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5 Basic Rules For Composing An MLA Style Research Paper

Students, while writing research papers, not only have to labor through the work content; they also have to ensure that it is perfectly organized. For the latter, it is pivotal to follow a perfect formatting style. Students may choose between MLA, APA, Chicago and Harvard styles for educational purposes.

Popular research formatting style

MLA style is an extremely popular formatting style. It systemizes the research work in such a way that there is no ledge for readers to feel that the work is plagiarized. The citation is organized and so are the other spheres. You should cling to the basic rules and you will normally eke out a decent work.

Here are 5 basic rules for composing a MLA style research paper –

  1. General rules – The writing font size of research paper is 12 pts while font type may be any of your choice 9although Times New Roman is preferable). You should double-space each line and leave a 1” margin on both sides. Each paragraph should be tabbed (it should start after a ½ inch indentation.
  2. The title page – You have to place your name, your relevant professor’s name, the subject and the date of submission on the left-hand top corner. In the running head, you have to mention your last name and the page number (gapped by a space) on the right side top. Once you are through, leave a double space and then place a center-aligned title. You can start writing after the title following a double space. Incidentally, the double space holds good for the entire work.
  3. The headings – The main headings of the research paper should be emboldened and placed on the left. They should be prefixed by 1, 2, 3 and so on. Remember to treat headings of same texture as same level heading. The levels will change when you go deep into the main heading and discuss a subset. For example, Basketball and Football are both same level headings; while the off-side rule is a sub-heading. The sub-heading of the first main heading should be prefixed by 1.1, 1.2 and so on.
  4. The citation – The citation should be made in a clearly lineated manner. The author’s last name should be followed by the refereed pages (gapped by a space). In case you refer to two different sets of pages of the same work, mention the two sets with a comma in between. In case of two or more authors, mention their last names punctuated by commas.
  5. Follow the instructor – For you the student, the instructor is always right. Follow his instruction even if he suggests you to preclude certain basic MLA rules. He may suggest changes in citation or even on the title page. Generally, however, instructors conform to the regulations in place.

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