First of all, there is something you should know about MLA style in general. It provides authors with a system of formatting manuscripts when writing in English language and also dictates rules regarding references of sources and the usage of citations in their papers. One of the purposes of MLA formatting style is protection authors from accusations of plagiarism, which is now a widespread phenomenon, unfortunately.
So, if your research paper has to be written in accordance with MLA formatting style, you have to pay attention to every detail. In everything else, this is not extremely difficult.
In order to format MLA paper appropriately, remember that all formal papers should have the MLA header. Also, each page should have a header. The papers are meant to be double-spaced, as well.
Your research paper doesn't need a title page, unless it is specially required. However, when writing MLA paper heading, you should put your name, your professor's name, the name and number of the course and the date of the paper on separate, double-spaced lines. But not on a separate title page, but at the top of the first page. Once you have written all this information, make a double-space and write the title in the center above your text. In case if your title has two or more lines, make a double-space between the lines. In MLA paper heading, you are not supposed to underline the title or write it in all capital letters, just capitalize the first, last and principal words of title. You are allowed to put your title in the form of a question with a question mark or an exclamation mark (if needed), although not in a period. Look at the MLA paper heading example below in order to know how to create it.
MLA paper heading example
- Your name
- Professor's name
- Course name and number
- Date of the paper
This is what your MLA paper heading should begin with. We suggest you checking whether you have special requirements regarding your paper when putting page numbers, as long as the number is not always required on the first page.
As for the MLA paper heading for formatting books, there is not a defined system of for this case. Although, you can look for some additional information in the third edition of MLA guidebook for writers. When using one level of headings, if the sections of the paper are distinct and parallel without any additional sections fitting inside of them, MLA suggests resembling of these sections grammatically. For example, if the headings of your paper are short phrases, then you have to make all of the their short phrases. Don't make them full sentences. In everything else, you are welcome to make decisions concerning the formatting. Anyway, remember that it has to be rather consecutive and logical, as well, throughout the document.
Now that you know how to format your first page and how to deal with MLA paper heading, please get acquainted with the general guidelines, apart from requirement of formatting MLA paper.