MLA Headings and Subheadings

Introduction

Headings and subheadings are required to help organize and provide structure to MLA papers and essays. However, MLA does not exactly set rules for formatting MLA headings and subheadings. It just has to be consistent with the general formatting guidelines of the MLA style.

Students may not be required to include section headings in their papers or essay. This is why it is important to ask your instructor or consult the assignment guideline to be sure. Therefore, if you are required to include section headings, then it is important to follow the guidelines in this article.

Do you need help with MLA style? We can help!

MLA running head

pointing hand Basic formatting requirements for MLA headings and subheadings

  • Font: any readable font most preferably Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12 pts
  • Line spacing: all the text should have a double line spacing
  • Paragraph indentation: each new paragraph after the headings and subheadings should have a half an inch indent
  • All headings and subheadings but be written in title case
  • There should be no period after headings or subheadings.

Download the MLA heading template

check markTitle

MLA format does not require a title page for essays and paper. However, the title of the paper and essay should appear on the first page as a heading. Plus, the title comes immediately after your information, your instructor’s information, course information and the due date

The title should be

  • Center-aligned
  • Written in 12pts font
  • Double spaced above the first line of the paper or essay
  • Written in sentence case

The title should not be italicized, bolded, underlined, put in quotation marks

For example

“The Beginning Of Revolution In Mid Africa”

Example of MLA heading

check markHeadings

The first level of headings in an MLA paper, which is usually reserved for the chapter title, is referred to as headings while the subsequent levels are referred to subheadings.

Headings should be

  • Center-aligned
  • Written in 12pts font
  • Double spaced above the first line of the paper or essay

For example

Literature Review

check markSubheadings

The subheadings in MLA format like that APA style has five different levels. The subheadings should be styled in order of their prominence.

The font styling is usually used to differentiate the levels of subheadings in MLA format. The consistency in the styling of the subheading is essential in letting the readers understand the structure of the paper or essay. Therefore, each level of subheading should appear in the same size, format, and style.

Additionally, the subheadings in an MLA paper or essay should be flushed to the left margin to avoid confusion with block quotations. Also, no internal level should have only one level. That is, if you are going to be having a level between 1 to 5, there must be more than one instance of those. For example, if you have one level 2 heading, you will need to have a second level 2 heading.

All headings must have text underneath them.

Levels of subheadings and their formatting

Level                                      formatting

  • bolded, flush or aligned with the left margin
  • italicized, flush or aligned with the left margin
  • bolded, centered on the page
  • italicized, centered on the page
  • underlined, flush/aligned with the left margin

Example

Research methods – subheading 1

Sampling methods- subheading 2

Sample size – subheading 3

Sampling probability – subheading 4

Instrument – subheading 5

 

You may also be interested in our thesis editing service!

pointing hand When to Use the Different Subheading Levels

Using the right subheading level is important because it aids with the navigation of the paper as well as knowing the information to be added in the table of contents. This is why it is important to use

  • Subheading 1 for the first subsection after the chapter title
  • Subheading 2 for the subsections that are directly under the subheading 1
  • Subheading 3 for the subsections that are directly under the subheading 2
  • Subheading 4 for the subsections that are directly under the subheading 3
  • Subheading 5 for the subsections that are directly under the subheading 4

 You may also want to read Chicago Headings and Subheadings!

 

proofreading

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

Numbers in MLA format

Numbers in MLA Format

Introduction When writing a paper or an essay, most authors prefer to spell out the numbers that can be written in one or two words while they use figures for numbers that would require more than two words to be written in words. However, how you would write numbers in your paper or essay basically…
MLA running head

MLA Running Head – A Clear Guide

The MLA running head is the short version of the paper’s title that is written as the header at the top of each page. Also, if the paper includes page numbers, the page number is written at the top of the page, preceded by the running head. In MLA style, the running head is referred…
tables and figures in mla format

Tables and Figures in MLA Format

The inclusion of visual materials such as tables and figures in your paper is to improve the understanding of information and that of the topic by the readers. Authors can embed different types of visuals, such as diagrams, photographs, musical scores, and several others. However, MLA format is used mainly by students and researchers in…
MLA Format for Academic Papers and Essays 1 | Scientific Editing

MLA Format for Academic Papers and Essays

The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is a writing style that is generally used in English courses as well as humanities courses. If you are to write a paper or an essay in MLA format, there exist some formatting rules and guidelines that your paper or essay must follow. This article is written to illustrate…
key differences between MLA and APA

The Key Differences between MLA and APA

Introduction As a student, you would understand that there are different formatting styles; each formatting style has proved its value in various fields. Various academic subjects seldom require different approach and techniques to researching, hence developing works are done in different ways. This is why, as a researcher or a student, it is essential to…