How to Format Headings and Subheadings in MLA Style

English Modern Language Association style, or MLA, is considered one of the most common citing formats in humanities sciences and studies. It’s widely spread in English-speaking countries and used in linguistics, psychology, literature, and many other fields. Writing a paper in MLA, a student needs to know how to format headings and subheadings properly.

Main requirements for headings and subheadings in MLA

It’s pretty easy and as a result very readable. Meet the requirements below:

  1. An understandable front. Usually, it’s Times New Roman.
  2. Double spacing.
  3. 12 points font size.
  4. Single space after punctuation marks.
  5. Absence of a period.
  6. The first heading is the main and most eye-catching one, so it needs to be located in the center.

Subheadings divide the content into more detail. The importance of information is evidenced by the font and boldface. Formatting of the subheadings in papers and books differs. Usually, small essays require a simple listing with Arabic figures. Formatting books or large papers, there are several levels of subheadings (all the headings consider as level one):

  • Level two – italics, flushed to the left margin.
  • Level three – locates form a new line, in the center, and boldfaced.
  • Level four – locates in the center, italics.
  • Level five – underlined, flushed to the left margin.

The text locates the half-inch indent after each heading or subheading.

How to use headings and subheadings

  • To write them properly, you need to understand what advantages they bring.
  • They logically divide the text making it easier to comprehend. In this way, it’s more simple to figure out in a large but structured article.
  • Writing a short paper, a writer should avoid headings or minimize them if it’s possible as the small quantity of a text doesn’t need extra structuring.
  • If a reader wants to read a certain part of the paper, it would be much easier for them to find such a part orienting on headings and subheadings.


Sheri gill

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