Things To Know About An MLA Research Paper Heading Format


The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is among the most common formatting guides for papers written within the humanities and liberal arts. It’s a simple system that allows writers to reference their sources, and it also provides a system for formatting papers as a whole (e.g., margins, line-spacing, etc.). Here are a few things you should know specifically about formatting the heading in MLA for an academic research paper:

  • Headings and Sub-Headings Will Divide Up the Research Paper
  • The most important function of headings and sub-headings in an MLA research paper is dividing up the large document into smaller and more manageable sections to read. In a research paper the headings can be the larger sections required in the assignment (e.g., introduction, methods, results, etc.) and the sub-headings can be smaller sections within each large one. Your headings should always be set to a large font than your sub-headings and they should also have the first letter of every word capitalized. Sub-headings only require capitalization of the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns.

  • Make Sure All Headings and Sub-Headings Match the TOC
  • You should ensure that all of your headings and sub-headings precisely match what appears in the table of contents. Remember, headings and sub-headings should be used to make the research paper easier to read and they should work together with the table of contents to help the reader navigate through the particularly long document. Make sure the page numbers match, words match, and the order is exactly the same. Don’t add a heading that doesn’t appear in the TOC or vice versa.

  • Maintain Consistency throughout the Entire Research Paper
  • One of the biggest mistakes students make when working on long projects like this is lose track of consistency. This can be really annoying at best and confusing at worst. When you are putting in the final touches in your research paper make sure you are checking that the formatting of all headers and sub-headers are the same. Pay attention to spacing before and after each heading-level, capitalization, font-face, and font-size. These details may seem minor to you but they can make a world of difference when it comes to grading your work.

The above explains all you need to understand formatting headings in MLA perfectly, but you might need help with formatting other parts of your research paper. In this case you might want to look at the official MLA guide or you can hire a professional writing service to review your work or to provide you with sample documents showing you exactly what you should be doing.

 
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