MLA Format for an Essay: Example


Looking for an MLA format example? To craft a good essay, you’ll need to consider everything from researching to writing and then presenting. MLA, known in full as Modern Language Association, is one of the most popular writing styles in the academic sphere. This format has several rules and guidelines that govern how a piece of text is presented.

Don’t know how to use the MLA as a format?

Below is an in-depth guide to help you understand the format and use it in your essay effectively. Also, check out our example to get a practical idea of what you need to do.

MLA Key Features & Application

While you can use MLA format essay style in any academic dissertation, you’ll frequently see the format in Social tasks. MLA is currently in the eighth version, and it provides specific rules of citing and referencing. It also gives general guidelines to help you format a paper.

A good example will have the following characteristics:

  • 1-inch spacing all around;
  • Centered headings;
  • ½ inch indentation at the start of every block;
  • Double-space separating each line;
  • Any font as long as it’s legible.

These couple of instructions are just the general guidelines for styling your document. Get more tips, an example, and guidelines below.

Find a Quality MLA Assignment Example

Need to take a look at a good MLA format example? Explore these well-styled samples to learn how to tackle your covering page, headings, evidence, etc. Pick your MLA essay example format and use it as a guide.

Comprehensive MLA Handbook

How can you use MLA to format your paper? MLA is among the most straightforward styles you can use to credit other people’s work, thereby avoiding plagiarism.

Below are a couple of things to remember when using the MLA paper format:


You can place your heading on top of your document (centered) or craft a cover. There are no specific rules for structuring the cover in MLA essay format. However, if you decide to put your heading on your assignment’s first part, ensure it has all the essential items.

That is:

  • Your name (one-inch from above on the left);
  • Your professor’s name;
  • Class and unit details;
  • The task’s deadline;
  • The main heading (centered).

Direct Extracts and Paraphrases

In MLA paper format, there are 2 ways you can format evidence you extract from another document, i.e., direct quoting and rephrasing. Always accompany direct extracts with quotation marks. When you add a quote spoken/written by another person, you must add an in-text reference to recognize the author.

You can credit a direct quote by:

  • Mentioning the person by name within the sentence in which the quote is;
  • Placing the writer’s name at the end of the quote or block in round brackets.

In rewording, which involves rewording or summarizing someone else’s work, crediting the owner is also a must. Rephrases are cited just as direct quotes. Remember to note down this evidence and add them to your references/bibliography at the end of the document.

The Body

You can choose to add subparts with headings to your paper to improve readability and scanning. If you format your text into parts, number those parts with Arabic numerals. Follow the digit with a period and a single space and then the sub-heading of the block.

Works Cited

Once you are done writing your essay, add a page where you list all the documentation used. Each reference that you include should have all the elements and the proper punctuation.

Here’s how to go about it in the correct order:

Author’s last name, other names. The work’s name. Container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher’s name, Date of publication, Location.

How your source’s title will look will depend on the type of information. For example, format a book in italics and a website or periodical in quotation marks. The container is usually the more extensive document from which the information you have extracted comes from. It could be a book of short stories, a poem collection, a TV series, a website, etc.

Document Numbering

It’s essential that you add a running head in MLA essay format. It should ideally have your surname and the page in digits. Place it 0.5 inches from above on the right on each leaflet except the starting page. While you can type this part manually, you can put it automatically, too.

Placing In-Text Citations in MLA

Giving credits within the text provides the reader with useful details about the origin of a quote or paraphrase in brief. Adding evidence within the text in MLA is pretty straightforward.

The accepted format uses the writer’s surname accompanied by the page on which you collected the data. The complete details should be in a round bracket format and at the end of the sentence.

MLA paper example: (Johnson 19).

In certain instances, you may place the writer’s name elsewhere sentences in MLA. However, the page should always be put at the end in brackets in this format.

When placing your credits, note down other relevant details as you’ll need to provide them in the Works Cited. For example, a container’s name, publication date, etc.

For works where the owner is a corporation, use the organization’s name, abbreviating where possible. For example, if a source’s writer isn’t known, use the work’s title (in quotations if short or italicized if long). If you give a paper with two owners, state their surnames and the page numbers.

List just the first author then et al. if the writers are three or more.

For example, (Johnson 21 et al.)

Handy Tricks to Remember When You Format in MLA

Are you still figuring out how to use MLA format paper? Need some tips to help make the task much more manageable?

Apart from all the rules and the example provided in the sections above, we’ve put together MLA tips.

These include:

Referencing Works with No Author or Defined Pages

You may, for example, come across words that don’t have a specified origin or pages. If the origin is not known, take the first one to three words of the header. For example, if the page number isn’t provided, provide the owner only.

Use Double Space Everywhere

Make sure your entire work has double spacing unless otherwise instructed by your lecturer. That includes additional parts, for example, works cited and notes. As you can see from our example, the text is double-spaced.

You Can Refer to Different Documentation in the Same Space

If you quote something from multiple places, MLA allows you to place them next to each other. You can format them in any order and differentiate them with a semi-colon.

For example, (Peters 97; Davis 23)

Recognize Both Authors if Your Evidence is Indirect

For example, you may find useful data from the text derived from a different writer. If so, mention the original writer’s name within your work and who you got the details from in round brackets. Format with a “qtd. In” before the owner and pages. An example of this application is (qtd. In Brown 34).

Provide the Page Number Only if Using One Documentation

If you use one piece of literature in MLA, you’ll just need to put the author’s name in the first reference. For example, if you need to add more details from the document, you’ll only format the page in parenthesis.

Make Your Sentences More or Less Similar Length

MLA doesn’t specify a particular length for your lines. But if you want a more organized and better-looking document, try to make your sentences and paragraphs about the same length.

Use an example from our database to direct you on how to format.

MLA Presentation Principles and Standards

The current MLA format paper standards function under a couple of guiding principles. Once you have these pointers in mind, you can implement the rules of the format with ease.

These MLA principles are:

  • There are several paths to take when you format your references;
  • Credits must be helpful to the reader (help the reader find the original document);
  • Common sense should help you decide what sources to mention (for example, you aren’t required to reference common knowledge/sayings).

Develop a plan and outline before starting your task to make sure you don’t forget anything. You can use a good example to format your outline. Ensure that all you present, including collected data, relates/adds to the key argument. While MLA isn’t strict on the font and size, use something legible.

For example, Times New Roman 12pt.

Vital Capabilities You’ll Need When Using MLA

Most students don’t take the time to develop their referencing skills. In reality, how you format your task counts in the marks that you’ll be awarded.

Work on your presentation abilities, research expertise, and Microsoft Word skills (to automate some tasks).

Looking for an Easier Way Out? Order an MLA-Styled Assignment

You don’t need to struggle to master every rule in the MLA handbook. If you want that perfect MLA format essay, we’ve got you covered.

Order your assignment from the academic experts behind the example you see here today!

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