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MLA Format Essay Structure: An Example


The Modern Language Association or MLA format is one of the accepted methods of presentation for written work at a tertiary level. The format is simple enough to follow after it’s explained so to help you along, here is the following example:

  • Name of the Writer of the Paper
  • Name of the Lecturer
  • Name of the Course
  • Date
The Title of the Essay

The first paragraph begins with an indentation which you can achieve by pressing “tab”. The entire essay should be double spaced. The lack of additional space between the heading and the title is intentional and you should continue with this method throughout your writing. Stick to plain fonts that can be deciphered with minimal difficulty rather than the fancier ones which can make certain letters ambiguous. As you finish one paragraph, leave no additional spaces (aside from the double spacing used throughout) between that paragraph and the one you are beginning.

The MLA style requires in-text citations. In cases where the work of an author is being referenced, you would include a parenthetical reference as follows (Author’s Name, Year the work was Published). If you have already mentioned the work in detail, you can instead use the following format (Page number of referenced work). These citations do not remove the need for a final page of works cited. This would be structured as seen below:

Works Cited

Last Name, First Name, “Name of Work within Quotation Marks”, Edition if relevant, Name of Publisher, Year Published and Address.

That was a very simplified example of the MLA style. You will notice the indentation within the Works Cited. This is necessary for the style and should not be excluded. A few additional tips to note:

  • The cover page is the only one that needs unabridged information about the student and teacher.
  • All subsequent pages can contain just the student’s surname and the page number in the upper right corner
  • Where one of the cited texts is the result of the work of many authors it is acceptable to write the first author’s name fully and refer to the other authors as “et al”.

As you go through online resources you can look out for more information that may assist you in perfecting your technique within MLA format and other related academic writing styles.