Basic Table of Contents

In general, leave one space between words and one space after every punctuation mark.

How to format your research paper

Traditionally, two spaces after the punctuation mark are required at the end of every sentence whether the sentence ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark. Today, it is acceptable and more common to leave only one space after each punctuation, even at the end of a sentence. NO space, however, should be left in front of a punctuation mark. The following would be incorrect: etc.

For details on how to place tables, illustrations, figures, musical notations, labels, captions, etc.

If a handwritten essay is acceptable to your teacher, remember to double-space all lines, and begin each paragraph with an indentation of 1" from the left margin. Use the width of your thumb as a rough guide. Indent set-off quotations 10 spaces or 1" from the left margin.

Your instructor may give you a choice to indent or not to indent your paragraphs. Whichever one you choose to use, you must be consistent throughout your essay. If you are NOT indenting, you will start each paragraph flush to the left margin. It is essential that you double-space between lines and quadruple-space between paragraphs. When paragraphs are not indented, it is difficult for a reader to see where a new paragraph begins, hence quadruple-space is called for between paragraphs.

Set-off quotations should still be indented 10 spaces or 1" from the left margin. Do not right justify your entire essay and do not automatically format hyphens if you are using special features on your word processor. Left justify or justify your essay, but type in the hyphens yourself where needed. Left justification is preferred as it will not leave big gaps between words. When used within the text of your paper, titles of all full-length works such as novels, plays, books, should be italicized, e.

How to Write a Table of Contents: Basic, MLA, and APA Styles

Shakespeare's Theater. Put in quotation marks titles of shorter works, such as newspaper, journal, and magazine articles, chapters of books, or essays, e. For all title citations, every word, EXCEPT articles , prepositions , and conjunctions should be capitalized, unless they occur at the beginning of the title or subtitle. See Examples of Titles above.

Check in a dictionary or browse grammar websites whenever you are not sure whether a word is being used as a preposition, a conjunction, a noun, a verb, or an adverb. The word "near" , for instance, may be an adverb, an adjective, a verb, or a preposition depending on the context in which it is used.

Is It a Figure or a Table?

For complicated details on how to cite titles and quotations within titles, sacred texts, shortened titles, exceptions to the rule, etc. If your written report or research paper is extremely long, it may be helpful to include a Table of Contents showing the page number where each section begins.


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For those writing a lengthy document, i. A less involved Table of Contents may include simply the following sections: Introduction, Body use main section headings , Conclusion or Summary , Works Cited or References , along with the corresponding page number where each section begins. No special word, phrase or fancy symbol is needed to mark the end of your essay. A period at the end of your last sentence is all that is needed.

Sheets of paper should be stapled at the upper left-hand corner. Use a paper clip if no stapler is available. Do not use a pin or fold the paper. Unless specifically requested by your teacher, do not hand in your paper in a folder, a binder, a plastic jacket, rolled up with an elastic band around it, or tied with a ribbon or a string. Do not spray perfume or cologne on your paper or use scented paper. And NEVER hand in your research or term paper in loose sheets even if the sheets are numbered and neatly placed in an envelope or folder. The condition of the paper you hand in is an indication of the respect you have for yourself and the respect you have for your teacher.

YouTube video, min. This online workshop covers the most updated version of MLA. Published on Feb 7, by The Nature of Writing. Learn how to format your essay properly, following the MLA guidelines 8th edition.

Basic, MLA & APA Table of Contents Examples

MLA for Dummies 8th Ed. Published on Jul 24, by Libby Bennett. Why does format matter? Published on Jan 10, by David Taylor. MLA style essay formatting: margins, font, line spacing, header, info block, title, indentation, block quote, Works Cited. Published on Apr 6, by Joe Gondolfi. Familiarity with Microsoft Word would be helpful. After you start college, you are going to have to write research papers all the time. And for sure, it is not going to be easy.

How to Write a Table of Contents: Basic, MLA, and APA Styles

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  8. Site Search by freefind freefind. Useful Links 1 Useful Links 2. Date updated: August 26, As well as rules for citing sources , each citation style has specific requirements for formatting essays and papers. To adhere to MLA format guidelines, pay attention to:. There are specific formatting requirements for headings and for the Works Cited page.

    Word template Google Docs template. Every page of an MLA paper needs to follow certain formatting rules. These are related to the text itself, as well as spacing and alignment. Every page must include a header , also known as a running head. This header consists of your surname and the page number in the top right corner, half an inch from the top of the page. Make sure the text is justified to the right. This header will then automatically appear on every page in the document.

    On the first page of your paper, you should include an MLA heading. This appears on the first four lines, left-aligned, and contains:. It is followed by the title of the paper, centred with no styling. In MLA style you do not need to create a separate cover page, unless your supervisor specifically asks for this.

    Title Pages, Headings, Margins, Pagination, and Fonts

    If you are required to add a cover page, you should generally include:. Headings and subheadings can help organize and provide structure to your paper, especially in longer assignments. There is no set formatting required by MLA for the different levels — the only rule is that you must be consistent. In general, boldface indicates greater prominence, while italics is appropriate for subordinate headings.

    Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word have functions that allow you to automatically set different heading levels. You can also download our MLA heading template that adds these heading styles to Word. MLA heading template. Aim to use parallelism in your headings. This simply means that headings at the same level should take the same grammatical form. If the first heading uses a present tense verb , the next heading should do the same. For example: Going to the zoo; Eating at the zoo; Travelling home.

    Whenever you quote , paraphrase or summarize any information from another source such as a book , website or journal article , you must include an in-text citation. You must also reference that source in the Works Cited list at the end of your paper. There are specific formatting guidelines for both the in-text citations and Works Cited list.

    Footnotes are numbered in superscript and appear at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can use MLA endnotes , which appear in a list at the very end of your paper. You can create footnotes and endnotes automatically in Word.