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Composing A Research Paper Bibliography In The MLA Format


MLA is a very unique format with particular rules when composing a research paper bibliography. The rules are very easy to follow. This is the only way to guarantee a high school which will improve your academic grades. The rules provide a uniform way to acknowledge books, publishers and publication dates, among other details when making citations.

Basics


The bibliography begins on a fresh page and at the top left corner. The title of the page should be “cited works” after which the last names of the author appear in an alphabetical order. Spaces and punctuations should be ignored whenever they appear in the middle of a name.

In some cases, the name of the author is unknown. MLA bibliography rules require that you use the title of the book cited. Whenever articles ‘A’ ‘An’ and ‘The’ on the title of the book or work cited, they should be ignored.

In the research paper, the dates of months should be spelt out. However, when writing the bibliography in MLA, you are required to abbreviate the months. The only months that should not be abbreviated are May, June and July. You have the option of using the Month-Day-Year style or the Day-Month-Year style. Whichever method you use, ensure that it is consistent throughout the paper. At the end of the Month-day-year style, a coma should be added. An exception only appears if another punctuation mark is to be used.

Italics or Underlining


The use of underlining was popularized by typewriters because they had no way to write in italics. This means that all titles of books, articles and cited works were underlined. This rule still remains and must be applied whenever a bibliography is written by hand. The use of computers has changed the rules a bit. You are required to use italics if the bibliography of your research paper is written in MLA. Different institutions and disciplines have adopted either of these methods. As such, you should always check with your tutor to identify the preferred mode of presentation.

Hanging Indentation


The first line of each entry should be flushed left with the second and all other subsequent lines being indented at half an inch.

Punctuations, Abbreviations and Capitalization


The first, last and all principal words should be capitalized. This includes words that follow a hyphen in compound terms. Lower case abbreviations should be used to identify part of a work like volume, edition or editor.

A period and a single space should separate the author, title and publication information. Quotation marks should indicate works that appear in larger works like a story in an anthology. They also indicate unpublished works and artistic pieces like songs.