MLA Essay Format for Essays and Papers – Help is Here, at

The MLA essay format (from the Modern Language Association) is a required style for essays and term/research papers in numerous content areas, though primarily liberal arts and humanity studies. Students often confuse it with other formatting styles, because the in-text citations can be in other styles, and it is important to get a full clarification from your instructor relative to how these citations are to be made. In addition, the newest update from the MLA, has revised the citation format, to include whether the source is “print” or “web.”

On the site, a student can download the MLA template and use it as a reference as s/he produces an essay or paper. Our MLA template, in fact, contains the latest updates and full explanations with examples, so that nothing is left to chance. Here are a few highlights of the contents of our guide and the MLA essay format itself, so that you can understand why attention to detail is so critical.

MLA Title Page

Generally, there is no separate MLA title page; however, an instructor may require one. The format, whether it is separate or a part of the first page of the essay, remains the same. In the upper left-hand corner, single-spaced, are your name, your instructor’s name, the course title, and the date. After double-spacing, the title of the essay or paper is centered on the page – no italics, no underlining, no quotation marks – just the title. If no separate MLA title page is required, the author simply double spaces and begins the essay or paper on that very page.

MLA Citations

As with other formatting styles, there are specific requirements for in-text MLA citations and for the works cited page at the end of the paper. In-text citations may be of the types used with the APA formatting, that is, a short reference to the work following the content or data taken from that work. The other acceptable style for the in-text MLA citations is the more traditional footnote, found in formats such as Chicago. These are numbered and placed at the bottom of the page or at the end of the work on a separate page. Generally, an instructor states his/her preference, but it is important to be certain that the required method is understood. The works cited page (also known as the bibliography) is placed at the end of the work and contains detailed information about each resource. Our MLA template guide has examples of all of these MLA citations options; the student simply needs to make certain which options his/her instructor wants.
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