Writing academically accurate research works demands abidance of established rules of formatting texts. Each country and its institutes provide their own writing formats taking into account local specificities. But there are few internationally accepted formatting styles. One of the most recognizable is the MLA writing standard.
It is an abbreviation for Modern Language Association. The activity of this organization concentrates on popularizing of teaching and studying, surprisingly, modern languages such as English. As for the practical significance of this association, it publishes MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers – a special guide for proper editing texts academically.
This manual is a desk book for each research writer in North America. The surveys that predominantly use it are in the field of humanities (literature, history, philosophy, English studies). This fact makes this format one of the most usable writing standards.
Although this format is popular in humanities-oriented writers` society, its demands concerning technical aspects of formatting the texts are widely used in other writing standards as well. The rules of formatting meets old academic writer`s friends:
MLA style insistently advises proofreading the text carefully in order to find and fix up the mistakes. As the style is formal, this caring moment is not touchy but pointing.
It also gives some well-known but forgettable advice like using of grammar and spell checkers, double copying the file, looking through the printed version in your word processor.
While general technical recommendations of how to format academic text in this style are almost similar to other style`s framework, paper structure tangibly contrasts and have unique rules. This style is usable in humanities environ because of the simplified demands which allow concentrating less on formatting but work. Surprises occur at the very beginning.
MLA style proposes to omit the title page. There still are rules of how to format the first page.
Section headings help writers to organize the paper most appropriately. The section itself means dividing, so it does. Dividing information into sections gives more support in both editing and perceiving information. MLA standard has no strict rules of how to format section headings but advises to use Arabic numerals for numeration of each and to put the name of the heading after the gap. If the subheading is needed, number it by a coherent period (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) and place directly below the main heading.
As it remembered to be caring about writers, MLA style doesn`t have any requires for the body of the text. It considers the long established rule of the essay structure, which recommends writing three body paragraphs along the paper to support the idea of the study, but it is not mandatory. You may use five, seven or even a single paragraph, but keep in mind, that paper should have introduction, body, and conclusion.
Rules of quoting and citation are the most valuable in the framework of MLA research paper guidelines. The question of the academic honesty is acute and accurate citation becomes the most important thing in how to write research papers.
The rules of an in-text citation are used in the form of parenthesis. Meaning, putting the authorship in the parenthesis after every quote that implies citing. The data used in this parenthesis should coincide with the works cited list filling.
The form of citation also differs from other writing styles. The quote shouldn`t be marked with a quotation mark, but with the parenthesis that includes the number of the page of the work the quote is taken from and author`s last name.
Works cited page, or bibliography is necessarily present ending of the work. It includes all external sources to which writer refers. This list not only shows which literature writer used while writing the paper but also confirms the correctness of the citation.
MLA style shows itself as a convenient way of formatting research paper that allows the writer to write, but not to think of format a lot. Starting with the absence of the title page and finishing with font types and margins, writer appreciates the style he chose.
Since this format style is used preferably in humanities, citation rules are less caring and more demanding, but today it is vital to cite accurately. And keep in mind that formatting style helps to write academically accurate papers and concentrate on the information, but the idea of the research could be supported only by the writer.