Essential Rules to Follow While Writing an MLA Format Essay

When writing an academic essay, it is essential to adhere to the specific guidelines. There are several formatting styles to follow for your papers. One such is an MLA format essay, which introduces writers to its unique set of regulations. It provides a standardised MLA format essay structure that makes it easier for the reader to engage with the write-up.

A report given by Compilatio on 23 September 2023 calls MLA the second most widely used citation in the world after APA. Till now, 9 editions of MLA have been published, and the latest one was given in April 2021.

So, following this writing style in your essay write-up will uplift its standard as well as impart a good impression on the examiner. For many students who are writing essays as a part of their course modules or who intend to take part in essay writing competitions, MLA is the way to go. In this guide, we will describe some essential rules that you must follow for MLA format for essays. Keep reading to learn the essential rules.

What Is an MLA Format Essay?

An MLA (Modern Language Association) format is a way to credit the sources that you used in your paper. This way writers can refer to their sources through parenthetical citations in their essays. MLA format essays properly build the credibility of the source by highlighting the accountability of their source material.

How To Write an MLA Format Essay?

MLA is one of the most widely used writing styles for college and university essays. As with any style, there are general guidelines that should be considered to fit into the given style. Every MLA formatted essay should follow the key rules discussed in this article.

However, if you are worried about your last rejection as your homework did not follow the MLA standards properly, then getting essay writing help can be beneficial. These experts are well aware of the guidelines and have implemented them in various documents previously.

Let’s know what are the general rules that you should keep in mind for MLA formatted essays.

1. MLA Title Format

In MLA essay format title page, leave a one-inch margin at the top of the paper and include information author’s name, course details and submission date. Following are the general guidelines for writing various titles in your essays.

  • You can use quotation marks for short essays.
  • If an independent study appears in the context, the work title should be in italics.
  • Any foreign words or common Latin terms are italicised.
  • In an MLA format essay, separate the title and sub-title by using a colon and a space.

2. MLA Cover Page Format

It is not a common practice to include a cover page in an essay in MLA format. However, if your instructor specifies it as one of the important parts of the guideline, you need to include it. If the teamwork is done, then each author and their contribution will be mentioned. Before you start formatting your MLA format title page, you need to gather some information, as mentioned below.

  • Write your name along with the university name at the top of the page.
  • The paper title will be written in the title case. It is approximately placed after leaving one-third of the page.
  • If there is a subtitle, type it right after the title page.
  • Following it, write the course code, title, instructor name and date of submission.

The Boise State University provides an MLA title page example.

2. Running Head and Page Numbers

Each page of your MLA format essay will have a header that includes student’s name and the corresponding page number. This running head appears on the top corner of every page. To add it, leave an inch margin on the top and add the author’s last name. It should also be followed by the page number.

You don’t need to add any text, special characters or punctuation between the name and number of the essay format MLA. If you are writing in a Word file, there is a function that will automatically include a running head in each paper. Consequently, you don’t need to do it manually. However, if it is a Google Doc file, you can find it under the “insert” tab.

Do you want to see an example of an MLA heading template? The Chegg.Com provides such details,

Most students find it difficult to consider these minute details. As a result, they overlook and make mistakes in formatting their essays. For such learners, availing of UK-based essay writing services can be a better solution. These experts will take care of the detailed instructions provided and maintain your academic integrity.

3. Internal Headings and Subheadings

The use of headings and subheadings in essay MLA format will allow you to present your viewpoint in a structured way. If used effectively, it establishes the hierarchy of ideas. The general guidelines for MLA headings format include,

  • Maintain consistency in MLA format essay headings and subheadings by uniformly placing H1, H2, H3, etc.
  • Arrange headings in descending order where the second level heading is subordinate to the first level heading.
  • MLA format for an essay should have large and bolder headings to make it prominent.
  • For subordinate-level headings, use smaller and italicised fonts.
  • Align all the headings with the left margin.

You can also consider the example given by Medium to know how to use these headings in your essay write-ups.

MLA Format of The Works Cited Section

The list of sources you consulted throughout your MLA format essay write-up needs to be provided at the end of the paper. It should follow the instructions like,

  • The work cited section should start from the new page.
  • Place this heading in the centre of the page, one inch below the top margin.
  • Each new entry should be left margin.
  • Place all the references in the alphabetic order.
  • Double-space the entire list.

MLA Format Essay Examples

The MLA style centre provides an example of MLA essays. These essays were selected for the 2023 edition. One of the paper’s work-cited sections is displayed below. You can use this MLA format essay template for your essay write-up.


Writing your MLA format essay is not a hard job. Most of the students are scared of it because of the lack of essential knowledge. Certain rules should be kept in mind for their effective implementation in your write-ups.

In the above guide, we have addressed the key rules for formatting your title page, headings, subheadings, and the work cited section of your essay. Each section was elaborated with related examples to ensure detailed comprehension. However, the work written by experts of an essay writing service in the UK can grant desired winning marks. These professionals can help you boost your grades by providing quality content.