MLA Format: Reference Any Paper In MLA Style

MLA Reference Style

Modern Language Association (MLA) format is extensively used in academic writing applications of the sociology, linguistics, and humanities faculties. You may use it for research papers, essays, and other types of specialized academic documents. The key difference with the APA is that MLA uses author page format. APA uses the Author-Date format.

These guide shows 8th edition MLA Citation format with examples at Work cited page and In-text references. MLA Reference Style is commonly used in Academics and other research work.

 MLA Citation Related Topics have been summarized Below:

  1. Excellent MLA Classroom Poster on How to Cite Information Your Paper
  2. MLA Research Paper Format: Complete MLA Style Guide
  3. MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format Rules and Guidelines
  4. How To Cite Endnotes and Footnotes in MLA Format?
  5. How To Reference Quotations in MLA Format Style (8th Edition) Guide.
  6. MLA In- Text Citations Latest Formatting and Style Guide (8th Edition)
  7. Perfect Guide on How to Format MLA Works Cited Page
  8. MLA College paper format
  9. Custom MLA Style Essays: Research Papers in MLA Format
  10. MLA Plagiarism Exercises : Write Original Assignment Papers
  11. MLA 8 vs MLA 7 Edition: What’s New and Different
  12. Mla Questions and Answers : Frequently Asked Questions
  13. Tables, Figures, and Examples: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
  14. MLA Sample Works Cited Page 8th Edition
  15. Use of abbreviating sources in MLA Citation Style, 8th Edition
  16. MLA Works Cited: DVDs, music, T.V shows, Published and unpublished interviews, interviews done via the e-mail
  17. Electronic Sources : MLA Citation Style (8th ed.) Work Cited Page
  18. Citing Periodicals at Works Cited – MLA Style Citation Guide 8th Edition
  19. How to Cite Any Book in MLA (8th ed.) Works Cited Page

  Introduction to MLA Style

The usage of MLA style can be generally seen in the faculties of humanities, linguistics, cultural and media studies. Our perspective of these studies in this article will be purely from the academics. MLA aims to format and streamline the academic papers for better reader understanding.

Formatting and citations are the two key areas of MLA style writing. Formatting refers to margins, fonts, line spacing, headers and footers, page numbers, and text content. Citation aims to avoid plagiarism by listing the sources of reference within the academic paper.

MLA Citation can be in the forms of in-text and citation listing. In this article, we introduce you to both the formats with reference to the various types of printed and online sources. You can also include direct quotes from the sources.

We have described the procedure for citations in the two formats of in-text and citation listing. Punctuations are the most important aspects of citation. You should know when to use them and where to use them.

MLA edition 8 has gone through many changes compared to the 7th edition. We have listed some of them here for your reference.

  • Medium: Edition 8 has eliminated the need to quote the medium like print or electronic. You can see the difference when the website URL appears as part of the citation. It may not be explicitly seen in the case of in-text citations. But you can know the difference when you follow the in-text citation to the works cited list for the corresponding entry.
  • Author-Page: Edition 8 has replaced the author-date format with the author-page for the in-text short form of citations. However, the format of the last name for the author still remains the same. The reader will be able to track the date when he follows the in-text citation to the works cited list.
  • Container-Inclusion: The container is part of the citation text In MLA edition 8. For example, you can consider YouTube as a container. When you quote a video from here, you should add the name Youtube in the container spaced apart from the website URL link.
  • Journal-Citations: You need to include the volume number and issue number of the journal in MLA format 8. It was not mandatory in edition 8.
  • URL-Citation: MLA Edition 8 makes it mandatory to include the URL address of the source in the citation. It could be related to any of the online sources which you have cited.

There are many more such changes, which have been included in the MLA edition 8. You can know about all the changes when you visit www.mla.org  or download and read the full version of the MLA handbook Edition 8.

 MLA Formatting Guidelines: Initial Document Settings

The document settings for the academic papers state to be generic for all types of writing which we have listed above. You can work on electronic software like the MS-Word or its equivalent version. Headings should always be at the first page top. A title page is generally not required for MLA style. However, your instructor may ask you to add it for better clarity. You have to specify your full name, flowed by the course, university, assignment, and date.

Example

Elizabeth Homer

Bachelor of Arts, Year

Texas University

English

18th December 2018

Running-Header:  Running header should consist of your last name and the page number. It should have 0.5″ top margin and one-inch right margin with right flush alignment. The page numbers will be running throughout the length of the document. There is no need to use the word “page” at any point in your paper.

