MLA Writing Style (Modern Language Association)
MLA Paper Format • Font: Size 12 Times New Roman • Margins: 1 inch • Spacing: Double spaced (all papers) • Heading: Name, Class, Teacher, Date (all placed in the top left corner ofthe paper) • Header: Last name and pg. number in top right corner • Title: Centered, not bold, not italicized, not underlined
MLA Format: Sample Heading is double spaced, in the following order: name, teacher, class, date Title not bolded, italicized, or underlined Last name and pg. number in top right corner Thesis statement: last sentence of intro that tells the reader what the paper will entail. Does not begin with, “My paper will be about,” or “I will be discussing…”
MLA 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: • Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263). • Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263). • Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263). Information courtesy of the Purdue Online Writing Lab http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/
MLA “Works Cited” page • Center “Works Cited” at the top of the page • Double space • Sources are alphabetized, beginning with author’s last name first • Always indent the 2nd and 3rd line of each source • Source information: • Book: Author. Title of Work. Publisher, Place of Publication, Date of Publication. • Website: Author (if given). Title of work. Group responsible for the site (if applicable), Date the site was last updated. Date of access. Address of site.
How toreference… • Anything short, like a magazine article, short story, poem, song, etc., place in “quotation marks.” • Anything longer, novels, textbooks, reference books, magazines, movies, plays, etc., italicize.
As a rule of thumb: • Do not use contractions in your paper (only acceptable in direct quotes from a source) • Avoid using “I” and “You” • Don’t say “I think” or “I feel”, the entire paper is about what the reader thinks and feels…no need to tell us again. • Instead of saying: “I feel LeBron James is a traitor and undoubtedly the biggest turd in the NBA. • Just say: “LeBron James is a traitor and undoubtedly the biggest turd in the NBA.” • Use the same style and size font for the ENTIRE paper • To avoid confusion: spell out acronyms the first time they are used • Make sure the thesis statement is the last sentence of the introduction and explains the writer’s intended purpose/argument. • The thesis statement cannot be a fact, announcement, or title; it must be an argument in which the writer is taking a stand on a particular position. • Make sure each paragraph has a topic sentence that informs the reader what the paragraph will be about • Avoid run-on sentences: if your sentence is three lines or longer, double check it! • When unsure whether or not to cite…be safe: CITE IT!!! • When in doubt, check the Purdue Online Writing Lab at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ It’s really easy and really helpful too!