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MLA Style Guide, 8th & 9th Editions: Formatting Your MLA Paper

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MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman font or another readable typeface (e.g. serif ).

Line Spacing & Margins

Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.

Leave 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and each side.

Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch from the left margin.

Quotes longer than 4 lines should be written as a block of text a half an inch from the left margin.

Heading and Title

An MLA research paper does not need a title page, but your instructor may require one. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below:

Type the following one inch from the top of the first page, flush with the left margin (double spacing throughout).

Your Instructor's Name

Course Number or Name

Center the title on the next line. Follow the rules for capitalization. Do not italicize, underline, or bold the title. An exception is when your title includes a title.  Example:  The Attitude toward Violence in A Clockwork Orange

Indent the next line and begin typing your text.

Include your last name and page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The page numbers will be one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. If your instructor prefers no page number on the first page, begin numbering from 2 on the second page.

Sample Papers from MLA

There are sample papers available in the MLA Style Center. Check them out to see the correct formatting.

Styling Headings and Subheadings

According to the MLA Style Center website, writers should avoid using headings in shorter papers. If you are writing a longer research paper, you may want to include headings and subheadings to help organize the sections of your paper. Advice from the MLA Style Center :


The paper or chapter title is the first level of heading, and it must be the most prominent.

Headings should be styled in descending order of prominence. After the first level, the other headings are subheadings—that is, they are subordinate. Font styling and size are used to signal prominence. In general, a boldface, larger font indicates prominence; a smaller font, italics, and lack of bold can be used to signal subordination. For readability, don’t go overboard: avoid using all capital letters for headings (in some cases, small capitals may be acceptable):

Heading Level 1

Heading Level 2

Heading Level 3

Note that word-processing software often has built-in heading styles.


Consistency in the styling of headings and subheadings is key to signaling to readers the structure of a research project. That is, each level 1 heading should appear in the same style and size, as should each level 2 heading, and so on. Generally, avoid numbers and letters to designate heads unless you are working in a discipline where doing so is conventional. Note that a heading labeled “1” requires a subsequent heading labeled “2,” and a heading labeled “a” requires a subsequent heading labeled “b.” 

In a project that is not professionally designed and published, headings should be flush with the left margin, to avoid confusion with block quotations. (The exception is the paper or chapter title, which is centered in MLA style.)

For readability, it is helpful to include a line space above and below a heading, as shown in this post.

No internal heading level should have only one instance. For example, if you have one level 1 heading, you need to have a second level 1 heading. (The exceptions are the paper or chapter title and the headings for notes and the list of works cited.) You should also generally have text under each heading.


Capitalize headings like the titles of works, as explained in section 1.2 of the MLA Handbook.

The shorter, the better."

Modern Language Association. "How Do I Style Headings and Subheadings in a Research Paper?" MLA Style Center., 13 December 2018, .

MLA Style Paper Template

  • MLA 9th Edition Paper Template This template was created and saved as a Word template for Microsoft Word 2016. The process for saving and using the template is the same for the instructions given above for 2013.

You can save a personal template in Microsoft Word (IRSC students, download Office for free, see a librarian if you need help). Above is a template you can use every time you need to set-up a research paper using MLA style format. Simply open the template and type your own information every time you need to write an MLA style paper. Microsoft Word will allow you to save personal templates. Once you have the template opened in Word

Click "Save as"

Give the file a name

Under "Save as type", select Word Template

research paper format in mla

Then when you open Word, you will be able to choose a template rather than a blank document. You might have to select Personal to find your template.

research paper format in mla

Sample MLA Paper

MLA 8th Edition Paper Formatting

How to Use the MLA Style Template

Formatting Group Project Papers

For a research paper written collaboratively by several students, such as for a group project, create a title page instead of listing all authors in the header on page 1 of the essay. On the title page, list each student's full name, placing one name on each double-spaced line. After the final student name, enter the professor's name. After the professor's name, give the course name. The last line of the heading will be the date in 5 August 2021 format. Press Enter a few times to move down the page then give the paper title, centered.

MLA 9th Group Research Project Title Page Example

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research paper format in mla

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MLA Style Guide

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MLA Resources

  • Official MLA Style Center The Modern Language Association provides many useful resources on their website.
  • Print MLA Handbook Find a paper copy in the library.
  • MLA Overview (Purdue OWL) The Online Writing Lab (OWL) created by Purdue University provides detailed information on MLA formatting.

Paper Format

  • Formatting a Research Paper (MLA)
  • General Format (OWL)

Sample Papers

  • Sample Papers (MLA)
  • Sample Paper (OWL)

General Formatting (MLA 1.1, 1.2)

  • Margins are 1" from both side, top, and bottom. 
  • Use Times New Roman size 12 font. 
  • Double space all lines. 
  • Running head: in the right corner, one-half inch from the top, put the last name of the author(s) and the page number (Ex. Smith 1). 

Heading (MLA 1.3)

  • Writer's Name(s)
  • Instructor's Name(s)
  • Course Number (Ex.: English 5)
  • Date (Number Month Year; Ex.: 2 April 2020)
  • NOTE: your instructor may prefer that you use a title page, in which case move all the information in the header and title to its own page starting one-quarter of the way from the top of the page. 

Title (MLA 1.3)

  • On the line immediately after the date in the header. 
  • Centered. 
  • Use plain text (not bold, italicized, underlined, or in quotation marks).
  • Capitalize all words except articles and prepositions. 
  • NOTE: your instructor may prefer that you use a title page, in which case move all the information in the header and title to its own page starting one-quarter of the way from the top of the page. 

Text (MLA 1.2)

  • Indent the first line of every paragraph by a half-inch. 
  • Short quotes can be surrounded by quotation marks and inserted in the lines of the text.
  • Long quotes do not use quotation marks and are separated out onto their own lines, all of which begin one-half inch from the left margin. 
  • Do not hyphenate words in order to separate them onto two separate lines. This often happens because your document is not set to left justify or because you have auto-hyphenate on. 
  • The punctuation mark at the end of a sentence is followed by a single space. 

Works Cited (MLA 1.6)

  • Begin on a new page. 
  • Center the title "Works Cited" (if there is only one entry, title "Work Cited"). 
  • The first line of a citation is flush left and any subsequent lines are indented one-half inch from the left (a.k.a. a "hanging indent"). 
  • Alphabetize the list by first word in the citation.
  • See more guidelines in the Works Cited tab. 
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The MLA Style Center

What is mla style.

Building confidence in the information and ideas we share with one another is perhaps more important today than ever before, and for nearly a century it has been the driving principle behind MLA style, a set of standards for writing and documentation used by writers to find and evaluate information, alert their audience to the trustworthiness of their findings through citation, and shape the expression of their ideas in conversation with others. 

Resources for MLA Style

Our new, subscription-based digital platform, MLA Handbook Plus is

  • Trusted: The only authorized subscription-based digital resource featuring the latest edition of the MLA Handbook is available for unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Evolving: Get the same content as the print edition, plus seamless annual updates and forthcoming additional resources such as videos and companion titles.
  • Dynamic: Features an easy-to-search interface, cross-linking of related material, and a split view that lets students see illustrations while reading corresponding content.
  • Flexible: Whether on campus, at home, or in a coffee shop, students can access the platform from anywhere—perfect for remote or hybrid learning environments.
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  • Accessible: Meets current accessibility standards—ensuring that learning MLA style is available to all.

Contact [email protected] for more info.

MLA Handbook , 9th Edition

The ninth edition of the MLA Handbook , published in spring 2021, builds on the MLA's unique approach to documenting sources using a template of core elements—facts common to most sources, like author, title, and publication date—that allows writers to cite any type of work, from books, e-books, and journal articles in databases to song lyrics, online images, social media posts, dissertations, and more. With this focus on source evaluation as the cornerstone of citation, MLA style promotes the skills of information and digital literacy so crucial today. The new edition offers

  • New chapters on grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, numbers, italics, abbreviations, and principles of inclusive language
  • Guidelines on setting up research papers in MLA format with updated advice on headings, lists, and title pages for group projects
  • Revised, comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for creating a list of works cited in MLA format that are easier to learn and use than ever before
  • A new appendix with hundreds of example works-cited-list entries by publication format, including websites, YouTube videos, interviews, and more
  • Detailed examples of how to find publication information for a variety of sources
  • Newly revised explanations of in-text citations, including comprehensive advice on how to cite multiple authors of a single work
  • Detailed guidance on using notes in MLA style
  • Instructions on quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and avoiding plagiarism
  • Annotated bibliography examples
  • Numbered sections throughout for quick navigation
  • Advanced tips for professional writers and scholars

The MLA Style Center offers free online resources on MLA style, including an interactive MLA format template, answers to common questions on Ask the MLA, advice from the MLA editors, and more. Get updates by signing up for The Source newsletter, and follow us on Twitter @MLAstyle .


MLA 8th ed. Style Guide

  • Formatting Your Paper
  • In-Text Citations examples
  • Websites/pages

Sample Paper

  • MLA 8th ed. Sample Paper Find examples of how to format and use MLA citation style in papers. Features both in-text and work cited page citations.

