Example of Argumentative Essay

Essay MLA – The Most Essential “Must Knows”

MLA stands for Modern Language Association and it is among the three most popular rules and guidelines for style and format primarily in English and related subject areas in language. It’s a basically a standard for educators, researchers, professionals, and students to follow when writing papers and is updated every few years in the official MLA handbook. We’re not going to focus on all the minor details but just the things you should know if you were to have a term paper format for a high school course requiring the MLA.

General Formatting Rules

The standard MLA format essay requires you use 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Your text should be double spaced and utilize a legible font like Times New Roman set at 12 pt. Margins are indented all sides 1-inch and indent the first line of each paragraph .5-inch beyond the margins.

The Title Page (AKA First Page)

The MLA format example does not have a separate title page. All of the title information, including your name, class, date, and instructor’s name appears on the first page immediately above the introductory paragraph. The title is centered above the first paragraph while our name and all other info go into the top right hand corner. Each subsequent page includes your last name and the appropriate page number.

In-Text Citations

There are two types of in-text citations you need to deal with when working with quotes: block quotes for material that is four lines or more and in-text quotes for lines of three or less. The proper MLA format citation should include the author’s last name along with the page number of where the material was found in the original resource. With block quotes you need to indent another .5-inch from the left and enter the text double spaced.

Works Cited Page

Because this page might have the most differences depending on the kind of resource you cited, you should ask your teacher for an MLA sample paper or ask for one at the library. There are several that you can download for free online but you need to be certain that they come from reliable sources.

The works cited page gives the full publication information for everything you have cited as supporting evidence (as a direct quote, a paraphrase, a fact, or chart, etc.) in alphabetical order by last name. Using a book as an example, a single citation entry on this page would look like:

Doe, John. How I Went Missing. New York. City of Lost Souls Press. 2015. Print.

If you are working with resources that come from the web or presentations or speeches or some other type that we did not cover, you’re advised to dig deeper. We’re only dealing with the essentials in this piece. However, there are plenty of excellent resources on the web that go in-depth, as well as the official MLA style manual itself. Something we always recommend is that you have a professional reviewer or editor have a look at your work and make corrections. An expert can apply all the appropriate rules and guidelines to ensure you earn the highest grade possible.