MLA Style Papers
MLA style papers are academic pieces of work written in the Modern Language Association writing style. MLA style is often used in the writing of academic papers within the humanities and liberal arts studies. The use of MLA is very specific in referencing and offers a narrowed down reference up to the page level. Unlike most other writing styles MLA writing style uses the author-page parenthetical citation which shows the last name of the author and the page number of the source from which the material is drawn. This writing style is applied in determining the formatting and referencing of MLA style papers.An MLA styled paper should have one inch margin allowance all round it. The paper should 8.5 by 11 inches. The text used should be 12 point font size and in Times New Roman font style. When writing MLA style papers one should keep in mind that papers written in MLA styles do not have a title page and as such no title page should be included unless requested by the assigning authority that offers the particular assignment.
There should be an inclusion of a header which should contain page numbers as well as the surname of the author of the work. In-text citations in MLA style papers are placed within parentheses and they contain the author/s’ last name and page from which the source material was drawn. Notably, in some instances such as when dealing with websites the page numbers to refer to may be unavailable and in such instances the author has to make a citation that will show that the page was missing. In such instances the parenthetical citation shall be written as follows: (Johnstone n.pag). The “n.pag” abbreviation means there was no page number included. Also note that a normal citation in this style does not have a comma separating the authors name and comma.
The in-text citation in MLA style papers should be accompanied by full references at the end of the document under the works cited section. The works cited section in an MLA style paper should contain the name/s of the author, date, place of publication and publisher. The section containing these references should be ordered in an alphabetical manner, for ease of reference. In cases where there are more than three authors, the rules are slightly bent and in this case the abbreviation et al. is placed after the last name of the last author to depict that there are more than one authors involved in the writing of the work used as a source. MLA style papers also require only one single space after each period and the text should be double spaced all through. Titles of longer works used within the MLA style paper should be italicized. All direct quotations should be placed within quotation marks if the word count is lesser than 40. However, if the words are more than forty then the whole text should block indented but with no quotation marks.