MLA Style Essay Writing – Expert Tips for Perfection

Essay writing is a compulsory task for students at school, college and university levels. Oxford Language defines an essay as: 

“A short written composition in prose that discusses a subject or proposes an argument without claiming to be a complete or thorough exposition.”

Essay writing is not a complex and tough task as compared to dissertations and other academic writings.  Normally, there are two common essay writing styles that most colleges and universities prefer to follow: 

  1. MLA (Modern Language Association)
  2. APA (American Psychological Association)

Both styles have their own set of instructions and formats that students have to follow while writing essays. However, most of the students face difficulties while following a specific format, so you need help with professional tips, or you can get essay writing services for more perfection. 

How to Write an MLA Style Essay?

Students need to know how to write MLA style essays in a specific format. But it can be tough when it comes to things like setting margins, arranging headings, editing headers, spacing lines, choosing font styles and sizes, and aligning text, etc. Here, we are discussing the best writing tips to assist students while writing MLA-style essays. So let’s start with the first tip:

1. No Title Page 

There is no requirement for a title page while essay writing in MLA. Instead of creating a title page, you have to write all the requirements and necessary information on the front page. The required information includes: 

  • Your Good name 
  • Your professor name 
  • Course Title 
  • Due date of your essay submission 

Utah Valley University: Writing Center give a front-page example by writing all the required information and creating a title page for your essay.  

2. Heading Section

Your header section matters a lot in MLA format. In MLA writing style, the header section contains the page number with your surname. These two things should be mentioned in the upper right corner of the page.  

It is important to avoid using periods, hyphens and other signs to use in the header section. If you are using a word-processing tool, and when you put information in the header on the first page, it will automatically fill the rest of the pages.    

3. Font Style Line Spacing and Adjustment

The essay written in MLA style will be in Times New Roman style, and its font size is 12pt. Avoid changing font style while writing highlighted sections. It is recommended to avoid using the right margin to justify the content. 

When talking about line spacing, all the lines should be double-spaced. It will allow your reader to read your text easily and make your MLA style essay presentation good. 

4. Margins

Another important element is the margin, which is an edge or border of your page, usually around the text, to separate your content from the paper border.  The requirement of MLA style essay format is 1 inch at all sides of your page while using Microsoft Word. 

5. Internal Headings 

While writing an essay, there is no need to add internal headings. But while using the headings and subheadings in paragraphs, they should be left-aligned with a 1-inch margin and line spacing.  Every heading level should include more than two occurrences in a paper. 

6. Block Quotes 

Western Oregon University defined block quote:

“The block quote is used for direct quotations that are longer than four lines of prose or longer than three lines of poetry. A block quote is always used when quoting dialogue between characters.”

While adding a block quote, students are bound to limit the number of lengthy quotes in an essay. In case the quote is longer than 4 lines, it is written as a block quote. It should be double-spaced with 0.5 intended. There is no need to add quotation marks, and it is mandatory to add MLA in-text citations after the punctuation of the quote as Utah Valley University: Writing Center represents:

This image represents a block quote in MLA style essay format. You can use this block quote format while adding any quote to your essay. 

7. Referencing and Citation: 

To make your essay authentic, you need to add MLA in-text citations and a referencing list at the end. Students give credit to the original author of the source information and cite sources from where they picked up any ideas or a concept to add to their essay. These references will prove the validity of your research and content. 

However, it is a must to provide references to valid sources like books, journals, and publications in your MLA style essay. In MLA referencing style, the parenthetic format is used to add citations. 

A parenthetical citation is used to give credit to the original author whose data you are paraphrasing and quoting. Parenthetical citations include: 

  • Author name 
  • Page number 
  • Date of publication

Essential Element of MLA Citation 

Donald I. Barker and Melis discussed all the essential elements of MLA in the book “Internet Research Illustrated”

They represent an MLA  citation style of webpage with essential elements:

  • Author name 
  • Title of the source
  • Publisher or sponsor 
  • Website title 
  • Date of publication and update 
  • The date you viewed the page
  • Web page URL

8. Tables and Examples

Another important component of MLA style essay writing is adding tables and examples relevant to your subject matter to support your arguments. For example, you use graphs and tables in your content and closely put them with the text and numbered your figures properly. 

Remember to provide a clear source below the tables and images you are incorporating in your essay. As an example of the table given below by Utah Valley University: Writing Center:


Students face many problems while writing MLA style essays, including essay titles, spacing and citations. If they do not follow the format, it will affect the quality of the overall work. 

As a result, students always require guidelines for formatting essays that will help in attaining good grades. Therefore, we provide MLA style writing tips.

If you are still confused about writing an MLA style essay, it will be appropriate for you to avail of essay writing services from The Academic Papers UK to get your essay according to your specific formatting and desired grades in assessments.