Sample Papers in MLA Style

The following three sample research papers are typical of the papers that might be submitted in different kinds of courses.

Reading these papers will help you learn about organizing an argument and working with sources. The papers also demonstrate the use of MLA style to document sources and the formatting of the margins, line spacing, and other physical attributes of a printed paper. The MLA’s guidelines on formatting papers appear elsewhere on this site.

The sample papers were written by MLA staff members who are experienced college teachers. You may find that the writing and documentation seem polished. Because the sample papers serve as models, we aimed to make them free of errors in grammar and documentation. Nevertheless, we hope that the papers usefully represent good student work.

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This paper, on assisted reproductive technology and the family, includes an example of using ellipses when omitting words from a quoted source. For more on ellipses, see the MLA Handbook (1.3.5).

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This paper, on Jacob Lawrence’s Migration series, shows you how to incorporate figures into your text, style a block quotation, and cite a variety of sources. Read about block quotations in the MLA Handbook (1.3.2–3, 1.3.7).

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This paper, on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and the courtship novel, features examples of how to use notes in MLA style, cite a dictionary definition, and more.

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