how to start an essay in mla format

how to start an essay in mla format

To start an essay in MLA format within a 1000-word limit, you should begin with a strong and engaging introduction that sets the tone for your essay and introduces your topic. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start your essay in MLA format:

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1. Document Setup:

  • Use a standard word processing software such as Microsoft Word.
  • Format your document with the following settings:
    • Font: Times New Roman, 12-point.
    • Line spacing: Double-spaced.
    • Margins: 1-inch margins on all sides.

2. Header:

  • In the upper-left corner of the first page, include your name, your instructor’s name, the course name/number, and the date. Double-space this information and align it to the left.

3. Title (Centered):

  • Center-align the essay title at the top of the first page.
  • Capitalize the first and last words of the title and all major words in between.
  • Do not use bold, italics, or underlining for the title.
  • Do not include quotation marks around the title unless it is part of a larger work (e.g., an article or book title).

4. Page Numbers:

  • Insert page numbers in the upper-right corner of each page, half an inch from the top.
  • Your last name should precede the page number. For example: “Smith 1.”

5. Introduction:

  • Begin your essay with an engaging introduction that captures the reader’s attention.
  • Provide some context or background information related to your topic.
  • State the purpose of your essay and introduce your thesis statement.

6. Thesis Statement:

  • Your thesis statement should be a clear, concise, and arguable statement that presents the main argument or point of your essay. It should be placed at the end of your introduction.

7. Hook the Reader:

  • Start your introduction with a hook—a compelling statement, a relevant quote, a thought-provoking question, or a surprising fact—to grab the reader’s interest.

8. Transition to the Main Points:

  • After your hook and thesis statement, provide a brief overview of the main points or arguments you will discuss in your essay. This helps the reader understand the structure of your essay.

Here’s a simplified example of how to start an essay in MLA format:

[Your Name]
[Instructor's Name]
[Course Name/Number]

[Center-Aligned Title]


Ever since the advent of the internet, our lives have been transformed in ways we could not have imagined. From the way we communicate to the way we access information, technology has become an integral part of our daily existence. In this essay, we will explore the profound impact of the internet on society, focusing on its role in reshaping communication, information dissemination, and social interaction.

[Thesis Statement]

The internet's influence on society extends far beyond its convenience; it has fundamentally altered the way we connect with one another, access knowledge, and participate in the digital world.

[Hook the Reader]

Did you know that more people now have access to the internet than clean drinking water? This startling fact underscores the internet's pervasive presence in our lives, and it prompts us to examine the far-reaching implications of this digital revolution.

Remember that the specific content, topic, and thesis statement will depend on your essay’s subject matter and purpose. Always tailor your introduction to suit the requirements of your essay and the expectations of your instructor.

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