Example: Homer (your last name) 1.

In the next section, you can write the title at the center with no bold or underline. You may italicize the part of title only when required.

Example

Analysis of Latin American economic history (1900-2018)

The first paragraph of introduction after the title should have 0.5” indent from the left. The right margin should be one inch. Keep the first paragraph short and precise. Now you have completed the title page or the first page of your document.

Margins and Spacing

The margin around the entire page should be one inch. We have assumed that you are working on MS-WORD and suggested the guidelines accordingly. You need to perform this task before writing anything on the document. Line spacing for the document is two by default. It helps in improving the reading experience.

Font Type and Size

The MLA style recommends 12 points for the font size. The preferred font style is Times New Roman, though you may choose the other compatible types according to the instructions from your instructor. Set it as default to make it applicable for the entire document.

Indents

Indenting a paragraph in MLA style is simple. The first line of the paragraph will have half inch indentation from the left. Right indentation is one inch.  The indentation for the other lines will be according to the default standard.

Headings

Headings and sub-headings should be more than at one level in the MLA formatting. The first level is the most important entity. You can have multiple sub-headings within each heading, depending on the requirement. They may run at the same level (for example Level-2).

The hierarchy of headings should be in the ascending order. For example, one level-2 header may have a level-3 as the sub-heading. Level-3 can have level-4 as a subheading. But level-4 can’t have a level 3-as subheading. It will automatically become the next sub-heading for the level-2 heading.

Tables

MLA format allows tables in the body of your document. Every table should have a heading with Table and the number in the document. For example, you can have Table 1. Next, you can type the table title. For example, you can write “Increase in Population Density per Square Mile in Texas Since 1998”. Then you can have the table with column headers and rows headers according to your specific needs.

You need to specify the data source for your table just below. Use the word “Source” explicitly. You have to specify the complete source information with the volume, year, and the page number. You can also add a note below the reference to indicate any special entities or explain abbreviations.  For that, you need to use the word”Note” explicitly. It should have a one-tab indentation from the left margin of the document.

Illustrations

You can also have illustrations in the document along with the table. If the two have a connection, you have to mention it explicitly within the scope of the table. If you have created the illustration, there is no need to cite the source. Otherwise, you have to specify the source explicitly, similar to the table.

 MLA Citation Types

MLA has in-text and listing of citations. In-text can appear at the end of a sentence or a paragraph. The listing will be at the end of the document.

In-Text Citation

The in-text (parenthetical) citation is short with the author name and the year, book, page, or the other reference. It should have a reference in the cited reference list. The word /phrase in the in-text should match with the first word/phrase in the list.

Author-Page Format

MLA follows the Author-page format instead of the author-date in the APA format. You have to specify the last name of the author, followed by the page number in the referenced source within parenthesis. For example,

  • Grass states that the life of Oskar Matzerath underwent “major transformation in the NAZI era” (156).
  • A major transformation in the life of Oskar Matzerath” during the Nazi era” (Grass 156).
  • Grass brilliantly explores the major transformation in the life of Oskar Matzerath in the NAZI era (156).

At the citation list, you can provide a reference to the in-text citation. For example, you can write Grass, Günter. The Tin Drum FAWCET, 1962.

Unknown Author

History is witness to the fact that “millions of Jewish young men were separated from their families and taken to the concentration camps during the NAZI era” (“Desperate Jews in NAZI Germany”).  The corresponding reference in the citation list can appear as follows

“Desperate Jews in NAZI Germany”, 1937, www.XYZ.com, Accessed 19 Jul 2018.

Multiple Volumes

If the source has multiple volumes of publications, you can follow the page number with the volume number. It applies to multiple books as well as the chapters and sections within the same volume.   For example, you can consider the following citation.

Grass describes the status of the Jews in NAZI Germany in his book the Tin Drum (156; VOL 1).

Periodicals

If an author’s work appears within a large periodical which also contains several other author works, you have to specify the main author /publisher of the periodical, followed by the author’s last name and the page number.  For example, you can consider the following citation.

The significant effects of magnetic field on the electric voltage can be found in the works by MAX and Cooper (Feynman 187).

