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Unit 1 MLA Style Guide

Unit 1 MLA Style Guide

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Published by: Elenita Irizarry on Jan 02, 2013
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Baker UniversitySchool of Professional & Graduate Studies
MLA Style Guide
8001 College Blvd, Suite 100, Overland Park, KS 66210913.491.4432 March 2010
Getting Started
Grab his or her attention in the first paragraph.
Your paper “proves” a thesis, a one or two sentence statement of your central idea. Thethesis is usually placed at the end of the first paragraph, immediately after you introducethe topic.
Although the thesis appears early in the paper, it is usually written late in the writingprocess, after you form your ideas and gather your supporting evidence.
The body of your paper contains the evidence (specific examples and application) tosupport your thesis.
State viewpoints that oppose yours as effectively as you state your own. RememberHEAP--Honest Evaluation of Alternate Positions.
The conclusion is the last chance the writer has to connect with the reader. A conclusionsummarizes the paper’s main points with a sense of closure and completeness.
Summarize and/or conclude your paper in a way that helps the reader evaluate whetheror not you did what you said you would do.
Do not introduce any new material.
Include a “killer” statement in the conclusion thatleaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that you prove your thesis. Summarize the mainideas of the specific thesis and apply the main ideas of the body to the “bigger picture.”
Help the reader by demonstrating to her or him that you have done what you said youwould do in your purpose statement.
Make it memorable.
Ask yourself “So what?” and then make sure you have answered the question!
Good writing entails several drafts and numerous revisions
“Three before me.” When you are satisfied with your paper, run spell and grammarchecks, check the formatting and MLA Style, then give it to at least three other persons toread and edit.
Joe Average should understand your paper. On the one hand, do not insult hisintelligence. On the other hand, do not lead him to doubt your intelligence.
Always write with respect for the reader.
The Basics
How should your paper look?
All papers need a title. Include the title centered at the top of the first page, right belowthe header.
Type or print on one side of standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
Double-space ALL lines of the paper, including the heading and the title.
Use either a ten or twelve point font size.
Do not include a title page unless specifically requested by the instructor.
Use a heading located on the left side of your first page.
Use a header that includes your last name and the page number in the upper right-handcorner of each page.
The right-hand margin should not be justified.
Set ALL margins to 1 inch.
Indent the first word of each paragraph one half-inch.
 Paragraph Length
A paragraph should have at least two sentences.
When a paragraph exceeds five or six sentences, think about subdividing it.
Paragraphs in the body of the paper should be approximately the same length.

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