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Learn How to Write a Research Paper in MLA Format with Samples

Date published February 25 2023 by Stella Carter


Depending on the style manual you’re using, a research paper will have a different format. In addition to citations APA, Harvard, Chicago, and MLA research format include format guidelines for elements like font selection, page layout, heading format, and reference page format.

That’s why this blog discusses how you can write a research paper in mla and the thing you need to take into consideration. This guide is divided into sections and also provides a necessary example of mla style paper. Each section offers a thorough overview of the various considerations to make when creating an MLA paper. This manual will teach you how to format and organize your research paper in accordance with the MLA style rules. 

We’ll concentrate on general formatting principles and the fundamental elements of MLA scientific paper structure. Our guide will give you several useful hints that will boost your writing confidence. The main thing you’ll see is the proper Research paper example MLA format. Continue reading to gain valuable information on MLA formatting.

Table of Contents

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Background Information on MLA Research Format

The Modern Language Association, or MLA, is in its ninth edition, which was released in 2021. MLA formatting is a unique referencing and organizational system for research papers, to put it simply. The main goal is to correctly cite sources and ensure that your research writing is always accurate. This is where most of the students lack and go for the MLA citation generator. They are also great tools to generate citations.

As a student, you will be able to turn in your college homework on time and without ambiguity if you know how to write a paper in mla format. The Works Cited page can be used to teach you how to format and organize the reference list for a research or dissertation paper. It is yet another important aspect of MLA format.

The MLA formatting for research papers is meant to make it easier for your professor and the intended audience to read your paper by providing them with a variety of in-text citations that give them the chance to see from where the information was taken. Your academic advisor will review your work to see if you followed all the rules using the same format, headers, font sizes, and other features that make research writing commonplace because MLA has very specific requirements.

So, what exactly is MLA format? Students who major in literature, English, social sciences, the arts, and humanities in college are the ones most likely to use the MLA format. It stands to reason that MLA format is frequently required in introductory courses where students learn how to organize their papers and maintain accurate citations it is one of the most approachable writing standards.

General Guidelines for Research Paper Example MLA Format

You will already be familiar with the fundamentals and will find it simpler to deal with the information in MLA style if you are aware of the basic academic writing format. The majority of research paper formats include a list of general guidelines for page layout and guidelines for proper citation. The most important step is, to begin with, the MLA header, which will look like this:

Kate Adam

Professor Liam

Social Studies 7400

20 May 2023

The page number and your name should be positioned on the top right side of the page in this header, which is always positioned at the top left of the first page (usually, a title page is not necessary). It will look like this:

Adam 1

Essential Elements of MLA Research Paper Format

It’s crucial to adhere to the proper structure dictated by the writing style you’ve chosen if you want to write a research paper successfully. Below you will know how to write a paper in mla format. 

Title Page

The title of the research paper should be in the center of the page, followed by the name of the course, the professor’s name, and the date by which the paper is due. The page should also begin with the name of your university (all centered).

Section Headings

The paper’s due date, your name, the title of the instructor, and any pertinent class information should all be included in the main heading. The other MLA page headings:

First Heading.


Second Heading.


Third Heading 


Fourth Heading


Fifth Heading 


Outline for a Research Paper

  1. Title page (centered)
  2. Introduction
    • Discuss the significance of your topic.
    • Add a fascinating topic sentence.
  3. Thesis Statement
    • Engaging sentence for about 2 3 sentences.
  4. Body paragraphs
    • Methodology.
    • Justification for research.
    • Findings from the research.
  5. Discussion of Research
  6. Conclusion
    • Explanation of the thesis.

Detail explanation is discussed below.

The Introduction and Thesis

Use a compelling thesis statement and emphasize the significance of your research in your writing. Paper of research this section should contain about 10% of your total word count, according to the MLA style guidebook.

Body Sections

In-text citations are required to back up your claims at this point. Always introduce the topic you want to investigate, make a claim, and then use citations to back it up.

In-text Citations

The traditional in-text citation will appear as follows:

According to the professional writers, These services make sure that the format is correct which ensures the maximum scores. These services make sure that the format is correct which ensures the maximum scores.

Works Cited Page

If you are familiar with bibliography formatting, it is crucial to find complete information and offer as much as you can. You can also use an MLA citation generator for this purpose. If you are using a published analysis paper or a book of poetry as your source:

The author’s last name, and first name. “Your research paper’s title.” Collection Title, Editor’s Name(s), Publisher, Year you have used, including the year and page range.

MLA research paper format Example of a cited page:

Stearns, D., and C. Reid. “Using Authentic Materials in an ABE Writing Class.” Field Notes 14.2 (2004).

