How to Write an MLA Format Essay: Expert Tips and Guidelines

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Posted on:
April 30, 2024
Updated on:
May 16, 2024
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MLA format essay

A lot of students in fine arts, literature, and language use the MLA format as their academic style guide. The Modern Language Association created the style, which is often written as “MLA.” When writing an MLA format essay, students must follow certain rules to make sure they follow the style rules. In this blog, academic experts at our write my essay service will teach you everything you need to know about how to write an MLA format essay and how to make sure your essays are perfect according to the standards set by your school.

How do you write an MLA format essay perfectly?

Before we go into specifics, let’s look at the following question: What is MLA format for an essay? This style might work for writing papers in the arts, like history, literature, and composition. When APA and MLA are compared, the format that is talked about is not as focused on facts as other styles. Get to know some of its unique features.

How do you write an MLA format essay perfectly


How do you write an MLA format essay perfectly


All of these parts must be set to one inch on all sides of every page, even the references and appendices. An easy way to meet this condition is to use a word processor that already sets it to this setting. That way, you won’t have to worry about MLA formatted essays when you start working on your paper.

Writing paragraphs

To compose an essay in MLA format, you need to know how to organize paragraphs. The MLA style guide doesn’t say how many words should be in a paragraph, but it is specified that the initial line of every new paragraph is to be positioned half an inch from the right margin, ensuring a consistent essay structure.


In MLA style, all parts of the paper must have double spacing, even the references and appendices. In the text body, the space between paragraphs needs to be twice as well. Some universities let you use single MLA format essay spacing for digital content, but it’s not the rule.

Before you turn in your MLA format essay, you should talk to your teacher about this. This gives your teacher a lot of room to make changes and give you feedback on a written copy that will be used for the final grade.

Font Style and Size of Font

Anyone who wants to learn how to format an essay in MLA should use the right MLA style font. It’s important to keep your work serious and avoid getting sidetracked by a messy or inappropriate font.

Times New Roman is the MLA font that should be used for academic work because it is standard and easy to read. If you want your essay to be easy to read, use a 12-point MLA format essay font size. This will make sure that the writing is the right size—not too small to read easily and not too big to take away from the meaning.

Using punctuation

In MLA style essays, English grammar is the most important thing. There are fewer strict rules for punctuation, but there are still some important things to keep in mind. For example, use normal title case when writing the title of your paper in MLA format essay.

Also, look at the MLA guidelines for essays for quote punctuation to figure out where to put your inline citations. If you have three or more points in a list, you should use Oxford or serial commas to finish the sentence. You need to put a comma before the conjunction that comes before the last item in the list.

This style of writing depends on being consistent, and if you follow its rules, you can get praise for writing texts that are well-organized and consistent.

Title and Header

There are two places you can put a header: on the MLA essay title page (if you want to add one) or in the upper part of the first page. The header needs to follow four key rules about how to format it. These are the

  • Full name of the student,
  • Name of the professor,
  • Name of the course or class, and
  • Due date.

Every MLA essay heading must be double-spaced, and all sides must have one-inch margins.
If you don’t use a title page, the last header element in an MLA paper should be the project’s due date, then the work’s name.

The paper should start on the next page after the title page. The essay title should be in the middle. You don’t need to put quotation marks around it; make it bold, italicize, or highlight it.

Do I need a title page for my MLA paper?

In this MLA format essay, you usually don’t need a title page. Instead, the first page of a document usually has a header. There are two times when you don’t need a title page when writing an MLA essay: when your teacher tells you to or when the task is for a project. In this case, you must add a title page, which has the same information as the header but is on a different page.

Running Head

The running head is a short heading that appears on each page’s top right corner. It usually has the last name of the author followed by the page number, with a space between them. Moreover, to make a moving head, you need to meet a few general requirements:

  • This part should be in the upper right corner of each page.
  • The student’s last name and the page number should be all that’s in the moving head.
  • When using MLA essay format, don’t put the letter “p.” before the page number.
  • You need to put the running head one inch from the page’s right edge and half an inch from the top edge.

Headings & Sub Headings

No matter what kind of project you’re working on, you need to use MLA essay headings and subheadings to make sure your writing is well-structured and organized. You’ll probably need to use chapter titles, section headings, and other subheadings if you want to learn how to write an essay in MLA format and finish papers in this style.

The MLA style guide doesn’t say how to write different titles in a certain way. In its place, it gives you some things to think about:

  • After your heading, don’t put a full stop.
  • Don’t change how you format your headings anywhere else in the text.

Make sure that all of the text uses the same size and style. The font style should be the only thing that changes. These are the least important types of headings, so they need to stay in the normal font style. Italicize section names that don’t stand out as much as chapter titles to make them stand out more.

Table of Content

There aren’t any hard and fast rules for how to format a table of contents in MLA format essay, but it is suggested that longer essays with more than one part have one. A table of contents can help readers quickly find the sections that are most important to them and give them an idea of what the whole paper is about.

Additionally, you might want to include a preface that credits the main sources that helped you write your essay. This tip is also useful for people who want to know how to write an essay in APA format. You could also add a glossary or a section with extra information to help readers understand the background or give them more facts to look over.

Works Cited Page

This is an important part of an MLA format for essays, and it goes on a different page at the end of the document. There needs to be an ordered list of all the sources you used in your essay. Sources that aren’t used in the work shouldn’t be mentioned.

