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Examples of MLA samples done by Ultius writers

Below you can see some previous MLA samples done by writers that work with us

The writers who work with Ultius have extensive experience writing MLA papers, seeing as MLA is in fact one of the most popular of all academic styles. Here are some examples of MLA papers that have been produced by our writers.

Blog post | Sample MLA Essay on Classical Conditioning

Sample MLA Essay on Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning is based on the experiment with the dogs, where if you ring a bell while feeding a dog a meal, then the dog will eventually start to salivate when you just ring the bell, with no meal. This MLA paper discusses the basic steps of classical conditioning, and it also critically evaluates the applicability of classical conditioning to humans.

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Blog post | Expository MLA-Style Essay on the Death Penalty

Expository MLA-Style Essay on the Death Penalty

This MLA paper dives into the arguments surrounding the death penalty (i.e. sentencing someone to death for having committed a heinous crime). The essay notes that America is somewhat unique in the Western world in still using the death penalty, and then it discusses both the arguments for and the arguments against the death penalty. A key argument against is inaccurate application; a key argument for is emotional catharsis.

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Blog post | Short MLA Essay: The Phenomenon of Adult Coloring

Short MLA Essay: The Phenomenon of Adult Coloring

This MLA paper discusses adult coloring: that is, the phenomenon of adults playing with coloring books, like little kids. The essay addresses how this came about as a result of psychological research into the beneficial effects of play for human beings. The essay also cautions, though, that it's a fine line between play and delusion. After all, adults are adults, not little kids; and play should not lead to adults regressing and forgetting about their real responsibilities.

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Blog post | Sample MLA Paper on the Significance of Dark Matter

Short MLA Essay: The Significance of Dark Matter

Dark matter is a mysterious thing: scientists know that it exists and that it is very important, but they have never directly observed it. This MLA paper delves into the significance of dark matter. The essay points out dark matter may affect the ultimate fate of the universe. The essay also suggests that dark matter seems to have the properties of what religions have called spirit, which opens up interesting possibilities.

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Want more samples? Check out our free samples page or use our site search.

These are some examples of MLA papers that have been produced by Ultius writers. There are many more examples available as well: feel free to check out our blog and sample pages to find them. And if you like what you see, please consider placing an order for a sample MLA paper with us today.

Components of an MLA paper

Here are some basic things every MLA paper needs

  • 1Every writer needs to learn MLA citations

     

    Keep an updated knowledge of MLA citations and a recent style guide close at hand

     

    The MLA citation style is one of the most frequently used styles, especially in the humanities and literary studies. The style helps standardize the presentation of research papers, making them easier to read and follow.

    MLA utilizes a strict code for in-text citations and works cited page entries. Your essay instructions will typically require a familiarization of citations, abbreviations, and grammatical style.

    Review the requirements for journals, online databases, books, in-person interviews, and electronic media prior to writing your essay and collecting research.

    Format each work cited entry according to MLA guidelines

    The eighth edition has revised how essay writers should cite sources, in particular electronic or digital sources. These revisions to the citation guidelines have impacted both in-text citations and the list of sources on the works cited page.

    The above shows the order information should be listed. Indent the second and following lines of the same entry. Entries are not double-spaced.

    Never include titles of the authors but do include the suffixes to their name (Jr., Sr., III, etc.). Keep in mind you must cite the author’s name as it appears on the original text.

    Months with four letters or less letters are spelling in their entirety. Longer months follow basic journal format (i.e. Jan., Apr., Oct., Sept., etc.)

    Structuring information on the works cited page

    Last, First, MI. "Title: Subtitle." Publication, vol. xx, no. xx, Date [mm dd yyyy], pp. Xx.

    Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

  • 2Strategically plan your MLA paper

     

    Use a template to help you include all crucial parts of the paper

     

    The main keys to writing a successful MLA paper is to incorporate the standard format and adhere to the basic citation style. It helps to make or use an MLA template that automatically adheres to the basics of the MLA format.

    To create a template in Microsoft Word, you will need to first create a new blank document. After you make your changes, you’ll choose "save as," click templates, type in a file name, select Word Template as the type, and then choose "save."

    Remember to save the MLA template to your common files instead of the default template folder. This makes the file easy to find and available whenever you need it.

