Expert Advice On Composing An Engineering Research Paper In The MLA Format


MLA formatting style is unique and will affect the presentation of your research paper. It differs from the other styles on aspects such as citation, spacing, margins and referencing, among others. Here is a guide to ensure that your engineering paper meets the highest MLA standards.


Understand MLA Format

There are guidelines that define MLA format and must be understood in order to produce a well written paper. Here are some of these formatting guidelines.


  • The paper should be typed on a standard paper that is 8.5”x11”.

  • The entire paper should be double spaced. You should ensure that the font used is legible when regular, italic and bold. All these font varieties should also be distinct. It helps the reader to identify features such as headlines, emphasis and quotations that are included in your work. The recommended font size is 12pts unless it is stated otherwise by your tutor.

  • A single space should be left at the end of each period between sentences throughout the paper. You teacher may issue other instructions on spacing. These instructions must be followed. The margins on the right and left as well as top and bottom should be one inch throughout the paper.

  • The first line of all your paragraphs should be indented. The indent should be half an inch in length. Use the Tab key instead of hitting the space bar five times to achieve the half inch.

  • The header should contain numbers that are consistent and consecutive. They should appear at the top and flushed to the left. The details that appear at the top include your name, that of your instructor and the code identifying your course. The submission date should also be included on the header.

  • All tables and illustrations should be placed next to or as close as possible to the instructions describing them. Each table should have Arabic numerals and be titled. This information should appear at the top of the illustration or table, flushed to the left and appear on a separate line from the table.

  • When referencing a book, the name of the author should be followed by the title of the book, place of publication, the publisher and finally the year of publication.

There are more guidelines regarding a research paper in MLA. Beside these guidelines, consider the special instructions given by your teacher. Consistent use of MLA formatting style throughout the paper makes it easy to read and your arguments easier to follow.