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Simple Instructions On Writing An MLA Format Narrative Essay


MLA format dictates the manner in which English essay papers are formatted. It further provides a unique citation and referencing system for all the works cited. There is a fundamental difference when viewed alongside other formats like APA. The style changes depending on the discipline in which you are writing the paper and the material being cited or referenced. Special instructions may also affect some of the flexible aspects of the MLA formatting style. Here are the basic guidelines.

General Formatting Rules

  • It is recommended that you type the work on a standard white A4 paper that is 8.5x11”

  • All the text in your paper should be double spaced. This affects your actual writing, quoted text, paraphrased sections and references. The font should be legible when bold, in caps and italics. Times New Romans is the recommended font since it is easier to differentiate between regular and italic sections. The general paper should be written in 12pts font.

  • A general rule on spacing requires a single space after each period marking the end of a sentence. This rule applies unless your supervisor states otherwise. The margins over the entire paper should be one inch on all ends.

  • The first line of each paragraph should be indented by half an inch. To achieve this, it is recommended that you use a single tab instead of five spaces.

  • Page numbers should appear at the header. They should be flushed right and be half an inch from the top. The numbering should be consecutive and placed at the right hand corner. This is one of the flexible formatting rules. Your supervisor may indicate otherwise. Such instructions should be followed since they do not deviate from the provisions of MLA on narrative essay writing.

  • There are only two instances where italics should be used. The first is to indicate the title of a long work that is cited. The other instance is where you need to emphasize on a point or section. This should however be used sparingly.

  • You are allowed to include a separate page or section on End Notes. This page should appear before your section on Works Cited. The title of the page should be ‘Notes’. The page should remain unformatted and be centered.

MLA essay formatting guide has other specific formatting rules that vary from one discipline to another. It is detailed to capture citations and references as well. In case special instructions are given, they should be adhered to.

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