What Is The MLA Writing Format?
The MLA Writing Format is the layout, design, and structure of all essays and research papers that adheres to the Modern Language Association (MLA) structure for academic research. The MLA writing format has general guidelines for MLA-style papers such as font, centered title, student identification information as well as student name and pagination. General guidelines also consist of the font (Times New Roman) and font size (12), in addition to double-spacing, which is a necessary feature in the essay or article body. The format also involves the design of an MLA-style title page, section headings within the paper body, and source citations within the text. Other issues involve the Works Cited Page or bibliography.
Benefits of the MLA Writing Format
One of the benefits of using the MLA writing format is that the format is a necessity for students in both liberal arts and humanities classes. You cannot write proper academic papers for your liberal arts and humanities classes, unless those research papers are written in the format that caters to liberal arts and humanities disciplines—which is none other than the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Another benefit of the MLA format is that it allows students to gain an appreciation for research formats. There are several format styles throughout academia, and learning the MLA style will help students gain an acquired taste for academic writing as a whole. Perhaps the student who learns MLA will one day inquire about the APA or CMS or Turabian formats; and maybe the student will one day be able to expound upon why all these different formats exist. Yes, there is a method to the madness of paper formatting! Lastly, the MLA writing format prevents students from stealing someone’s ideas as their own. Plagiarism is as serious as cheating, and students are not given a light slap on the wrist when they say something unoriginal without giving credit to those who coined it first. A student’s academic career can be ruined by just one plagiarism incident. Students have been expelled from top-notch academic universities such as Harvard, Duke, and Yale over plagiarism incidents. Also, the student who commits plagiarism damages his reputation. Terrible consequences befall the student who claims someone else’s ideas for his own (though he did not create them). The MLA writing format, then, is a safe boundary within which students can enjoy academic research and all it brings. Like children in the backyard who stay safe by not going to the road, the MLA format prevents students from committing academic suicide.
The MLA writing format is one of many to be respected. For the student who is willing to invest countless hours in studying it, the journey can be both enjoyable and successful.