Below are some basic guidelines to use when formatting your research paper using MLA citation style.  However, some professors may have specific preferences when using MLA.  Make sure to follow your professor's specific guidelines over MLA recommendations.


The Modern Language Association (MLA) permits any font to be used for papers. However, they do recommend that the font be legible and distinct when using the regular and italics of that font.  

Using 12 point font is recommended.  

Line Spacing and Margins:

Use one inch margins on all sides of the document. 

Put only one space after periods. 

Double space between all lines in the document. 

When a quote is more than four (4) lines long, make it a block quote with a margin of one half inch from the left margin.  

Headings and Title: 

MLA does use headers that feature numbers that only number the pages.  When using numbers as a header, make sure the numbers are set in the top right hand corner of the document.  They need to be one-half inch from the top of the page and flush with the right margin. 

MLA does not use a title page; however, if your professors requests a title page, then use a title page for your paper.  

Purdue Online Writing Lab. General Format, 2020. . 

        Accessed  8 April 2020. 

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MLA Research Paper Formatting

  • MLA 9th Template & Paper Sample
  • Finding Sources for Your Paper
  • Detailed Comparison (Printable)
  • Additional Resources

MLA Style (9th Edition)

  • Sample Papers

You are going to love this! Save this template somewhere safe or e-mail it to yourself. Then resave it immediately with the name of your new document. This will keep your template safe and ready to reuse again for future assignments.

This template will be sufficient for most student MLA papers. For more information on formatting your paper, consult the official MLA Style website:  or pages 1-14 in the MLA Manual. 

decorative image for the mla style template document file

  • Purdue Owl Sample Paper Sample paper is downloadable.
  • Sample Papers - MLA Style Center PDFs available of the 2022 MLA Student Essay Contest winners.
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How to Format Your Research Paper

  • APA 7 Paper Format

Writing Your Paper: MLA

Mla style papers.

  • Chicago Paper Format
  • Hanging Indents
  • Ask a Librarian

MLA Resources

Cover Art

  • Ask the MLA Search a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the MLA style. If you donʻt see the answer youʻre looking for, ask the MLA yourself!
  • Purdue OWL: MLA Style Guide This Purdue OWL citation guide will help you in citing your sources in the MLA (Modern Language Association) Style commonly used to cite sources within the area of language arts. You can find written and video instructions with examples on how to format your citations. Click on the title above to see more...

Always consult your assignment guidelines for course-specific formatting.

Things to know before you begin:

  • Font:  An easily readable typeface (Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, etc...) that is maintained throughout the paper.
  • Font Size:  11-13 point 
  • Margins:  1 inch
  • Paragraphs: All paragraphs should be indented.
  • Spacing: All of the text in your paper should be double-spaced.

Typical MLA style papers have two sections:

  • Works Cited

See the tabs below for a breakdown of how each portion should be formatted.

  • Paper Templates
  • Sample Papers

Below you will find templates for MLA Style papers. Click the link to make a copy of the file. 

  • Google Docs : To make a copy of this template you must first sign in to your Google account. After you’re signed in, click file and then click “make a copy.”
  • Microsoft Word : To make a copy of this template, simply download the file. 

Google Docs Logo

  • MLA Style Paper Template - Word Make a copy of this Word Doc and change the pre-filled information to your own.

Below you will find an example of an accurately formatted MLA Style paper. 

  • Sample Paper MLA: 3D Printing (.pdf) Click here to see a sample of an accurately formatted MLA style paper.
  • Sample Paper MLA: 3D Printing Click here to see a sample of an accurately formatted MLA style paper.

Sample of an accurately formatted MLA style main body page

  • Your paper should have your name, your instructor's name, the class name, and the due date in the top left corner of the page. It should be double spaced and use the same font type and size as the rest of your paper.
  • The title of your paper should be centered on the first line after your heading. It should be in Title Case and use the same font type and size as the rest of your paper.
  • Place your last name and page numbers in the header in the same font type and size as the rest of your paper. Be sure to use the header function, do not type this into the body of your paper.

Sample of an accurately formatted MLA style Works Cited page

  • Center the words "Works Cited" on the first line of a new page. If you only have a single reference, use "Work Cited" instead.
  • Your citations should be alphabetical.
  • All entries should be double-spaced with no extra lines between them.
  • Be sure to use a hanging indent for any citations that require more than one line. 

Need help formatting your MLA style citations using the 8th edition of the  Modern Language Association Handbook ? Click the image or link below to go to the citation guide.

cover image of the citation research guide

  • MLA Style Citations

Need help learning what hanging indents are and how to create them using Google Docs or Microsoft Word? 

Title slide of "creating hanging indents with Google Docs" video

  • Hanging Indents This page gives a brief description of what they are, where to find information on when and how to properly use them, and also video tutorials on how to create them.
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To cite this LibGuide use the following templates:

APA : Northern Essex Community College Library. (Date updated). Title of page . Title of LibGuide. URL

MLA : Northern Essex Community College Library. "Title of Page." Title of LibGuide, Date updated, URL.

Home / MLA Sample Paper

MLA Sample Paper

Mla sample paper #1.

If you’ve been wondering how to produce a research paper that is strong in both formatting and writing, you’ve come to the right place.

Check out our first sample paper below. It is a helpful and clearly labeled visual aid to refer to. Note that while these sample papers do not include MLA abstracts , you should check with your instructor to see if an abstract should be included.

Visual Sample Paper

The example research paper below is one that was written in college for a course on the Inklings. The Inklings were a group of writers in England before WWII, including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

The abbreviated MLA paper below (linked here without annotations) is about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and how the author used myth, story, and song to link all of his works together. Tolkien is famous for creating a fantasy universe called Middle-earth, which readers can’t truly understand until they read all of the books about Middle-earth ( The Silmarillian, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings ).

Since we’re here to learn how to format an essay, we’ve pointed out some important things about the paper to help you write a correctly formatted essay.

For starters, the essay is in MLA format. That means it follows the style manual of the Modern Language Association, which tells you how to format the paper itself and every source you cite. You’ll also see notes like how long a paragraph should be, how to use commas properly, and how to correctly punctuate a title. Some of these guidelines are different from those in APA format , so be sure to confirm you are using the correct style in your paper.

Pay special attention to the MLA format works cited. We only used one type of source (books), but both citations are correct according to the 9th edition of MLA, published in 2021. When you’re writing your own paper, you need to make sure you always use the most recent edition of the style manual. You’ll also want to check with your instructor to see if you need to include an MLA annotated bibliography with your paper, which contains additional information summarizing and evaluating each source after the regular citation.

Whether you need MLA, APA citations , or Chicago style notes, look up the latest edition before turning in a paper.

research paper format in mla

MLA Sample Paper #2

See below for an example paper or click below to download it as a Word Document.

research paper format in mla

The MLA header should be one inch from the top and left margins. The heading and the entire paper should be double spaced.

Eli YaffarabeProfessor Rapheor

28 August 2018

Privatization of Prisons in Texas

              The privatization of governmental services has increased dramatically in the past decade as local, state, and federal agencies have searched for ways to cut costs while still meeting their mandated responsibility to provide various public services. This privatizing trend has particularly affected the criminal justice system. Since the early 1990s, privatized correctional facilities have increased significantly, nationally and statewide. This policy has far-ranging consequences not only within the criminal justice system, but as an instructive example for government officials when considering the costs and benefits of privatization as a public policy option. By 2001, thirty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had privately-operated correctional facilities (Austin and Coventry 4). This movement has incited considerable debate and controversy, mainly because prison privatization calls for giving the private sector direct control over the lives of a captive human population.

Surprisingly, there has been little objective and concrete analysis of the privatization of prisons in the United States. This is probably for two reasons: first, ideological arguments on the matter have pushed out substantive research, and second, because this trend has only recently accelerated in the U.S. and mainly on a state level. However, case studies and statistics at the state level are more accessible. With capacity for over 30,000 prisoners in 43 facilities, the state of Texas has privatized more of its prison system than any state in the nation (McDonald and Patten Jr. iv).

Yaffarabe 2

              Public policy concerning the criminal justice system has become more daunting and important in the last decade. The problems in the system are twofold: an overcrowding prison population, mainly due to “three strikes” legislation and reducing early parole; and the costs of operating prisons with this growing population (Austin and Coventry). According to the most recent U.S. Department of Justice survey, slightly over 2.2 million people were incarcerated in correctional facilities in this country in 2003. In comparison, in 1993, 1.37 million people were imprisoned in this country (Beck and Harrison 1).

At the same time, the growth of privately operated correctional facilities has increased significantly in this country. Private prisons now hold 95,522 inmates in this country, which is 6.5 percent of total prisoners (Beck and Harrison 5). In Texas, 16,570 inmates (10 percent of its prison population) are held in private facilities, about 10,000 more than the next highest state. Furthermore, six states had at least 25 percent of their prison population housed in private prisons, led by New Mexico (44%), Alaska (31%), and Montana (29%). These current statistics show that while state governments have been forced to manage and operate overcrowded and over-capacity prisons at considerable costs, many have turned to the private sector to operate prisons (McDonald and Patten Jr.). According to the General Accounting Office, prison operating costs have grown steadily since 1980, increasing almost 550 percent since 1980 based on inflation-adjusted dollars (Austin and Coventry 1).