Multiple Authors

When a reference has two authors with the same last name, you can distinguish them with the first name followed by a DOT and then the last name. For example, you can consider the following citation.

The impact of atmospheric pressure on the electronic radar (A. Simpson 198) and its consequences on electronic surveillance (P. Simpson 265).

 Repeated Reference

Repeated reference occurs when you cite the same source multiple times in a paragraph. In such cases, you can omit the last name of the author in the second and subsequent references. For example, let us consider the following citation.

The national institute of mental health clearly states the definition of depression (NIMH 2). The book lists out the various symptoms (4), causes (6), detection methods (10), and the possible ways to get help (20).

Here, we have quoted NIMH (the organization is the author) in the first reference only. In the subsequent references, we have specified only the page numbers, since it is from the same book.

You have to cite the complete reference in the citation list at the end of your academic work. For example, you can consider the following citation.

Citation-List: NIMH. “Depression” NIH Publication 2007. Accessed from https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhas/publications/miscl/MH_Fact_Sheets/NIMH_Depression.pdf.

You can use the same format while referring to the individual and multiple authors. You may also use the phrases from the book for direct quoting. The citation list will have the same format, regardless of the in-text citation format you follow.

Multiple Works (Single Author)

Sometimes you may have to refer to multiple works by the same author in your in-text citation. Then you can add the book titles in italics and article list within quotes. For example, let us consider the following citation.

AMISH TRIPATHI writes about the secret life of the MELUHAN people (Immortals of MELUHA 37), the sacred history of SHIVA (oath of VAYUPUTRAS 78), and the NAGA rituals (Secret of NAGAS 77), for describing ancient India.

Multiple Volumes (Single book Single author)

You can quote from the same author and same book in different volumes. Then you need to specify the volume, followed by a: and then the page number(s).  For example, let us consider the following citation.

Feynman’s lectures on physics speak about the different aspects of mechanics and radiation (1: 1-150), electromagnetism (2: 26-100), and the basics of quantum mechanics (3: 1-78).

These are some of the formats and examples of in-text citations we have listed for you. There are many more such formats which you can find on the 8th edition of the MLA handbook.

Next, we move onto the listing of citations, which you create at the end of the academic work. We start the description with the citation style.

MLA Works Cited List

Citation Style

Date of citation document is written after the publisher name without parenthesis, unlike the APA style in which the date follows the author name. Citation source is called “Works Cited” unlike “references” in APA. MLA spells out the complete author name with the first and last name (no initials).  There is no comma within the elements of a citation source. There is no specification of P or PP before the page number of citation document.

Example: Salman Rushdie. Midnight’s Children. The United Kingdom. Jonathan Cape 1981. This is the citation used within the list of works cited. In text citation which comes at the end of a sentence or a paragraph will be (Rushdie1981). If you refer to a page number within the file, the reference style will be (Rushdie 101). You can link it with the long form of citations in the listing. We will discuss more the other MLA citations formats in the following sections.

The generic format for the list depends on the source, the volume, page, author, and the relevant parameters. There have been many changes in the citation format like the separators, containers, and the reference to the internet sites.

The 8th edition of MLA used commas instead of periods between the publisher, date of publication and the page numbers. There is no need to quote the medium anymore. You should use the period between two subsequent containers. For internet reference, you have to use the word “accessed”.

MLA Abbreviations

You have to use a vast array of abbreviations in the MLA citation listing. Every one of them has a specific meaning. You have to use them with the same set of delimiters as specified in the MLA 8th edition. Let us take a look at some of them now.

It is a good practice to avoid the usage of abbreviations in the main text. You can use them in the citation list. Some of the examples are SUPPL (followed by a period) for a supplement, v (followed by a period) for volume, CH (followed by a period) for the chapter, etc.

Upper Case Abbreviations
You can use periods between the upper case initials which come before the last name of the author. For example, you can write R.C. VENKAT, R. Feynman, A. Einstein, etc. when you want to write only the initials, it is better to omit the period and write only he initials like RCV. For country name abbreviations like the USA, UK, USSR (erstwhile), etc, there is no need to use the period.
Month Abbreviations

Jan., Feb., Mar., is the month abbreviation for the works cited list.  You can use it for the month of publication with reference to the books, periodicals, journals, etc.

Geographical Locations

New York, NY; Bangalore, KA; New Delhi, Delhi. The first in the order is the city/town, followed by the state, province.

