If you have not written papers in this well-known format before and now your teacher assign it to you, do not be afraid. MLA is a common standard for student essays and other papers, and it is not difficult to use it. You just need to configure the text editor on your PC or Mac and use an appropriate text structure.
How to meet essay requirements
Every student can learn much about MLA standards on its website and other sources. This specification is common for many universities, so if you learn how to edit your papers correctly, it will help you with other works later.
Open your text editor, for example, MS Word, create a standard document, and change the following settings:
- All page margins should be 1-inch.
- Set the Font face to widely used Times New Roman
- Select double spaces between lines.
- Set font size to 12
- Do not use spaces after paragraphs.
In different text editors, there are different commands for these settings. Even if you do not know how to change them, just read help section and look for information on writing websites.
Your name and page numbers should be mentioned on every page. Put them in the header, set their location in the top right corner of each page. It would be easy to navigate inside the document and teacher will always know whose work he or she is reading. Read the help section of your text editor to learn how to set page numbers.
Starting your essay and citing other sources
Start your paper with a title block. Mention your name, follow it with the name of the teacher who assigned this essay to you, the course you are studying, and the date. After that, enter the title of your paper and align it to the center of a line. The first lines of introduction should be left aligned.
MLA standard also tells us how to format citations. If your citation is short, you may use just a block quote. When you need to cite a whole paragraph of several lines, you should do it in another way. Increase the left indent of a paragraph, add author’s name and the page name of a source after the last period. If you need to make a small inline quotation, just add author’s last name and a number of the page in the parenthesis. Most of the facts should also be documented with citations in parenthesis. This will help you to prove these facts and let other people learn more about particular characters, objects, etc. Do not forget to mention your sources also in the list of cited works.
Notice that there are different editions of MLA format. When you use this standard when writing college papers, make sure you refer to the appropriate edition. If you are not sure, ask your teacher.