Prison privatization started in the early 1980s, ostensibly to ease the burden on taxpayers by offering financial relief to private companies to run state prisons. Thomas Beasley founded Corrections Corporation of America in 1983, “the nation’s leader in the construction and management of private prisons” (Darling). That year, Corrections Corporation of America set up the first privately-operated prison in Tennessee. Since then, the number of private

Yaffarabe 3

correctional facility firms has grown to 14 (Austin and Coventry 3). The privatization of prisons occurs in two ways. First, state government can contract out (or outsource) specific services in a correctional facility to a private company after a bidding process. Second, and more radically, private companies build their own privately-managed prisons and contract with state governments to house their inmates. This latter approach, giving private correctional facility firms wide latitude over inmates, is taken in the Texas criminal justice system. In fact, many of these privately operated facilities “have no relationship at all with the state governments in these states, other than an obligation to pay corporate income taxes” (McDonald and Patten Jr. v).

(Due to its length, the remainder of this sample paper is omitted).

Yaffarabe 4

Works Cited Page

Austin, James, and Garry Coventry. Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons . Bureau of Justice Assistance, Feb. 2001,

Beck, Allen J., and Paige Harrison. Prisoners in 2003 . Bureau of Justice Statistics, Nov. 2004,

McDonald, Douglas, and Carl Patten Jr. Governments’ Management of Private Prisons . Abt Associates, 15 Sept. 2003,

Darling, Michael. “Pitt News: University of Pittsburgh Shouldn’t Lend Its Name to Prison Privatization.” CorpWatch , 15 Nov. 2004,

MLA Formatting Guide

MLA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • In-text Citations
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Sample Paper
  • Works Cited
  • MLA 8 Updates
  • MLA 9 Updates
  • View MLA Guide

Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all MLA Examples

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An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s name . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited. In-text citations are mentioned in the text in two ways: as a citation in prose or a parenthetical citation.

Citation in prose

Citations in prose are incorporated into the text and act as a part of the sentence. Usually, citations in prose use the author’s full name when cited the first time in the text. Thereafter, only the surname is used. Avoid including the middle initial even if it is present in the works-cited-list entry. An example of the first citation in prose for a source with one author is given below:

Doug Barry explains the status of the UK.


Parenthetical citations add only the author’s surname at the end of the sentence in parentheses. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:

The status of the UK is explained (Barry).

Examples of in-text citations

Here are a few examples of in-text citations for works with various numbers and types of authors:

Use both the first name and surname of the author if you are mentioning the author for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the author’s surname. Always use only the author’s surname in parenthetical citations.

Citation in prose:

First mention: Stephen George asserts …. (17).

Subsequent occurrences: George argues …. (17).


…. (George 17).

Two authors

Use the first name and surname of both authors if you are mentioning the work for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the surnames of the two authors. Always use only the authors’ surnames in parenthetical citations. Use “and” to separate the two authors in parenthetical citations.

First mention: Kane Williams and Clark Ronald ….

Subsequent occurrences: Williams and Ronald ….

…. (Williams and Ronald).

Three or more authors

For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues.” For parenthetical citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.”

Krishnan Sethu and colleagues…. or Krishnan Sethu and others ….

…. (Sethu et al.).

Corporate author

For citations in prose, treat the corporate author like you would treat the author’s name. For parenthetical citations, shorten the organization name to the shortest noun phrase. For example, shorten the Modern Language Association of America to Modern Language Association.

The Language Literary Association of Canada….

…. (Language Literary Association).

If there is no author for the source, use the source’s title in place of the author’s name for both citations in prose and parenthetical citations.

When you add such in-text citations, italicize the text of the title. If the source title is longer than a noun phrase, use a shortened version of the title. For example, shorten the title Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to Fantastic Beasts .

Endgame explains …. (121).

…. ( Endgame 121).

In MLA style, two types of citations are used to cite a source: a short citation used within the text (called the in-text citation) and a full citation (called the works cited list entry) within the works cited list, which appears at the end of a paper.

The works cited list entry provides the complete details of a source. An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The in-text citation lets the reader know that the information is derived from the cited source, and helps the reader find the full citation within the works cited list.

In order to properly cite a source in MLA style, you must have both citation types in your paper. Every in-text citation has a works cited list entry. Every works cited list entry has at least one (maybe more) corresponding in-text citation.

In-text citations

The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s surname . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited.

First mention: Sian Anderson studies ….

Subsequent occurrences: Anderson analyzes ….


or if quoting directly:

…(Anderson 9)

First mention: Paul Fin and Anna Gabriel ….

Subsequent occurrences: Fin and Gabriel ….

….(Fin and Gabriel)

…(Fin and Gabriel 27)

Paul Hill and colleagues…. or Paul Hill and others ….

….(Hill et al.)

…(Hill et al. 138)

Examples of works cited list entries

Below are a few examples of different types of works cited list entries. The examples given are for one author.

Steinman, Louise. The Knowing Body: Elements of Contemporary Performance and Dance . Shambhala Publications, 1986.

Journal article                                      

Barad, K. “Nature’s Queer Performativity.” Qui Parle , vol. 19, no. 2, 2011, pp. 121–58.

Webpage of a website

Midgelow, Vida L. “Experiences and Perceptions of the Artistic Doctorate: A Survey Report.” Artistic Doctorates in Europe,  5 Feb. 2018, .

YouTube video

“Behind the Scenes Chili’s Baby Back Ribs Spot.” YouTube , uploaded by Alvin Chea, 11 Sept. 2017, .

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Sample Essays: Writing with MLA Style

Congratulations to the students whose essays were selected for the 2024 edition of Writing with MLA Style! Essays were selected as examples of excellent student writing that use MLA style for citing sources. Essays have been lightly edited. 

If your institution subscribes to MLA Handbook Plus , you can access annotated versions of the essays selected in 2022 and 2023. 

Writing with MLA Style: 2024 Edition

The following essays were selected for the 2024 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The selection committee for high school submissions was composed of Lisa Karakaya, Hunter College High School; and Heather Smith, Dedham Public Schools. The selection committee for postsecondary submissions was composed of Rachel Ihara, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York; Tarshia L. Stanley, Wagner College; and Joyce MacDonald, University of Kentucky.

High School Essays

Miguel Kumar (Ransom Everglades School)

“McCarthyism at the Movies: The Effects of Hollywood McCarthyism on the American Public”

Catherine Mao (Hunter College High School)

“ Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder, and the Beholder Is a White Man: The 1875 Page Act, Eugenics, and Beauty Standards for Chinese Women versus American Women ”

Undergraduate Essays

Rachelle Dumayas  (California State University, Sacramento)

“Should Deaf Children Get Cochlear Implants?”

Holly Nelson (Johns Hopkins University)

“Creating Space? Representations of Black Characters in Regency Romance”

Chloe Wiitala (University of Minnesota, Duluth)

“ Reanimating Queer Perspectives through Camp: A Study of Frankenstein and Its Parodic Film Adaptations ”

Writing with MLA Style: 2023 Edition

The following essays were selected for the 2023 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2023 selection committee was composed of Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut (chair); Rachel Ihara, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York; and Tarshia L. Stanley, Wagner College.

Caroline Anderson (Pepperdine University)

“ L’Appel du Vide : Making Spaces for Sinful Exploration in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ”

Hunter Daniels (University of South Carolina, Aiken)

“Biblical Legalism and Cultural Misogyny in The Tragedy of Mariam ”

Aspen English (Southern Utah University)

“Putting the ‘Comm’ in Comics: A Communication-Theory-Informed Reading of Graphic Narratives”

Raul Martin (Lamar University)

“The Book-Object Binary: Access and Sustainability in the Academic Library”

Grace Quasebarth (Salve Regina University)

“Finding a Voice: The Loss of Machismo Criticisms through Translation in Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits ”

Writing with MLA Style: 2022 Edition

The following essays were selected for the 2022 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2022 selection committee was composed of Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut; Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware (chair); and Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College Chicago.

Kaile Chu (New York University, Shanghai)

“Miles Apart: An Investigation into Dedicated Online Communities’ Impact on Cultural Bias”

Sietse Hagen (University of Groningen)

“The Significance of Fiction in the Debate on Dehumanizing Media Portrayals of Refugees”

Klara Ismail (University of Exeter)

“Queering the Duchess: Exploring the Body of the Female Homosexual in John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi ”

Yasmin Mendoza (Whittier College)

“Banning without Bans”

Niki Nassiri (Stony Brook University)

“Modern-Day US Institutions and Slavery in the Twenty-First Century”

Samantha Wilber (Palm Beach Atlantic University)

“‘Pero, tu no eres facil’: The Poet X as Multicultural Bildungsroman”

Writing with MLA Style: 2019 Edition

The following essays were selected for the 2019 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2019 selection committee was composed of Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware; Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College Chicago (chair); and Liana Silva, César E. Chavez High School, Houston, Texas.

