Reiterate thesis statement
- Closing thoughts or remarks.
Table of Contents
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Home / MLA Sample Paper
MLA Sample Paper
Mla sample paper #1.
If you’ve been wondering how to produce a research paper that is strong in both formatting and writing, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out our first sample paper below. It is a helpful and clearly labeled visual aid to refer to. Note that while these sample papers do not include MLA abstracts , you should check with your instructor to see if an abstract should be included.
Visual Sample Paper
The example research paper below is one that was written in college for a course on the Inklings. The Inklings were a group of writers in England before WWII, including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
The abbreviated MLA paper below (linked here without annotations) is about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and how the author used myth, story, and song to link all of his works together. Tolkien is famous for creating a fantasy universe called Middle-earth, which readers can’t truly understand until they read all of the books about Middle-earth ( The Silmarillian, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings ).
Since we’re here to learn how to format an essay, we’ve pointed out some important things about the paper to help you write a correctly formatted essay.
For starters, the essay is in MLA format. That means it follows the style manual of the Modern Language Association, which tells you how to format the paper itself and every source you cite. You’ll also see notes like how long a paragraph should be, how to use commas properly, and how to correctly punctuate a title. Some of these guidelines are different from those in APA format , so be sure to confirm you are using the correct style in your paper.
Pay special attention to the MLA format works cited. We only used one type of source (books), but both citations are correct according to the 9th edition of MLA, published in 2021. When you’re writing your own paper, you need to make sure you always use the most recent edition of the style manual. You’ll also want to check with your instructor to see if you need to include an MLA annotated bibliography with your paper, which contains additional information summarizing and evaluating each source after the regular citation.
Whether you need MLA, APA citations , or Chicago style notes, look up the latest edition before turning in a paper.
MLA Sample Paper #2
See below for an example paper or click below to download it as a Word Document.
The MLA header should be one inch from the top and left margins. The heading and the entire paper should be double spaced.
Eli YaffarabeProfessor Rapheor
28 August 2018
Privatization of Prisons in Texas
The privatization of governmental services has increased dramatically in the past decade as local, state, and federal agencies have searched for ways to cut costs while still meeting their mandated responsibility to provide various public services. This privatizing trend has particularly affected the criminal justice system. Since the early 1990s, privatized correctional facilities have increased significantly, nationally and statewide. This policy has far-ranging consequences not only within the criminal justice system, but as an instructive example for government officials when considering the costs and benefits of privatization as a public policy option. By 2001, thirty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had privately-operated correctional facilities (Austin and Coventry 4). This movement has incited considerable debate and controversy, mainly because prison privatization calls for giving the private sector direct control over the lives of a captive human population.
Surprisingly, there has been little objective and concrete analysis of the privatization of prisons in the United States. This is probably for two reasons: first, ideological arguments on the matter have pushed out substantive research, and second, because this trend has only recently accelerated in the U.S. and mainly on a state level. However, case studies and statistics at the state level are more accessible. With capacity for over 30,000 prisoners in 43 facilities, the state of Texas has privatized more of its prison system than any state in the nation (McDonald and Patten Jr. iv).
Public policy concerning the criminal justice system has become more daunting and important in the last decade. The problems in the system are twofold: an overcrowding prison population, mainly due to “three strikes” legislation and reducing early parole; and the costs of operating prisons with this growing population (Austin and Coventry). According to the most recent U.S. Department of Justice survey, slightly over 2.2 million people were incarcerated in correctional facilities in this country in 2003. In comparison, in 1993, 1.37 million people were imprisoned in this country (Beck and Harrison 1).
At the same time, the growth of privately operated correctional facilities has increased significantly in this country. Private prisons now hold 95,522 inmates in this country, which is 6.5 percent of total prisoners (Beck and Harrison 5). In Texas, 16,570 inmates (10 percent of its prison population) are held in private facilities, about 10,000 more than the next highest state. Furthermore, six states had at least 25 percent of their prison population housed in private prisons, led by New Mexico (44%), Alaska (31%), and Montana (29%). These current statistics show that while state governments have been forced to manage and operate overcrowded and over-capacity prisons at considerable costs, many have turned to the private sector to operate prisons (McDonald and Patten Jr.). According to the General Accounting Office, prison operating costs have grown steadily since 1980, increasing almost 550 percent since 1980 based on inflation-adjusted dollars (Austin and Coventry 1).
