What is The Most Popular Research Paper Format?

The most common research paper-writing format is by far the 5 Paragraph MLA format paper. Over 99% of the writing assignments that you will do throughout your post secondary career will be completed in this style. This is why it is extremely important to master writing in this format, and apply to all of the papers that you intend to submit for grading.

Below we’ve included a list of all the mechanics that contribute to a properly formatted MLA research paper that students can use to complete their assignments correctly:

MLA Formatting Mechanics

  1. A Running Header:
  2. Your MLA formatted paper requires a header on every page that includes: your last, first names, and page number

  3. Font Choice
  4. When writing in MLA format choose a 12 point, Times New Roman font for all pages including your works citied.

  5. Margins
  6. Use one-inch margins, every time.

  7. Headings
  8. Include a heading with your title which states your name, your instructors name, your class/course #, and the date completed.

  9. Title
  10. Include a title that is centered, in the same font, that is not stylized (no boldface or italics).

  11. Spacing
  12. Use double spacing on everything, except poetry.

  13. Works Titles
  14. Within your paper properly format the titles of novels, plays, and films that are being used for your research with italics. Only short stories, poems, and essays need to be in quotations.

  15. Introducing Quotes
  16. Be sure to introduce quotes with independent clauses and not as sentences.

  17. Style Of Quotations
  18. A properly formatted MLA paper will only quote a maximum of four lines or less of prose and only two lines of poetry in the entire composition.

    Be sure to block quote lines takes from prose, poetry, dialogue, film or television programs.

  19. Parenthetical Citing
  20. Along with these block text quotations you must also include page and line numbers.

  21. Explanation of Quotes
  22. In order to avoid copying quotes, you must also incorporate your own interpretation of the quotations within the context of your paper.

  23. Works Citied Properly

Along with citing sources within your paper you must all include a works cited page that cites all the novels, texts, poems, films, articles, web pages, scripts, and similar resources that you have used as supporting material within your report.

*Remember, instructors tend to grade format as well as content, so be sure to include all of these elements in your final draft. Double-check to make sure that you haven’t forgotten any of these important details, careless mistakes cast cost you grade percentages.

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