Catherine Charlton (University of King’s College, Nova Scotia)

“‘Coal Is in My Blood’: Public and Private Representations of Community Identity in Springhill, Nova Scotia”

Alyiah Gonzales (California Polytechnic State University)

“Disrupting White Normativity in Langston Hughes’s ‘I, Too’ and Toni Morrison’s ‘Recitatif’”

Meg Matthias (Miami University, Ohio)

“Prescriptions of (Living) Historical Happiness: Gendered Performance and Racial Comfort in Reenactment”

Jennifer Nguyen  (Chaminade University of Honolulu)

“The Vietnam War, the American War: Literature, Film, and Popular Memory”

Emily Schlepp (Northwest University)

“A Force of Love: A Deconstructionist Reading of Characters in Dickens’s  Great Expectations ”

research paper format in mla

MLA 9th Edition : Research Paper Formatting

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About Research Paper Formatting in MLA 9th ed.

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Resources for faculty & staff, help & tutorials, research paper format: summary of notable mla 9th ed. changes.

What has changed from the 8th ed. to the new MLA 9th ed? Not much! The good news is that the  format for both in-text and Works Cited citations remains the same through this update.  The 9th ed. includes expanded lists of examples, more in-depth guidance on using the MLA template, and recommendations for using inclusive language in your research papers. 

MLA 9 Research Paper Formatting

The basics for an MLA 9th ed. formatted research paper are:

  • Margins: 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Font: use an easily readable font (Times New Roman for example) between 11-13 point font. Always follow instructor guidelines. 
  • Spacing: double-spacing throughout
  • Running Header: Surname and page number, right justified 
  • Names and class information: on just the top of the first page, left justified, type your first and last name, the instructor's name, the course name and number, and the date on separate double-spaced lines.
  • Title: place the title of the paper below the date, centered, in upper and lower case letters, unbolded. 
  • Body: indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch from the left margin.
  • Use only one space after a period in the body of the paper.
  • MLA 9th ed. Research Paper Format

Details for formatting your paper in MLA Style (9th Edition). 

Additional information:

MLA 9 Templates & Guide

  • MLA 9th ed. Word Template Save this template to your desktop or flash drive and then adapt it for your paper. Margins, font, spacing, header with page numbers, title page, and works cited page are preset to meet MLA 9th edition.
  • MLA 9th ed. Google Docs Template MAKE SURE YOU ARE LOGGED INTO GOOGLE DOCS (OR GMAIL) before accessing this link. Select the link, select "Use Template," and then adapt it for your paper. Margins, font, spacing, headers, page numbers, title page, and works cited page are preset to meet MLA 9 specifications.

Sample MLA 9th ed. Papers

  • MLA Style Sample Papers (9th ed.) Several sample papers from the Modern Language Association (MLA).
  • MLA Style Student Research Paper Sample
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

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Guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text using MLA style are covered throughout the  MLA Handbook  and in chapter 7 of the  MLA Style Manual . Both books provide extensive examples, so it's a good idea to consult them if you want to become even more familiar with MLA guidelines or if you have a particular reference question.

Basic in-text citation rules

In MLA Style, referring to the works of others in your text is done using parenthetical citations . This method involves providing relevant source information in parentheses whenever a sentence uses a quotation or paraphrase. Usually, the simplest way to do this is to put all of the source information in parentheses at the end of the sentence (i.e., just before the period). However, as the examples below will illustrate, there are situations where it makes sense to put the parenthetical elsewhere in the sentence, or even to leave information out.

General Guidelines

  • The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends (1) upon the source medium (e.g. print, web, DVD) and (2) upon the source’s entry on the Works Cited page.
  • Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry on the Works Cited page.

In-text citations: Author-page style

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads . Oxford UP, 1967.

In-text citations for print sources with known author

For print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a signal word or phrase (usually the author’s last name) and a page number. If you provide the signal word/phrase in the sentence, you do not need to include it in the parenthetical citation.

These examples must correspond to an entry that begins with Burke, which will be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of an entry on the Works Cited page:

Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method . University of California Press, 1966.

In-text citations for print sources by a corporate author

When a source has a corporate author, it is acceptable to use the name of the corporation followed by the page number for the in-text citation. You should also use abbreviations (e.g., nat'l for national) where appropriate, so as to avoid interrupting the flow of reading with overly long parenthetical citations.

In-text citations for sources with non-standard labeling systems

If a source uses a labeling or numbering system other than page numbers, such as a script or poetry, precede the citation with said label. When citing a poem, for instance, the parenthetical would begin with the word “line”, and then the line number or range. For example, the examination of William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” would be cited as such:

The speaker makes an ardent call for the exploration of the connection between the violence of nature and the divinity of creation. “In what distant deeps or skies. / Burnt the fire of thine eyes," they ask in reference to the tiger as they attempt to reconcile their intimidation with their relationship to creationism (lines 5-6).

Longer labels, such as chapters (ch.) and scenes (sc.), should be abbreviated.

In-text citations for print sources with no known author

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name, following these guidelines.

Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if it is available.

Titles longer than a standard noun phrase should be shortened into a noun phrase by excluding articles. For example, To the Lighthouse would be shortened to Lighthouse .

If the title cannot be easily shortened into a noun phrase, the title should be cut after the first clause, phrase, or punctuation:

In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title appears in the parenthetical citation, and the full title of the article appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry on the Works Cited page. Thus, the writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited entry appears as follows:

"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs . 1999. Accessed 23 Mar. 2009.

If the title of the work begins with a quotation mark, such as a title that refers to another work, that quote or quoted title can be used as the shortened title. The single quotation marks must be included in the parenthetical, rather than the double quotation.

Parenthetical citations and Works Cited pages, used in conjunction, allow readers to know which sources you consulted in writing your essay, so that they can either verify your interpretation of the sources or use them in their own scholarly work.

Author-page citation for classic and literary works with multiple editions

Page numbers are always required, but additional citation information can help literary scholars, who may have a different edition of a classic work, like Marx and Engels's  The Communist Manifesto . In such cases, give the page number of your edition (making sure the edition is listed in your Works Cited page, of course) followed by a semicolon, and then the appropriate abbreviations for volume (vol.), book (bk.), part (pt.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), or paragraph (par.). For example:

Author-page citation for works in an anthology, periodical, or collection

When you cite a work that appears inside a larger source (for instance, an article in a periodical or an essay in a collection), cite the author of the  internal source (i.e., the article or essay). For example, to cite Albert Einstein's article "A Brief Outline of the Theory of Relativity," which was published in  Nature  in 1921, you might write something like this:

See also our page on documenting periodicals in the Works Cited .

Citing authors with same last names

Sometimes more information is necessary to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. For instance, if two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example:

Citing a work by multiple authors

For a source with two authors, list the authors’ last names in the text or in the parenthetical citation:

Corresponding Works Cited entry:

Best, David, and Sharon Marcus. “Surface Reading: An Introduction.” Representations , vol. 108, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 1-21. JSTOR, doi:10.1525/rep.2009.108.1.1

For a source with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name, and replace the additional names with et al.

Franck, Caroline, et al. “Agricultural Subsidies and the American Obesity Epidemic.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine , vol. 45, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 327-333.

Citing multiple works by the same author

If you cite more than one work by an author, include a shortened title for the particular work from which you are quoting to distinguish it from the others. Put short titles of books in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.

Citing two articles by the same author :

Citing two books by the same author :

Additionally, if the author's name is not mentioned in the sentence, format your citation with the author's name followed by a comma, followed by a shortened title of the work, and, when appropriate, the page number(s):

Citing multivolume works

If you cite from different volumes of a multivolume work, always include the volume number followed by a colon. Put a space after the colon, then provide the page number(s). (If you only cite from one volume, provide only the page number in parentheses.)

Citing the Bible

In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you're using (and underline or italicize the title), as each version varies in its translation, followed by book (do not italicize or underline), chapter, and verse. For example:

If future references employ the same edition of the Bible you’re using, list only the book, chapter, and verse in the parenthetical citation:

John of Patmos echoes this passage when describing his vision (Rev. 4.6-8).

Citing indirect sources

Sometimes you may have to use an indirect source. An indirect source is a source cited within another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example:

Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source, rather than citing an indirect source.

Citing transcripts, plays, or screenplays

Sources that take the form of a dialogue involving two or more participants have special guidelines for their quotation and citation. Each line of dialogue should begin with the speaker's name written in all capitals and indented half an inch. A period follows the name (e.g., JAMES.) . After the period, write the dialogue. Each successive line after the first should receive an additional indentation. When another person begins speaking, start a new line with that person's name indented only half an inch. Repeat this pattern each time the speaker changes. You can include stage directions in the quote if they appear in the original source.

Conclude with a parenthetical that explains where to find the excerpt in the source. Usually, the author and title of the source can be given in a signal phrase before quoting the excerpt, so the concluding parenthetical will often just contain location information like page numbers or act/scene indicators.

