MLA style is a writing style that is commonly used in academic and professional writing. It is based on the Modern Language Association’s guidelines and is most commonly used in the fields of humanities and liberal arts. This style is often used in English, literature, and other language and literature courses, as well as in the social sciences.
In MLA style, the writer includes information about their sources in the body of their essay using in-text citations, which are placed within the text of the essay and consist of a brief reference to the source material. These in-text citations correspond to a list of full citations, known as a “Works Cited” list, which is typically located at the end of the essay. The Works Cited list includes all of the sources that the writer has cited in the essay, and provides full publication information for each source.
There are several key components to an MLA style essay. First, it should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1″ margins on all sides. The text should be left-justified and the font should be a legible 12-point font, such as Times New Roman. The essay should also include a header in the top right corner of each page, which includes the writer’s last name and the page number.
One important aspect of MLA style is the use of in-text citations. These citations are used to indicate when the writer is using ideas or information from a source, and they include the last name of the author and the page number(s) of the source. For example: “According to Smith (123), the use of in-text citations is an important aspect of academic writing.” If the author’s name is mentioned in the text, then only the page number needs to be included in the citation. If the source has multiple authors, then all of the authors’ last names should be included in the citation.
The Works Cited list is an alphabetized list of all of the sources that the writer has cited in the essay. It should be located at the end of the essay and should begin on a new page. The list should be double-spaced and each entry should be formatted according to the specific type of source. For example, the format for a book would be different from the format for a journal article.
Here is an example of an MLA style essay:
Title of Essay
The first paragraph of the essay should introduce the topic and provide some background information on the subject. It should also include a thesis statement, which is a sentence that states the main argument or point of the essay.
The body of the essay should consist of several paragraphs that support the thesis statement and provide evidence and examples to back up the writer’s argument. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point and should include in-text citations to support the information presented.
The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and restate the thesis statement. It should also provide some final thoughts on the topic and leave the reader with a lasting impression.
The Works Cited list should be located at the end of the essay and should include all of the sources that the writer has cited in the essay. Each entry should be formatted according to the specific type of source, and the list should be alphabetized by the author’s last name.
Overall, MLA style is a widely used writing style in the fields of humanities and liberal arts, and it is important for writers to understand and follow the guidelines in order to properly cite their sources and avoid plagiarism.
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