Prison privatization started in the early 1980s, ostensibly to ease the burden on taxpayers by offering financial relief to private companies to run state prisons. Thomas Beasley founded Corrections Corporation of America in 1983, “the nation’s leader in the construction and management of private prisons” (Darling). That year, Corrections Corporation of America set up the first privately-operated prison in Tennessee. Since then, the number of private
correctional facility firms has grown to 14 (Austin and Coventry 3). The privatization of prisons occurs in two ways. First, state government can contract out (or outsource) specific services in a correctional facility to a private company after a bidding process. Second, and more radically, private companies build their own privately-managed prisons and contract with state governments to house their inmates. This latter approach, giving private correctional facility firms wide latitude over inmates, is taken in the Texas criminal justice system. In fact, many of these privately operated facilities “have no relationship at all with the state governments in these states, other than an obligation to pay corporate income taxes” (McDonald and Patten Jr. v).
(Due to its length, the remainder of this sample paper is omitted).
Works Cited Page
Austin, James, and Garry Coventry. Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons . Bureau of Justice Assistance, Feb. 2001, www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/181249.pdf.
Beck, Allen J., and Paige Harrison. Prisoners in 2003 . Bureau of Justice Statistics, Nov. 2004, www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p03.pdf.
McDonald, Douglas, and Carl Patten Jr. Governments’ Management of Private Prisons . Abt Associates, 15 Sept. 2003, www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/203968.pdf.
Darling, Michael. “Pitt News: University of Pittsburgh Shouldn’t Lend Its Name to Prison Privatization.” CorpWatch , 15 Nov. 2004, corpwatch.org/article/pitt-news-univeristy-pittsburgh-shouldnt-lend-its-name-prison-privatization.
MLA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- In-text Citations
- Page Numbers
- Sample Paper
- Works Cited
- MLA 8 Updates
- MLA 9 Updates
- View MLA Guide
- Book Chapter
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Website (no author)
- View all MLA Examples
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An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s name . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited. In-text citations are mentioned in the text in two ways: as a citation in prose or a parenthetical citation.
Citation in prose
Citations in prose are incorporated into the text and act as a part of the sentence. Usually, citations in prose use the author’s full name when cited the first time in the text. Thereafter, only the surname is used. Avoid including the middle initial even if it is present in the works-cited-list entry. An example of the first citation in prose for a source with one author is given below:
Doug Barry explains the status of the UK.
Parenthetical citations add only the author’s surname at the end of the sentence in parentheses. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:
The status of the UK is explained (Barry).
Examples of in-text citations
Here are a few examples of in-text citations for works with various numbers and types of authors:
Use both the first name and surname of the author if you are mentioning the author for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the author’s surname. Always use only the author’s surname in parenthetical citations.
Citation in prose:
First mention: Stephen George asserts …. (17).
Subsequent occurrences: George argues …. (17).
…. (George 17).
Use the first name and surname of both authors if you are mentioning the work for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the surnames of the two authors. Always use only the authors’ surnames in parenthetical citations. Use “and” to separate the two authors in parenthetical citations.
First mention: Kane Williams and Clark Ronald ….
Subsequent occurrences: Williams and Ronald ….
…. (Williams and Ronald).
Three or more authors
For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues.” For parenthetical citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.”
Krishnan Sethu and colleagues…. or Krishnan Sethu and others ….
…. (Sethu et al.).
For citations in prose, treat the corporate author like you would treat the author’s name. For parenthetical citations, shorten the organization name to the shortest noun phrase. For example, shorten the Modern Language Association of America to Modern Language Association.
The Language Literary Association of Canada….
…. (Language Literary Association).
If there is no author for the source, use the source’s title in place of the author’s name for both citations in prose and parenthetical citations.
When you add such in-text citations, italicize the text of the title. If the source title is longer than a noun phrase, use a shortened version of the title. For example, shorten the title Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to Fantastic Beasts .
Endgame explains …. (121).
…. ( Endgame 121).
In MLA style, two types of citations are used to cite a source: a short citation used within the text (called the in-text citation) and a full citation (called the works cited list entry) within the works cited list, which appears at the end of a paper.
