- Construct an argument that answers the writing prompt by arranging your notes linearly.
- Unless your teacher wants a 5 paragraph essay (an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph), don’t feel constrained by that model.
Now that you’ve grouped your notes, thought about your transitions, and developed a high-powered thesis, its time to build the scaffold upon which you’ll structure your paper: the outline.
Some teachers prefer a standard 3 body paragraph format. Three is a nice number aesthetically, but there is nothing particularly magical about having three body paragraphs. Unless your teacher states that you must have a certain number of body paragraphs, don’t feel constrained by this 3 paragraph format. The number of body paragraphs you have should be determined by your research and how you grouped your notes, not by an arbitrary number. Have one main claim expressed in each paragraph.
Tip: Keep in mind that the outline needs to be flexible. Don’t feel constrained by your outline once it’s created. If you get a surge of inspiration part way through writing your paper and decide to take your paper in a new direction, go ahead and change your outline.
There are several different ways to format an outline, but the MLA method (below) is a solid way to do it. Note how easily all the previous work you’ve done (grouping your notes and thinking about transitions) slides into the outline format:
Links to sample outlines:
All Essentials in an MLA Essay Format Example
Nowadays different academic institutions require different types of text formatting. So, if you are supposed to create an essay in MLA format, but not even sure where to start, stick to our MLA format example essay and you will easily get through the writing process.
Your title page
First of all, MLA format for essays expects the author to locate the following on the title page:
- the student’s name
- the instructor’s name
- the class or section
- the date.
As you can see in the presented MLA format essay example, it is necessary to use certain system of citation in MLA format essays. For example, you have to use double spaces through the entire text of the work and write the last name of the author and the page number on every page. For example, if the author’s name is Jane Smith, you have to write Smith 10 on the right side of the tenth page, half an inch from the top.
Be extremely attentive to citation. There is a certain way of doing it while writing an essay, MLA format. In case of an in-text reference, the look of the citation depends on such factors:
- type of the cited source (magazine, book, etc.)
- source’s entry on the Works Cited (bibliography) page.
In essay format MLA, you should put the name of the author and the number of the cited page after the sentence. You also have to put a complete reference in the end of the work, at the bibliography page.
For example, you need to cite Carl Jung in your psychology essay. Put it this way:
Doctor C.Jung touches this phenomenon in one of his researches. (C.Jung, 1940).
If the reader needs more information, he goes to the Works Cited page and sees this:
Jung, C. G., & Dell, S. M. (1940). The Integration of the Personality. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Some general guidelines on MLA format for essays on an MLA format essay outline
- an author is free to select any font, but it is recommended to choose the one where regular text and italics are easily distinguished. The font size has to be 12 pt;
- make sure you leave only one space after period and signs alike as it is set by the MLA format for essay, unless otherwise is required by your tutor;
- the margins are expected to be 1’ on all sides;
- start every new line of a paragraph half-inch from the margin line. By doing so, you will both observe the MLA rules and make it easier for a reader to perceive the text;
- if you decide to add endnotes, locate them on a separate page, before the Works Cited page. Entitle the page “Notes”.
More sources to consult
Usage of the example of MLA format essay can doubtlessly be of great service to beginners.
At the same time, it is better to consult MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.) in order to ensure that the formatting is completely right.
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