4 Essential Aspects of Formatting in MLA for Your Paper

Why Choose MLA Formatting Style?

In most cases, students do not hold power to select which style to use. Learning institutions often prescribe the preferred method for formatting a paper. MLA happens to be among the popular styles.

The current style refers to an organization in charge of developing the current MLA format. The development idea behind the concept was for scholars involved in literature, and other related fields can find a uniform way for structuring their papers.

The uniform method of formatting papers gives an instructor an easy time while going through your essay. MLA is currently widening its reach while being incorporated into different subject areas. 

The current version is the last eight installments in the franchise released back in 2016. The handbook provides the needed guidelines for citing work and submitting it while giving hint to the standards. 

MLA vs. APA

Most students often confuse between MLA and APA formats. Even though the two formatting styles appear different, there are closely related that most people think. At first glance, it might seem easy to distinguish between the two.

Both styles use the same spacing, indentation, and citation styles for students when it comes to similarities. In case you have used information from another source, it should be part of the current work. You finish off the paper by listing your sources.

Another common characteristic for both styles is that they use similar parenthetical citations within the paper’s body. It uses the same criteria when listing citations used in the paper. It uses the same alphabetical order when listing sources.

Most academic professions used MLA when it comes to humanities. Social sciences often make use of APA format for their papers.

Important Feature that Changes with MLA

Various features in your document tend to change when editing using the MLA format. Here is a breakdown of standard features likely to change:

Writing a Title Page

The first thing that differentiates the APA from MLA format is the way the title page appears. It contains relevant personal information to the instructor. A title page started on the top left part of your paper.

Other sections allow for inclusion of your name, the current course and assignment title. You can place the due date for the particular assignment in case instructed by your professor.

Running Head and Page Numbers

A running head provides a brief heading from the top corner of each page in the paper. According to the MLA handbook, the running head should comprise the author’s last name and the page number.

Margins

Students must use the one-inch margins for their papers. The only item that comes close to the one-inch margins is the running head. Most word processors come with this default setting. You can also countercheck with the page settings section to select the preferred margin size.

Paragraphs

It is mandatory for a student that starts each new paragraph with an indent. Each sentence in the new paragraph should start with a half-inch that raises from the left margin. You do not have to ensure each line is one inch when making the indent. 

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