How To Write An Essay In MLA Format?

How to Write a MLA Essay

If you have to complete an academic essay, your professors may ask you to write the essay in MLA Format. But students don’t know what MLA format means. In this article, we will provide you with every bit of information about the MLA writing format.

MLA basically stands for Modern Language Association. The MLA format is mostly used by students who have to write essays related to humanities, Thus, students who are associated with degrees related to Literature, Liberal arts, language, and different other disciplines.
When writing an MLA essay on another paper, students have to follow a specific writing style. In this article, you will know every little thing about the MLA essay format.

How to Write a MLA Essay

Ideal Structure to Write an Essay in MLA Format

Now, you are going to write an essay in MLA format so You need to keep in mind the main point is to print MLA essays on a standard 8.5 X 11-inch paper. This is the default size of the word document in which you are writing.

You don’t need to add a title page in an MLA essay.

Details About Publication

When you are sharing the publication information for the MLA paper, you have to follow the below-mentioned order:

  • Your name
  • The name of your instructor
  • Course name
  • Date of assignment completion

All this information will appear on the first page. Thus, make sure not to include this information in the header area.

Try not to add labels like date and course and try to double-check and make sure that your instructor’s name is spelled correctly.


The header will also include your last name as well as the page number. It is also important to include the page number.

To add page number, make sure to press insert, then add page number at the top of the page.

As soon as you will do this, the cursor will be placed before the page number. Try not to leave this space blank.

Basic Text Formatting For an Essay in MLA Format

MLA Format


Since the year 2007, the default margin size for all word documents is 1-inch. But, you don’t need to worry because the MLA format has the same requirement. If because of any reason you have to fix the margin, you can fix it by using the process:

Go to page layout> Margins> Normal


Try not to experiment with the font and font size in an MLA format. The recommended font is Times New Roman Size 12. Don’t change the size or else your professor may get angry.


Many times, students are tempted to make the title look fancy. They try to underline it, make it bold, and also put it in italics. But, this is not recommended at all. All you need to do is to center the title and capitalize the keyword.


The alignment of the text may not seem too important for many students. But, it is essential to make sure that the essay in MLA format must be left-aligned.


All texts in your essay need to be double-spaced. When you are writing an essay in the MLA format, make sure to click on the “Remove space after a paragraph.”

    In-Text Content-Format for MLA Essay


    Generally, you don’t have to use abbreviations when you are writing an essay in MLA format. As per the advice of MLA advisors, scholars need to spell out the abbreviations into full words. This way, the professor won’t get confused.

    There are certain cases when you have to add abbreviations. In this case, it is advisable to follow the below-mentioned rules:

    • Never place periods between capital letters
    • If the words are in lower case, you can add period.
    • If a phrase has a blend of upper case as well as lower case letters, don’t put periods.


    Another significant part that you can add to your essay in MLA format is the quotations. The use of quotations makes the paper credible and engaging for the readers.

    Here is how you must add the quotes to your academic paper.

    1. Add the quotation with the name of the author in the beginning to give the credit.

    Example: Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps”.

    1. Add the Quotation and then the name of the author in the end.

    Example: Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin).

    1. Another method is to put in block quotes

    Quotations longer in length are placed in block format. The format is-

    • The block starts from a new line and is kept double spaced
    • Quotation marks are not used.
    • The quote is used the same without any alterations.
    • Apply an indentation of 0.5 inches from the left and write the quote

    Don’t forget to the writer the author’s name in parentheses at the end.


    Depending upon the type as well as the content of your essay, you may also have to use numbers in certain cases. When you have to use numbers, make sure to use the following guidelines:

    • As per the official guidelines by MLA, students need to use numbers that precede measurement. For example write, 7 kilograms instead of seven kilograms.
    • If you have to use Arabic numerals in your paper, it is important to spell out the numbers.
    • Roman numerals as per the MLA guidelines are used in either outline or to indicate suffixes.
    • Try not to include ISBNs in a paper
    • Do not start a new sentence with numbers. Try to restate the sentence so that the number is placed somewhere else.

    Images and Tables

    In all types of MLA paper, it is important to add photos, websites, tables, and other visual elements. Use tables and images only if they can add value to the overall quality of the work. If an image can’t bring any value to the essay, it is advisable not to add the picture or the table.

