Why do we use MLA formatting? It’s quite simple: this formatting style creates a system for writers to reference sources they use in essays and on works cited pages, as well as for formatting manuscripts in general.
MLA formatting also increases a writer’s credibility because it creates a relationship of accountability between the writer and his or her material. And perhaps more importantly, it protects them from accusations of plagiarism.
In order to properly employ MLA formatting guides, one need look no further than the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. The tome can be found in schools and libraries, as well as bookstores and at the official MLA website.
Issues covered include paper formatting, and these rules can be found in chapter four of the manual.
Some basic guidelines:
1.) Type the paper on a computer on white, 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
2.) Margins set to 1 inch on all sides.
3.) Either italics or underlining in the essay should be used for titles of longer works and very rarely for emphasizing.
4.) A header with numbers for each consecutive page in the upper-right hand corner. Some instructors, however, may insist omitting the number from the first page.