Apr 20, 2023

How to Write in MLA Essay Format (With Examples)

Did you know that MLA essay format isn't just about citation style? It also includes guidelines for headings, spacing, margins, and more. If you're not sure how to put it all together, don't worry - we've got you covered. In this article, we'll provide you with clear instructions and examples to help you write in MLA essay format like a pro!

Many pupils in higher education are required to become familiar with the Modern Language Association (MLA) format to write effectively on academic assignments. The formatting guide for this writing method is around 400 pages long, so we've compiled some basic guidelines to get you started.

MLA, short for the Modern Language Association, is a standard format for scholarly writing like study papers and essays. As a college student, you'll find that liberal arts and sciences courses almost always insist on MLA citations and paper formats. In this article, you will find detailed instructions for creating an MLA-formatted document in Office.

What does MLA format mean?

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is "the style suggested by the MLA for writing scholarly works and student research papers," as explained by Thesaurus.com. Essays written in MLA format or MLA style require specific elements: a header, pagination with the last name and page number, a title, the use of Times New Roman font in 12 point size, double spacing throughout, margins set to 1 inch on all sides, and the inclusion of a Works Cited page.

When is MLA format used?

Most courses in the arts (including English, film, literature, philosophy, and early creative writing) will require you to use MLA format. Although instructors in introductory classes may give students some leeway in selecting a preferred style of citation and essay format, MLA is frequently used because it is one of the most straightforward.

How do I properly organise my Google Docs document in MLA style?

Using Google Documents, you can easily create an MLA formatted paper. If you already have a Gmail account, Google Docs is a complimentary bonus. There is no cost to set up a Google account if you don't already have one.

In MLA style, how many parts should my paper have?

Paragraph requirements for an MLA essay will vary depending on the requirements of your instructor. Instead, you should aim for a specific word count or a specific page count. Find out from your educator the minimum number of words or pages expected for the essay. Essays for high school and college freshmen are typically between three and five pages long, or about 1,250 to 1,500 words (2 to 3 paragraphs).

When using MLA style, how many words should my paper be?

The length of your final MLA essay will rely heavily on the specifics of your instructor's assignment. Determine the required length of your composition by consulting with your instructor. Commonly assigned to freshmen in college, essays typically range between three and five pages. The average length of a standard 5-page thesis written in double space is around 1250 words.

When using the APA style, how do you properly reference a book?

It is not necessary to struggle through the process of creating a Works Cited page for a book. The following elements should be included in your book's citation: Initials, Surname, etc. Book Description. Place of Distribution, Publishing House, and Year of Publication.

Know the General Guidelines of MLA Style

Language classes and literature courses are where you're most likely to come across an essay written in MLA style. While there is some flexibility in the design, there are also some strict guidelines to follow. In 2021, the ninth version of the manual of style was published.

  • When Unsure, Stick to a Generic Layout

  • The five guidelines below are the standard for any MLA-styled paper.

  • Change the default typeface to Times New Roman, size 12.

  • The recommended size for paper borders is one inch on all sides.

  • Don't use two spaces after a semicolon.

  • Leave a half-inch space between the left margin and the first line of each column. (Tab instead of using the spacebar to create indents).

  • Use double spacing for the entire article.

  • Proper use of headings, footnotes, and page numbers is crucial.

  • To ensure that your paper is easily understood, it is crucial that you use correct headers and cover sheets. Plagiarism can be avoided by providing thorough and correct information.

  • Unless otherwise specified by your instructor, a cover sheet is not required.

  • Any lengthy headings used in the body of the paper should be italicized.

  • Put your name at the top left of the first page of your writing.

  • Write the name of your teacher on the line beneath your own. Type the name of the class below that. And finally, don't forget to include the date below.

  • Create page numbers in the top right area. Page numbers should appear to the left of your last name (Jones 1). This will serve as the header for the entire document.

  • On the line beneath the date, centered, write the subject of your essay.

  • You need to use numbered headings to separate parts if there are any. For ease of reference, you can number your essay's parts as follows: "1. Section One, 2. Section Two, 3. Section Three," etc.

  • The standard for referencing within the body of the text is to place the author's surname and the page number in brackets

  • If you cite the same source multiple times in the same paragraph and there are no other citations in that section, you can simply list the citations after the paragraph.

  • Put your endnotes on a distinct page before your works cited page. The heading for this section should read "Notes."

Understand What a Works Cited Page Is 

In MLA format, a Works Cited page is included rather than a Bibliography or Sources section. To achieve this flexibility, MLA 9 employs a container structure, within which nine fundamental elements are created.

Use this basic works cited format:

  • Initials, Surname, etc. A Title of the Original Author. Title of Container, Names of Other Authors, Version and Number, Publisher, Publication Date, and Place of Distribution.

  • Each entry should be a genuine resource that you used for research and properly referenced in your paper.

  • You can skip any of the above steps if you don't have the necessary materials.

