MLA is a type of research essay that is usually written in colleges. MLA stands for Modern Language Association and has strict rules not only for the context, but also for the technical organization of the essay.
The technical requirements for writing an MLA essay format are the following:
- The pages must have 1-inch margins.
- The text should be double spaced with 12-point font usually Times New Roman including quotations and notes.
- Different paragraphs must be separated with half an inch.
- The first page (the header) is slightly different from the rest of the paper.
- The name of the student is placed in the upper left corner.
- Below there is the instructor/professor’s name, followed by the name of the specific course and the date.
- The title of the MLA essay is located on top and centered. A separate title page is not required.
- The page numbers are placed on top, in the upper right hand side.
- An outline is optional.
Here is an example how the page should look like:
17 February 2015
Advantages and disadvantages of writing an MLA Essay
There are many advantages in being capable of writing essays. First you can express your thoughts, making them reachable for bigger audience. Writing an essay can be a creative experience which will help analyze a specific problem and your opinion on it. Disadvantages of writing essays exist only if you write an essay that lacks logic and proper organization. You should feel free to write and experiment expressing your own thought but do not forget to research your thesis thoroughly, the technical parameters of the essay and read your instructor notes.
How to write an essay in MLA format
Writing an essay in MLA format is similar to writing any other type of essay. The basic structure of the MLA essay is: introduction, body of the essay and conclusion.
Introduction of MLA essay
The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay. In it you introduce to the audience the topic you are going to write about. The tone and the thesis given in the introduction should set the context of the whole essay. You should explain to the audience why you are going to write on that specific thesis, what makes it interesting for you and what is your overall opinion and attitude on it. The length of the introductory paragraph will depend on your instructor’s notes. Usually the last sentence in the introduction is the thesis of the essay. It is precisely the thesis that you have to support through the whole essay.
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Body of MLA essay
The body of the MLA essay consists of transition, topic sentence, evidence and brief summary of everything written in the body so far. In order to write a good essay you should research the thesis well and draft your essay in advance. You can use quotes to support your thesis and when you use quotes in the MLA essay format do follow the rules for proper quotation. Use transition between paragraphs in order for the essay to sound organized and well written.
In its essence the MLA essay is just like any other research paper. So follow the rules you already know, research the thesis thoroughly, make the draft and start writing.
Conclusion of MLA essay
It is a general rule for the conclusions of the essays to be strong and convincing. The conclusion usually sums up everything you have written so far for one last time. The sentences of the conclusion should be strong and clear. You should leave an impression that everything said so far is reasonable and trustworthy and the subject is coming to a closure. Always proofread your essays at least once in order to remove any grammatical and contextual mistakes that you may have made. You can also ask a friend for his/ her opinion by giving him or her the essay to read in advance prior to submitting it to your instructor.