Composing A Research Paper Title Page In The MLA Format

There’s only one thing that people dislike more than research papers—MLA formatting. MLA stands for the Modern Language Association. Besides being an association that stresses out college and high school students, MLA developed a format for formal writing—which inevitably leads to student anxiety. MLA isn’t as scary as your English teacher makes it sound. In fact, once you practice it a few times you’ll understand it perfectly. Today, we’ll start off by talking about getting the title page formatted correctly. If you’re looking for an additional resource, I highly recommend this website.

Your title page is the first thing the reader will see, so take the time out to make it look presentable. The MLA format is a little boring, but it’s standard for a reason. Let your paper speak for itself. Don’t put a picture of a shark on the title page. It might be awesome, but the Modern Language Association won’t admit it, so it’s best to keep the title page as clean as possible with text-only. Your text should be 12pt. Times New Roman, double-spaced. If the font seems too small, you cannot increase the size. Once you print it, it will fit onto the page nicely.

Standard MLA will require you to start on a blank page. About one third of the paper down, you’ll write your title out. Make sure you follow capitalization rules. Every word four letters or more should begin with a capital letter. The first word of the title will always begin with a capital letter. Proper nouns will always begin with a capital letter as well. When you’ve written out your title, skip three more lines and write your name. Then, skip three more lines. The next line will state the class you wrote your paper for. The line after should state your professor’s name. The final line is the professional date. The professional date should look like “October 28th, 2016" rather than “10/28/2016".

The rules of MLA might seem boring, but they actually aid writers, students and researchers in creating professional research papers that are able to document their sources with ease. A lot of the reason that MLA exists is its concise standards on formatting sources. Citing our sources is important because it helps limit plagiarism. Plagiarism isn’t just the theft of someone else’s words, but it can also be considered stealing their work, research, or thoughts and not crediting them for it. MLA essentially created a standard and universal way to cite our sources so that we don’t become criminals. You could even say that MLA is, in a way, protecting us from our own laziness. So hats off, MLA, you’re not so bad after all.