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Composing a Research Paper Proposal in the MLA Format: Essential Rules

The purpose of a research paper proposal is to provide a detailed summary of the study, to describe the topic, and to outline the key aspects of the research. You might need to submit the proposal to your scholarly supervisor to report about your interest in the topic or demonstrate the preliminary work done. Sometimes this type of writing is required when applying for a grand or a scholarship, and should be presented to the scholarly board.

There are certain patterns and general requirements on how to write a research paper proposal. This article will provide essential rules of composing this kind of academic writing in the MLA format.

Modern Language Association (MLA) style is widely used in various kinds of writings in humanities and liberal arts. It encompasses the range of rules concerning the formatting and layout of the text. Here are the general guidelines on MLA text formatting:

  • The common font is Times New Roman, size 12.
  • One space only should be left after all punctuation marks.
  • Half an inch space should be made in the first line of each paragraph.
  • All the margins of the document should be one inch only.
  • The page number should be indicated in the top right corner.

Italicize the words only if you want to highlight the titles of the cited sources, or to stress the key points. In your academic paper proposal you might need to prepare a front page (though it is not very common for MLA writing). It should contain the following information: your name, academic title (if any), your position at your university, date of birth, nationality, contact information, and institutional contact. If the title page is not required, include your name, your supervisor’s name, the discipline or course, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. Do not forget to double space your text.

After the personal information write your topic. The very proposal should include the following parts: catchy introduction; statement of the problem in question; the purpose of the research, a short overview of the research literature, describing the main theoretical sources, and achievements of other scientists in the sphere that you base your own research on; methods and procedure applied for the analysis, significance of your study, and the list of references.

All the above mentioned information should help you in composing your own paper proposal using the MLA writing format.

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