  • 3Check the association’s website regularly for new updates

     

    The Modern Language Association periodically revises its style and formatting standards

     

    Its most recent revision was released in the spring of 2016 as the MLA Handbook (8th Edition).

    Editors for the MLA also update the website regularly in order to stay updated with electronic source changes. Set up email alerts so you don’t miss crucial updates. Purchasing an online subscription also provides you with updated guidelines at your fingertips.

  • 4MLA is less technical and complicated than most styles

     

    Learn to navigate the subtle differences between MLA and more style

     

    Although MLA covers all grammatical rules, paper formatting, and citation guidelines, it is less technical and complicated than most styles.

    MLA papers don’t call for title pages and has wider margins. It also does not require footnotes or endnotes. MLA essays stay true to standard form and requires the use of works cited pages (i.e. reference page).

    Basic MLA rules
     
    The simple guidelines to follow for titles, margins, and citation when using MLA style.

    MLA rules are easier to incorporate once you get used to them. Most in-text citations and works cited page entries follow a similar format. The main difference between the formats is electronic sources. Those often have no author and require the URL and access date.

     

Writing your MLA paper on your own

Below you will find step by step instructions on producing this type of paper

Step 1: Incorporate your title page into the first page of the paper

MLA does not require a title page or abstract

Unless your instructions state otherwise, the title text is not separate from the rest of the paper, rather it is incorporated into the first page of text.

The highlight below shows that the header should be positioned in the right-hand corner and include the author’s name and page number. On the top left of the first page, the following needs to be listed in order: name, professor, class, and date.

Example of an MLA heading
 
The header of an MLA paper sits on the top right hand corner of the page with the author's last name and the number of page. The author's name, the professor's name, class, and date are listed on the top left-hand corner of the first page.

The title itself should be centered after the list in normal text. This means the title should not be bolded, italicized, or underlined.

Example of an MLA title
 
MLA titles should be centered after the header list in normal text.

Step 2: Review your citations carefully

Avoid plagiarism while staying away from information overkill

In-text citations should include the author and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. If the author is named within the sentence, only the page number is needed in parentheses at the end.

 

Using author’s name with in-text citations

Author not mentioned in text

A single-payer medicare system for all would streamline costs, reduce billing confusion for medical providers, and ensure all citizens have access to quality care (Sanders 225).

Author mentioned in text

Sanders has indicated that a single-payer medicare system for all would streamline costs, reduce billing confusion for medical providers, and ensure all citizens have access to quality care (225).

The general rule of thumb is to list the first part of your MLA work cited entry as the source and reference the page number. If no author is listed or there is no date, it’s okay to just include a shortened portion of the title.

Step 3: Always include the URL and the date electronic sources were accessed

The works cited page list electronic sources just like printed material but with two minor differences

Each electronic reference requires writers to include the full URL of the source and date you accessed the information. In-text citations for electronic sources are handled differently under MLA guidelines since page numbers are not available.

 

Electronic sources require two additional elements

  • Include the full URL of the source
  • Date you accessed the information

Asch, Peter, and David Levy. "Does the Minimum Drinking Age Affect Traffic Fatalities?." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 6.2 (1987): 180-192. JSTOR. Web. 23 Apr. 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/3324514>

You may not have an identifiable author, or the source could be a YouTube video or a film. Regardless of what information you have, the in-text citation should always list the first item that appears in the corresponding citation on the works cited page.

Page and paragraph numbers within in-text citations are not necessary. Web sites should not be referred to in-text as http://www.nbc.com but as NBC.com.

Step 4: The cited quote needs to be cited with the author(s) name(s) and page number

Unless punctuation marks are a part of the quoted text, they should be placed after the citation’s parentheses

Place quotation marks around direct quotes and make sure you properly indent and cite block quotes. Borrowed text that is not paraphrased but a direct quotation from one of your sources must have quotation marks around it.

Proper format for direct quotes

“With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas” (Towles 423).

Quotes that are longer than four lines of text or three lines of poetry/verse need to be indented as a block, without quotation marks.

Take note that the quotation marks come before the parentheses and there are no quotation marks surrounding block quotes.