Reference Abbreviations list (sample)

Abbreviation Meaning
Anon Anonymous
Fwd Foreword
Lib Library
U University
UP University Press

 

We have listed only a few of the examples for the MLA format abbreviations in the citation list. You can find more of them at the MLA Style Center online.

   MLA Citation Sources and Formats

Citation sources for the academic writing could be in the printed and online forms. Books, periodicals, magazines, journals, newspapers, and others can be listed here. Online citation sources may include websites, blogs, journals, research reports, thesis-papers, whitepapers, presentations, magazines, etc. MLA makes a clear distinction between every format at some point, even though most of them may remain common to all the forms and types… We will discuss more the other MLA citations formats in the following sections.

Printed Sources

Books

Format 1: Author last name, first name: book title, publisher, and year.

 Example

Hawking, Stephen: A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, 1988.

Format 2: Author last name, first name: book title, publisher, place, and year.

Example

Hawking, Stephen: A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, United Kingdom, 1988.

 Format 3:  Author last name, first name: book title: subtitle, publisher, place, and year.

Example

Haley, Alex: Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Doubleday, United States, 1976.

Format 4:  Author last name, first name: “Chapter title: subtitle.” book title: subtitle, publisher, place, and year.

Example

Feynman, Richard: “Radiation: The effects and causes.” Lectures on Physics: The Story of Physics, Oxford Public Library, California, 1988.

Format 5:  Author last name, first name: “Chapter title: subtitle.” book title: subtitle, Edited by Editor name(s), publisher, place, and year.

Example

Feynman, Richard: “Radiation: The effects and causes.” Lectures on Physics: The Story of Physics, Edited by Sands Mathew, Oxford Public Library, California, 1988.

Format-6: Author last name, first name, and editor last name first name, editors, book title, Publisher, and year of publication.

Example

Leighton, Robert, and Sands Mathew, editors, Lectures on Physics: The Story of Physics, Oxford Public Library, California, 1988.

We have given you a few of the formats for the book citations here. You can find more information from the MLA website for the book citations in multiple formats.

Magazines

Format-1: Author Last name, first name, “Article Title”, Magazine Name, publication date, pages.

Example

Mathew, Lisa, “Effects of Environmental Pollution on flora and Fauna”, India Magazine, 18 Mar 1998, 19-21.

Format 2: Author Last name, first name, “Article Title”, Magazine Name, Version, publication date, pages.

Example

Mathew, Lisa, “Effects of Environmental Pollution on flora and Fauna”, 1, 2, India Magazine, 18 Mar 1998, 19-21.

Format 3: Author Last name, first name, “Article Title”, Magazine Name, other contributors (Last name

The first name), Version, publication date, pages.

Example

Mathew, Lisa, “Effects of Environmental Pollution on flora and Fauna”, Roy Mathew, India Magazine, 18 Mar 1998, 19-21.

For more information on magazine citations, you can refer to the MLA website Magazine Citation format.

Periodicals

Format-1: List of authors with last name (comma) and first name, “article title”, periodical title, date, month, year, page numbers.

  Example

HEILWEIL REBECCA, “Players are Cashing in When it Comes to College”, Wired, 21, 01, 2019, 1-2.

Format-2: List of authors with last name (comma) and first name, “article title”, periodical title, date, month, year, page numbers, media.

 Example

HEILWEIL REBECCA, “Players are Cashing in When it Comes to College”, Wired, 21, 01, 2019, 1-2, Print.

Journals

Format-1: List of authors with last name (comma) and first name, “article title”, Journal title, Vol. number, Season, page numbers.

Mathew, Derek, “Introduction to Atomic Physics”, Science Today, Vol. 1, summer 2016, pp 1-6.

Format-2: List of authors with last name (comma) and first name, “article title”, Journal title, last name, the first name of other contributors, Vol. number, Season, page numbers.

Joshua, Johnson, “We are Humans Too”, Science Today, Miriam, Ralf, Vol. 2, 19, 02, 1987. PP 1-6.

Format-3:  List of authors with last name (comma) and first name, “article title”, Journal title, last name, the first name of other contributors, Vol. number, Season, page numbers. Database-name, DOI: DOI number.

Joshua, Johnson, “We are Humans Too”, Science Today, Miriam, Ralf, Vol. 2, 19, 02, 1987. PP 1-6. Science Database. DOI: 2098/9878/87654X.09.