The works cited list entry provides the complete details of a source. An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The in-text citation lets the reader know that the information is derived from the cited source, and helps the reader find the full citation within the works cited list.
In order to properly cite a source in MLA style, you must have both citation types in your paper. Every in-text citation has a works cited list entry. Every works cited list entry has at least one (maybe more) corresponding in-text citation.
The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s surname . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited.
First mention: Sian Anderson studies ….
Subsequent occurrences: Anderson analyzes ….
or if quoting directly:
First mention: Paul Fin and Anna Gabriel ….
Subsequent occurrences: Fin and Gabriel ….
….(Fin and Gabriel)
…(Fin and Gabriel 27)
Paul Hill and colleagues…. or Paul Hill and others ….
….(Hill et al.)
…(Hill et al. 138)
Examples of works cited list entries
Below are a few examples of different types of works cited list entries. The examples given are for one author.
Steinman, Louise. The Knowing Body: Elements of Contemporary Performance and Dance . Shambhala Publications, 1986.
Barad, K. “Nature’s Queer Performativity.” Qui Parle , vol. 19, no. 2, 2011, pp. 121–58.
Webpage of a website
Midgelow, Vida L. “Experiences and Perceptions of the Artistic Doctorate: A Survey Report.” Artistic Doctorates in Europe, 5 Feb. 2018, www.artisticdoctorates.com/2017/12/28/experiences-and-perceptions-of-the-artistic-doctorate-survey-report/ .
“Behind the Scenes Chili’s Baby Back Ribs Spot.” YouTube , uploaded by Alvin Chea, 11 Sept. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTDLh7gNRYA .
MLA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
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MLA style research paper
Does your research or term paper require MLA style? Use this accessible template to help you follow the proper guidelines. Includes instructional text to assist you in easily creating your report. This MLA style research paper template follows the standard MLA format. Use this MLA example for your next high school or college research paper.
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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper
- Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
- Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.
In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:
- AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
- APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
- Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
- MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
- Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines
While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.
If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.
Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.
Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:
- Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
- Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
- Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at http://www.apa.org or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.
General Formatting Guidelines
This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.
These are the major components of an APA-style paper:
Body, which includes the following:
- Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
- In-text citations of research sources
- References page
All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.
The title page of your paper includes the following information:
- Title of the paper
- Author’s name
- Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
- Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)
List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.
The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.
In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.
Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.
Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.
Margins, Pagination, and Headings
APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.
Use these general guidelines to format the paper:
- Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
- Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
- Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
- Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
- Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.
Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:
- Your title page
- The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
- Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract
APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.
The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:
- Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
- Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
- The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
- The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
- The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.
Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .
Table 13.1 Section Headings
A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.
Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.
Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:
Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.
In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.
This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.
Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).
Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.
Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).
Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.
As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”
Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.
David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).
Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.
Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.
Writing at Work
APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:
- MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
- Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
- Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.
The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.
The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:
- The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
- The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
- The full title of the source
- For books, the city of publication
- For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
- For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
- For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located
The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)
In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.
- Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
- Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
- APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
- APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
- In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
- In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.
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Mla narrative essay format, mla sample paper,video guide on how to write a narrative essay.
WebResearch and Citation MLA Style MLA Formatting and Style Guide MLA Sample Paper This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the updates. To WebA descriptive or narrative essay in MLA format is usually in pt font and the sentences are double-spaced throughout. You need to set 1-inch margins on all four sides and each WebWhen writing a narrative essay, one might think of it as telling a story. These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal—allowing students to express themselves in WebJul 2, · The five elements of a narrative essay are: Plot: The main event happened in your story. Character: People who played some role in your story. Setting: When and Web20 hours ago · History of the MLA Format. The Modern Language Association (MLA) is the group that established the MLA guidelines. Since its inception, it has served as a ... read more
Typically, teachers will specify exactly what you are expected to do. Some of the basic characteristics a teacher may be looking for in your paper are:. To come up with a brilliant topic for a narrative essay, you will need to take some time to brainstorm. To get on the right track, try using the following techniques:. Follow these tips to generate some great ideas, and then pick one that looks the most compelling. The final information is to choose something interesting to you and appealing enough to engage your audience. These are a few typical examples that students tend to explore. Next, consider making a story based on your personal life experiences. The most vivid memories are usually the ones that tell a great story.