Here is an example from O'Neill's  The Iceman Cometh.

WILLIE. (Pleadingly) Give me a drink, Rocky. Harry said it was all right. God, I need a drink.

ROCKY. Den grab it. It's right under your nose.

WILLIE. (Avidly) Thanks. (He takes the bottle with both twitching hands and tilts it to his lips and gulps down the whiskey in big swallows.) (1.1)

Citing non-print or sources from the Internet

With more and more scholarly work published on the Internet, you may have to cite sources you found in digital environments. While many sources on the Internet should not be used for scholarly work (reference the OWL's  Evaluating Sources of Information  resource), some Web sources are perfectly acceptable for research. When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source on your Works Cited page.

Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers. However, these sorts of entries often do not require a page number in the parenthetical citation. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the following guidelines:

  • Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
  • Do not provide paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web browser’s print preview function.
  • Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like  or,  as opposed to writing out or

Miscellaneous non-print sources

Two types of non-print sources you may encounter are films and lectures/presentations:

In the two examples above “Herzog” (a film’s director) and “Yates” (a presentor) lead the reader to the first item in each citation’s respective entry on the Works Cited page:

Herzog, Werner, dir. Fitzcarraldo . Perf. Klaus Kinski. Filmverlag der Autoren, 1982.

Yates, Jane. "Invention in Rhetoric and Composition." Gaps Addressed: Future Work in Rhetoric and Composition, CCCC, Palmer House Hilton, 2002. Address.

Electronic sources

Electronic sources may include web pages and online news or magazine articles:

In the first example (an online magazine article), the writer has chosen not to include the author name in-text; however, two entries from the same author appear in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes both the author’s last name and the article title in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader to the appropriate entry on the Works Cited page (see below).

In the second example (a web page), a parenthetical citation is not necessary because the page does not list an author, and the title of the article, “MLA Formatting and Style Guide,” is used as a signal phrase within the sentence. If the title of the article was not named in the sentence, an abbreviated version would appear in a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence. Both corresponding Works Cited entries are as follows:

Taylor, Rumsey. "Fitzcarraldo." Slant , 13 Jun. 2003, Accessed 29 Sep. 2009. 

"MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL , 2 Aug. 2016, Accessed 2 April 2018.

Multiple citations

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

Time-based media sources

When creating in-text citations for media that has a runtime, such as a movie or podcast, include the range of hours, minutes and seconds you plan to reference. For example: (00:02:15-00:02:35).

When a citation is not needed

Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations, or common knowledge (For example, it is expected that U.S. citizens know that George Washington was the first President.). Remember that citing sources is a rhetorical task, and, as such, can vary based on your audience. If you’re writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, for example, you may need to deal with expectations of what constitutes “common knowledge” that differ from common norms.

Other Sources

The MLA Handbook describes how to cite many different kinds of authors and content creators. However, you may occasionally encounter a source or author category that the handbook does not describe, making the best way to proceed can be unclear.

In these cases, it's typically acceptable to apply the general principles of MLA citation to the new kind of source in a way that's consistent and sensible. A good way to do this is to simply use the standard MLA directions for a type of source that resembles the source you want to cite.

You may also want to investigate whether a third-party organization has provided directions for how to cite this kind of source. For example, Norquest College provides guidelines for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers⁠ —an author category that does not appear in the MLA Handbook . In cases like this, however, it's a good idea to ask your instructor or supervisor whether using third-party citation guidelines might present problems.

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MLA In-text Citations | A Complete Guide (9th Edition)

Published on July 9, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on March 5, 2024.

An MLA in-text citation provides the author’s last name and a page number in parentheses.

If a source has two authors, name both. If a source has more than two authors, name only the first author, followed by “ et al. ”

If the part you’re citing spans multiple pages, include the full page range. If you want to cite multiple non-consecutive pages at the same time, separate the page numbers with commas.

MLA in-text citations
Number of authors Example
1 author (Moore 37)
2 authors (Moore and Patel 48–50)
3+ authors (Moore et al. 59, 34)

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Table of contents

Where to include an mla in-text citation, citing sources with no author, citing sources with no page numbers, citing different sources with the same author name, citing sources indirectly, frequently asked questions about mla in-text citations.

Place the parenthetical citation directly after the relevant quote or paraphrase , and before the period or other punctuation mark (except with  block quotes , where the citation comes after the period).

If you have already named the author in the sentence, add only the page number in parentheses. When mentioning a source with three or more authors outside of parentheses, use “and others” or “and colleagues” in place of “et al.”

  • MLA is the second most popular citation style (Smith and Morrison 17–19) .
  • According to Smith and Morrison , MLA is the second most popular citation style (17–19) .
  • APA is by far “the most used citation style in the US” (Moore et al. 74) , but it is less dominant in the UK (Smith 16) .
  • Moore and colleagues state that APA is more popular in the US than elsewhere (74) .

Combining citations

If a sentence is supported by more than one source, you can combine the citations in a single set of parentheses. Separate the two sources with a semicolon .

Livestock farming is one of the biggest global contributors to climate change (Garcia 64; Davies 14) .

Consecutive citations of the same source

If you cite the same source repeatedly within a paragraph, you can include the full citation the first time you cite it, then just the page number for subsequent citations.

MLA is the second most popular citation style (Smith and Morrison 17–19) . It is more popular than Chicago style, but less popular than APA (21) .

You can do this as long as it remains clear what source you’re citing. If you cite something else in between or start a new paragraph, reintroduce the full citation again to avoid ambiguity.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

For sources with no named author , the in-text citation must match the first element of the Works Cited entry. This may be the name of an organization, or the title of the source.

If the source title or organization name is longer than four words, shorten it to the first word or phrase in the in-text citation, excluding any articles ( a, an, and the ). The shortened title or organization name should begin with the word the source is alphabetized by in the Works Cited.

Follow the general MLA rules for formatting titles : If the source is a self-contained work (e.g. a whole website or an entire book ), put the title in italics; if the source is contained within a larger whole (e.g. a page on a website or a chapter of a book), put the title in quotation marks.

Shortening titles in MLA in-text citations
Full source title or organization name In-text citation
( 187)
“Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” (“Sources”)
“A Quick Guide to Proofreading” (“Quick Guide”)
National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Academy (National Academy 24)

If a source does not have page numbers but is divided into numbered parts (e.g. chapters, sections, scenes, Bible books and verses, Articles of the Constitution , or timestamps), use these numbers to locate the relevant passage.

If the source does not use any numbering system, include only the author’s name in the in-text citation. Don’t include paragraph numbers unless they are explicitly numbered in the source.

Citing sources with no page numbers in MLA
Source type What to do Example
Source divided into numbered parts Add a comma after the author and give a paragraph, section, or chapter number with a relevant abbreviation. (Luxemburg, ch. 26)
with numbered lines Include the act, scene, and line numbers, separated by periods, instead of a page number. ( 1.2.95)
Audiovisual source Include the time range as displayed in the media player. (Wynn 10:23–45)
Source with no numbered divisions Include only the author’s name (or, if there is no author, the shortened title). (Rajaram)

Note that if there are no numbered divisions and you have already named the author in your sentence, then no parenthetical citation is necessary.

If your Works Cited page includes more than one entry under the same last name, you need to distinguish between these sources in your in-text citations.

Multiple sources by the same author

If you cite more than one work by the same author, add a shortened title to signal which source you are referring to.

In this example, the first source is a whole book, so the title appears in italics; the second is an article published in a journal, so the title appears in quotation marks.

Different authors with the same last name

To distinguish between different authors with the same last name, use the authors’ initials (or, if the initials are the same, full first names) in your in-text citations:

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Sometimes you might want to cite something that you found quoted in a secondary source . If possible, always seek out the original source and cite it directly.

If you can’t access the original source, make sure to name both the original author and the author of the source that you accessed . Use the abbreviation “qtd. in” (short for “quoted in”) to indicate where you found the quotation.

In these cases, only the source you accessed directly is included in the Works Cited list.

You must include an MLA in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase from a source (e.g. a book , movie , website , or article ).

Some source types, such as books and journal articles , may contain footnotes (or endnotes) with additional information. The following rules apply when citing information from a note in an MLA in-text citation :

  • To cite information from a single numbered note, write “n” after the page number, and then write the note number, e.g. (Smith 105n2)
  • To cite information from multiple numbered notes, write “nn” and include a range, e.g. (Smith 77nn1–2)
  • To cite information from an unnumbered note, write “un” after the page number, with a space in between, e.g. (Jones 250 un)

If a source has two authors, name both authors in your MLA in-text citation and Works Cited entry. If there are three or more authors, name only the first author, followed by et al.

Number of authors In-text citation Works Cited entry
1 author (Moore 37) Moore, Jason W.
2 authors (Moore and Patel 37) Moore, Jason W., and Raj Patel.
3+ authors (Moore et al. 37) Moore, Jason W., et al.

If a source has no author, start the MLA Works Cited entry with the source title . Use a shortened version of the title in your MLA in-text citation .

