Learning The MLA Research Paper Format: How To Make References

The MLA style of citation is one of the most commonly used citation methods in high school and college, especially for the liberal arts and humanities fields.

The MLA style comes from the Modern Language Association. The Modern Language Association has a handbook for writers and for scholarly publishing, both of which offer examples for how to format and cite each type of source you have in a research paper. It also includes information on your in-text citations, your endnotes and footnotes, and your works cited page.

  • In MLA style, you have to use a parenthetical citation when referring to the work of anyone else. This involves placing the relevant pieces of information inside of parentheses. This typically includes the last name of the author, the page number from which the information you are citing was obtained, as well as the date that the content was published. This will vary based on the type of source you are using, which is why it is best to refer to the handbook published by the Modern Language Association to double and triple check everything.
  • General rules though state that the information you need in your citation should look just like the information for that source contained in your bibliography at the end of your research paper, also known as the works cited page.
  • MLA format requires that you include your name, your course name, your teacher’s name or academic institution, as well as the date in the upper left hand side of the first page, with your last name and the page numbers right flush on the right hand side. Directly beneath the date you should place the title of your paper in the center of the page.
  • All of your content should be double spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12. Each new paragraph should be intended.
  • All of the sources that you use should be listed in alphabetical order at the end of your essay under the Works Cited page, which should be titled “Works Cited” in the center of the page.
  • The manner in which your sources should be cited in the works cited page and within the text of your essay is really contingent upon the type of source it is and the number of authors. Therefore it is recommended that you refer to the official handbook on citations to make sure you correctly cite each of the sources that you use in your essay.
 
 

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