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Should the font size for endnotes in a paper differ from the font size for the text of my essay?

No. In a research paper, dissertation, or other unpublished manuscript, you should select a standard font size (e.g., 12 points) and let the word processing program you are using style note numbers automatically. 
Although many professionally typeset books are designed with a variety of font sizes for different elements (text, headers, notes, and so on), such variation is unnecessary for manuscript preparation.
See our guidelines on formatting a research paper for more formatting information.

Published 30 March 2018

How do I style the names of fictional characters?

Style the name of a fictional character just as you would the name of a person: capitalize the initial letter of each name. Do not put a fictional name in italics or in quotation marks:

In an interview, the writer Stephen King said that one of his favorite books features a character named Margaret Ridpath.

If the title of a work contains the name of a fictional character, style the name as a name and the title as a title (that is, in italics or quotation marks):

Emma Woodhouse is the heroine of Jane Austen’s novel Emma. 
Willa Cather’s short story “Paul’s Case”

Published 22 March 2018

How do I style headings and subheadings in a research paper?

Headings and subheadings can help organize and structure your writing. In general, longer and more complex works warrant more of them than shorter ones. Avoid overusing headings in short projects; they should never be used to compensate for poor structure or to explain an underdeveloped idea.
When headings are called for in your writing project, observe the basic guidelines below.
Levels
The paper or chapter title is the first level of heading, and it must be the most prominent.
Headings should be styled in descending order of prominence. After the first level, the other headings are subheadings—that is, they are subordinate.

Published 13 December 2018

How should I format captions for figures that I include in my paper?

Illustrative visual material other than a table—for example, a photograph, map, drawing, graph, or chart—should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an arabic numeral, and given a caption:
Fig. 1. Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, Wichita Art Museum.
The label and caption ordinarily appear directly below an illustration and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper. Visit our Formatting a Research Paper page to learn more about including tables, figures, and musical illustrations in papers.

Published 28 June 2017

Should URLs be linked in works-cited-list entries?

Whether to link a URL, DOI, or permalink in a works-cited-list entry for a work published or submitted in digital format is optional. The MLA Handbook notes that one benefit of URLs is that they “may be clickable” in digital formats (48). The URLs in the e-book version of the handbook, for example, are linked.
Work Cited
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

Published 10 November 2016

What guidance should I give my students for preparing an annotated bibliography?

Students should style a source in an annotated bibliography just as they would in a list of works cited and then append an annotation to the end of the entry. Annotations describe or evaluate sources. As James Harner writes, “[G]ood annotations accurately and incisively—but not cryptically—distill the essence of works” and “focus the reader’s attention on major points” (28). Annotations should not rehash minor details, cite evidence, quote the author, or recount steps in an argument. Writing an effective annotation requires reading the work, understanding its aims, and clearly summarizing them. For this reason, annotations may aid students in conducting research.

Published 4 November 2016

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