If a source has no page numbers, you can use an alternative locator (e.g. a chapter number, or a timestamp for a video or audio source) to identify the relevant passage in your in-text citation. If the source has no numbered divisions, cite only the author’s name (or the title).

If you already named the author or title in your sentence, and there is no locator available, you don’t need a parenthetical citation:

  • Rajaram  argues that representations of migration are shaped by “cultural, political, and ideological interests.”
  • The homepage of The Correspondent describes it as “a movement for radically different news.”

Yes. MLA style uses title case, which means that all principal words (nouns, pronouns , verbs, adjectives , adverbs , and some conjunctions ) are capitalized.

This applies to titles of sources as well as the title of, and subheadings in, your paper. Use MLA capitalization style even when the original source title uses different capitalization .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2024, March 05). MLA In-text Citations | A Complete Guide (9th Edition). Scribbr. Retrieved July 12, 2024, from

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MLA Thesis Statement

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research paper format in mla

Embarking on the academic voyage of crafting an impactful thesis statement demands both skill and adherence to formatting nuances. When navigating the waters of MLA style, one must weave precision with flair. Discover illuminating MLA thesis statement examples, journey through a detailed writing roadmap, and absorb invaluable tips to enhance your scholarly writings. Begin this exploration and ensure your research resonates with both clarity and authority.

What is the MLA Thesis Statement? – Definition

The  concise thesis statement is summary or claim made at the beginning of an academic paper written following the Modern Language Association (MLA) style guidelines. This statement sets the direction for the paper by outlining the main idea or argument that the rest of the work will support. The MLA format focuses on citation and formatting, but the essence of a thesis statement remains the same across styles: a clear, focused claim that guides the reader’s understanding of the paper’s purpose.

What is an example of a Thesis Statement in MLA Format?

Remember, the content of a thesis statement remains consistent regardless of the citation style. However, when following MLA guidelines, any sources mentioned within the statement would need to be cited in proper MLA format. Here’s an example of a thesis statement:

“While Shakespeare often employs the theme of betrayal in his plays, ‘Macbeth’ stands out as a poignant exploration of the psychological consequences of treachery, as seen through the protagonist’s rapid descent into paranoia and madness.”

In this case, if you’re drawing a particular claim or interpretation from a specific source or critic, you’d follow MLA guidelines for in-text citation immediately after the claim within the thesis statement.

100 MLA Thesis Statement Examples

MLA Thesis Statement Examples

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Crafting a good thesis statement under the MLA format requires precision and a deep understanding of the topic at hand. It’s the focal point of your paper, setting the stage for everything that follows. While the format primarily focuses on citation styles, the essence of the content remains consistent. Let’s dive into diverse examples that showcase the depth and breadth of thesis statements aligned with various subjects.

  • Climate Change : “Human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, is the primary driver behind the alarming rate of global climate change.”
  • Veganism : “Adopting a vegan lifestyle not only benefits individual health but also reduces the strain on our environment.”
  • Social Media : “The rise of social media platforms has drastically altered interpersonal communication, leading to both enhanced connectivity and increased feelings of isolation.”
  • Childhood Obesity : “The surge in childhood obesity can be attributed to a combination of sedentary lifestyles, high-caloric diets, and inadequate physical education in schools.”
  • Renaissance Art : “The art of the Renaissance period marked a significant departure from medieval styles, emphasizing humanism, realism, and a deep appreciation for classical influences.”
  • Mental Health : “Stigmas surrounding mental health continue to deter individuals from seeking necessary treatment and support.”
  • Economic Disparities : “The growing economic disparities in modern societies are a direct result of policy choices, corporate actions, and societal values.”
  • Artificial Intelligence : “The advent of artificial intelligence poses both unparalleled opportunities for societal advancement and ethical dilemmas.”
  • Women’s Rights : “The fight for women’s rights, especially in the 20th century, paved the way for significant legislative and societal changes that challenged patriarchal norms.”
  • E-commerce : “The exponential growth of e-commerce has transformed traditional retail, emphasizing convenience, variety, and global reach.”
  • Classical Literature : “Greek tragedies, such as those written by Sophocles, often delve into the complexities of fate, morality, and human agency.”
  • Quantum Physics : “The principles of quantum physics challenge traditional Newtonian concepts, introducing a realm of probabilities and uncertainties.”
  • Space Exploration : “Human endeavors in space exploration highlight our innate curiosity and drive to understand our place in the cosmos.”
  • Modern Architecture : “Modern architectural practices prioritize sustainability, functionality, and minimalism, often drawing inspiration from global influences.”
  • Cultural Appropriation : “In the age of globalization, the line between cultural appreciation and appropriation becomes increasingly blurred, necessitating informed dialogue.”
  • Cybersecurity : “As our reliance on digital platforms grows, the imperative for robust cybersecurity measures becomes even more critical.”
  • Shakespearean Tragedies : “Shakespeare’s tragedies, from ‘Hamlet’ to ‘Othello,’ delve deep into the human psyche, exploring themes of love, jealousy, betrayal, and ambition.”
  • Sustainable Agriculture : “The shift towards sustainable agriculture aims to balance current food needs without compromising the environment or future generations.”
  • Migration Patterns : “Global migration patterns in the 21st century are heavily influenced by geopolitical events, economic disparities, and environmental challenges.”
  • Language Evolution : “Languages, being dynamic entities, evolve over time, influenced by cultural interactions, technological advancements, and societal changes.
  • Digital Currency : “The proliferation of digital currencies like Bitcoin signifies a potential paradigm shift in global financial systems.”
  • Colonialism : “Post-colonial societies still grapple with the socio-cultural and political legacies left behind by their colonial masters.”
  • Nuclear Energy : “The debate surrounding nuclear energy centers on its efficiency as a power source versus the environmental and safety risks it poses.”
  • Animal Rights : “The movement for animal rights challenges traditional views on animal utility and emphasizes their intrinsic value.”
  • Virtual Reality : “Virtual reality’s immersion offers transformative possibilities in sectors from education to healthcare.”
  • Epic Literature : “Epic literature, such as Homer’s ‘Iliad,’ often conveys societal values and historical truths of ancient civilizations.”
  • Biotechnology : “Advancements in biotechnology promise solutions to some of humanity’s most persistent challenges, from disease to food security.”
  • Jazz Music : “Originating in African American communities, jazz music became a powerful medium of expression and cultural identity.”
  • Fashion Trends : “Fashion trends are not just sartorial choices but reflections of socio-political changes and zeitgeists of eras.”
  • Urbanization : “Rapid urbanization presents cities with challenges in infrastructure, ecology, and socio-cultural integration.”
  • Education System : “Modern education systems are increasingly recognizing the need for holistic approaches, valuing emotional and social learning alongside academics.”
  • Alternative Medicine : “The resurgence of interest in alternative medicine underscores a collective desire for holistic health approaches.”
  • Cinematic Evolution : “Cinema’s evolution reflects societal changes, technological advancements, and shifts in narrative preferences.”
  • Tourism Impact : “While tourism boosts local economies, it also necessitates a balance to protect cultural heritage and natural resources.”
  • Robotics : “The integration of robotics in various industries hints at a future where human-machine collaboration becomes the norm.”
  • Gender Norms : “Contemporary discussions on gender challenge binary norms, embracing a spectrum of identities.”
  • Aquatic Ecosystems : “Aquatic ecosystems, vital to global biodiversity, are facing threats from pollution, climate change, and overfishing.”
  • Historical Narratives : “The way history is narrated often reveals more about the narrator’s perspective than the actual events.”
  • Internet of Things (IoT) : “IoT’s promise lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate devices, transforming everyday experiences and industries.”
  • Ancient Civilizations : “Ancient civilizations, from Mesopotamia to the Mayans, laid foundational blueprints for modern societal structures and innovations.”
  • Human Genome : “Understanding the human genome unlocks mysteries of health, ancestry, and potential medical breakthroughs.”
  • Ethical Consumerism : “The rise of ethical consumerism reflects a societal shift towards valuing sustainability and ethical production.”
  • Political Revolutions : “Revolutions, like the French and Russian, showcase the power of collective dissent in shaping nations.”
  • Modern Dance : “Modern dance breaks from traditional forms, encapsulating a range of emotions and contemporary themes.”
  • Cyberbullying : “The digital age’s dark side is evident in the rise of cyberbullying, affecting mental health and well-being.”
  • Exoplanets : “The discovery of exoplanets ignites questions about the uniqueness of Earth and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.”
  • Biodiversity : “Biodiversity, essential for ecological balance, is under threat from human activities, necessitating urgent conservation measures.”
  • Epidemiology : “Epidemiology’s insights are crucial for public health strategies, as seen in global responses to pandemics like COVID-19.”
  • Solar Power : “Solar power stands at the forefront of sustainable energy solutions, promising a cleaner, decentralized energy future.”
  • Linguistic Diversity : “Linguistic diversity, a testament to human cultural richness, requires preservation in the face of globalization.”
  • Quantum Computing : “Quantum computing promises computational leaps, potentially revolutionizing sectors from medicine to cryptography.”
  • Gothic Literature : “Gothic literature, with its eerie settings and moral ambiguities, explores the darker aspects of human psyche and societal norms.”
  • Data Privacy : “In a digital age, data privacy emerges as a fundamental right, balancing technological advancements with personal security.”
  • Renaissance Science : “The Renaissance period marked a seismic shift in scientific thinking, laying groundwork for modern scientific principles.”
  • Neural Networks : “Neural networks, inspired by human brain structures, drive advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence.”
  • Oral Traditions : “Oral traditions, a primary source of historical and cultural knowledge, emphasize the importance of storytelling in preserving heritage.”
  • Youth Activism : “Youth activism today, propelled by digital connectivity, amplifies voices on global stages, addressing issues from climate change to social justice.”
  • Sustainable Fashion : “Sustainable fashion transcends trendiness, advocating for eco-friendly practices and ethical labor standards.”
  • Classical Mythology : “Classical mythology, replete with gods and heroes, offers insights into ancient societal values and human behaviors.”
  • Martial Arts : “Martial arts, beyond physical prowess, encapsulate philosophies of discipline, respect, and spiritual growth.”
  • Ballet : “Ballet, a harmonious blend of art and athleticism, narrates stories and emotions through graceful movements.”
  • Cognitive Sciences : “Cognitive sciences delve into the intricacies of the human mind, bridging biology, psychology, and philosophy.”
  • Meditation : “Meditation, an ancient practice, finds relevance in modern times, offering solace from the fast-paced stresses of contemporary life.”
  • Archaeological Discoveries : “Archaeological discoveries, like the Rosetta Stone, unveil mysteries of bygone eras, bridging gaps in historical knowledge.”
  • Modern Sculpture : “Modern sculpture challenges traditional forms, experimenting with materials, themes, and spatial concepts.”
  • Hybrid Vehicles : “Hybrid vehicles, a stepping stone to full electrification, address environmental concerns while meeting current transportation needs.”
  • Orchestra : “The evolution of orchestral music mirrors societal shifts, with compositions reflecting epochs’ ethos.”
  • Coral Reefs : “Coral reefs, often termed the rainforests of the sea, are biodiversity hotspots facing existential threats from climate change.”
  • Rural Economies : “Rural economies, though often overshadowed, play a pivotal role in national food security and cultural preservation.”
  • Photography : “Photography’s evolution from film to digital chronicles technological advancements and shifts in artistic expression.”
  • Child Rights : “Child rights, enshrined in international conventions, emphasize the universal importance of safeguarding children’s well-being and futures.”
  • Nano-technology : “Nanotechnology, operating at molecular levels, heralds breakthroughs from medicine to material sciences.”
  • Digital Literature : “Digital literature merges traditional narratives with interactive elements, redefining reader engagements.”
  • Mountain Ecosystems : “Mountain ecosystems, vital for freshwater sources and biodiversity, require conservation in the face of anthropogenic pressures.”
  • Organ Transplants : “Organ transplants, a medical marvel, bring forth ethical considerations of donation, allocation, and bioengineering.”
  • Space Tourism : “Space tourism, once a sci-fi dream, nears reality, opening debates on its ecological, economic, and ethical implications.”
  • Maritime History : “Maritime history chronicles seafaring civilizations, showcasing human ingenuity and exploration spirit.”
  • Public Transport : “Efficient public transport systems alleviate urban congestion, reduce environmental impact, and foster community interconnectedness.”
  • Graphic Novels : “Graphic novels, a blend of art and literature, tackle complex themes, often challenging traditional storytelling norms.”
  • Wildlife Conservation : “Wildlife conservation efforts are pivotal in maintaining ecological balances and preventing irreversible species extinctions.”
  • Human Rights : “The global human rights movement underscores the universality of basic rights, irrespective of borders or backgrounds.”
  • Molecular Biology : “Molecular biology’s insights, decoding life at cellular levels, have revolutionized medicine, genetics, and biotechnology.”
  • Impressionist Art : “Impressionist art, capturing fleeting moments, marked a departure from traditional realism, emphasizing light and perception.”
  • Online Learning : “Online learning democratizes education, breaking geographical barriers but also presenting pedagogical challenges.”
  • Urban Farming : “Urban farming initiatives merge sustainability with city living, promoting local food production and community cohesion.”
  • Jazz Age Literature : “Jazz Age literature, typified by Fitzgerald’s works, mirrors the hedonism, societal shifts, and disillusionments of the 1920s.”
  • Nuclear Disarmament : “Nuclear disarmament debates grapple with national security concerns versus global peace aspirations.”
  • Circadian Rhythms : “Circadian rhythms, our biological clocks, influence myriad physiological processes, from sleep to metabolism.”
  • Baroque Music : “Baroque music, characterized by its ornate style, mirrors the grandeur and intricacies of the era’s art and architecture.”
  • Sports Psychology : “Sports psychology delves into the mental facets of athletic performance, from motivation to coping with pressure.”
  • Desert Biomes : “Desert biomes, though seemingly barren, host unique biodiversity and are vital for understanding climate adaptations.”
  • Renaissance Music : “Renaissance music, harmonizing vocals and instruments, reflects the period’s innovations and societal transformations.”
  • Financial Crises : “Financial crises, like the 2008 meltdown, provide insights into systemic vulnerabilities and the interdependence of global economies.”
  • Drone Technology : “Drone technology’s applications span from photography to agriculture, revolutionizing industries and presenting regulatory challenges.”
  • Romantic Poetry : “Romantic poetry, with its emphasis on emotion and nature, rebelled against Enlightenment-era rationality.”
  • Oceanography : “Oceanography’s explorations reveal underwater mysteries, impacting climate studies, biodiversity conservation, and marine resources.”
  • Child Psychology : “Child psychology offers insights into developmental stages, shaping pedagogical approaches and parental strategies.”
  • Crime Fiction : “Crime fiction, through its intricate plots, mirrors societal anxieties and the eternal conflict between good and evil.”
  • Space-time Theories : “Space-time theories, from Einstein’s relativity to quantum mechanics, challenge our perceptions of reality.”
  • Plant-based Diets : “Plant-based diets, beyond health benefits, reflect growing environmental consciousness and ethical considerations towards animal welfare.

