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MLA Format. What is MLA Format?. MLA stands for Modern Language Association This is an academic society for the study of linguistics and literature MLA has developed a very specific method of formatting a paper. By academic standards, a specific format must be followed.

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what is mla format
What is MLA Format?
  • MLA stands for Modern Language Association
  • This is an academic society for the study of linguistics and literature
  • MLA has developed a very specific method of formatting a paper.
  • By academic standards, a specific format must be followed.
  • For English courses, MLA is the proper format.
the heading
The Heading

Double space everything. The proper format is:

Student Name

Instructor’s Name

Course Number (include section)

Date in military format (date, month, year)

Center Title

the title
The Title
  • Do not underline, italicize, or place your title inside quotation marks:
    • An underlined or italicized title means that the text has already been published as a book or full periodical.
    • A title in quotation marks means that the text has already been published as a short story or article.
the header
The Header
  • The header must include the following:
    • Author’s last name
    • Page number
  • The header must be right justified. A proper header should look like this:

Wishart 1

margins
Margins
  • Margins must be 1” at the top, bottom, right and left of the text.
  • If you are using an older version of Word, you must adjust the margins.
  • If you are using Word 2007, the default margins are correct.
spacing between lines
Spacing Between Lines
  • It is very important that you do not hit the return or enter key at the end of each line. Let the text wrap for you. Only hit the return or enter key at the end of each paragraph.
  • If you are using an older version of Word, the spacing between paragraphs will automatically be correct.
  • If you are using Word 2007, you must follow these steps:
    • Click on Page Layout
    • Find “Spacing.”
    • Where it says “After,” change the “10 pt” to “0 pt
  • Make sure to double space the entire paper. An easy way to double space is to use the shortcut:
    • Before you type anything (even your name), push control and the numeral “2” at the same time. If a “2” comes up on your paper, you did it incorrectly. If there is no “2” showing, your paper will be double-spaced throughout.
    • This shortcut works for all versions of Word.
in line citations
In-Line Citations
  • Parenthetical citations are used in MLA.
  • A specific format must be followed.
  • When using a text, list the name of the author and the page number. Do not use commas. It will look like this: (DiYanni 357).
  • For specific help on in-line or in-text citations, visit this site: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/.
the works cited page
The Works Cited Page
  • The works cited page is complicated, especially with the various types of sources available.
  • A great site to help you with the proper format is Noodle Tools: http://www.noodletools.com/.
    • If you click on “NoodleBib Express,” it will help you format your entry free of charge.
  • Another great source to help you with the works cited page is “The Owl at Purdue.” Most of your questions can be answered here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/.
a note about plagiarism
A Note About Plagiarism
  • Be careful to cite every source and give credit to the sources.
  • You are not required to provide a source such as an encyclopedia because these sources provide general knowledge information.
  • When in doubt, list the source.
  • Even if you paraphrase but do not directly quote a source, you must list it.
  • Failure to provide proper citation information can lead to failing the course and even expulsion from college. Please be careful.