MLA Format Research Paper: Overview of Rules and Common Mistakes

Writing research papers in specific formats is largely explained by the objective of maintaining standards. Such standards imply that all papers written on specific subjects will follow the same rules. In that regard, an MLA format research paper is a paper that follows all rules and conventions of Modern Language Association (MLA).
 
The rules of MLA format research paper are not only concerned with formatting requirements, but also with the citation style that should be followed throughout the paper. The citation style can be seen as the more difficult of the two aspects in MLA format research paper, although formatting can be frustrating as well. The latter is specifically difficult when changing the format for different styles in different papers. This article will attempt to explain the most common rules regarding MLA format research paper.
 
The Format
 
General rules in writing MLA format research paper include the following points:

  1. One inch margin from all the sides of the paper.
  2. Double spaced throughout.
  3. 12 point common font such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  4. No title page, unless specifically requested by the instructor.

Common Mistakes in MLA Format Research Papers
 
There are several mistakes that students tend to make writing MLA format research papers. The list of such mistakes might include:

  • Typing the title in all caps.
  • Typing the title in bold type.
  • Underlining the title.
  • Using fancy fonts.
  • Indenting paragraphs using space bar.


It can be seen that the rationale for using standard rules for MLA format research paper is making all works submitted by students identifiable and similar in format. MLA format research papers also follow the citation style of MLA, which will facilitate the revision process by instructors.

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