The narrative essay format and structure are standard. Like other assignments, this type of paper normally follows a 5 paragraph essay outline: one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and the last narrative paragraph is the conclusion. However, unlike other types of essays, a narrative paper's paragraphs have specifically designated purposes:. Let's look at how to start a narrative essay. When writing this type of academic task, we recommend that you follow this specific sequence of actions. If you approach your writing step by step, as described above, the whole process will become less stressful and much quicker. So now, let's get back to the narrative essay outline.
The thesis statement is another important element of your paper. It should be placed in the introductory paragraph and can later be restated in your conclusion to empower the effect of the essay. A thesis statement is your main argument. Its main goal is to introduce the problem or conflict you will investigate in your paper and to spark the readers' interest. A good thesis statement should not be a fact or general truth, and it also shouldn't be a suggestion, recommendation, or question. Instead, it should give a sneak peek into the problem, explain it briefly, and provide some hints about the outcome. The main body of your paper is the most important part. This is where you tell the story, share facts and details, and guide readers through the plot.
The body of a narrative essay can consist of 3 or more paragraphs, and its length depends on the general word count of your paper. In the conclusion part, you are expected to give some final comments about your story. This is where you can restate some of the key details and ideas mentioned in the body. In addition, you should stress the lessons you've learned from a particular situation and leave readers with something to think about. The content of narrative essays can vary depending on the requirements of your institution. Leave us a notice if you need dissertation help. We have decided to provide you with narrative essay examples in case you have a problem. Your work must demonstrate these qualities, regardless of whether your narrative paper is a college application essay or a class assignment.
Additionally, you want to demonstrate your character and creativity. Describe a situation where you have encountered a problem, tell the story of how you came up with a unique approach to solving it, and connect it to your field of interest. The narrative can be exciting and informative if you present it in such fashion. High school is all about showing that you can make mature choices. You accept the consequences of your actions and retrieve valuable life lessons. Think of an event in which you believe your actions were exemplary and made an adult choice. A personal narrative essay example will showcase the best of your abilities. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation EDNA —are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. When writing a narrative essay, one might think of it as telling a story. These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal—allowing students to express themselves in a creative and, quite often, moving ways. This means that you must include an introduction, plot, characters, setting, climax, and conclusion. A good example of this is when an instructor asks a student to write a book report. Obviously, this would not necessarily follow the pattern of a story and would focus on providing an informative narrative for the reader.
Make a point! You should give them credit in the text if you know who wrote anything. A shorter title version may be used if it is excessively long. Incorporating a nutrient-dense soil conditioner is the simplest method of preparing the soil for planting Smith. There are various citation styles to follow depending on the source used. These nine essential components of a Works Cited list eventually become the norm. The in-text reference format and the Works Cited page will change depending on the publication format book, journal, online article, etc.
Author, Title of source, Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, and Location. The MLA style essay format provides guidelines for the actual content of your work, including the typeface, spacing, structure, numbers, and abbreviations you should use. You should use a legible font when writing your essay. Your instructor is not interested in pulling out a magnifying lens to examine your essay. For this reason, MLA suggests using a clear, legible typeface like Arial or Times New Roman that can easily differentiate between plain and italicized text. In addition, an 11 or point font size is recommended. Keep the text double-spaced throughout the entire body and works cited, and align it to the left margin such that the right margin is ragged.
Each new paragraph should be indented five spaces to the right by pressing the tab key on your keyboard. Use proper punctuation, such as commas and periods, to maintain order. However, there are some criteria you must adhere to while using numbers in MLA. The MLA style guide guides the appropriate usage of Arabic and Roman numerals and when to spell out numbers or use only the Arabic version. If you know how to write down a number in words, by all means, do so. For longer expressions, however, Roman numerals like 1,, are preferable to their Arabic counterparts. The act of writing that one out could cause some discomfort in your fingers. Abbreviations, like any other form of writing, must adhere to certain standards.
Abbreviations should conclude with periods if the last letter is lowercase, and months with more than four letters should be shortened. Secret Tip: Did you know how to format an essay for a scholarship? Follow the MLA style for a perfectly formatted essay that will be the first step in your scholarship journey. The tables and figures you include in your work are also an important aspect of the MLA format. Not only do they liven up your project, but some things are better displayed than read. Keep the figure as close to the text as feasible, and format it according to MLA standards when including tables and figures.
