Creating A Research Paper Reference Page In The MLA Format


What is an MLA format?


MLA (Modern Language Association) format is mainly used in humanities and social science research papers. Among the existing schools of citations, MLA is considered relatively easier to understand. What sets MLA style apart from other citations is that- in the former, a parenthetical citation is used in the end of the paper. MLA format is appreciated by academicians, course instructors and students-alike, especially in North America and Asian countries.

Four tips to create a research paper reference page in MLA


  • If you are writing the reference page of your research paper in MLA format, then it’s expected that- in the whole body of your paper you have followed the same formatting. For the reference page, you need to do it in a separate sheet altogether and there must be one-inch margin in the sheet. Apart from that, here you need to follow the double-space line spacing between two citations.
  • MLA formatting is revamped on a periodic basis. As of now, the latest change took place in 2009 and it introduced some interesting alterations in terms of entries. Before 2009, only text and web-based entries were taken into account by Modern Language Association. But right now, you can add film, DVD or CD-ROM as the entries. You don’t need to insert the URLs except if your guide really insists upon it.
  • In MLA style, when you enter an author’s name, the last name must appear first, followed by the first name and then the middle name/initial. Ex- James A. Simpson should be cited as Simpson, James A. If there is Dr. James A. Simpson, then the ‘Dr.’ or any such title will not get any entry into the citation page. But if it’s James A. Simpson, Jr., then it would be- “Simpson, James A., Jr.”
  • Apart from books and other printed as well as web-based materials- films, interviews (personal/online/ print/broadcast), speeches, photographs/paintings also fall under the tag ‘other sources’ in MLA formatting. For both print/broadcast and online interview, first you need to write the name of the interviewee and then inside the quotation mark- the title of the interview, though the rest of the citation shall be different for these two cases. But for personal interview, it would be like- name of the interviewee (full stop) the description (here personal interview) (full stop) the interview date.

The above four are basic points if you want to create a research paper reference page in MLA format. There is whole gamut of other guidelines for MLA formatting. Consulting a scholarly guideline is recommended here.