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5 MLA Mistakes College Students Still Make

In college, students typically write formal papers in MLA format, which is a style most people used in high school. However, we still tend to make mistakes and second guess ourselves on the details of the format.

  1. Titles

The titles of short works like sonnets, short poems, songs, chapters, and short stories are usually placed in “quotation marks.” Long works like novels, textbooks/anthologies are typically italicized.

  1. Introducing Quotes

Often “quote dropping” is a mistake we are all guilty of committing. Quote dropping is     when you use a quote without an introductory phrase. It can be as simple as saying “John   said…”

  1. Punctuation Marks and Quotation Marks

Punctuation marks go inside the quotation marks. The only exception to this rule is when you include an in-text citation in which case the period will go on the outside of the parenthesis. Example: As Frank observed, “blah blah blah” (149).

  1. Format/Header

The format is typically one-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, and should     be double-spaced. Microsoft word does the margins for you, so you do not need to worry about that. The header of the paper should be paper should be your name, professor name, class, and the date written as day, month (spelled out), and the year. I.e., 28   February 2018.  Your paper should also include your last name and page number on each page

  1. Numbers

Any number that can be written in two words is written out alphabetically (twenty-one).   Any number that cannot be written in two words should be typed in numeric form like decimals or numbers above 100.

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