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How to Write a Paper: MLA Style Pitfalls to Steer Clear of

How to Write MLA Style PaperPapers such as essays, dissertations, and theses must adhere to a specific formatting style. There are three common types that your professor may ask you to follow: MLA, APA and Chicago. It's very important that you take their requirements into account if you want your paper to have value and prove that it's well-researched. The MLA style, in particular, abides by a very specific set of rules. It's not enough to know how to shape a paper. The resources used to back up all your claims are equally important. Read on and learn how to steer clear of the most widespread pitfalls.

Citing URLs

The MLA formatting style doesn't require students to include the URL in the citation. However, your chosen online piece must have a title and an author to be considered valuable. Furthermore, you are asked to include the webpage's sponsor or publisher, and the current date you entered that website to retrieve the article.

  • Example: McKendrick, J. Cloud Computing Should Transform, Not just Replace. Forbes. 23 February 2017.

Citing Books

When citing books in MLA you are required to put the title of the book in Italics. Also, the publication year of the book comes after entering the title, not before as in APA.

  • Example: Fitzgerald, Scott F. The Great Gatsby. Dead Authors Society. 2016. Print

Citing an eBook

When citing an eBook, the same rules apply. However, make sure to include the day you accessed the website.

  • Example: Fitzgerald, Scott F. The Great Gatsby. Dead Authors Society. 2016. Google books. Web. February 2017

Date Formatting When Citing Sources in MLA

When citing sources in MLA, dates have the following format: date – month – year. Use just one or two digits for the date, spell the month, and write the year in four digits. No commas should be added in between.

  • Example: 23 February 2000

Title Citation in MLA

When citing titles, whether from books, journals, magazines, or online sources, make sure to put them in Italics.

  • Example: Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations.

Citing an Article from a Journal

If you want to cite an article from a journal, the title of your piece should have quotation marks. The period that splits the title from the periodical title should be placed within the question marks. Only the periodical title should be written in Italics.

  • Example: Neto, Castro. “The Electronic Properties of Graphene.” Reviews of Modern Physics. (2010): 81. Print

Citing an Article from an Online Journal

Make sure to include the name of the publisher or sponsor after mentioning the release year of the article.

  • Example: Lin, Shu-Hui, Huang, Yun-Chen. “Life Stress and Academic Burnout.” Active Learning in Active Education. (2016). Sage Journals Online. 23 February 2017.

As you can see, it's not that difficult to learn how to write a paper MLA style. The key factor is to be very attentive to details, as this format differs from both APA and Chicago.

Of course, it is quite hard to keep everything in mind, and you can use our Free Citation Generator to help you handle citations properly in your paper.

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