Writing A Research Paper In The MLA Format: Helpful Guidelines

Writing a research paper is one critical assignment that students have to complete during their academic careers. This requires them to stay organized, carry out research, gather relevant data and create a proper format for the assignment. Formatting is essential because it helps you give a proper presentation to your assignment as well as help you cite the sources you have used in your paper. When you accredit the original author of the work, then you are safe from plagiarism. Plagiarizing is the last thing you want to do in an academic assignment because it can have severe consequences. Formatting also helps the readers understand the structure and content of your paper. They can go directly to a section instead of skimming through the entire paper.

Different professors have different preferences for the format and style manuals. This makes it easier for them to compare and grade a set of papers from a class of thirty students or so. MLA is a popular style manual for formatting papers in different subjects. MLA stands for modern languages association and can be easily followed using the guidelines on the official website or samples. If you are to format your research paper in MLA style, then you should keep the following instructions in your mind

  1. Get your paper printed on a standard size plain white paper
  2. The entire text in your paper should have double spacing
  3. Use a legible font like Times New Roman or Arial. Whatever font you use make sure that it has clear distinction between regular, italic and bold style. This would be a good rule of thumb to pick the font for your paper in MLA
  4. The size of the font should be 12 points or so
  5. Whenever you use a punctuation mark or a period, leave one space after it.
  6. Leave one inch margins on all sides of your paper
  7. You should use the tab key to leave five spaces at the first line of each paragraph. This will indent your paper one and half inch from the margin
  8. Number all the pages in the top right corner of your paper in the header. If your instructor wants you to remove the number on the first page, then you should do it
  9. When writing titles of longer works, use the italics and to provide emphasis when necessary