A Brief Guide To Composing A High School Essay In The MLA Format 

If you are assigned to write your essay in the MLA format, you should present its content in compliance with the rules developed by the Modern Language Association. This is a common writing format for papers in humanities and liberal arts, and it stipulates a variety of nuances that will help organize your piece of writing in these fields in the most effective way. Apply the following quick guidelines to compose a perfect high school paper in the MLA format:

Writing guidelines

  • In an introduction, tell your reader what your paper will be about. Explain why you will explore this topic and why it is important.
  • End your introduction with a thesis statement. This is your clearly stated position that will be developed and proved in the main body of your paper.
  • If your paper is supposed to be long, you may divide it into several sections and name them with corresponding headings. You may use a three-level heading system in your MLA style essay.
  • Use footnotes to explain the points that don’t match the rest of your paper.
  • Include the following key elements into your body paragraphs: a transition, a topic sentence, supporting evidence, and a wrap-up sentence.
  • If your quotations exceed four typed lines, use block quotes.
  • Summarize the content of your paper in a conclusion.

Formatting guidelines

  • Write the page number and your name in the upper-right corner of your paper. Start with the number 1.
  • Give general information, like your name, the teacher’s name, the course, and the date in the upper-left corner of your work.
  • Write the title in the center. It shouldn’t be indented.
  • Double-space the whole document.
  • If you use headings, apply different styles to differentiate them from each other.
  • Add the footnote immediately after the phrase it is related to.
  • In-text citations consist of the author’s name and page number and they should be written immediately after the quotation but before the period.
  • Double-space the whole text of your MLA style essay.
  • If there is any mistake in the original quote, use it as it is.
  • If you omit any text from the original quote, insert three periods with the space between and after each of them.
  • Italicize the titles of published works.
  • Don’t use quotation marks in block quotes and indent them 1” from the margin.
  • Have a separate page for footnotes after your paper but before the “Works Cited” page.

For more details on how to write and format a proper high school essay in the MLA format, refer to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

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