Format 4: Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Article Title: Subtitle” Journal Name, vol. Volume-Number, no. Issue-Number, Publication date, pp. Page numbers.

Example

Joshua, Johnson, “We are Humans Too: The saga of Human Evolution in the African Continent”, Science Today, Miriam, Ralf, Vol. 2, n. 2, 19, 02, 1987. PP 1-6.

Internet Sources

E-Books

Format-1: Editor/Author Last Name, First Name, E-book title, source, edition, publisher name, publication year, website-URL, Access date.

Example

Muehlenbein, Michael, Basics in Human Evolution, 1st Edition, Academic Press, 2015, https://www.elsevier.com/books/basics-in-human-evolution/muehlenbein/978-0-12-802652-6, 10, 01, 2018.

Format-2: Editor/Author Last Name, First Name, “short story title”, E-book title, source, edition, publisher name, publication year, website-URL, Access date.

Example

Van Dyken, Rachel, “I was the Golden Boy”, MVP, Kindle, first edition, Kindle, 2019, https://www.amazon.com/MVP-Rachel-Van-Dyken-ebook/dp/B07N63XJRT/ref=zg_bs_157087011_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=2G568QZFQMFCDTRJXVY6, 10.01.2019.

E-Magazines

Format-1: Author Last name, first name, “Article Title”, e-Magazine Name, publication date, pages. Website URL.

Example

Jones, Roger, “Pour out your troubles to me”, Human Capital, 18 Mar 1998, 19-21. http://www.humancapitalonline.com/backIssuesResult.php?sh=y&mid=45

Format-2: List of authors with last name (comma) and first name, “article title”, Journal title, last name, the first name of other contributors, Vol. number, Season, page numbers. Website name

Ryan, Murphy, “Psychopathy by U.S. State”, SSRN, Vol. 1, May 26, 2018, 1-14, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3185182

Format-3:  List of authors with last name (comma) and first name, “article title”, Journal title, last name, the first name of other contributors, Vol. number, Season, page numbers. Website-URL

Christian, Catalina “Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain”, Joshua S, Gans SSRN, Vol. 1, 27 Nov 2016, 1-14, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2874598

Format 4: Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Article Title: Subtitle” Journal Name, vol. Volume-Number, no. Issue-Number, Publication date, pp. Page numbers. Website-URL

Example

Christian, Catalini “Economics: Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain”, Joshua S, Gans SSRN, Vol. 1, 27 Nov 2016, 1-14, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2874598

Format 2: Author Last name, first name, “Article Title”, E-Magazine Name, Version, publication date, pages. Web-site URL.

Example

JHA, AJAY KUMAR, “Will 2019 see the making of a grand alliance?”, 1, 2, India Today, 28 Jan 2019, 19-21. https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/mood-of-the-nation/story/20190204-the-making-of-a-grand-alliance-1438068-2019-01-28.

Format 3: Author Last name, first name, “Article Title”, E-Magazine Name, other contributors (Last name

The first name), Version, publication date, pages. Website URL.

Example

Joshua, John, “The Wood for the Trees”, NITHIN GUPTA, India Today, 28 Jan 2019, 18-19. https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine

For more information on magazine citations, you can refer to the MLA website Magazine Citation format.

E-Journals

Format-1: Author last name, first name, “Article Title”, E-magazine name, Vol. number, no. edition number, date, pp. page numbers, website-source.

Example

Clifford S, Asness, “Pulling the Goalie: Hockey and Investment Implications”, SSRN, Vol. 1, n. 1, 8 Mar 2018, 1-13, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3132563.

E-Newspapers

Format-1:  Author Last Name, First Name. “Title-of-Article: Subtitle” Newspaper Name, Date of Publication, p. Page number web-URL.

 Example

India today Desk, “PM Modi to dedicate Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi today”, India Today, January 30, 2019, p. 1, https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/pm-modi-to-dedicate-salt-satyagraha-memorial-at-dandi-today-1442284-2019-01-30

Format-2: Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article: Subtitle if Any.” Title of Website, Date of Publication, URL. Accessed access date.

Example

India today Desk, “PM Modi to dedicate Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi today: What to Expect”, India Today, January 30, 2019, p. 1, https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/pm-modi-to-dedicate-salt-satyagraha-memorial-at-dandi-today-1442284-2019-01-30. Accessed on 30.01.2019.