Learning to properly indent block quotes

In the book, A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles employs the technique of using letters, poetry and court documents to reveal the protagonist's state of mind:

With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas. Lisbon became the great embarkation point. But not everybody could get to Lisbon directly, and so, a tortuous, roundabout refugee trail sprang up. Parts to Marsellies, across the Mediterranean to Oran, then by train, or auto, or foot, across through money, or influence, or luck, might obtain exit visas and scurry to Libson, and from Libson to the New World. (423)

Step 5: Insert your in-text citations directly following each sentenced quoted

All text, and ideas, paraphrased or directly quoted from outside sources must be cited

There are many types of works that you may need to cite within an MLA paper, but the basic citation format will remain the same. All sources listed on the works cited page must have at least one corresponding citation or reference within the text. All borrowed ideas and text from outside sources, whether they are paraphrased or directly quoted must be cited.

When the author of the work is known, you need to include the author's name and the page number from the source. The page number inclusion applies to print sources and electronic versions of print sources where the page numbers are available (e.g. online scholarly journals).

Electronic sources never include a page reference since there are no pages to include in the in-text citation. Source the author’s name or source title if no name is given. If there are three or more authors, you may use et al. in your citation.

 

Give multiple authors credit by listing each one in the in-text citations

Always cite multiple authors for any source you use or quote pulled. Failing to cite each author is technically plagiarism and likely to violate your instructions.

Citing quotes from sources with multiple authors under MLA style involves using the word “and” as opposed to the ampersand symbol (&).

Giving credit to multiple authors

In-text citation:

Job sharing occurs when two or more employees perform the duties of a single full-time position. The employees sharing the position typically work part-time (Schmerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn 124).

Works cited:

Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn. Organizational Behavior, 10th edition. John Wiley and Sons, 2008

Step 6: List all sources in the works cited page

Include the full entry for every in-text citation in your works cited page and remove any work not used in the text

Following the body of your paper, you’ll need to include an alphabetized list of sources on the works cited page. Papers incorporating more than one source are listed under a works cited page. If the paper only incorporates one source, the page is title "Work Cited."

This title should be centered using normal text. This means no bolding, underlining, or italicizing. Subtitles follow are preceded by a colon (:) and written on the same line as the main title.

Example of an MLA works cited page
 
Works cited pages are found on the last page of an MLA paper. The sources are listed with hanging indentations.

The manner in which the individual source is listed on the page will vary depending upon the source’s medium. However, there are some general formatting requirements to keep in mind.

General works cited page guidelines

  • Books are italicized; smaller sections use quotation marks
  • Journal, magazine, and newspaper names are italicized
  • Periodical volume, issue, and page are listed if available
  • Online articles are listed in quotation marks
  • Electronic source titles are italicized

The simplest way to remember quotation marks and italics is to italicize the main part (books, periodicals, etc.) and put the smaller sections within the publication in italics.

Dates are trickier in MLA. The basic rule of thumb is to abbreviate the longer months in the same format used in journals (i.e. Sept., Oct., Nov., etc.). Shorter dates such as May, June, July, etc. are spelled out. All dates are listed in this order – day, month, and year.

The titles of full length volume works, such as a book, are italicized. This should occur in both the citation and any references to the title within the body of the text.

Titles of stand-alone works such as articles and short stories are written in normal text and placed in direct quotes.

MLA style goes through updates and changes periodically

MLA rules are reviewed every few years for new technologies and readability changes

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is responsible for producing the unique format and citation style standards for MLA papers. This group of expert writers reviews citation requirements for readability and accuracy, as well as creating formats for evolving technology.

MLA style is one of the most common citation formats and is used by major colleges and universities, government publications, high schools, and academic experts and researchers.

Additional resources

Participate in workshops like Purdue Owl to improve your writing and learn advanced MLA citation techniques

While this guide covers the basics and some of the more commonly used citations, it is not comprehensive. Purdue Owl provides a comprehensive list of MLA citation examples, as well as an MLA overview and workshop.

This is an invaluable resource that most writers use as a reference. These resources include: an MLA workshop and a formatting style guide.

The Modern Language Association also publishes a handbook and a website that provides information on the MLA citation style. Editors periodically update the website to include information schedule for inclusion in upcoming handbooks.

The Ultius website also offers several essay and research papers written in the MLA format. Look for essay and research papers on subjects such as English, literature, and the humanities.

MLA can be tricky to get used to, especially if you are accustomed to APA style. There are quite a few major differences that are easy to mix. Ask for examples from Ultius, a writing center, or your instructors to help you get the basics down!

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