How to: MLA Citing and Research Paper Outline

There are multiple ways to cite a paper, and different universities require different formats. MLA, or Modern Language Association Citing is used in literature, psychology, sociology as well as linguistics. MLA citing is considered to be the easiest formats out of the rest. Bibliography in this format is the easiest as well. However, every student has struggled with this format before, no matter how bright they have been.

A general format guide of MLA has been given below:

1: The paper should be typed, not hand written.

2: Title page is not required in MLA unless it’s specifically asked for.

3: Arial and Times New Roman are the acceptable formats. The text should be double spaced.

4: The font size should be 12.

5: Margins should only be of 1 inch on all sides, and only one space should be left after using any punctuation marks unless it is specified in other way.

6: The header must have the number of all pages on the upper right-hand side, unless told otherwise.

7: The header on the upper right hand should include your last name with a space and page number in the end.

8: Use italics to show titles of longer sources, or if one needs to specify or put emphasis on a certain statement.

9: Title of the page should be in the centre.

10: If there are footnotes or endnotes, they should be included in a separate page. This section can remain unformatted and titled as “Notes”.

What is a research paper outline?

It is easier to write a research paper when one has all the important components listed down. Research paper outline is nothing but simply a way to organise your thoughts and work into a simple format, so that the research paper can be easy to work with. It is convenient to stay focused while expanding the points with a research paper outline. Students usually face a lot of stress while writing papers, but once a general outline of how the paper will flow is made, it gets easier for the students to stay focused and stress free.

Research paper outline is a plan for the upcoming research. It includes the following parts:

1: Title

2: Topic/Statement

3: Important points that support your thesis/statement/topic

4: Supporting researches for all the points.

5: Conclusion

Most of the important components of a research paper always get included in the research paper outline, which makes it easier for the student to stay focused on the task, and it is easier to move forward into the paper with this method. Each point is then explained thoroughly and all the supporting researches are included in the hypothesis, which makes the paper more reliable and academically brilliant.

How to write a research paper with MLA Citing

Research paper writing becomes easier with an outline, and then formatting it in MLA citing becomes easier to ensure every particular part goes in particular sections.

The research paper outline consists of the following sections:

1: Abstract

2: Introduction

3: Body

  1. Literature review
  2. Research Methods
  3. Analysis
  4. Results
  5. Perspective

4: Conclusion

5: Bibliography

An abstract is a brief summary of the paper. It shows the basic information about the topic, the research done, the methods used. It gives the reader an insight about the topic, the subjects, methodology used, in the briefest way ever. The summary is not more than 150-200 words.

The introduction part is the most important section of the paper as it gives the reader an idea about what the research is about. It makes the reader curious about the content. Here, the students explain some major points, general information related to the thesis. The introduction can range anywhere from 600-900 words but not limited to. The aim of the research comes in the introduction.

The body of the essay comprises of multiple headings and subheadings, explaining the entire process of the research as thoroughly as it can. Here, all the researches are listed to support your hypothesis and make the research paper more credible.

In this section of the paper, it is to be made sure that review of literature is included so that the reader knows where you got your supporting argument from.

Analysis, or data analysis is a section where your results and other variables are presented. Present your results in a precise manner and let your audience know if the results bring a change in your topic or support the hypothesis that you suggested. Make sure that in this section one also notes down the setbacks they had to face during the research work.

The end part of the paper is the conclusion where the student lets the reader know about the whole work at a glance. The conclusion talks about the result that was found and the insights that the results give. Here, the thesis statement is mentioned again. Sometimes a conclusion can also be a means to a whole new research!

Template of MLA Citing in a Research Paper Outline

While making a research paper outline, it is always the best to outline it already in the format it is required. The name of the student, professor, course, and date are noted on the first page. The header should have your last name and number in the upper right corner. Italics are used when highlighting important points of the thesis, or writing a heading/subheading.

To have a good research paper, especially when one is doing MLA citing, it is necessary that the references are formatted in the required citation type. MLA format does not require a title page, only include it if the professor specifically asks for it.

Last but not the least, it is very important for the student to go through the guidelines a few times before submitting the paper. Re-checking and editing are very important parts of the paper as grammatical errors or formatting errors can make or break your paper. Therefore, always ensure to go through the paper a few more times before submitting.

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