Website

Format-1: Author’s name, “title of the article or page”, the title of the website, name of the publisher, website publication date, website URL.

Example

Masood Badr, Ali AlNuaimi, Yang Guang, Asma AlRashedi, “School performance, social networking effects, and learning of school children”, Science Direct, Science Direct, December 2017, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736585317302769.

Format-2: Author’s name, “title of the article: Subtitle of the article”, the title of the website, name of the publisher, website publication date, website URL.

 Example

Masood Badr, Ali AlNuaimi, Yang Guang, Asma AlRashedi, “School performance, social networking effects, and learning of school children: Evidence of reciprocal relationships in Abu Dhabi”, Science Direct, Science Direct, December 2017, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736585317302769.

Format-3: Author’s name, “title of the article: Subtitle of the article”, website title name of the publisher, website publication date, Vol. number, ISS. Issue-number, website URL.

Example

Shi, Baolu: Cao, Qing:Xie, Dingjiang ; Peng, Weikang: Wang, Ningfei, “A novel combustion system for liquid fuel evaporating and burning: Sustainable Bio-Fuel”, Science Direct, Science Direct,  Vol. 37, ISS. 4, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1540748918304401.

Podcasts

Podcasts citations in the MLA format can be from online discussions, presentations, author interview, and other forms. Though it is difficult to cite the exact reference pages from the conversation, you can consider the title, subtitle and the related topics.

Format: Presenter’s Last name, First name. “Podcast Title.” Website-Title, contributor First-name, Last-name, Version-Number, Publisher, Publication date, URL.

Defoor, Elise, “Intimacy in Art”, Binge, Defoor, Elise, Ver. 1, Culture Podcast, http://www.culturedpodcast.com/.

 Video and Documentary

Format: creator’s last name, first name, “Video Title”, version if any, publisher if any, publication date if available, URL.

Example

Melissa Olivieri, “African Tribal Art: History & Examples”, 03/09/2018, https://study.com/academy/lesson/african-tribal-art-history-examples.html

  MLA and Plagiarism

MLA aims to eliminate plagiarism through the citation of works done in the in-text and the citation list formats. You can follow the guidelines in the article to avoid the possibility of plagiarism in your academic writing. Make sure you follow the formatting for the margins, font, and other aspects also.

The best practice to avoid plagiarism is to make a list of all the references you have made during the initial research works. It will also help you to quote the direct statements in the in-text citations.

Paraphrasing is one of the techniques for overcoming the plagiarism issues. You need to change the way in which the original author has quoted about a specific topic and situation. But you still have to cite the in-text  citation for the same.

 MLA Academic Paper Types

A general categorization of MLA academic papers can be essays, research papers, and scholarly writing. You may subcategorize them based on the faculties which we have listed in the introduction section. The MLA formatting style may remain common for all the academic papers. The citation style and format may vary, depending on the sources and citation location in the paper.

Essays

Academic essays in the humanity and linguistics faculties have a linearly progressive format. You take up a specific concept and write your narration. The basic goal is to present your idea and perspective of the topic to the reader.

  1. The title page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  2. The abstract page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  3. Body (text, table, illustrations, etc)
  4. Conclusion
  5. Citations
  6. Appendix (if applicable)

In the essay, you may present evidence to support your concept in the forms of factual data from the various trusted sources.  You may add tables, illustrations, and images. You start the essay with an introduction, Abstract, and follow up with the main content. MLA style allows up to five levels of sub-headings under each main heading.  They show the level of detailing in your essays to cover the topic.

Headings and sub-headings may have numbers to show their hierarchy within the text. The MLA formatting for the headers considers margin, font style, and alignment, which we shall discuss in the MLA formatting section in details.

Also Read: How to write a good essay in english

Narrative Essays

You should use the 12 point font (preferably Times New Roman or other) with double spacing and left flushed alignment. Your name, followed by the instructor name, course, and date appear on the left top of the opening page. The main header should always have the right margin. It can contain your last name and the page number.  You should do the paragraph Indentation with tabs.

  1. The title page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  2. The abstract page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  3. Introduction
  4. Body (text, table, illustrations, etc)
  5. Conclusion
  6. Citations
  7. Appendix (if applicable)

Narrative essays in MLA style can have the first person perspective. It is good practice to highlight your personal opinions about a topic rather than trying to reflect the others’ comments and point of view. Short paragraphs with focused text can retain the reader’s attention.

