1. Does my paper need a cover page?
No. The Modern Language Association (MLA) does not require you to create a cover page when you complete your research paper. If your instructor requires a cover page, simply follow the instructions here: MLA cover page.
2. Should I bold, italicize, or underline my research paper’s title?
Your research paper’s title should not be bold, italicize or underline. It should be in the same text as your paper. Visit here for an example, under “the opening page“.
3. Do I have to put my last name and page number on every page?
Yes, you must put your last name and page number on every page, including the first page (the opening page) and your Works Cited pages.
4. Do I have to double-space the whole paper?
Yes, you must double-space the whole paper, including the heading, the title and the Works Cited pages. Simply double-space everything, but do not add extra spaces besides the double-space.
5. Do I have to use Times New Roman font?
The MLA does not require you to use Times New Roman as long as the font you choose is easily readable.
6. How do I handle the citation when one author quotes another?
This happens frequently. As in Donald Kagan‘s book, The Peloponnesian War, which often quotes Thucydides. Using MLA format, you may write:
Kagan approvingly quotes Thucydides, who says that Athens acquired this vital site “because of the hatred they already felt toward the Spartans” (qtd. in Kagan 14).
In your Works Cited, you include Kagan but not Thucydides.
7. Some MLA citations, such as newspaper articles, use the names of months. Which ones should I abbreviate and which ones should I spell out?
Use three-letter abbreviations for all but the short names: May, June and July.
8. Instead of Works Cited, can I use Bibliography?
No. The MLA requires your Works Cited page to begin with Works Cited, centered, one inch top margin. Visit here for an example, under #3, the Works Cited page.