MLA Format Thesis Statement Examples for Essay

Essays often require concise and argumentative thesis statements that guide the reader’s expectations. Here are ten thesis statements structured in the MLA format, tailored for essays on diverse topics.

  • Globalization Effects : “The myriad facets of globalization, from cultural exchange to economic interdependence, have fundamentally transformed societies, both positively and negatively.”
  • Modern Architecture : “The aesthetics and principles of modern architecture reflect a fusion of functionality with minimalism, challenging traditional architectural paradigms.”
  • Emotional Intelligence : “Emotional intelligence, more than mere cognitive ability, plays a pivotal role in determining success in interpersonal relationships and professional settings.”
  • Digital Detox : “The concept of a digital detox has emerged as a response to society’s growing dependency on technology, emphasizing the need for balance.”
  • Pop Art Movement : “The Pop Art movement of the 1960s, characterized by its vibrant imagery and commercial aesthetics, critiqued and celebrated consumer culture.”
  • Mental Health Stigma : “The pervasive stigma surrounding mental health hinders early intervention and perpetuates misconceptions, necessitating societal awareness campaigns.”
  • Music Therapy : “Music therapy offers therapeutic avenues for various psychological and physical ailments, harnessing the universal appeal and impact of melodies.”
  • Language Evolution : “The continuous evolution of language, influenced by socio-political changes and technological innovations, is a testament to its dynamic nature.”
  • Sustainable Tourism : “Sustainable tourism endeavors to balance the economic benefits of travel with ecological preservation and cultural respect.”
  • Parenting Styles : “Differing parenting styles, from authoritative to permissive, have distinct impacts on child development, shaping their personalities and coping mechanisms.”

MLA Format Thesis Statement Examples for Research Paper

Research paper thesis statement delve deep into specific topics, necessitating clear and comprehensive thesis statements. The following are ten MLA-formatted thesis statements crafted for research papers spanning a range of subjects.

  • Neuroplasticity : “Recent research into neuroplasticity challenges longstanding beliefs about the brain’s rigidity, shedding light on its capacity to adapt and reorganize post trauma.”
  • Renewable Energy Technologies : “Emerging renewable energy technologies, from wave energy converters to advanced solar panels, hold the key to a sustainable, carbon-neutral future.”
  • Gut Microbiome : “The human gut microbiome, with its vast array of microorganisms, plays a crucial role in overall health, influencing everything from digestion to mental well-being.”
  • Quantum Teleportation : “Recent advancements in quantum teleportation mark significant steps towards practical quantum communication, with profound implications for information security.”
  • Forensic Anthropology : “Forensic anthropology’s methodologies provide invaluable insights in criminal investigations, assisting in the identification and analysis of skeletal remains.”
  • Nanomedicine : “The burgeoning field of nanomedicine promises targeted drug delivery and improved therapeutic outcomes, especially in oncological treatments.”
  • Artificial Photosynthesis : “Artificial photosynthesis, mimicking nature’s process, offers potential solutions for sustainable energy production and carbon dioxide reduction.”
  • Ancient Trade Routes : “Research into ancient trade routes, such as the Silk Road, uncovers the complexities of pre-modern commerce, cultural exchange, and geopolitics.”
  • Genetic Engineering in Agriculture : “Genetic engineering techniques in agriculture, like CRISPR, have revolutionized crop production, though they ignite debates on ethics and biosafety.”
  • Psychoacoustics : “The field of psychoacoustics delves into the intricate relationship between sound perception and psychological responses, informing areas from music production to urban planning.