You may write the essay in any “tense” according to the specific need of the topic and the relevance. You can use the combination of past, present and the future to narrate. MLA allows you the freedom to write about the past in the present as long as you are consistent about it.

The general sections in a narrative essay are introduction, body, and conclusion. The conclusion section should preferably be in continuation of the introduction… A summary of the points you have presented in the body should suffice the qualitative assessment of your narrative essay in the MLA style.

Also Read: How to write a good Narrative Essays

Descriptive Essays

MLA descriptive essay also uses the 12-point font size with Times New Roman as the preferred font style, though you may use the other compatible styles also. The first-page formatting is also the same with your full name, followed by the instructor name, course, and date at the left top. The header should be on the right with your last name and page number.

  1. The title page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  2. The abstract page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  3. Introduction
  4. Body (text, table, illustrations, etc)
  5. Conclusion
  6. Citations
  7. Appendix (if applicable)

According to the MLA style, the descriptive essay should be compact and precise to cover the main intended points. Images are the key points which can highlight the essay’s effectiveness. The intention is to create the best impression among the readers. They will be able to understand the basic concepts of the essay while browsing through the images.

Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays in the MLA format follow the same format as the others for the first page and the table of content.

MLA persuasive essay also uses the 12-point font size with Times New Roman as the preferred font style, though you may use the other compatible styles also. The first-page formatting is also the same with your full name, followed by the instructor name, course, and date at the left top. The header should be on the right with your last name and page number.

  1. The title page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  2. The abstract page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  3. Introduction
  4. Body (text, table, illustrations, etc)
  5. Conclusion
  6. Citations
  7. Appendix (if applicable)

The introduction part plays an important role in attracting the reader’s attention to the concepts you present in the essay. You may sue the first person perspective for the presenting the topic. But you should be careful not to hurt the sentiments of a community, individual, or a group in any way.

It may not be necessary for you to support your statements practical evidence unless it has the potential to influence the social, cultural, and other aspects of an individual or community. You may also choose to present any controversial concepts in your essay. But it should present the ideas and arguments of all the sides without any bias.

Recommended Reading: How to write a good persuasive Essay  

Argumentative Essays

The argumentative essay also uses the 12-point font size with Times New Roman as the preferred font style, though you may use the other compatible styles also. The first-page formatting is also the same with your full name, followed by the instructor name, course, and date at the left top. The header should be on the right with your last name and page number.

  1. The title page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  2. The abstract page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  3. Introduction
  4. Body (text, table, illustrations, etc)
  5. Conclusion
  6. Citations
  7. Appendix (if applicable)

The main component of an argumentative essay is the set of opening sentences, which are in the introduction section. You may choose to write the headline or not, depending on the instructor’s guidelines.

In the next section, you present the main concept of your essay in an elaborative manner. Then you compare and contrast it with the other opinions. Then you finally state why your concept is more relevant for the topic.

Make sure you don’t make negative comments about the others’ opinion about the chosen topic. You have to make your points stronger and state the practicality of your concept in relevance to the existing conditions.

Related Reading: How To write an Argumentative Essay

Critical Essays

MLA style of writing a critical essay has to deal the primary difference between critiques and criticize approach. You need to choose the language, word choice and their usage in the essay writing.  You can begin the writing with an unbiased presentation of the topic in its original form.

For example, you can consider the essay on the “Usage of Marijuana for entertainment”. There can be arguments that marijuana is safer than alcohol, which may be based on opinion polls. So, you need to present the facts without twisting them according to your opinion.

In the next stage, you can write the critique part of your essay about the topic. Here, you can present your opinions, supported by in-text citations. You may also present the counter-arguments for your opinions. In the end, you can compare the two sets. You may choose not to present the counter-arguments also.

  1. The title page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  2. The abstract page is not mandatory unless the instructor recommends
  3. Introduction (brief and accurate coverage of the essay topic, objective, and the writing approach)
  4. Body (text, table, illustrations, etc)
  5. Conclusion
  6. Citations
  7. Appendix (if applicable)

Related Topic:  A Perfect Guide How to Write a Critical Essay

Scholarly Writing

Scholarly (analytical) writing is all about expert analysis of literary and media works. You may choose to analyze a book, a literary work, architecture, painting, artifact, film, or documentary. The important parts of the may vary for each type of review.

