What is MLA format in Research and Why is it Important?

What is MLA format in Research and why is it important?

The MLA format was designed by the Modern Language Association in the MLA Handbook to create a standard for  formatting research papers. This was done with an aim to keep the papers uniform and professional regardless of the subject. Its rules encompass everything within a paper ranging from citing your sources to to  when words should be italicised to spacing of headers and margins.

Rules of MLA Format:

  • 1. One-inch margins. All four sides of the document must have an inch of space from the paper’s edge.
  • 2. Indented paragraphs: Every paragraph must be intended with a half-inch wide space, which is the default indent from the Tab key.
  • 3. Double space lines: All lines should be double-spaced to make the paper easy to read.
  • 4. Page numbers: The page numbering must be in the upper-right, after the writer’s last name. 
  • 5. Comprehensible font: The two most used and preferred fonts for research papers are Arial and Times New Roman.

Importance of MLA Format in Research 

  • 1. The MLA format provides a common standard for formatting and citations that everyone follows during research thereby giving them a reliable source of reference. 
  • 2. The format set by MLA also enables researchers to remain consistent. 
  • 3. The citations allow others to find the information that one has used in their research paper.
  • 4. It gives everyone a common template they can refer to for research. 
  • 5. It simplifies the process of research and also makes the paper easy to read and comprehensible. 

MLA stands for Modern Language Association and is currently in its 9th edition, which has been published in 2021.

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