MLA Format

MLA format is the research paper structure of the Modern Language Association. The Modern Language Association is the major scholarly organization in the United States. The MLA format was designed for students of art history, English, cultural studies, cinematic studies, comparative literature, history, and other liberal arts and humanities studies. MLA style consists of in-text parenthetical citations followed by Works Cited/Bibliography reference pages to conclude research papers. The MLA style has guidelines on everything from the header to the footer of any given essay, article or research paper. Due to technological advancement, the Modern Language Association has expanded its citation formatting to include website, web page, and blog posts citations.

Benefits of MLA Format

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One of the benefits of MLA format is that the format makes it easy for anyone to cite sources in papers or reference sources in other work. MLA shies away from complex citations, which is why the format itself is "the format of the people." You can even format letters in a loose, MLA style. The Modern Language Association format has become more than a format for academics, but also a format for life. Virtually any activity that involves writing can utilize MLA style. Another benefit of the Modern Language Association format is that it prevents students from having to spend minutes at a time checking footnotes to make sure that they are correct. Students of the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) and Turabian formats, by default, must employ footnotes in their papers; conversely, MLA students do not. Parenthetical citation involves the use of parentheses to bracket off an in-text citation [(Ex: Michaels, 89)], and can remove the need for footnotes/endnotes at the bottom of a page of research text.

Next, MLA format has expanded to incorporate the World Wide Web as a medium of legitimate research. For years, it was said that sites like Wikipedia or Internet reads such as blog posts could not be deemed academic research. Now, the Modern Language Association has made it easy for Internet sources to be as academically valid as printed sources. The virtual world is changing our idea of reality to include the virtual as part of the real.

MLA format is designed to help students of language, literature, and humanities classes structure and design their research papers properly. Having a set standard helps students to know exactly what their professor demands as well as the demands of academic research. It pays to learn this format, for you never know the occasion on which you will have to utilize it.

MLA Format

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