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8 Basic Rules For Writing A College Essay In The MLA Format


College essays generally come in two different formats: APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association). The MLA style is widely used in colleges across the USA, so it’s a useful style to learn to write in.

Fortunately, the style is very direct, and the instructions for using it are clear. This leaves little room for error and, if you follow the rules properly, you should have a successful essay on your hands. For a complete list of guidelines, you’ll need to check this. Here we’ll discuss the eight basic rules of the MLA format, for your easy reference.

The eight basic of writing in the MLA format:

  1. The paper should be standard 11 x 8.5 - inch, white.
  2. Make sure you use a clear font, such as Times New Roman. You can use one of the other standard ones if you wish, but make sure that whichever font you use the regular and italic styles of it can be clearly distinguished. The size of the font should always be 12.
  3. Don’t leave more than one space between any punctuation marks and the words following them. The only exception to this is if you have been specifically instructed to by your professor.
  4. Every paragraph’s first line should be indented half an inch away from the margin. The easiest way to accomplish this is by tapping the tab key once. This is easier than counting out spaces with your space bar.
  5. Number all your pages in the top right hand of the paper, half an inch from the top and in accordance with the right-hand margin. Ask your instructor if they would like you to exclude the number on the first page.
  6. Use italics for all the titles in your essay and, if absolutely necessary, to emphasize a point.
  7. The document margins should be one inch on every side.
  8. Include any endnotes you have on a separate paper. Title it properly and centre it with no other formatting.

These are the eight basic rules for creating a standard, MLA formatted essay. If you go through the points one by one while writing your paper, you can make sure you have followed each one explicitly. Always check and recheck several times to catch any mistakes that could have been made. It’s best to be thorough the first time around. Be diligent and your essay will come out exactly as it should.