The Secrets of Formatting: Effective Tips for Writing a Research Paper in the MLA Style

Research papers are one of the most critical academic assignments students compose during their career. They need to be very carefully composed and formatted because they are a formal piece of paper. Different universities and colleges have different requirements for the formatting of such assignments. Some teachers require you to write your paper in standard formats while others may have custom requirements for you. Usually APA style is used for psychology and other general sciences while MLA is required for mathematics and science subjects. MLA style refers to modern language association and is a standard for students across the globe.

Students often wonder why it is important to format their paper in a specific style. The reason is that this will make your paper look professional as well as help your teacher easily compare different papers. This way they can easily tell where each section in every paper is and can track any changes without much trouble. Below are some basic rules that you need to know if you are to write a paper following the MLA style.

Rules to follow when writing your paper in Modern Language association style

  • First thing, you need to remember is that everything in your paper will have double spacing. This rule applies equally to text, quotations, citations, references, author notes, paragraphs, thesis statements and yet about anything
  • The margins on your paper should be one inch throughout as per standard formatting. If your teacher has any specific instructions about the margin on top, bottom or sides then you should follow that.
  • When you add someone else’s work in your paper and quote it, you need to use parenthesis and include that quote or text inside these parenthesis brackets
  • There should be a separate page by the end of your paper for the citations and references
  • The names of books, titles of plays, movies, television programs, audio records and albums, journals, magazines and guides should be written in italics. You can also underline them to make them distinct.
  • The numbering you give to the pages should be on the right corner on the top of your page
  • Usually you will use present tense to add your personal opinions and comments about the cited test and the rest of your paper. You should only use past tense when you have to quote something, which is already in past tense, or if you have to write about an event in the history

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