Using Subheadings For a Paper With MLA

The Modern Language Association created the MLA-style referencing system for literary works. The writing style provides a flexible framework for formatting, referencing, and writing.

One of these predetermined rules relates to MLA headings and subheadings. In today’s article, we are going to be focusing on the use of subheadings in MLA.

If you were having issues with MLA and its rule of using subheadings, keep reading until the end!

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What is MLA?

he largest US professional organization for language and literature scholars is the Modern Language Association of America or MLA.

MLA established in 1883 to enhance language and literature instruction and study, has more than 25,000 members worldwide. This group is credited with creating the MLA style for writing about literature. Many universities across the globe use the MLA style regularly.

We’ll go over the key features of MLA formatting and citation style. However, it’s important to remember that the style can change occasionally. Therefore, you should check an updated style guide to ensure you’re up to date.

Let’s start with formatting. Please bear with us if this sounds like a review; we’re trying to be thorough and accurate. Always check your paper’s instructions to see if your instructor requires modifications to the standard MLA formatting. Prioritize following her instructions.

There are a few general formatting rules you can follow when talking MLA. Your body text should always be double-spaced. We don’t use fonts bigger or smaller than 12. And we indent the first sentence of a paragraph!

Headings & Subheadings in MLA

MLA papers and essays need headings and subheadings as identifiers to help organize and structure them. Writers using MLA correctly improve the readability of their book, manuscript, thesis, journal, or other literary work and increase their credibility as authors.

Most writers and students frequently confuse a heading with a header. Even though both are commonly taken to mean the same thing, they serve different objectives.

An MLA header is an identifier on every page of your work. This is different from an MLA heading which you can find on the first page.

Although section headings make literary works easier to read, they are not always required of students in their papers or essays. For clarification, it is crucial to check with your instructor or the assignment guidelines.

You should use the title case for all headings and subheadings in MLA citations.

A period should not follow the MLA headings or subheadings by a period.

Now that we know the difference between a header and a heading let’s look at more intricate details of headings in the MLA style.

More Formatting Tips for Subheadings in MLA

You should format MLA headings in a paper or essay as expected, with the headings descending in importance. In this rule, the title heading should be the most noticeable part of the work.

Because both APA and MLA format subheadings have five levels, they are pretty similar. Subheadings should be styled following the prominence of each one, just like the headings.

Because there are so many levels, it can be challenging to determine which subheading belongs to which level. Because of this, we distinguish subheading levels in MLA style by using different font styling.

To help readers understand the organization of the paper or essay, subheadings must be consistently styled. For ease of identification, you should present each level of subheading in the same size, format, and style.

To prevent confusion with block quotations, subheadings in an MLA paper or essay should also be flushed to the left margin. Additionally, no internal level should contain a single level.

That is, there must be more than one instance of those if you are going to have a level between 1 and 5. 

You’ll need a second level 2 heading, for instance, if you only have one level 2 heading.

There must always be text beneath all headings. Choosing the appropriate subheading level is crucial because it makes the paper easier to navigate. It also lets you know what information should go in the table of contents. The appropriate use of headings is essential for this reason.

It is essential to emphasize the literary work’s structure, so consistency in writing headings and subheadings is required. Fundamentally, the font size, color, and styling should be the same for each level 1 heading (H1).

Final Thoughts

MLA is a style of writing that is standard in universities, and it is widely used in the publishing industry. We use it in a variety of fields, including academics, journalism, and technical writing. The style is widely used along with the APA format, so you will likely be writing your paper in MLA from the beginning. 

We hope our guidelines helped you understand how the MLA format works on papers. MLA is one of the most flexible formats, so you have to check what your professor demands for your paper.

For example, your professor may want a specific word count from your research. He may also want a number of other things, such as a different way to cite. Or, he or she may want you to add page numbers and italicize them. Or they may want the Times New Roman font specifically. This is why it’s important to invest the time and note what your professor wants specifically.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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