MLA Style Guide 7th Edition: Everything You Need to Know About MLA Formatting

MLA Style Guide 7th Edition: Everything You Need to Know About MLA Formatting

In college, writing papers is an essential part of the learning process. Whether you’re submitting essays for your literature class or writing a persuasive argumentative essay for your English composition course, it’s important to consider the format in which your paper must be written. MLA, or Modern Language Association, is one of the most common formatting styles used in academic writing, and its guidelines must be followed throughout your paper.

When writing in MLA format, you’ll need to pay attention to the spacing, headers, and other formatting features. The body of your paper should be double-spaced with a one-inch margin on all sides. Each paragraph should be indented by half an inch. The title of your essay should be centered and written in title case. You may also need to include a header with your last name and the page number of your paper. These guidelines ensure that your paper looks professional and is easy for your readers to follow.

Furthermore, MLA style provides specific rules for citing different types of publications, including books, articles, and websites. It also offers recommendations on how to cite sources within the body of your paper to give credit to the authors of the ideas you’re using. This is especially important when writing long papers or conducting research, as it demonstrates your ability to incorporate other people’s ideas while acknowledging their contribution to your work.

In this article, we will take you through the key features of MLA style guide 7th edition and provide you with some tips and tidbits on how to best format your MLA papers. Whether you’re new to MLA or have been using it for years, there’s always something new to learn or a common mistake to avoid. So, read on to discover everything you need to know about MLA formatting and write your essays with confidence!

Understanding the MLA Style Guide

One important aspect of the MLA Style Guide is the use of in-text citations. These citations should be included within the body of the paper and provide the reader with information about the source of the information or quote. The MLA Style Guide suggests using the author’s name and page number in parentheses to indicate the source of the information.

The MLA Style Guide also provides guidelines for creating a header with the writer’s last name and page number. This header should be consistent throughout the paper, appearing in the upper right corner of each page. The MLA Style Guide recommends double-spacing the entire paper, including the header and body paragraphs.

In addition to formatting guidelines, the MLA Style Guide offers tips and hints for writers to follow. It suggests using concise and informative titles for papers, and capitalizing all major words in the title. The MLA Style Guide also advises writers to consider the audience and purpose of their paper, and to tailor their writing accordingly. For example, an informative paper may include more facts and information, while a persuasive paper may use more persuasive language and appeals to emotion.

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The MLA Style Guide also provides guidance on how to format citations for different types of sources, such as books, articles, and websites. It suggests including the author’s name, title of the work, publication information, and the date of publication. The MLA Style Guide notes that it is essential to properly cite any sources used in a paper to avoid plagiarism and to give credit to the original author.

Overall, the MLA Style Guide is a useful resource for writers who need to submit papers in MLA format. It provides guidelines on how to structure and format papers, create works cited pages, and properly cite sources. By following the MLA Style Guide, writers can ensure that their papers are organized, coherent, and well-researched.

Key Elements of MLA Formatting

When writing an essay or research paper in MLA style, there are several key elements that you must include to ensure your work adheres to the same standards set by the Modern Language Association.

First and foremost, the title of your paper should be clear and concise, and it should also reflect the focus of your essay. The title should be centered and written in title case, which means that all major words and important words are capitalized.

You should provide your name, the course information, the instructor’s name, and the due date in the top left corner of the first page. This information should be formatted using double spacing and aligned to the left margin.

The body of your essay should be organized into paragraphs, each with a clear topic sentence that presents a main idea or argument. Make sure to support your claims with evidence and use proper in-text citations to reference any sources you used.

In MLA style, in-text citations are done using the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses. For example, (Smith 123) or (Smith, Johnson, and Brown 45). This format helps to make your references clear and consistent throughout your paper.

At the end of your paper, you should include a Works Cited page. This is a list of all the sources you used in your research, such as books, articles, or websites. The Works Cited page should be organized alphabetically by the authors’ last names.

Remember to use a hanging indent for each entry and to format the citations according to the guidelines provided in the MLA manual. The Works Cited page should also be double spaced and have a title centered at the top of the page.

Having a clear and organized MLA format is essential for any academic paper, as it helps the readers to navigate through your work and find the information they need. Following the MLA style guide ensures that your paper is consistent with other scholarly work and makes it easier for others to find and reference your sources.

MLA Formatting TipsAPA Formatting Tips
Use double spacing throughout your paperUse double spacing throughout your paper
Include a header with your last name and page number at the top right corner of each pageInclude a header with the page number at the top right corner of each page
Format your paper with 1-inch margins on all sidesFormat your paper with 1-inch margins on all sides
Use a readable font, such as Times New Roman, with a font size of 12Use a readable font, such as Times New Roman, with a font size of 12
Indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inchIndent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch
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Why Is a Good Headline Essential

Second, a good headline helps to summarize the main idea or topic of the article in a concise and informative way. It should provide enough information to give readers a clear idea of what the article is about, without giving away too much detail.

A well-crafted headline can also improve the readability of the article. By using keywords and organizing the information in a logical and clear manner, readers can quickly understand the main points of the article and decide if it is relevant to their interests.

In addition to these benefits, a good headline can also make your article more appealing and attractive to potential readers. It can spark their curiosity and make them more likely to click on the article and read it. This is especially important in today’s fast-paced digital world, where people are constantly bombarded with information and have limited time to spend on each piece of content.

