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MLA Style Dissertation: 6 Essential Instructions

A MLA style dissertation is a format used commonly for documents written in the humanities and liberal arts disciplines. You should always familiarize yourself with the guidelines before submitting your document for official review by the graduate panel. Here are six essential instructions you need to know about the proper MLA format for dissertation documents:

  1. The Basic Formatting Rules
    Margins should be set to 1” all the way around. Font should be 12-pt and in something legible, such as Calibri, Arial, or Times New Roman. The spacing should be set to double space throughout, and only the first sentence of each paragraph should be dented ½” from the left margin.
  2. Formatting the Title Page
    Most of the time a title page is not necessary when writing papers in MLA, but if your professor asks for it, follow these basic rules: Double-spaced place your name (first and last), your professor’s name, the class name and number, and the date flush left to the upper corner. Double-space once again and place the title centered on the page.
  3. How to Set Up Headings
    The longer your paper the more helpful it is to include headings and sub-headings. This helps to not only break up the information so that it is much easier to consume by the reader, but also helps navigate through the document relatively quickly.
  4. Writing the Body Section
    All of the same format rules apply the main body section of your dissertation. This includes line spacing, font size, font type, and pagination rules. Margins should be set to 1” all the way around and only indent the first sentence of each paragraph as described in the section above.
  5. Making Textual Citations
    Textual citations are important to add validity to the claims you are making and to avoid accusations of plagiarism. MLA dissertation citation format requires you to include the page in which you have found the cited information preceded by the author’s last name in parentheses at the end of the sentence for both direct quotes and paraphrased content.
  6. Formatting the Works Cited
    Finally, always be sure to include a works cited page which lists the author’s name, the work’s name (e.g., book, article, presentation, etc.), its publication information, and the year of publication. Each citation must be arranged in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. Any works with multiple author’s should be ordered using the first author listed on the title page.