    • Add the image as close to the sentence as possible.
    • Create an image that can add labels under each particular image
    • Every image included in the paper should also feature a brief caption or information under the image.
    • It is important to have the titles of the table to be capitalized. You can also add the source of the table under it.


    Sometimes, students may also have to add lists to their papers. When you have to add a list, you can follow these rules:

    • All lists included should be in horizontal
    • The colon should be placed between the list and the introductory sentence unless the list is a part of the sentence.


      K. Rowling has written seven Harry Potter novels: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Harry Potter And The Azkaban, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Harry Potter And The Order Of Pheonix, Harry Potter And The Half-blood Prince, and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

      Example of a list as a part of a sentence:

      Few well-renowned books written by J. K. Rowling are Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Harry Potter And The Azkaban, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Harry Potter And The Order Of Pheonix, Harry Potter And The Half-blood Prince, and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

      Work cited page

      Make sure that the work cited is on a separate page. You can also insert a page break before the work cited page. While performing the research, students come across various platforms or sources like websites, thesis, research papers, etc., which help in making their essay in MLA format authentic and informative for the audience. Not only it is important to gather the information from these sources, but it is also important that we list out these references on the Works cited page. So, the readers can refer to the source of information, if they need it.

      When writing any academic paper, students have to use different citations. Students have to conduct research, collect a variety of information, and put in information from different sources. To make a paper informative and compelling, it is important to cite the sources of the paper.

      If the source of the paper won’t be cited correctly, it can influence the quality as well as your final grade. So, make sure to cite the sources correctly.

      To add a reference to the source, students should try to give reference to the information included in the paper. It is important to provide your professor with enough information about the origin information. Try to list all sources on a separate page.

      A proper citation of all the references will make the research authentic and prove that the content is unique.

      Guidelines To Create A Proper Works Cited Page

      To cite all the references properly so it becomes useful for the readers, a proper format needs to be followed.

      • Make sure that the work cited is on a separate page. You can also insert a page break before the work cited page.
      • Keep the format of the work cites page exactly as other pages.
      • Put the title in the top center. Do not put the title in quotes or italics
      • Left align the list of all the references
      • Keep double line spacing between entries in the list
      • Arrange the entries in alphabetical order
      • Use the abbreviation “p.” when you are referring to a single page followed by the page number (e.g. p. 32).
      • Use the abbreviation “pp.” when you are referring to multiple pages from a single source followed by the sequence of the page numbers (e.g. pp. 32-64 ).


      Proofreading is an essential step if you aim for perfection while writing your academic paper. Check the following things enlisted below to edit and proofread your content like a pro.

      1. Spelling: You can use a spelling checker tool present online or applications like Microsoft Word or Google drive to check all the spellings in your draft. Unfortunately, the tools don’t ensure 100% accuracy. So, you must check it yourself or with the help of a friend to make sure the write-up doesn’t contain any misspelled words.
      2. Grammar: It is an important parameter on which the audience will judge your academic paper. You can take help from the grammar checking tools. Make sure you review all the suggestions before accepting them and making the revisions. Or, if you have time, go through the academic paper yourself and check the grammar and usage of the words.
      3. Punctuation: Wrong placement of a punctuation mark can alter the meaning of the sentences. Therefore, make sure comma, full stops, colons, etc., are used in the right places.
      4. Attribution: Use in-text citations for all the quotes and paraphrases you used.

      You can also outsource help for proofreading your essay in MLA format from trusted agencies. They ensure the delivery of quality and well-formatted paper.

      General Formatting Rules For MLA Format:

      • Try to place the citation section on a separate page at the end of the week
      • Try to use the same margin and header with the last name and page number.
      • Try to name the page works cited and place the title in the center or at the top of the page.
      • Try to align the citation entry with the left margin
      • Try to add all entries in alphabetical order.
      • When you are marking a single page of a printed source to which you have referenced.
      • When you are marking numerous pages in the source, try to use the abbreviation pp and add a specific span of pages after the abbreviation if necessary.
      • Try to use the name of an online database in italics if you have retrieved an original printed publication from the database.

      So, use all these tips and tricks to write an essay in MLA format. You will get the best quality essays. Let us know if you want to get details.