Tag Archives: MLA formatting

Proper Format for an English Essay

English essays, as well as essays assigned in writing courses and other disciplines within the humanities division, will require you to adhere to the MLA format. MLA, which stands for Modern Language Association, has been accepted by countless academic institutions around the world for more than 50 years. For specific guidelines pertaining to citing reference materials, consult the MLA Handbook. Also consult your teacher for any additional formatting rules that are unique to the assignment.

MLA Formatting Guidelines

Modern Language Association style, or MLA style, is a specific set of guidelines for formatting essays, papers and manuscripts written in the English language. MLA style gives writers a way to reference their sources throughout their work, as well. MLA style is most often used when writing about social sciences. Science and math-based papers are usually written in APA style, which holds a different set of guidelines and formats.

Comparison of MLA Essay Formats

The Modern Language Association (MLA) publishes the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, which prescribes formatting guidelines for papers, source citations and footnotes. English composition classes often require that essays be formatted according to MLA style. In addition, MLA style is commonly used for research papers within the humanities and liberal arts, according to the Purdue Online Writing Lab.


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