A table in an MLA document can be formatted easily. Simply adhere to these guidelines for proper formatting.
Note for Purdue Students: Schedule a consultation at the on-campus writing lab to get more in-depth writing help from one of our tutors. This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation EDNA —are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. When writing a narrative essay, one might think of it as telling a story. These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal—allowing students to express themselves in a creative and, quite often, moving ways.
This means that you must include an introduction, plot, characters, setting, climax, and conclusion. A good example of this is when an instructor asks a student to write a book report. Obviously, this would not necessarily follow the pattern of a story and would focus on providing an informative narrative for the reader. Make a point! Think of this as the thesis of your story. If there is no point to what you are narrating, why narrate it at all? It is quite common for narrative essays to be written from the standpoint of the author; however, this is not the sole perspective to be considered. Creativity in narrative essays oftentimes manifests itself in the form of authorial perspective.
Much like the descriptive essay, narrative essays are effective when the language is carefully, particularly, and artfully chosen. Use specific language to evoke specific emotions and senses in the reader. Do not abuse this guideline! Though it is welcomed it is not necessary—nor should it be overused for lack of clearer diction. Have a clear introduction that sets the tone for the remainder of the essay. Do not leave the reader guessing about the purpose of your narrative. Remember, you are in control of the essay, so guide it where you desire just make sure your audience can follow your lead.
Welcome to the Purdue OWL This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. Summary: The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation EDNA —are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes.
How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline?,Title Page, Headings, and Subheadings
WebJul 2, · The five elements of a narrative essay are: Plot: The main event happened in your story. Character: People who played some role in your story. Setting: When and Web20 hours ago · History of the MLA Format. The Modern Language Association (MLA) is the group that established the MLA guidelines. Since its inception, it has served as a WebA descriptive or narrative essay in MLA format is usually in pt font and the sentences are double-spaced throughout. You need to set 1-inch margins on all four sides and each WebWhen writing a narrative essay, one might think of it as telling a story. These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal—allowing students to express themselves in WebResearch and Citation MLA Style MLA Formatting and Style Guide MLA Sample Paper This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the updates. To ... read more
Lock down an "A" with these helpful tips from San Diego tutor Natalie S Table of contents How to set up MLA format in Google Docs Header and title Running head Works Cited page Creating MLA Style citations Headings and subheadings Tables and figures Frequently asked questions about MLA format. Dorothy M. Starting from school, students of various educational facilities face this type of task quite often, which is why knowing how to handle it is vital for their success. Regardless of the type of assignment, using headings and subheadings in the text is vital to ensure the logical organization and structure of the content. Sara J. Generally, the MLA format prefers rare use of abbreviations.
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MLA Formatting Lists MLA Formatting Quotations MLA Endnotes and Footnotes MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format MLA Works Cited Page: Books MLA Works Cited Page: Periodicals MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications) MLA Works Cited: Other Common Sources MLA Additional Resources MLA Abbreviations MLA Sample Works Cited Page
These are the general pieces of information that MLA suggests including in each Works Cited entry. In your citation, the elements should be listed in the following order: Author. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.
Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA Style: General Guidelines Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman).
MLA style is most commonly used to cite sources within the language arts, cultural studies, and other humanities disciplines. This resource, revised according to the 9th edition of the MLA manual published in April 2021, offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page.
The header in MLA format is left-aligned on the first page of your paper. It includes Your full name Your instructor's or supervisor's name The course name or number The due date of the assignment After the MLA header, press ENTER once and type your paper title. Center the title and don't forget to apply title-case capitalization.
Here are the MLA research paper format parts that you should consider: Title Page It should have your university's name on top of the page, then the title of your research paper at the center of the page, and at the bottom of the page: your name, course name, professor's name, and the paper's due date (all centered). Section Headings
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows: Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial. Set 1 inch page margins. Apply double line spacing. If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page. Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.
