An Effective Guide To Writing An MLA Research Paper

No-one said that being a student was going to be easy. In the same way that there is a standard format that you must follow when writing an essay or a dissertation then there are several different formats that you must wrap your head around when writing your research paper. For example, you might be tasked with writing an APA (American Psychological Association) format, or Harvard. However for the purposes of this post I am going to focus on providing you with an effective guide to writing an MLA (Modern Language Association) paper.

Don’t worry about the other formats

In some ways it will be easier if the MLA is the first format that you have ever been required to write as you won’t have the others rattling around in your head. However, whether this is your first paper or your third, the very first thing that you have to do is FORGET about the others. If you are in any doubt, google MLA.

Double Space

In the same way that you prepare your manuscript for a publisher in double spacing, then you must also do this when writing this kind of research paper. This is ridiculously easy to do, and to be fair, does make reading it easier. It also gives your lecturer ample room to add in any comments that they may wish to make.


So, now you must also number your pages in a header at the top right hand corner of EACH page. If you are in any doubt as to how to do this simply make use of the help facility within Microsoft word.


As you might expect, there are also set criteria with regard to font. Simply set it at either ten or twelve point. I would also recommend running with Times New Roman. You can’t go wrong with that!

Title page

The very first page must be exclusively set aside as a title page. This will make your title really stand out. (It also means that your title needs to really kick ass, but that’s the subject of another article!


Headers should appear on each and every page – be sure to use the same header style for each one. See, the MLA format is not at all difficult to follow when you know how! Oh, and the title should be justified to the left on each page if it is to be effective.