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Proper Subheadings for the Research Paper in MLA Format

Most people consider completing a research paper as an arduous task, particularly because they are required to follow certain guidelines. MLA is used to format research papers as well as manuscripts written in English. An essay that is formatted using the MLA style and has the proper subheadings is readable and easy to understand. As a general guideline when writing a paper in MLA style, the subheading ought to be flushed left. The type as well as the subtext of the essay to be written often depends on the formatting of other subtitles.  When writing research papers in MLA style, writers are required to number sections using Arabic numerals. You begin with the number, followed by a period, then a space and finally the name of the section. Levels can be created in the paper by using a numeric format. According to MLA guidelines, the number ought to start flush left.

After this, put a period and then a space. After the space, type the heading of the document. If the numbered title contains subheads, the subhead ought to start flush left; a level should come next, then a period, followed by the number of the subhead. A good example of a numeric format includes: 2. ; 2.1 ; 2.2 ; 3 ; 3.1 in that order. 

When using the MLA style, you ought to interchange Italic and Bold in the first four headings. Furthermore, make sure to use a standard font for these headings and underline the rest. Here is a good example for formatting of the headings in MLA style: 

  • 1st Level Heading: Bold, flush left
  • 2nd Level Headings: Italics Flush Left
  • 3rd Level 3 Headings: bold and centered (level 3 heading should be indented)
  • 4th Level Headings: Italics and centered (level 4 heading should be indented)
  • 5th Level Headings: flush left, underlined.

As you can see both Level 1 & 2 headings are flush left, while Level 3 & 4 have an indentation of one margin from left. Level 5 is in line with Level 1-2 and is flush left. Therefore, if your instructor asks you to write a long essay using the MLA format, the best approach is to put section headings in your document so as to improve readability. Even so, when putting subheadings in your essay you can make use of two forms of headings – the numbered and the unnumbered headings. Just ensure to utilize one consistently for the entire document, whichever type you choose.  

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