How to Complete a Research Paper Using the MLA Format

The MLA format is often used by researchers in many areas of academic writing, especially in humanities. If you want to submit a research paper to a scientific journal, you have to adhere to the most widely accepted rules.

The Title Page Is Non-Obligatory

If the research paper isn’t very large, you may omit the cover page of the document, unless your supervisor or the editor insists on it. Note, that there is a special set of rules for formatting the first page. Keep in mind, that this is “the face” of your study, so, you have to edit the cover page thoughtfully.

Be Careful with Citations

Don’t insert long citations and huge pieces of texts into your scientific work. One citation shouldn’t exceed 2-3 lines. The limit is 4 short quotations per page. It should be a completely academic independent study, not the analysis of references.

Refer to other scholars’ works only where necessary, either to counter with their theories or, vice versa, to confirm your point of view.

Some Commonly Used Stylistic Requirements

There are typescript requirements, which are common for most scientific magazines in the English-speaking countries. The following ones can be named among them:

  • The best of all would be to print the document on white 8.5 x 11-inch paper
  • It’s advisable to use Times New Roman font size, 12 point typeface
  • You’d rather set the margins to 1 inch on all the 4 sides.
  • Use double space in your document everywhere, except periods and other punctuation marks. Don’t make any extra spacing after paragraphs
  • All the pages must be numbered in the upper right-hand corner
  • Apply Arabic numbers for the sections of your research paper
  • It’s recommended to use the Tab key in order to indent the first line of paragraphs
  • Use the italics only where necessary, for example, for different names and titles or, less frequently, for the words and phrases you’d like to underline
  • Ensure that your investigation is free of stylistic, grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • End your scholarly paper with the list of references, where all the sources should be up-to-date

The list of requirements may be very long and it can vary in different journals, educational establishments and countries. Thus, don’t forget to discuss these guidelines with your academic adviser or the magazine editor. Anyway, remember that the MLA format is sometimes being updated, so, it’s better to seek for the recent version every time you’re going to write an article or any other kind of a study case.