The Features of a Good Headline

There are several features that make a headline good. First, it should be clear and concise, using as few words as possible to convey the main idea. Long and wordy headlines can be overwhelming and may deter readers from clicking on the article.

The headline should also be persuasive and interesting, offering a compelling reason for readers to click and read further. It should highlight the unique or helpful nature of the article and suggest the benefits that readers will gain by reading it.

Furthermore, a good headline should incorporate relevant keywords that will help people find the article when searching for related topics. Including key phrases or terms in the headline can improve the visibility of the article in search engine results.

Examples of Good Headlines in MLA Style

  • “Tips for Writing Persuasive and Unique Essays”
  • “Four Pro Hints on How to Write a Great MLA Works Cited Page”
  • “Why a Well-Organized Government is Essential for Economic Growth”

These examples demonstrate how a good headline can effectively communicate the purpose and content of an article in a concise and compelling way. They use keywords, offer hints or tips, and highlight the importance or relevance of the topic.

The Importance of a Catchy Headline

When it comes to writing academic papers, titles are often neglected, even though they play an essential role in attracting readers. A good headline can make all the difference in how people perceive your work and whether they decide to read it or not. In fact, a catchy and informative title can be the deciding factor for many readers.

In the MLA Style Guide 7th edition, there are specific guidelines on how to capitalize and format headers for books and papers. While some writers may find it simple, others struggle to come up with a great title. It’s important to consider the audience and the purpose of your paper when crafting a header. You want to make sure it accurately represents the content and grabs the attention of potential readers.

Another technique is to look for inspiration from other sources, such as books or articles. While you don’t want to copy someone else’s title verbatim, you can use it as a starting point to generate your own unique and attention-grabbing header.

Examples of Catchy Headings in MLA Style:

TopicOriginal TitleCatchy Version
College AdmissionsAdvice for College AdmissionsThe Ultimate Guide to Navigating College Admissions
Writing an Informative EssayHow to Write an Informative EssayUnleashing the Power of Informative Writing
The Impact of Government Policies on EducationThe Role of Government Policies in EducationA Revolution in Education: Unveiling the True Impact of Government Policies
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Having a catchy headline is not just about making your paper look good; it’s about grabbing the attention of your readers and enticing them to read on. By following the MLA style guidelines and considering the tips and examples above, you can create headers that are consistent, informative, and captivating for your audience.

Key Tips for Writing Effective Headers:

  1. Keep it concise and to the point.
  2. Use captivating and descriptive words.
  3. Incorporate keywords that reflect your paper’s main topic.
  4. Consider the audience and purpose of your paper.

With these tips in mind, you can make your headers more appealing and increase the chances of your paper being read and appreciated by those who come across it.

Tips for Creating an Effective Headline

When it comes to creating an effective headline for your MLA-style guide, there are several key tips to keep in mind. A well-organized and clear headline can make a significant difference in capturing your readers’ attention and enticing them to read further. Here are some essential guidelines to follow when crafting your headline:

1. Keep it concise and focused

Your headline should be short and to the point, highlighting the main idea or topic of your work. Long, wordy headlines can be confusing and may discourage readers from continuing to read.

2. Use keywords

Include relevant keywords in your headline to help readers quickly understand what your work is about and to improve search engine visibility. Consider using words that capture the essence of your research or the main thesis of your paper.

3. Capitalize major words

According to MLA style, capitalize the major words in your headline, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. However, avoid capitalizing articles, conjunctions, and prepositions (unless they appear as the first or last word of the headline).

For example:


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4. Make it interesting

Your headline should engage readers and make them want to learn more. Use compelling language, provocative statements, or interesting facts to grab their attention.

For example:

Tidbit: Did you know that having a captivating headline can increase the readership of your work?

Throughout the MLA Style Guide, there are many helpful examples and suggestions for creating effective headlines. Following these guidelines will ensure that your titles are clear, concise, and informative, helping to captivate readers and draw their attention to your work.


What is a MLA Style Guide?

The MLA Style Guide is a set of rules and guidelines for writing academic papers in the field of humanities. It provides instructions on how to format citations, create a bibliography, and structure the overall layout of the paper.

What is the purpose of using MLA formatting?

The purpose of using MLA formatting is to ensure consistency and clarity in academic writing. It helps writers properly attribute sources, avoid plagiarism, and leads to a clear and organized paper that is easy for the reader to follow.

What are the key elements of a MLA header?

The key elements of a MLA header include the student’s last name and the page number. These elements are typically included in the top right corner of each page, with the last name preceding the page number. The header should be aligned to the right margin.

How do you create a MLA header in Microsoft Word?

To create a MLA header in Microsoft Word, you can go to the “Insert” tab and click on the “Page Number” button. From there, select the option to insert the page number at the top of the page, aligned to the right. After that, you can manually type in your last name before the page number to complete the header.

Can you provide an example of a MLA header?

Sure! An example of a MLA header would be: Smith 1. In this example, “Smith” is the last name of the student, and “1” is the page number. This header would be included in the top right corner of each page.

What is MLA Style Guide?

MLA Style Guide is a set of rules and guidelines for formatting academic papers and citing sources in the fields of humanities and liberal arts.

What are the key differences between the 6th and 7th editions of the MLA Style Guide?

The 7th edition of the MLA Style Guide includes updates to citation formats, guidelines for electronic sources, and new rules for citing social media and online videos.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.