First, make a heading called “Works Cited” and put it in the middle of the top of your page.

When the header is done, press ENTER once. Then, make a list of your sources. If a reference entry goes over two lines, the second and following lines should be half an inch away from the left margin. This is called a “hanging indent.” Like the rest of the writing, everything on the Works Cited page should be double-spaced.

📕Read also: Diagnostic Essay

How to make MLA Citation in Essay?

Are you wondering how to cite in MLA format essay? You can use the MLA citation maker available online to make citations for your sources in the MLA format essay. The tool will do the rest; all you have to do is type in the book’s title, author’s name, or ISBN. Let’s say you’d rather make your sources by hand. To assist you with this, we have included a sample of a Works Cited entry as well as an MLA in-text reference for various sources below.

An example of a reference for a book:

Works Cited entry: Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scholastic, 1997.In-text citation: (Rowling 112)

Tips for Writing Essay in MLA Format

Here are some tips for composing MLA format essay.

Tips for Writing Essay in MLA Format

Tips for Writing Essay in MLA Format

Acronyms or Abbreviations

To keep things clear, the MLA guideline for essay says to stay away from abbreviations and type words out in full. That being said, there are times when nicknames are fine to use. It’s important to follow certain rules in these situations:

  • If you want to write “United States,” don’t put a stop between the capital letters. Instead, write “US.”
  • When writing full words in lowercase, you can put a stop between them (for example, for “that is”)
  • The full term should have a mix of lowercase and capital letters. If capital letters are common, don’t use periods (e.g., PhD instead of Ph.D.)
  • Start with a clear thesis statement to set the direction and purpose of your essay.
  • In the body of a MLA format essay, you should use the full names of the months. In the references, you can use abbreviations for months with more than four letters.
  • In the Works Cited page, you can use short forms for certain words, such as page, chapter, volume, etc.
  • Short forms of some publishers’ names and religious and classical sources can also be used on the Works Cited page because they are used so often. Full names should be used in the body of the paper, though.


Here are the steps you should take to use numbers in an MLA format essay:

  • Put numbers in front of lengths, like “5 kilograms” or “8 meters”;
  • When writing numbers with one or two words, spell them out. For numbers with more than two words, like 3, 42, and 598, use digits.
  • Numbers that come before names or measurements (e.g., 7 years, 5 a.m.) should have digits before them.
  • Roman numbers can be used to show endings or to make MLA essay outline.
  • Do not put ISBNs in your work.
  • Moreover, don’t add a number at the beginning of a sentence.

Figures & Tables

It is important to follow the MLA rules when putting tables and figures in a work. These should be put as close as possible to the relevant sections. Each table should have a number, a name, and a detailed title in bold above it. The source information should be in a description below the table, and any notes that explain something should be marked with a letter above it.

On the other hand, numbers are also labeled and put in order. But when the label “Fig.” is used, the number and period are added below the picture in a centered caption. To include complete citations, proceed with the caption or just the most important facts about the picture. Keep in mind that the text in tables and figures should be double-spaced, and only the title must be written in capital letters. Moreover, the description and notes would not have capital letters.

Making Lists

To make a list in essay MLA format, you should follow simple writing conventions. There are also some specific rules you should know:

  • All lists must be horizontal, and there should be a colon between the list and the first line, unless the list is part of the sentence.
  • For formal lists, put a period after the last line item and a comma after it. For casual lists, use bullet points.
  • When giving directions in a certain order, you need to use numbered lists;
  • To make your writing easier to read, don’t use too many lists. Moreover, lists should not take up the whole page.

Concluding Remarks

By following our steps on how to write an essay in MLA format, you can make sure that your work meets the requirements for academic papers. Moreover, you can ensure your content is presented clearly and properly by formatting your document correctly. These MLA 9th edition essay format guidelines are meant to make academic writing more clear and consistent. If you follow them, your writing will be well-organized, well-documented, and easy to read.

Additionally, if you’re struggling with writing or are too busy to handle your essay, you can buy essays online from Do Write My Essay. We guarantee high-quality content and timely delivery, ensuring that your deadlines are met without compromising on excellence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: How to start a MLA essay?

Ans. Write your full name, professor name, course, and date in the upper left corner of the first page. Apply double-spaced text again. Again double-space and center the title. Does not make your MLA essay title bold, underline, italic, or quote it.

Q2: How many body paragraphs should be in an MLA essay?

Ans. When you write the essay, you will follow some simple rules. For instance, each body paragraph has its own subject that backs up your thesis statement. After that, the last paragraph will connect your thesis statement to the three body parts.

Q3: How to end a MLA format essay?

Ans. In MLA essay conclusion, simply restate your subject and explain why it’s important, Restate your claim or point, Talk about different points of view and show why people should agree with yours. Call for action or a look at the research prospects for the future. 

Q4: Are MLA, APA, and Chicago Turabian similar?

Ans. No! MLA follows a different format than APA and Chicago Turabian. You’ll need to learn MLA if you utilize APA or Chicago.

Q5: Will MLA violations influence my essay grade?

Ans. You must follow MLA format guidelines for your essay. If you violate MLA, the lecturer will deduct points.

Q6: Can I write References or Reference List instead of Works Cited?

Ans. Works Cited must be the reference list title. Again, a different title could cost you points.

Q7: How will I know if my essay needs MLA?

Ans. The essay rubric usually specifies citation style. Otherwise, consult your professor.

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