MLA Style Papers/Oxford writing style/ Chicago writing style


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There are numerous academic writing styles applicable within the academic writing arena and these commonly used writing styles such as APA (American Psychological Association writing style, Chicago writing style, Turabian writing style, Oxford writing style among many others. Of interest in this paper is the MLA (Modern Language Association) writing style which is applied in the identification of sources used in any research. MLA style papers are commonly applicable in the field of humanities and arts. The style is simple, but precise because it narrows down its reference to the page level and the readership of any academic work written in MLA style can be able to track a referred source down to its page level.

MLA style papers basically apply the author-date citation format within which the in-text citations are used to show only the last name of the author or authors of work and the page number of the used source. Other differences within the style originate from formatting. The MLA style papers do not have a cover page and the name of the author is placed on the upper left hand end of the paper.  The general format of an MLA style paper requires one inch margins all round the paper. The documents’ text should be double spaced all through the paper. 

Direct quotations are accepted within MLA style papers and these are applied to only a maximum of forty words and any quotation that is larger than this should be avoided or otherwise paraphrased.  But if it is necessary, then a block indentation should be applied for MLA style papers. Quotes within the 40 word limit should be put in quotation marks and referenced appropriately.

Any works cited within the MLA style paper should be italicized to show that they are titles from a used source.  For example if one is referring to a source titled Thomas Jefferson then the title should italicized as shown.  It is also recommendable to use italics for titles on longer works which span into a number of pages. The paper should all be computer typed and in Times New Roman font with a font size twelve all throughout the paper. Only a single space allowance should be used after each period and no more, unless specified otherwise.

MLA style papers are simple when making cross-checking of references, because the reference narrows down the search to a particular page and thus making work easier for anyone trying to read the work. Unlike other writing styles such as APA that simply states the author and date of publication, MLA style papers offers simplicity just in case the reader would like to access the same material. In-text citations with no known author may use abbreviations to denote that the author is anonymous. Therefore a citation on a source whose author is unknown may appear as follows; (Anon. 23). 

Whenever, the author has more than three authors an abbreviation is also used to denote that there are more than three authors. In this case only the last name of the last author appears in the in-text citation as follows; (James et al. 23). It should also be noted that the in-text citation in MLA style papers should not have a period between the author/s’ name and the page number.  These are the few basic stipulated guidelines that govern the writing of MLA style papers. In order to grasp more about MLA style papers one could visit any library and check the recent most updated MLA guideline.

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