Top 8 Tips for Perfecting MLA Research Paper Format

It is not easy for students to follow the proper rules and guidelines for formatting and editing a research paper. In addition, when it comes to MLA research paper format, they find themselves in a confusing situation. Formatting your research paper in MLA is significantly important because it offers uniformity to all papers. 

If you are finding it difficult to write your research paper in MLA format, read this article completely. However, if you have spent numerous days writing your paper, and, in the end, you hear it is not formatted properly. It will definitely be a frustrating situation, and you will doubt your skills. But don’t worry! You can always ask for research paper help from professionals.

Here, we will discuss the top 8 tips for formatting and citing your paper in MLA. But before moving towards the tips, we will explain what MLA style research paper format is. So, let’s get to know about it:

What is MLA Research Paper Format?

Academic professionals use various styles to format a research paper. The most commonly used styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago. The MLA format was created in the last quarter of the 1800s. The purpose of creating this format was to motivate American students to learn modern languages. Thus, the full form of MLA is the Modern Language Association, which helps promote the knowledge of modern languages.

Hence, in a nutshell, the MLA format for research papers is used to improve students’ knowledge in various areas. These areas include comparative literature, English studies, cultural or literature studies, and foreign languages.

Now let’s discuss the top tips that will help you in formatting your research paper according to MLA style:

How to Write a Research Paper in MLA Format? Top 8 Tips

If your institution asks you to follow MLA research paper format and you are unaware of it, Here is how you can do it:

1.   Margins and Font

First of all, when you start formatting your research paper in MLA style, you need to take care of margins and fonts. In your research paper, you have to use a readable font style. The best to use in your documents is Times New Roman. In addition, the size of the font should be 12.

On the other hand, if we talk about the margins, you should leave margins of 1 inch on all sides.

2. Header Adjustment

The next most important tip in MLA research paper format is about the Header. Here, you have to add the page number and your last name and align them on the right side. You will first write your name and then your page number.

For example: “John 1”.

3. Title Page

MLA format in research papers usually does not need a title page. However, if your instructor asks you to add, then you should include it. On the title page, you have to mention the following details properly:

  • Your name
  • Instructor’s name
  • Course title
  •  Date

All these details should be in the centre of the page.

Source: StudyCorgi

4. Text Formatting

There are a few tips for formatting your text when writing a research paper in MLA style. First, you have to double-space your complete research paper, including block quotations and title.

Second, make sure the first line is half an inch indent of each paragraph. Third, after each punctuation mark or period, use one space.

5. In-Text Citations

The next most important tip for MLA research paper format is in-text citation. Whenever you paraphrase, quote, or add someone’s information to your paper, you have to add parenthetical citations. These citations should be within every text you have taken from other sources.  

Moreover, also add the page numbers from where you take the information with the last name of the author. However, if you have included the author’s name in the text, just add the page numbers in parentheses.

Furthermore, if you do not know about the author of the source, you have to add the title instead in a shorter version.

6. Annotations

MLA format guidelines suggest that students add all the essential information from all the sources they are using. The sources can be articles, books, or websites. if your instructor asks you to add annotations, and you do not have an idea of it, you can ask professional research paper writers. These professionals know how to write a seamless document. 

Moreover, when providing annotations, write a summary of each source you have included in your research paper.

7. Works Cited Pages

In MLA format for a research paper, you need to add a separate page with the title “Work Cited”.  Here, list all the references of the sources you have used in your research paper. Alphabetically arrange all the sources with the last name of the authors. (If no author, write title)

Moreover, for each entry, use a standard hanging indent. The style should be like this: the first line of the reference will be flush with the left side, and the lines after that will have a half-inch indent.

Source: Scribbr

8. Title of Your Paper

The next most important tip for writing your research paper in MLA format is about the title. Make sure your title is in the centre of the research paper. In addition, the title needs to be concise and informative. Also, there should not be any unnecessary words.

Furthermore, the title case needs to be in the sentence case. Do not underline, put any quotation marks around it or italicise it.

So, now you do not need to ask anyone about what is the correct MLA format for a paper. These above tips will help you format your document as you want.


In the article, we have told you the best tips for formatting your research paper according to Modern Language Association style. By following all the MLA research paper format guidelines and tips mentioned above, students can easily write their research papers.

However, if you still find it difficult to format your paper or add citations, you can avail of research paper writing services from experts. Those professionals help you in crafting a paper that meets MLA standards and helps you achieve your academic goals.

Moreover, the stated tips in the article will help you improve your writing and draft a well-formatted paper. We know writing a paper is not an easy task, and so is the formatting. If you do not want to be left behind by other students, be sure to follow all the tips and guidelines about MLA research paper format.

By Janet J