7 Tips for Completing a Research Paper in MLA Format

The MLA is one of the most popular and commonly used citation styles. There are many guidelines that should be adhered to and you must know and follow them. If you are writing a paper in this style for the first time ever, it would be wise if you get an example of a research paper MLA format online and see how the paper looks like.

  1. The margins
    Save for the running head, you should leave one inch margin at the top, bottom and on both sides of your paper. If the printout is to be submitted on paper that is larger than 8½ X 11 inches, do not print text in the paper in area that exceeds 6½ by 9 inches.
  2. Text formatting
    Choose typeface which is easily readable. The 12pt Times New Roman is the font of choice when writing academic papers. The text lines at right margins should not be justified. The automatic hyphenation feature in the writing program should be turned off.
  3. Spacing
    The entire paper should be double spaced.
  4. Indenting every first line of paragraph
    The first line of every paragraph should be indented half an inch from the left margin. Set off quotations should also be indented off half an inch from the left margin. One space should be left after the period or other concluding punctuating marks, unless the instructor expressly provides that you leave two spaces.
  5. Title and heading
    A research paper in MLA need not need have title page. However, the first page of the paper should begin one inch from first page top and flush with left margin, you should type your name, the name of your instructor, the number of the course and also the date on separate lines and these lines should be double spaced. On new double spaced line, the title should be centered. The title should not be italicized or underlined but may be typed in upper case or may be put in bold face or in quotation marks.
  6. Running head
    The MLA paper should have running head with page numbers in numeric (1, 2, 3, 4…). The page numbers should be placed in the right hand corner, half inch from the top, flush with right margin. The running head should be made of your last name and then a space before the page number.

These are just few guidelines of how do you cite a research paper in MLA format. There are other guidelines on how and where to place list of the works cited, tables and illustrations, paper and printing, the correction and insertion of the printouts, and the binding of the printed paper, among others.