MLA Essay

The predominant writing and documentation style for the humanities is that of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). If you are assigned to write an essay in English, comparative literature or other humanities courses, actually you are asked to write an MLA essay.

To cope with the assignment you should be aware of MLA standards. Below we will list down the main presentation features of MLA format. If you are looking to know how to write MLA essays the following tips will help you. If you need a professional writer to help you format your MLA essay then click here.

  • book font such as Times Roman
  • 12-point type size
  • 1-inch margins all around
  • double spacing throughout, 1/2-inch new-paragraph tabs, no extra space between paragraphs
  • automatic header and pagination with last name and page number set flush right
  • student identification at left margin: student name, professor name, course information, submission date, other information designated by professor
  • last name and page number as automatic header set in word processor
  • title centered and properly capitalized and punctuated
  • parenthetical in-text citation of sources
  • separate page with alphabetical Works Cited for bibliography

Every time you mention someone else's idea or thought, you must acknowledge the source directly after the passage in your essay and in a separate list of Works Cited. In the body of the essay you will use brief parenthetical references to point to a more detailed list of Works Cited at the end of the paper.

Mind the following:

  • Provide enough information in your in-text citation so that your reader finds the correct source in your Works Cited list.
  • If the author or title of the source is apparent from the content of your essay, do not include the information in the parentheses.
  • The Works Cited list opens on a new page at the end of your paper.
  • Double-space the Works Cited list.
  • List the entries in alphabetical order.
  • If the entry is more than one line, indent all the subsequent lines.
  • Separate each major element (author, title, publication information) with a period.
  • Use short, relevant, direct quotations from other authors to go beyond or support points you make. The essay of 2000 words usually contains two - three brief quotes.
  • You should indent direct quotations and enclose them in quotation marks [" "]. Add the footnote at the end of the quote.
  • There is no need to use expressions like "I think...", "it seems to me" and so on, as it is evident that you present your own ideas in the essay.
  • Avoid overcrowding your essay with fuzzy ill-informed generalities, like "art is eternal". Be careful with art historical terms such as Impressionism, Realism or Postmodernism. When you capitalize them, you emphasize their art historical meaning.
  • Leave out all the slang and colloquial phrases.
  • Formal essay writing suggests referring to the artist by his/ her surname. However, when you introduce the painter, use the full name. After the full name, it is common to include birth/death dates in brackets. Such style concerns not very famous artists and the namesakes to tell one from another.
  • Italicize or write in bold the titles of paintings you talk about in your essay. Don't fail to identify the definite work by adding location or collection and date. Mentioning the date is the minimum requirement.
  • All the numbers less than a hundred should be written as words and for numbers greater than one hundred use figures. This rule does not apply to the case when you deal with precise sums of money or dimensions of works of art regardless their cost.( ten years, 10 $)
  • If you refer to some unknown work of art, you should footnote the location of the work or the resource where it is illustrated. In a case when the illustration is vital in the essay, attach it as close as possible to the relevant extract. Number all the included illustrations successively using the form "Figure 1." and followed by a description.

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