  • Italicize titles of books, websites, magazines, TV programmes, and albums.

  • Article titles, magazine titles, episode titles, and music titles all need to be enclosed in quotation marks when used in a paper or essay.

  • Create an alphabetical list of your references, beginning with the authors' last names.

  • When there is no author given, put the title of the source in the first position of the entry and arrange the entries alphabetically by title.

  • Add-ons that can be made to a Project Include the following information in your citation: date of original publication; city of original publishing; date of access; URL; and digital object identifier.

Get to Know MLA

While it may not seem important now, understanding the fundamentals of MLA style will make your life much easier when it comes time to write college papers. These standards will become second nature the more you read and apply them.

4 MLA Format Essay Examples

  • Example #1

Jane Doe                                                                                                                                                                

Doe 1

Professor John

English 07


What is Wi-Fi?

You know the feeling: You’re reading a website or streaming a movie when your Wi-Fi goes out. What is Wi-Fi, and why do we depend on it so much? Understanding the concept of Wi-Fi is important for users of modern technology because it connects us to the world.

Wi-Fi is the wireless local network between nearby devices, such as wireless routers, computers, smartphones, tablets, or external drives. It is part of the LAN (local area network) protocols and has largely replaced the wired Ethernet option. When your device has Wi-Fi turned on, it can find the nearest router. If the router is connected to a modem and works with an Internet service provider (ISP), your device can now access the Internet and other devices on the network. Wi-Fi covers a much more limited area than a cell phone tower. However, Wi-Fi does not use expensive cellular data like LTE or 4G.

Many people believe that Wi-Fi is short for “wireless fidelity.” The founding members of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance needed a name that was easier to remember than “wireless ethernet,” and much easier than Wi-Fi’s actual original name, “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence.” They added the slogan “The Standard for Wireless Fidelity,” but dropped it after people mistook the meaning of Wi-Fi. The name is a play on the term “hi-fi,” which is a high-quality reproduction in stereo sound (“high fidelity”), and not related to Wi-Fi at all. The IEEE 802.11b standard has since been upgraded to faster protocols, including 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac.

Because of Wi-Fi’s widespread use and popularity, Merriam-Webster added “Wi-Fi” to its dictionary in 2005, only eight years after it was invented. Today, most modern computers depend on Wi-Fi for Internet access. Free Wi-Fi is available in many restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops. It is also easy to install in your home for private use. However, even private Wi-Fi connections should be password-protected. Joining an unprotected Wi-Fi network, or allowing others to join your network, could compromise your online safety and privacy.

Understanding what Wi-Fi is can protect you and your information. When used correctly and safely, Wi-Fi is an essential part of the 21st-century experience. Whether you’re watching your favourite show or finishing up a research paper, you should know more about how data travels to and from your device.

  • Example #2

Allen Bailey                        

Bailey 01

Professor Jane

English 16



Everyone feels afraid from time to time. From feeling the jitters to facing a lifelong phobia, it’s difficult to put fears aside when trying to accomplish a goal. But one doesn’t need to forget that they are afraid to be brave; in fact, bravery doesn’t exist without real fear behind it.

Bravery is the mindset one takes when facing a challenge that could be dangerous or difficult. The task could be objectively dangerous, such as engaging in battle or driving in adverse conditions. A person could also perceive a seemingly harmless situation as challenging, such as climbing a flight of stairs or talking to someone they’d like to date. A brave act requires one to face and embrace the task rather than withdraw from it.

There are examples of bravery in every community. Look no further than your local fire station or police station to see acts of bravery. Community heroes help others in small and large ways every day, often at great risk to their own lives. Students are brave when they stand up to a bully or present a project in front of the whole class. Practicing small acts of bravery can prepare a person to lead a heroic life.

“Fearlessness” can be a connotation of bravery, but it’s not a true synonym (although bystanders may believe that a brave person acts without fear). If a task does not seem frightening in some way, it would be simple to complete, requiring no bravery at all. Heroes who exhibit bravery often put themselves at risk to help others. The closest synonym for bravery would be “courage.” The ability to do what’s right despite a real or perceived threat requires strength, making “fortitude” another near-synonym for bravery.

Bravery doesn’t exist without fear. No matter how challenging or dangerous a task can be, bravery allows a person to work alongside their fear rather than forget about it. The next time you see someone acting heroically, remind yourself that they are probably terrified at that moment – and that makes them even braver.

  • Example # 3

Adams Aderson                      

Aderson 01

Professor Bell

English 05


Most Important Health Risks for Women to Be Aware Of


Women's health is a critical issue that has gained attention in recent years. Women face different health risks than men, and they must be aware of them to maintain a healthy life. Breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are some of the most important health risks for women to be aware of. In this essay, we will discuss each of these risks in detail and provide advice on how to mitigate them.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. It occurs when breast cells grow uncontrollably. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, and women with a family history of breast cancer are also at a higher risk (American Cancer Society). The best way to detect breast cancer early is through regular mammograms (National Breast Cancer Foundation). Women should also conduct breast self-exams monthly and report any changes to their doctor. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol consumption, and exercising regularly can also lower the risk of developing breast cancer (American Cancer Society).