Citing a source from the Jstor scientific database:

Author’s surname, and first name. “Title.” Name of the scientific journal, volume, number, issue, month, year of publication, pages, and pp., or any other appropriate identifier.

Quoquab, F., Teng, F., Mohammad, J., & Thurasamy, R. (2018). Sustainable development values. Practice, Progress, and Proficiency in Sustainability, 205–211. 

Whether you use MLA format or want to learn how to use other styles, your research paper should include an introduction, a study of the literature you used, the methodology you chose, the results of the research, and a discussion of the results. Furthermore, the use of a thesis statement in the introduction, supporting arguments in the body paragraphs, and a discussion of the results in the conclusion may limit you. It will always be determined by your subject and type of research paper.

Tips for Writing an MLA Research Paper

Contrary to popular belief, writing a research paper in Mla style is not difficult if you follow the basic rules instead of asking to write my dissertation. You will feel even more assured if you intend to learn to write a research paper in Apa style because you will be able to tell the two styles apart. We have gathered the following basic MLA formatting guidelines for research paper writing to assist you:

  • A good place to start is with the sources, and you should also look for any possible bibliography pages.
  • Use only verified sources and search for databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, Jstor, and others.
  • Always introduce your topic and discuss its significance.
  • Citations should not be used excessively in a research paper.

Important things to note

The following guidelines will help you write an MLA research paper:

  • Verdana, Times New Roman, or Arial in 12-point size are the suggested fonts.
  • The margins should all be set to 1 inch in Microsoft Word or a similar program.
  • Except specified, the matter is double-spaced.
  • Your research paper’s first page is the only place where the MLA header should appear.
  • Your work’s title must be centered.
  • A hanging indent should be used for each new research paper paragraph.
  • The MLA style employs the author-page citation pattern, in which the author’s last name is followed by the page number.
  • Your citations are listed on the first page of the Bibliography under the “Works Cited” heading in the top and center.
  • Alphabetical order is used to list the sources.
  • Neither the title nor the headers should be followed by a period.
  • Underline words only when absolutely necessary.

According to the most recent manual edition of MLA style, it is advised to use inclusive language guidelines. This means that, unless absolutely necessary, you should refrain from using certain terms that highlight racial or ethnic differences, religious beliefs, gender, physical or mental limitations, or social difficulties. You can also specify gender-neutral elements by using words like “human-made.”

Final thoughts

Many college students wonder what the purpose of proper research formatting, whether APA, MLA, Chicago or any other format, is. Due to being unable to comprehend that’s where they turn their research paper to dissertation formatting services. Therefore, the most crucial part of staying accurate while conducting research is to provide proper structure and citations if you’re using any outside sources, in addition to organizing things in accordance with academic standards. Because your teacher reads your journals every day and can easily spot mistakes in your writing (Wilhoit, 1994). It will assist you in preparing your writing for publication and will allow you to avoid plagiarism issues. If you think you have completed your research paper by the deadline but there are numerous things to consider. It is the primary goal of proper research paper formatting. This blog includes the key guidelines that serve as a checklist to keep you safe and compliant with all the necessary regulations.


You must follow the Modern Language Association's guidelines when writing an MLA research paper. Consequently, you must cite academic sources in your paper using author-date in-text citations. Include a works cited page with a list of the academic sources you used at the conclusion of your paper. Use indents for new paragraphs, readable font, running headers, and 1-inch margins when formatting your paper.

The Modern Language Association created the MLA referencing style. It is divided into two parts a brief in-text citation within the body of your academic paper, and a thorough list of "Works Cited" at the end of the document. The following rules apply to all sources, regardless of format.

In-text citation:

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Works cited:

Stearns, D., and C. Reid. "Using Authentic Materials in an ABE Writing Class." Field Notes 14.2 (2004).

Every page of an MLA paper must follow certain formatting guidelines, such as 1-inch margins, a legible font, a running header with your last name and the page number, and in-text citations for the author's website. Your paper will have a works cited section at the end with a list of every source you used to write it. Furthermore, you can also ask any literature review help type service to show you the sample paper of MLA research paper to get a view of what it looks like. 

The following are the principal recommendations for MLA paper formatting:


  • Use a legible font, such as Times New Roman 12 pt.
  • Set the page margins to 1 inch.
  • Use double line spacing.
  • On the first page, use a four-line MLA heading.
  • Every new paragraph should be indented by one and a half inches. Center the paper's title.
  • For headings, use title case capitalization.
  • Use MLA in-text citations to cite your sources.
  • At the end, include a list of all the references used.

Usually, there are 3 basic parts of MLA format that is the introductory paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. But according to the question adding works cited makes its 4th part.

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