How To Write MLA Term Papers: Simple Instructions

Writing an MLA style paper won't be difficult if you know exactly how to go about it. This format is mostly used for humanities and liberal arts and it has quite a few requirements that need to be taken into account when you write. The following tips will help you create a good MLA paper without any problems.

  • An MLA paper must be double-spaced.
  • Unless your professor specifies otherwise, you can choose any kind of font for your paper. However, it is advised to use a font where the regular and italics styles contrast.
  • Regardless of the type of font, its size should be 12 pt.
  • Use half an inch indentations for the first line of every paragraph. It is recommended to use the Tab key instead of tapping the Spacebar for five times.
  • All the pages of the paper must be consecutively numbered. The numbers must be included in the heading (right upper corner).
  • Ask your instructor whether you should number the first page as there are no definitive requirements in regards to this.

  • The italics in the text should be used for the names of other papers.
  • Avoid using italics for the purpose of stressing some particular word or phrase unless absolutely necessary.

  • The endnotes (if you have any) must be presented on a separate page after the conclusion and before the reference list.
  • In the majority of cases, MLA papers do not require a title page. Be sure to ask your professor whether you need to make one.
  • The title of the paper must be centered but not bolded, italicized or underlined. Use standard capitalization when writing the title.
  • Every page of the paper should have a header that includes your last name and a page number.
  • You can use section headings to make the paper more readable.
  • In case you need to divide the paper into several sections, mark them with Arabic numbers.
  • All the headings of the same level must have similar grammatical structures.
  • If you use several levels of headings in the paper, be sure to make a key with their formatting and present it to your instructor.
  • The title of your paper must be informative. This means that is must inform the readers of the main topic of the essay and the position you take on this topic.
  • MLA format requires the use of in-text citations. This means that you must credit the source both directly in the text of the paper and in the Works Cited list you will compile in the end.