How to Cite a Research Paper Using MLA Format

    November 4, 2022

As Earl Nightingale said, “Everything begins with an idea”. At, we also believe that writing a good college essay begins with an idea. However, it takes good formatting to put your idea or ideas into writing.

The main problem today is that you may not be familiar with the ever-changing editions of formatting styles such as MLA 7th edition.  

The good news is that this article offers you a step-by-step guide on how to cite in APA 7th edition. If you will still have trouble after reading it or need your MLA paper written, you can also hire our professional writers to craft a worthwhile essay for you in APA, MLA, or any other format 👉Here.

How to Cite a Research Paper Using MLA Format

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is a group that focuses on language and literature. Although alternative styles, like APA and Chicago, exist, MLA is frequently employed for humanities and social sciences papers. This guide provides in-depth information on the format. 

Formatting the Front Page

When writing a research paper, how do you ensure it is in MLA format? A research paper written in MLA style requires the following four sections: 


Each page’s left, right, and top margins, excluding the header, should be exactly 1 inch.

Text Formatting

Times New Roman is the preferred typeface for academic papers. Adjust the font size to the default of 12 points. Make the text double-spaced instead of single-spaced. Also, the first line of each paragraph should be indented half an inch to the left. 

Font and Font Size in MLA

Any legible font style can be used in an MLA document. Typefaces like Arial and Times New Roman are quite popular. 


Enter your course details in the top left corner of the first page. This is an example of a title page for a research paper written in MLA format: 

  • Your Full Name
  • Name of Professor/ Instructor
  • Name of Course
  • Due Date for Assignment

For your title, position it in the center and leave out the period at the end of the title. Avoid using emphasis tools like bold, italics, and underlining in your title. The only time you should ever put an outside source’s title in italics is when you cite that source within your work. Capitalization is an integral part of writing, so please use it correctly. The title for the MLA research paper looks like this:

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Page Numbers

Turn on the right-hand top corner auto-page numbering. This is done so that the page order may be remembered and it also looks nice. 

Citing Basics

You must provide an MLA reference whenever you incorporate material from other sources into your work. You can use either in-text or full citations for works cited in MLA style. 

In-text Citation Basics: If you utilize a quote or paraphrase in a sentence, you should cite it in parentheses after the relevant words in the sentence. The most straightforward method is to provide the citation details in parentheses at the end of the sentence. For example; 

Significant suffering was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent effects on the economy (James 15).

James stated that significant suffering was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent effects on the economy (15).

Full Citation Basics: A “Works Cited” page is required in MLA style, and it lists all of the sources examined in the writing process. MLA citing format typically includes the following elements in this sequence:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, Other contributors, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication Date, Location.

The following formats should be used when referencing a research paper in MLA style:

  • Article: Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.
  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Book Title. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published. Medium.
  • Newspaper: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
  • Magazine: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
  • Website: Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Sponsoring Institution/Publisher. Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.

Quotations in MLA

Your paper or project should not be mostly quoted. Longer quotations should be structured as MLA block quotes. Use direct quotations to improve your writing and thoughts. For example;

“Significant suffering was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent effects on the economy” (James 15).

We hope this guide has offered you the writing support you were looking for. However, if are still having trouble completing your essay or paper you can always reach out to our seasoned Academic Writers for further guidance and help.

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