Modern MLA Headings – A Guide to All Headings Used in Academic Writing

Modern MLA Headings – A Guide to All Headings Used in Academic Writing

If you are looking for some helpful information on MLA headings, then this article can provide it. MLA format is an academic writing format referring to professional style which has been developed by the Modern Language Association (MLA). The style provides a flexible rule for formatting, referencing, and writing. There are many rules that govern the use of MLA format in research papers. Among these set rules, the use of MLA format in reference articles and dissertations is one of the most common rules.

A common error made by most writers is using the wrong MLA format headings for an article or essay. The mistake is often made because they do not recognize that the first four or five words of a new article or essay should actually form the title and topic of the article or essay. The title and topic will be described further on in the essay or the paper itself. In this way, it can be ensured that the student or writer will have a clear and easy to understand entry for his or her assignment. Therefore, it is important that proper spacing is used throughout an essay or paper. It is to ensure that there are no grammatical errors within the writing.

The Most Important Details

The first thing that a writer should learn is the meaning of each of the MLA format headings. The first of which is the heading, which will be followed by the name of the author and the publication date. The name should never be omitted as it gives emphasis to the content of the article or paper. The next type of header that is commonly seen is the subject line. Which is used to formally request someone read the article or paper.

Another type of header that is important is the running head, which is used for announcing a new paragraph conclusion. For this reason, the last name of the writer or student should also be included here. As well as the page number where this conclusion should be found.

Common MLA Headings Types

The two most common types of MLA headings are the pre-marked heading and the numbered heading.

  • The pre-marked heading is the one that is placed directly above the text on the page;
  • the numbered heading is found in the lower-left corner of the page.

The Pre-Marked MLA Format Header

The pre-marked MLA format headers and footers are referred to as pre-MLA credit. In spite of these specifications, there are some slight variations between the standard forms. In particular, the College Board’s online site offers a choice of seven different citation styles. The citation styles are the following: First citation, indicated topic, Irregular entry, numbered entry, All authors, Subject-matter, Problem, Creative writing, Alternative title.

MLA format headings

The Numbered MLA Headings

The numbered header is designed to make it easier for readers to determine the number of times an entry occurs. The first number in a header is called the heading or subject line. The numbering can be anything from one to seven. The topic and body of your research paper may vary, but the heading and subject line should conform to the MLA format.

The second type of header is the title case or the numbered header. In this case, the first page is called the title case or topic page. The title case appears after the abstract topic matter and before the table of contents. It may vary depending on the particular format used.

Unique Header- All Authors Header

The third type of format heading is the all authors or subject line format heading. In this case, there is one page containing all authors, and the contents of that page appear throughout the paper. However, the all-authors or subject line must appear only once — even if there are footnotes throughout the text. The MLA format heading also allows one to include the page number of pages that contain further information about the topic.


MLA Headings Format Tips

  • Most of the MLA format headings and subheadings are quite similar to the other formats. However, the most common feature is the use of italicized words in reference titles and other text. Unlike other formats, the MLA does not recognize commas or periods in heading and subheading titles. The text following such headers will be placed in single-spaced fonts. On the other hand, in other academic writing formats, such as the APA or Chicago Manual of Style. The use of such formatting is prohibited because they might cause the readers to lose the readability of the literary piece.
  • The other feature that is commonly found among the MLA format headings and subheads is the presence of the author’s name in the author’s resource box. The purpose of this is to make the reader aware that the writer is acknowledging the source of the literary piece. Another commonly used feature is the presence of footnotes or additional notes in the margins of the footnotes. This helps students know about the specific sources they have cited in their research paper. Footnotes are numbered starting from the left margin of the page and proceeding to the right margin. Students should ensure that all the footnotes that they use in their papers conform to the style guidelines mentioned in the MLA manual.
  • In addition to using proper style, the student should also use proper MLA format for his or her MLA subheadings, headings, and other content. For example, the MLA style for a left margin citation begins with the capital letter followed by two lines. And then followed by two hyphens — the first line should have an unequal space and the second line should be a straight line. Furthermore, when the student uses a centered citation, it is appropriate to start the cite within the left margin. Then followed by an equal space and the same type of direction after the word “or.” The same is true when the student starts a left-aligned citation with the capital letter followed by one or more commas.


In order to complete the formatting for your essay, first you need to create a draft layout. This is an outline page in which you state the basic formatting details of the paper in bullet points. Once your rough draft is ready, you should convert it to a PDF. Then you should open up a graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator and create a PDF file from the outline page. Finally, convert the PDF back into a Word document, so you can add the final touches to your work.