Reads with authority
Coherent and clear, flows logically, good grammar, and punctuation
Uses third person: He, she, it, they, them, him, and her
Does not use first or second person: I, me, we, our, us, you, your, my
Avoid overt personal opinions; your thoughts are easily conveyed through other mechanisms in writing without such trite phrases as: In my opinion or I think.
Uses active voice and clear reasoning through very assertive statements
Paragraphs should reflect inductive or deductive reasoning
- 1” margins (top, bottom, left, and right)
- 12-point size of lettering, regardless of text or title
- Indent the first word of each paragraph by ½ inch.
- Center the title of the paper. Do not underline the title, or put in “quotation marks,” or set in all capitals.
- Double-space all text; don’t skip spaces additional spaces (add blank lines) between paragraphs.
- Standard font (Times New Roman is the preference.
- Don’t bold the title of any paper
- Number all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, ½ inch from the top and flush with right margin. Type your last name before the page number, and do not use “p.” before the number.
- Skip one space after a mark of punctuation ending a sentence.
- Skip one space after other marks of punctuation
Major Updates from the New (7th) Edition
MLA no longer requires underlining. Titles, such as books and periodical titles, are now italicized rather than underlined.
All entries in a reference list, whether print or electronic, must now include the medium in which they have been published (Print, Web, DVD, Television, etc.)
Be leery of online citation tools, like NoodleBib and Son of a Citation Machine. Many of the formats generated are not accurate.
URLs are no longer required in citations. MLA recommends that writers only include a web address if the audience is unlikely to find the source otherwise.
New Abbreviations: Some sources do not have a date, publisher or pagination. MLA advises, where applicable, to write n.d. for no date, n.p. for no publisher, and n.pag. for no pagination given.