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States. Women with a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are at a higher risk of developing heart disease (American Heart Association). Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, and managing stress are effective ways to prevent heart disease (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). Women should also have their blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.


Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones, making them more likely to break. Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men because they have smaller, thinner bones (National Osteoporosis Foundation). Women should consume adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption to maintain bone health. Women over the age of 50 should also have regular bone density tests.


Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects women twice as often as men. Women who have a family history of depression, have experienced trauma, or have chronic illnesses are at a higher risk of developing depression (National Institute of Mental Health). Regular exercise, a healthy diet, good sleep habits, and social support can help prevent depression. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, such as persistent sadness, lack of interest in activities, and difficulty sleeping, seek help from a mental health professional.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are spread through sexual contact. Women are at a higher risk of contracting STIs than men because of the anatomy of their reproductive system (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The most effective way to prevent STIs is to practice safe sex, such as using condoms and getting regular STI testing. Women should also be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer (American Cancer Society).


Women face unique health risks that must be taken seriously. Breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and sexually transmitted infections are some of the most important health risks for women to be aware of. By practising healthy habits, such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, and seeking regular medical care, women can mitigate these risks and lead long, healthy lives. Women need to prioritize their health and take steps to prevent and detect health problems early on.

Works Cited

American Cancer Society. "Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention." Cancer.org, American Cancer Society, 2022, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention.html.

American Heart Association Society. “Heart Valve and Disease” heart.org, American Heart Association Society 2022, https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-valve-problems-and-disease

  • Example #4

Bennett Brown                      

Brown 01

Professor Burton

English 22


The Effect of Birth Control and Pregnancy on a Woman's Psyche


Women's reproductive health has always been a critical issue, and it has gained attention in recent years. Birth control and pregnancy are two of the most significant factors that affect a woman's psyche. Birth control has both physical and psychological effects, while pregnancy can bring about significant changes in a woman's mental and emotional state. In this essay, we will explore the effects of birth control and pregnancy on a woman's psyche.

Birth Control

Birth control is a common method of preventing unwanted pregnancies. Hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, patch, and hormonal IUD, work by altering a woman's hormone levels to prevent ovulation. The use of hormonal birth control has been associated with changes in a woman's mood and behaviour. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that women who used hormonal birth control were more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who did not use hormonal birth control (Skovlund et al.).

However, it is important to note that the use of hormonal birth control may not cause depression and anxiety in all women. Women who have a history of depression or anxiety may be more susceptible to these side effects. Additionally, not all women experience these side effects, and for some women, birth control may improve their mental health by reducing symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.


Pregnancy is a significant event that brings about numerous changes in a woman's body, both physically and mentally. Pregnancy can be a time of emotional highs and lows, and many women experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, up to 20% of women experience depression during pregnancy (American Pregnancy Association).

One of the factors that contribute to the risk of depression during pregnancy is the hormonal changes that occur. During pregnancy, there is an increase in the levels of estrogen and progesterone, which can affect a woman's mood and behaviour. Additionally, changes in a woman's social and economic status, as well as the stress of preparing for a new baby, can contribute to depression during pregnancy.

However, it is important to note that not all women experience depression during pregnancy. Some women report feeling more energized and happier during pregnancy. Additionally, many women report feeling a sense of purpose and joy as they prepare for the arrival of their new baby.


Birth control and pregnancy are two of the most significant factors that affect a woman's psyche. Hormonal birth control can cause changes in mood and behaviour, while pregnancy can bring about significant changes in a woman's mental and emotional state. Women should be aware of these potential effects and seek medical advice if they experience significant mood changes. It is important to remember that not all women experience negative side effects from birth control or pregnancy and that every woman's experience is unique.

Works Cited

American Pregnancy Association. "Depression During Pregnancy." Americanpregnancy.org, American Pregnancy Association, 2022, https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/depression-during-pregnancy/

Skovlund, Charlotte Wessel, et al. "Association of Hormonal Contraception with Depression." JAMA Psychiatry, vol. 73, no. 11, 2016, pp. 1154–1162.


In conclusion, MLA format is a widely used citation style that helps ensure academic integrity by providing guidelines for documenting sources in research papers and essays. To write in MLA format, it is essential to follow a few simple guidelines, including using 12-point font, double spacing, and adding a header with your last name and page number. 

Mastering the MLA essay format may seem daunting at first, but with practice and guidance, you can learn to write with confidence and clarity. By following the key elements we've outlined in this article, such as in-text citations, works cited pages, and proper formatting, you'll be well on your way to producing high-quality essays that meet MLA standards.

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