Does MLA use a thesis statement?

Absolutely! The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is a widely-used style guide in the humanities, especially in fields like literature and linguistics. While MLA provides guidelines on how to format a paper, it doesn’t specify content. However, most academic essays and research papers demand a thesis statement, regardless of the citation style. In MLA-formatted papers, the emphasis is on clarity and conciseness, making thesis statements crucial for guiding readers and articulating the central argument or purpose of the paper.

Where does a thesis statement go in MLA format?

In an MLA-formatted essay or research paper, the thesis statement typically appears at the end of the introductory paragraph. This placement ensures that readers are aware of the paper’s purpose or main argument as they delve into the main content. The thesis statement is usually one or two sentences long and presents the central idea or claim of the paper.

How do you write a thesis statement in MLA Format? – Step by Step Guide

  • Identify Your Topic : Before writing a thesis, you need a topic. It could be an assigned topic or one of your choosing, but you should have a clear idea of what you want to discuss.
  • Narrow Down Your Focus : A thesis statement should not be too broad. For instance, instead of writing about “The impact of technology,” you might narrow it down to “The impact of smartphones on adolescent social behavior.”
  • Ask a Question : Pose a question about your topic. Using the previous example, you might ask, “How have smartphones affected adolescent social behavior?”
  • Formulate Your Answer : This becomes the core of your thesis statement. For instance, “Smartphones have transformed adolescent social behavior, leading to increased virtual interaction and decreased face-to-face communication.”
  • Revise for Clarity and Brevity : Refine your thesis to make it as clear and concise as possible. Eliminate unnecessary words or vague concepts.
  • Ensure It’s Arguable : A good thesis is not a fact but a claim that needs supporting evidence. Ensure your thesis invites discussion and is not just a statement of fact.

Tips for Writing an MLA Thesis Statement

  • Avoid the Passive Voice : Using active voice can make your thesis sound more decisive.
  • Stay Objective : Especially in research papers, avoid personal pronouns like “I believe” or “In my opinion.” The thesis should stand on its own.
  • Avoid Questions : While asking questions can help shape your thesis, the final statement should be declarative, not interrogative.
  • Stay Specific : Details can bolster a thesis statement. For instance, specify the groups or time periods you’re discussing.
  • Revisit Your Thesis : As you write, you might find your perspective shifting. Revisit your thesis to ensure it still aligns with your paper’s content.

Mastering the art of crafting an effective MLA thesis statement is pivotal for academic success. By understanding the structure, guidelines, and tips associated with the MLA format, writers can effectively communicate their main ideas, ensuring clarity and coherence in their essays and research papers.


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  1. PDF Formatting a Research Paper

    Do not use a period after your title or after any heading in the paper (e.g., Works Cited). Begin your text on a new, double-spaced line after the title, indenting the first line of the paragraph half an inch from the left margin. Fig. 1. The top of the first page of a research paper.

  2. General Format

    Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another.

  3. MLA Sample Paper

    MLA Sample Paper. This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2016 updates. To download the MLA sample paper, click this link.

  4. MLA Format

    Cite your MLA source. Start by applying these MLA format guidelines to your document: Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman. Set 1 inch page margins. Use double line spacing. Include a ½" indent for new paragraphs. Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page. Center the paper's title.

  5. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

  6. MLA Style Guide, 8th & 9th Editions: Formatting Your MLA Paper

    An MLA research paper does not need a title page, but your instructor may require one. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below: ... Above is a template you can use every time you need to set-up a research paper using MLA style format. Simply open the template and type your own information every time you need to write an ...

  7. Research Guides: MLA Style Guide: Student Paper Format

    Sample Papers (MLA) Sample Paper (OWL) General Formatting (MLA 1.1, 1.2) Margins are 1" from both side, top, and bottom. Use Times New Roman size 12 font. Double space all lines. Running head: in the right corner, one-half inch from the top, put the last name of the author (s) and the page number (Ex. Smith 1). Heading (MLA 1.3)

  8. MLA Style

    Guidelines on setting up research papers in MLA format with updated advice on headings, lists, and title pages for group projects; Revised, comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for creating a list of works cited in MLA format that are easier to learn and use than ever before; A new appendix with hundreds of example works-cited-list entries ...

  9. Student's Guide to MLA Style (2021)

    MLA style is one of the most common citation and formatting styles for academic papers and essays. Learn how to use MLA citation format (9th edition) with Scribbr's free MLA Citation Generator and comprehensive guide. Find out how to format your paper, create a works cited list, and avoid plagiarism.

  10. Using MLA Format

    Get started with MLA style. Learn how to document sources, set up your paper, and improve your teaching and writing. Document Sources Works Cited Quick Guide Learn how to use the MLA format template. Digital Citation Tool Build citations with our interactive template. In-Text Citations Get help with in-text citations. Endnotes and Footnotes Read our …

  11. MLA Formatting

    Formatting a Research Paper. The following formatting rules can be found in the MLA Style Center.. Format your paper with 1 inch margins on all sides.; Select an easily readable font (e.g. 12 point, Times New Roman); Double-space the entire paper. This should include text and the list of works cited.

  12. Research Paper Format

    Formatting an APA paper. The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows: Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial. Set 1 inch page margins. Apply double line spacing. If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page. Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.

  13. Formatting Your Research Project

    Formatting Your Research Project. To learn how to set up your research project in MLA format, visit our free sample chapter on MLA Handbook Plus , the only authorized subscription-based digital resource featuring the MLA Handbook, available for unlimited simultaneous users at subscribing institutions. MLA Style Center, the only authorized Web ...

  14. Research Guides: MLA 8th ed. Style Guide : Formatting Your Paper

    Using 12 point font is recommended. Line Spacing and Margins: Use one inch margins on all sides of the document. Put only one space after periods. Double space between all lines in the document. When a quote is more than four (4) lines long, make it a block quote with a margin of one half inch from the left margin. Headings and Title:

  15. MLA Research Paper Formatting

    MLA Style (9th Edition) Template. Sample Papers. You are going to love this! Save this template somewhere safe or e-mail it to yourself. Then resave it immediately with the name of your new document. This will keep your template safe and ready to reuse again for future assignments. This template will be sufficient for most student MLA papers.

  16. MLA Paper Format

    New to the ninth edition are hundreds of additional example citations and visuals; expanded guidance on formatting papers, citing sources, quoting and paraphrasing, and avoiding plagiarism; and entirely new sections on inclusive language, annotated bibliographies, and notes.

  17. MLA Sample Paper

    MLA Sample Paper #1. If you've been wondering how to produce a research paper that is strong in both formatting and writing, you've come to the right place. Check out our first sample paper below. It is a helpful and clearly labeled visual aid to refer to. Note that while these sample papers do not include MLA abstracts, you should check ...

  18. Library: MLA 9th Edition: Paper Templates & Examples

    Paper Template. Student Paper Template, MLA 9 (PDF) Download this template before you begin writing to make sure your paper is formatted correctly in MLA 9th edition format.

  19. Sample Essays: Writing with MLA Style

    Congratulations to the students whose essays were selected for the 2024 edition of Writing with MLA Style! Essays were selected as examples of excellent student writing that use MLA style for citing sources. Essays have been lightly edited. If your institution subscribes to MLA Handbook Plus, you can access annotated versions of the essays selected …

  20. Format a Paper in MLA

    MLA has rules for formatting your research paper. Your paper should have: An easily readable font (most professors prefer Times New Roman) 11-13 point size (most professors prefer 12 point font) Double spacing. 1-inch margins. 1/2-inch indent on the first line of each paragraph in the body of your paper. Hanging indent on each Works Cited citation.

  21. LibGuides: MLA 9th Edition : Research Paper Formatting

    Title: place the title of the paper below the date, centered, in upper and lower case letters, unbolded. Body: indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch from the left margin. Use only one space after a period in the body of the paper. Details for formatting your paper in MLA Style (9th Edition).

  22. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

    MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

  23. 16.1: Formatting a Research Paper

    Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper. In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style, the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style, from the Modern Language Association.

  24. MLA In-text Citations

    Revised on March 5, 2024. An MLA in-text citation provides the author's last name and a page number in parentheses. If a source has two authors, name both. If a source has more than two authors, name only the first author, followed by " et al. ". If the part you're citing spans multiple pages, include the full page range.

  25. MLA Thesis Statement

    The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is a widely-used style guide in the humanities, especially in fields like literature and linguistics. While MLA provides guidelines on how to format a paper, it doesn't specify content. However, most academic essays and research papers demand a thesis statement, regardless of the citation style.