Choose a research paper topic Conduct preliminary research Develop a thesis statement Create a research paper outline Write a first draft of the research paper Write the introduction Write a compelling body of text Write the conclusion The second draft The revision process Research paper checklist Free lecture slides Understand the assignment
Congratulations to the winners of the MLA Student Essay Contest! The winning essays were selected as examples of excellent student writing that use MLA style for citing sources. Essays were lightly edited. If your institution subscribes to MLA Handbook Plus, you can access annotated versions of the winning essays from the 2022 contest. Winners of …
An outline in MLA format should have the following: 1-inch margins, with double spacing; 12-point font, left-aligned text; center-aligned title with capitalized words using headline case; For help writing your essay, research paper, or other project, check out these writing tips. Features of an outline
The conch is a type of large marine snail that has a pale brown shell with rosy-pink lips. It can be classified as a marine gastropod mollusk. It has many species that are all edible, but the queen conch is the most common form of the conch available in North America. Conch are mainly herbivores as they feed on algae and other small plants.
Basic rules on how to do MLA format properly are following: Use standard white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Make one-inch margins on all four sides. Double-space your entire paper. Indent the first word of every new paragraph by one-half inch. Use a font that's easy to read (e.g. Times New Roman) and set the size to 12pt.
Research Paper Example for Different Levels. The process of writing a research paper is based on a set of steps. The process will seem daunting if you are unaware of the basic steps. Start writing your research paper by taking the following steps: Choose a Topic. Create a thesis statement.
MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number (s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page.
Cite your source automatically in MLA Cite Using citation machines responsibly Powered by Basic rules Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
To learn how to set up your research project in MLA format, visit our free sample chapter on MLA Handbook Plus , the only authorized subscription-based digital resource featuring the MLA Handbook, available for unlimited simultaneous users at subscribing institutions.
This paper will show you how to make sure your running head follows the correct formatting for MLA style papers. When setting up your paper, use one-inch margins on all sides and double space throughout. Ensure you have included a header in the upper right-hand corner with your last name and page number aligned on each page (starting on the ...
To start with your research paper outline in Word, start a new document. Click on no spacing and choose font and size. Write the main idea. Click on multi-level numbering and define multiple level numbering then. Change the values. They should be A., I., 1. and so on (enter formatting for number).
This annotated bibliography is a great way to ensure high school level students are being prepared for college expectations. It is a simple one-page sheet with a task and objective. It includes the criteria for each citation with a point system. It requires MLA but can be edited to fit the needs of your students.
The margins of your essay should be 1" (2.5 cm) at the right, left, top, and bottom of every page. The page number should be at the top and are placed at ½" (1.25 cm) from the margin of the paper. MLA Title Page format. A research paper does not require a title page unless stated otherwise by the instructor.
MLA Sample Paper #2 See below for an example paper or click below to download it as a Word Document. The MLA header should be one inch from the top and left margins. The heading and the entire paper should be double spaced. Eli YaffarabeProfessor Rapheor GOVT 322 28 August 2018 Privatization of Prisons in Texas
This MLA style research paper template follows the standard MLA format. Use this MLA example for your next high school or college research paper. Word Download Open in browser Share Find inspiration for your next project with thousands of ideas to choose from
A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic that surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources. It involves summarizing, synthesizing, and/or critiquing ...
edit and revise a paper. With a glossary, writing checklists, and examples of different parts of papers written by actual undergraduates, this political science text provides you with the tools you need to write a good research paper. How to Write a Good Scientific Paper CreateSpace The collection demonstrates the ways in which established
MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly PublishingModern Language Assn of Amer A book-length essay by the forefront literary critic takes readers on a philosophical tour of the art of the novel, in a wide-ranging piece that explores such topics as the definition of style, the connection between realism and real life, and the qualities that make ...
Use these general guidelines to format the paper: Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch. Use double-spaced text throughout your paper. Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
Essays and Research PapersMLA Format Papers: Step-by-step Tips for Writing Research Essays Jerz > Writing > Academic > [Titles | Thesis Statements | Blueprinting | Quoting | Citing | MLA Format ] 0.1) If you've been asked to submit a paper in MLA style, your instructor is asking you to format the page and present the content in a speciﬁc ...
MLA Sample Paper,Video Guide on How to Write a Narrative Essay. WebResearch and Citation MLA Style MLA Formatting and Style Guide MLA Sample Paper This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the updates.