MLA Formatting Rules: Writing An Exploratory Essay In A Quality Manner


When writing an exploratory essay there are various points that you should consider so as to ensure that you actually reflect the requirements of this style of academic writing. However, if you’re being asked to write the work using MLA formatting, that means that there are even more requirements and instructions that you need to bear in mind. The following gives you some ideas of what you need to remember whilst writing in MLA format.

Margins and indentations

An important part of MLA formatting is how you arrange the margins, as well as the inclusion of indentations. Unless instructed otherwise, you will generally be required to include one inch margins as part of your MLA formatting.

Furthermore, at the beginning of each new paragraph, you should leave a half inch indentation. Generally, you will be able to use the tab key in order to accurately measure these indentations. Furthermore, most word-processing software includes on-screen measurement guides which enable you to format the work quickly and easily.

Using italics when referring to bodies of work

When writing in MLA format there will be occasions where you need to use italics when referring to bodies of work that have been written by people. If you are referring to a body of work that only has a short title, then this will generally be written normally, without the need to italicise the words; however, when it comes to bodies of work that have longer titles, it is often necessary to include these in italics instead.

How to write the title on your first page

On your first page you will need to use double-spaced text for any titles, and they should be centred as well. Furthermore, the individual words should be written using standard capitalisation - which means that not every single word will be capitalised – e.g. words such as ‘and’ or ‘a’ will be written without capitals. Another thing to bear in mind is that there should not be any italics or underlining, nor should they be any quotation marks used.

Where to include endnotes

Students will frequently have to include an endnotes section as part of their essay when using MLA formatting. If you have had to include any endnotes then these should be included in your essay just prior to the citations page. When it comes to providing a header for the end notes section, you should simply use the very basic title “Notes”.

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