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what is mla formatting and why do i need to use it

"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 for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page." (Purdue OWL)

Works Cited

Purdue OWL. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 10 May 2008. Web. 15 Nov. 2008.

What is MLA formatting and why do I need to use it?
mla formatting should paragraphs be indented if so how much

indent the first word of a paragraph one-half inch from the left margin (5 typed spaces or one tab) (4.1).

MLA Formatting: Should paragraphs be indented? If so, how much?
mla formatting text formatting read and copy as necessary

Choose easily readable typeface in which the type style contrasts clearly with italic (e.g. Times New Roman) and set it to a standard size (e.g. 12 point font). Do not justify the lines or the text at the right margin; turn off your word processor’s automatic hyphenation feature. Set your word processor to double-space the entire paper, including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited. Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your professor prefers 2 spaces (4.2).

MLA Formatting: Text Formatting (Read and copy, as necessary).
mla formatting heading and title read and copy as necessary

An MLA-formatted paper does not need a title page. Instead, beginning one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin, type your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date on separate lines, double-spacing between the lines. Double-space again and center the title. Double-space also between the lines of the title, and double-space between the title and the first line of the text. Do not underline or italicize your title, put in quotation marks or boldface, or type it in all capital letters. Follow the rules for capitalization of a title and italicize only the words you would italicize in the text. Do not use a period after your title or after any heading in the paper (4.3).

MLA Formatting: Heading and Title (Read and copy, as necessary).
mla formatting heading and title read and copy as necessary1
MLA Formatting: Heading and Title (Read and copy, as necessary).
mla formatting page numbers read and copy as necessary

Number all pages consecutively throughout the paper in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. Type your last name before the page number, as a precaution in case of misplaced pages. Automatic page numbering in the header of your word processor will save you the time and effort of numbering every page. Do not use the abbreviation p. before a page number or add a period, a hyphen, or any other mark or symbol (4.4).

MLA Formatting: Page Numbers (Read and copy, as necessary).
mla formatting tables and illustrations read and copy as necessary

Place tables and illustrations as close as possible to the parts of the text to which they relate. A table is usually labeled Table, given an arabic numeral, an titled. Type both label and title flush left on separate lines above the table and any notes immediately below the table in a caption. To avoid confusion between notes to the text and notes to the table, designate notes to the table with lowercase letters rather than with numerals. Double-space throughout; use dividing lines as needed (4.5).

mla formatting tables and illustrations read and copy as necessary1

Any other type of illustrative material – for example, a photograph, map, line drawing, graph, or chart – should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an arabic numeral, and given a caption: “Fig. 1. Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, Wichita Museum, Wichita.” A label and caption ordinarily appear directly below the illustration and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper. If the caption of a table or illustration provides complete information about the source and the source is not cited in the text, no entry for the source in the works-cited list is necessary (4.5).

mla formatting paper and printing read and copy as necessary

Use only white, 8 ½”-by-11-inch paper of good quality. Use a high-quality printer. Print only one a single side of the paper unless your instructor tells you otherwise (4.6).

MLA FORMATTING- PAPER AND PRINTING (Read and copy, as necessary).
mla formatting corrections and insertions read and copy as necessary

Proofread and correct your research paper carefully before submitting it. If you find a mistake in the final copy, reopen the word-processing file, make the appropriate revisions, and reprint the corrected page or pages. Be sure to save the changed file. Some writers find such software as spelling checkers and usage checkers helpful when used with caution. If your instructor permits brief corrections on the printout, write them neatly and legibly in ink directly above the lines involved, using carets (^) to indicate where they go. Do not use the margins or write a change below the line it affects. If corrections on any page are numerous or substantial, revise your file and reprint the page (4.7).

mla formatting documentig sources read and copy as necessary

In MLA documentation sytle, you acknowledge your sources by keying brief parenthetical citations in your text to an alphabetical list of works that appears at the end of the paper. The parenthetical citation that concludes the following sentence is typical of MLA style.

The aesthetic and ideological orientation of jazz underwent considerable scrutiny in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Anderson 7).

The citation “(Anderson 7)” tells readers that the information in the sentence was derived from page 7 of a work by an author named Anderson. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the works-cited list, where, under the name Anderson, they would find source information(5.2).

MLA FORMATTING- DOCUMENTIG SOURCES (Read and copy, as necessary).