Composing An Outline For A Research Paper In MLA Format

    Some instructors require you to include an outline in MLA format at the beginning of your MLA format research paper.  Doing an outline when you are working on a research paper is a great way to organize the information that you have found while doing your research.  An outline also allows you to see missing information in your research that you can fill in for your research paper.  Showing your research in an outline at the beginning of your research paper shows your instructor what you will be covering in your research paper before they begin to read it.

How To Compose An MLA Format Outline

  • The first part of your outline is your title page.  This is a single page that has the title of your research, which is centered and is about one third the way down from the top of the page.  Your name is centered on this page in the center of the paper.  Then at the bottom of the page you need to put your class name, teacher’s name, and date.
  • The next page is where you start your outline.  You need to put your last name and Roman numeral number the pages in the right hand corner of the page.
  •  Centered at the top of the page you need to put “Outline.”  Under that you write THESIS: and then write your thesis statement.
  • Each section of your outline is usually a paragraph in your research paper.  MLA format outlines are written in full sentences in each section.
  • You start with the main topic of the paragraph with a Roman numeral number and a full sentence on the topic.  You do this with each section of your outline.
  • Under your main topic, you will list the areas that you will cover in that paragraph.  These are written in full sentences and each sentence is separated with capital letters start with A.  Each section of your outline is written like this.
  • If you have subtopics that need more elaborate explanation, you can start with lower case letters under the subtopics.
  • The design of this kind of outline is left align for the main topic, one tab for the subtopics, and two tabs for the sub-sub topic.

Like this:

  1. How To Write A MLA Format Outline.
    • A. What goes on a title page?
      • Title, name, class, teacher’s name, and date.  
      •     


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