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General Suggestions For Composing A Research Paper In The MLA Format

From time to time you will be asked to write research papers, and your tutors will always specify the reference format that they expect you to use. The MLA is one of the most commonly preferred writing styles that lecturers advise students to use. Different lecturers prefer different writing styles, and for the same reason, you will realize that some insist on Harvard or even APA. To be on the safe side, always make sure that you at least get to know how to use either of the popular writing and referencing modules.

MLA simply stands for Modern Language Association, and it provides guidelines for writing and acknowledging the sources that you have used in your paper. The following are useful hints that should help you write a good paper in this format:

  • Information: Always make sure that you only provide the information that is required for identification of a sentence. This is particularly so when you are citing sources in the text. In the course of this process, ensure that you make use of the last name of the author and the page reference. Do not provide any other information for that will be cumbersome.
  • Source and reference: Since you are using parenthetical references, make sure that you have the parenthetical reference set close enough to the source. Naturally, these references are supposed to come close enough to the place where a pause should be put in light of a grammatically correct sentence. To be precise, you need to have the reference set to the end of the sentence.
  • Complementing information: The information that you include in the parenthesis is not supposed to be a repeat of what you have already mentioned, but it is supposed to act as a complement. In the event for example, that you have mentioned the name of the author in the sentence, you do not necessarily need to repeat the same in the parenthetical statement. This would render the entire process redundant.
  • Punctuation: Punctuation is another area where a lot of students normally go wrong. The parenthetical references are not supposed to precede the punctuation marks which mark the end of the sentence. They are also not supposed to precede any phrase or clause which happens to include the content that has been cited. If you pay attention to these, you should be able to reference your paper just fine.