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The Basics – MLA essay example:

  • Text is double-spaced including quotations (no extra spaces after paragraphs).
  • 12 pt. font size / Times New Roman font (or other approved fonts from your professor).
  • No bold or underlined writing in your paper.
  • 1 inch margins on all four sides.
  • The introductory information should be your name, followed by your professor’s name, the course name, and the date.
  • Your title must be in Title Case, not in all capital letters. (The first word and all the ‘main’ words in a title should have initial capitals, and all the ‘joining’ words should be left in lower case)
  • Number all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. Includes last name, followed by a space with a page number.
  • Book Titles, Journals, or Major Works should be italicized. “Short Stories”, “Poems”, “Articles” should be put in quotations marks.
  • Only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
  • Proper indentation (first line of each paragraph moved to right five spaces / tabbed once).
  • No personal pronouns (“you don’t know how important voting is until…”).
  • No narrative language (“I will write”, “in my essay”, “I believe”, “in conclusion”).
  • Sentences express complete thoughts (be care
  • Abbreviations are not used (etc., esp., … )
  • Proper punctuation and grammar.
  • No “texting” language: gonna, wanna, sorta, etc.
  • Contractions are NOT used (can’t, won’t, isn’t, doesn’t). There are some exceptions, but they’re typically rare.
  • Proper spelling (numbers less than 100 are spelled out).
  • The author is addressed by full name or last name only, NOT FIRST NAME.

In Text Citations for MLA essay example:

  • All framed direct and indirect borrowings (quotes and paraphrases) are followed by the page number in parentheses after the quotation marks and before ending punctuation:

Woodrow Wilson declared, “It is not learning but the spirit of services that will give a college a place in the public annals of the nation” (453).

“The faulty study resulted in crop mismanagement,” Dr. Broomfield comments (27).

  • The author’s last name and the page number of the source separated by a single space are in parentheses to identify the source of each passage or idea used:

Antony’s “modifications of Brutus’s formulaic oratory are the first hint that [Anthony] knows his business” (Macrone 45).

  • Quotations longer than four typed lines become block quotes, are indented twice, and are introduced with a colon.
  • When two or more sources are cited within a single sentence, the parenthetical notes appear right after the statements they support.

The Works Cited Page for MLA essay example:

  • “Works Cited” is centered at the top of the page
  • The page number is present
  • Include only sources mentioned in the paper; if you did not cite them in your paper, do not include them here! Always crossreference your paper and your Works Cited page to make sure you have everything.
  • Items on the Works Cited page are arranged in alphabetical order by last name of the author. If no author is given, list it according to the title.
  • The first line of each entry is flush with the left-hand margin. Subsequent lines of the entry are indented five spaces/tabbed once.
  • The list is entirely Double-spaced. Do not quadruple-space between entries or the title.
  • There is a period at the end of each entry.