MLA Essay: The Predominant Style for the Humanities

Be Aware of MLA Essay Standards by Learning the Correct Format.

An essay following the MLA style is normally written for the humanities. This is because humanity essays require the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) writing and documentation style. When you are assigned an essay for your English class, comparative literature class or any other course in humanities, you are actually being assigned an MLA Essay.

To do this sort of assignment well, you need to familiarize yourself with MLA standards. If you are not very aware of MLA features, take a look at some essay tips to help you with your essay writing.

MLA Tips

1. Use a font like Times Roman
2. Font size should be 12
3. Margins must be 1 inch all around
4. Double spacing
5. Tabs for new paragraphs should be 1/2 inch
6. Paragraphs should have no extra space between them
7. Header and pagination must be automatic with surname and page number placed on the extreme right
8. All student information should be placed on the left of the margin
9. Title must be in the centre with correct punctuation and capitals
10. In-text source citation must be parenthetical
11. Page with works cited alphabetically for the bibliography must be separate

Your MLA Essay must also contain sufficient information within your in-text citation. This will allow those who read your essay to find the right source in your list of cited works. In the case of the author or source title being obvious from your essay content, it is not necessary to place this data in the parentheses.

With regards to your Works Cited page, the list must have a double space format. All entries must be placed in alphabetical order. In case the entry exceeds a single line, all following lines must be indented. Every major element in your MLA Essay such as the name of the author, the title and the publication information must be separated with a full stop.

Direct quotations from other authors should be concise and relevant and used for the purpose of supporting or explaining further the points that you have made within your essay. An essay with a word count of about 2000 words would normally have two to three short quotes contained in it. Direct quotations must be indented and should be placed within quotation marks. A footnote should be placed after the quote ends.

Avoid slang usage as well as colloquial phrases. Try not to crowd your MLA Essay with unclear, confusing generic phrases such as ‘art is eternal’. Pay attention to the way you use numbers in your essay as there is a format for numbering that you need to stick to. Numbers below 100 must be written in the form of words while numbers exceeding 100 must be written as figures. If you are writing such an essay for the first time, make sure you spend sufficient time reading up on MLA rules before you begin writing. Good luck.