The MLA format first began gaining in popularity in 1985. Just like the APA term paper format, the MLA format was implemented by the American Modern Language Association, for the purposes of American schools and colleges. The style nevertheless went on to gain popularity internationally, in English-speaking countries in particular. The Modern Language Association continues to produce research format guidelines, as the style’s format is designed to help scholars everywhere to have a regular, consistent format for scholarly publishing, which can be easily assimilated.
The MLA style is particularly suited for those academics studying languages and arts, because of its easy referencing formal. Though the APA and MLA term paper formats are favored by professors, they may not specifically request or specify this. The student should ascertain which format will be the most acceptable, before embarking on writing any term paper.
An MLA term paper adopts the style where there an extensive source of research materials will be used. MLA term paper referencing generally adopts the following rules:
- All researched material used as sources should be succinctly bracketed.
- Within the bracket, the writer should cite the author’s last name, as well as the relevant page of the book from which he has drawn a quote.
- If this quote extends to longer than four lines, it should be taken out and formatted as an excerpt, indented ten spaces into the MLA term paper. Due to this indentation, the quote will not require the traditional quotation marks to separate it from the writer’s original text.
- Where the is the need to mention a specific previously used quotation in the MLA term paper, only the reference to the term paper page number in question is required. This is usually done where a subsequent point or argument needs further clarification.
MLA term paper writing is so detailed and intricate that there have been several guidebooks developed to help the writer master this style. The available MLA guidebooks in the market deal with various aspects of MLA term paper writing, including the research portion, and often give examples of a generic MLA research script in detail. Because of its relevance, the last edition of the MLA Style Manual, published in 2008, went on to be adopted by scholars in China, Japan, India, Taiwan as well as Brazil.
Students are well advised to purchase one or two, and to use them as a useful handbook tool, during the course of their studies, even as they advance to higher levels of learning, and their writing and research become more complex. There are usually a few copies of MLA term paper guidebooks in the libraries of academic institutions.
The MLA style is not just another format for the development of research papers. It may also be used as an excellent guide for students to study foreign cultures, modern languages, as well as the media, and even in the field of art. It is thus popular in a wide range of disciplines, ranging from the humanities to literature and the social sciences, wherein students are required to understand its basics.