MLA Dissertation Formatting Tutorial: 8 Basic Things To Know

Before submitting a dissertation/thesis, the fulfillment of all the necessary requirements is essential for getting its approval. Normally, all research papers are to be structured in a special way. Below, you can find some useful guidelines on how to prepare a thesis in the MLA format.

Dissertation Structure

There are clear recommendations which sections one has to include in his/her paper:

  • Title Page.
  • Acceptance Page.
  • Table of Contents.
  • Chapters.
  • Works Cited Page.
  • Curriculum Vitae

Besides the aforementioned sections, a thesis may contain additional ones, such as the Copyright Page, Dedication, Acknowledgements, Preface, and List of various attachments (figures, tables), abbreviations etc.

8 Basic Things for a Proper MLA Dissertation Formatting

Once the paper is properly structured, the next step is to modify it with the following requirements of MLA formatting

  1. The dissertation should be printed out on standard white paper.
  2. The text should be double-spaced. It’s prohibited to use any additional spaces, even if it seems logical (separating paragraphs, chapters etc.). There are some exceptions though; this doesn’t apply to the Title Page, Acceptance Page and Copyright Page.
  3. MLA format advises to use simple fonts like Times New Roman, 12pt throughout the paper, including chapter titles; they shouldn’t stand out in any way (no bold, underlined, or italicized words).
  4. Longer titles cited in-text such as books are italicized; for short ones, quotation marks are used.
  5. Endnotes are usually placed on the Annotation Page or listed after each chapter. It’s also required to include the endnotes sources in the Work Cited Page.
  6. The header should include a candidate’s name and a page number (except the Title Page and the Table of Contents). Arabic numerals are used to number pages and they have to be numbered consecutively. Usually the header is in the upper right corner but it may vary.
  7. Proper margins are 1 inch on all sides, except on the left, where it has to be 1.5 inches in order to bind the paper.
  8. Spelling and Usage are important as well. For this purpose, it’s advisable to refer to respected sources (dictionaries).

Title Page

The format of a Title Page varies depending on the instructor, but there are general recommendations:

  • All letters are centered.
  • The paper title is centered in the upper part, about ¼ of the way down.
  • The author’s name is put approx.6-5 lines below the title.
  • Below, approx. 7-8 lines down,the faculty name, course/desired degree information; college/university name are indicated.
  • The actual degree date is put 3-4 lines down (e.g., June 2016).

For more information, please refer to authoritative resources and your instructor.