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How to compose an MLA format research paper

Writing a research paper takes knowledge and experience and writing it well you'll need both of those qualities. But this is not an article about the content of your research paper but rather about its presentation. The MLA format is universally regarded. It is a required format set for millions of students every year. There are two things you need to do to ensure that your research paper gets a terrific score. Write it well and presented as required.

Now the write it well section is for another day. But here we can talk about the structure, outline, and research material and of course editing and proofreading. Here we’re talking about what your research paper looks like. It will be in the MLA format because that is what your teacher or professor has prescribed. Just to be doubly sure, always check to see that the format you have chosen to use is the one required. As it is the MLA format, here are the basics you will require. For more specific details there are numerous texts and far more websites which provide the detail you need to follow.

How to compose in the MLA format

You need to think of your formatting as coming in two sections. The first is where you set up parameters. With all writing software packages you are able to set up parameters which can be used time and time again.

The basic parameters include the margins, the typeface, font size and headings. Under the MLA format you will adopt a 1 inch margin on all sides of every page. You would use double spacing when you type. You will choose a well-known typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman. It will be 12 point in size. You will add a page number which will appear in the top right corner. Just before the page number will appear in your surname. This is a standard default position.

In the top left-hand corner on separate lines you will place your name, your teacher or professor's name, the name of the subject or course and finally the date. This set of information is often referred to as the title block.

Citation of references is where the MLA format comes into its own. The MLA format for the citation of references is unique. You need to learn it and follow it to the letter.

There is a distinction between long quotations which will be sited at the end of your research paper and shorter quotations which have an in-line reference. Again knowing the difference between these and all aspects of the citation of references can be gleaned from a variety of books or a multitude of relevant websites.

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Writing Advice

Make sure you always follow the specific finalizing instructions from your teacher, because they will be marking your research paper and looking for those things.

Don’t rely completely on your word processor’s spell check, because it won’t catch everything. Print your research paper if you can, and give it a good old fashioned proofread.

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Research paper writing advice