What is a Sample of MLA Format? A sample of MLA format is a representation of a research paper in MLA format. The sample could be the header, the text itself, the Works Cited Page, the title page, etc. Any part of the research paper in MLA format constitutes a sample of MLA format.
One benefit of a sample of MLA format is that students can see what MLA format looks like. Since formatting is a hands-on activity, students need to see diagrams to help them with proper formatting. If the only directions given come in words, students will often be confused as to what they are required to do. Take a how-to manual, for example: often, the person building the object of the manual is given words that simply confuse them. If the how-to manual tells them to build something by connecting two items with fancy names the individual does not know, how will he or she build the device? Diagrams are supplied to help the individual know what to do, in case he or she simply does not know the names of the two connecting cords or links, for example.
Another benefit of an MLA sample is that students can use MLA examples to perform well academically on their research papers for professors. If the sample is a representation or excerpt of MLA format, then students can imitate on their research papers what they see on the MLA sample, thus improving their grades dramatically. Next, an MLA sample helps to “zoom in” on one portion of the research paper at a time. Often, students can feel overwhelmed when formatting a research paper. There are so many sections of the paper that need work and students can simply feel discouraged by focusing on all sections at work. Rather, what the MLA sample teaches is “slow and steady wins the race.” This means that students who focus on the header, then the body, then the Works Cited Page, then the title page, etc., who format the paper in sections (one at a time), are more likely to feel less stressed and achieve more than students who tackle all sections at once. Tedious assignments require meticulous care and laborious effort. Without it, the paper grade will suffer.
A sample of MLA format is often what students need to start with when formatting their research papers. If students see that they can complete the formatting effort one section at a time, they will feel inspired to continue formatting the paper while celebrating each step. If, however, the paper is simply thrown to them as a whole to format, they will feel discouraged and often distracted from the task. Once discouragement and distraction set in, it is not long before procrastination follows. And procrastination is, for students, a turn in the wrong direction.