Book Review

MLA style of book review has the 12-point font size with Times New Roman as the preferred font style, though you may use the other compatible styles also. The first-page formatting is also the same with your full name, followed by the instructor name, course, and date at the left top. The header should be on the right with your last name and page number.  The other probable sections could be

  1. Abstract page (not mandatory, but you may include if required)
  2. Introduction (brief and accurate coverage of the book, author, and other publication details)
  3. Body (text, table, illustrations, etc)
  4. Conclusion
  5. Citations
  6. Appendix (if applicable)

You may wonder why a citations section is required in a book review. You may come across references within the original book. You may also come across several ideas and theories within the book for which you may write your comments. In such cases, you may have to cite the sources which are external to the book you review.

The key aspects of book MLA style book review should include the main actors (characters in the book) and their characteristics, supporting (sidekick) characters and their role, book theme, settings and background, event chronology, etc. The practice applies to the fiction and non-fiction types of books equally.

Also Read: Hire an Expert Book Review Online 

Literature Review

For example, let us consider the literature review. The essential parts of a literature review could be as follows.

  1. Title page (if required) with the running head
  2. Abstract (if required)
  3. Introduction
  4. Review of literature
  5. Methodology description
  6. Conclusion
  7. Citations
  8. Appendix

The abstract can state the title of literature work, author name, publication details, and the other related information. The introduction can be about the objective of the literature from the author’s perspective. Never try to add your opinion or comments from others in this section. The readers should understand the literature clearly.

Argumentative Review

Literature review could be argumentative, historical, integrative, or theoretical in type. You can present your opinions and arguments in the review of literature section. You can use the first person interpretation of the literature using the “I”. But it is better to avoid the first person plural “We” and second person “You”. You can also use the third person singular (he/she) and plural (they) whenever required.

Historical Review

Historical type of literature review in the MLA style starts with a focus on a specific topic. Then you have to establish the historical background. Finding the primary sources is stated to be the most essential part of the historical literature review. They give you the required evidence to prove your statements.

The chronological order of the events in history is a very important factor for structuring your MLA style of review. You should state the century, year, and date whichever is available for reference. You should clearly state the method of review and the supporting documents you have used.

You may use the direct quotes within your review, but they should not overshadow the main content. The summary should be precise and concise in size. Write the conclusion in your own style.

Integrative Reviews

An integrative literature review is the integration of the past and the present in the literature you choose. It can also extend its scope to the future by discussing its role in revolutionizing the betterment of human life.

Theoretical Reviews

A theoretical literature review is a simple and straightforward method of stating the facts from the source. You don’t express the opinions and arguments at any point of the text. You will also not interpret the concepts of the original works from your or another person’s perspective, except that of the original author. The probable structure consists of the following sections.

  1. Title page with running headers (if required)
  2. Introduction (the purpose of the review)
  3. Body (key concepts, context, previous studies, methods, etc)
  4. Conclusion
  5. Citation
  6. Appendix

History Papers

History paper is the research work into the past events during a specific period. It could be related to an individual, community, city, or the state. The basic MLA formatting consists of the following sections.

  1. Title page (for long research papers)
  2. Abstract (also for longer research papers)
  3. Introduction
  4. Body
  5. Summary
  6. Conclusion
  7. Citations
  8. Appendix

History paper should preferably start with a background description of the social, cultural, and other settings during the specified period. You may also include the aspects of faith and spirituality if required. It helps in shaping an idea about the era in the readers’ mind.

Make sure you don’t express any of your personal opinions about the people, places, situations, and conditions unless it is an analytical work. Stating the facts is the best way of writing the historical papers in the MLA style.

Recommended Reading: Buy History Essays at Reasonable Prices & Enjoy Your Studies

          Conclusion

We have conducted voluminous research while creating the article on MLA reference style for the Edition 8. Note that many of the formats have remained the same from edition 7 to the 8th edition. For example, the font, margins, and the indentation.

The recommended method of using this article is to start with the planning of your academic work. Then you can refer to the appropriate section and list out the required formats. Then you can start researching on your topic. Refer to the most relevant links with authority content. Then you can start writing your academic paper.

Make sure you format the paper before taking steps for the formatting of the content. It is a good practice to add your own illustrations to make your work genuine and interesting for the reader. The probability of getting higher grades will also increase with such practices.

 

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