Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
MLA Sample Paper
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.
Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
Media File: MLA Sample Paper
This resource is enhanced by an Acrobat PDF file. Download the free Acrobat Reader
This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2016 updates. To download the MLA sample paper, click this link .
Writing with MLA Style
Congratulations to the students whose essays were selected for the 2023 edition of Writing with MLA Style! Essays were selected as examples of excellent student writing that use MLA style for citing sources. Essays have been lightly edited.
If your institution subscribes to MLA Handbook Plus , you can access annotated versions of the essays selected in 2022 and 2023.
Writing with MLA Style: 2023 Edition
The following essays were selected for the 2023 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2023 selection committee was composed of Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut (chair); Rachel Ihara, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York; and Tarshia L. Stanley, Wagner College.
Caroline Anderson (Pepperdine University)
“ L’Appel du Vide : Making Spaces for Sinful Exploration in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ”
Hunter Daniels (University of South Carolina, Aiken)
“Biblical Legalism and Cultural Misogyny in The Tragedy of Mariam ”
Aspen English (Southern Utah University)
“Putting the ‘Comm’ in Comics: A Communication-Theory-Informed Reading of Graphic Narratives”
Raul Martin (Lamar University)
“The Book-Object Binary: Access and Sustainability in the Academic Library”
Grace Quasebarth (Salve Regina University)
“Finding a Voice: The Loss of Machismo Criticisms through Translation in Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits ”
Writing with MLA Style: 2022 Edition
The following essays were selected for the 2022 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2022 selection committee was composed of Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut; Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware (chair); and Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College Chicago.
Kaile Chu (New York University, Shanghai)
“Miles Apart: An Investigation into Dedicated Online Communities’ Impact on Cultural Bias”
Sietse Hagen (University of Groningen)
“The Significance of Fiction in the Debate on Dehumanizing Media Portrayals of Refugees”
Klara Ismail (University of Exeter)
“Queering the Duchess: Exploring the Body of the Female Homosexual in John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi ”
Yasmin Mendoza (Whittier College)
“Banning without Bans”
Niki Nassiri (Stony Brook University)
“Modern-Day US Institutions and Slavery in the Twenty-First Century”
Samantha Wilber (Palm Beach Atlantic University)
“‘Pero, tu no eres facil’: The Poet X as Multicultural Bildungsroman”
Writing with MLA Style: 2019 Edition
The following essays were selected for the 2019 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2019 selection committee was composed of Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware; Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College Chicago (chair); and Liana Silva, César E. Chavez High School, Houston, Texas.
Catherine Charlton (University of King’s College, Nova Scotia)
“‘Coal Is in My Blood’: Public and Private Representations of Community Identity in Springhill, Nova Scotia”
Alyiah Gonzales (California Polytechnic State University)
“Disrupting White Normativity in Langston Hughes’s ‘I, Too’ and Toni Morrison’s ‘Recitatif’”
Meg Matthias (Miami University, Ohio)
“Prescriptions of (Living) Historical Happiness: Gendered Performance and Racial Comfort in Reenactment”
Jennifer Nguyen (Chaminade University of Honolulu)
“The Vietnam War, the American War: Literature, Film, and Popular Memory”
Emily Schlepp (Northwest University)
“A Force of Love: A Deconstructionist Reading of Characters in Dickens’s Great Expectations ”
Home / MLA Sample Paper
MLA Sample Paper
Mla sample paper #1.
If you’ve been wondering how to produce a research paper that is strong in both formatting and writing, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out our first sample paper below. It is a helpful and clearly labeled visual aid to refer to. Note that while these sample papers do not include MLA abstracts , you should check with your instructor to see if an abstract should be included.
Visual Sample Paper
The example research paper below is one that was written in college for a course on the Inklings. The Inklings were a group of writers in England before WWII, including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
The abbreviated MLA paper below (linked here without annotations) is about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and how the author used myth, story, and song to link all of his works together. Tolkien is famous for creating a fantasy universe called Middle-earth, which readers can’t truly understand until they read all of the books about Middle-earth ( The Silmarillian, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings ).
Since we’re here to learn how to format an essay, we’ve pointed out some important things about the paper to help you write a correctly formatted essay.
For starters, the essay is in MLA format. That means it follows the style manual of the Modern Language Association, which tells you how to format the paper itself and every source you cite. You’ll also see notes like how long a paragraph should be, how to use commas properly, and how to correctly punctuate a title. Some of these guidelines are different from those in APA format , so be sure to confirm you are using the correct style in your paper.
Pay special attention to the MLA format works cited. We only used one type of source (books), but both citations are correct according to the 9th edition of MLA, published in 2021. When you’re writing your own paper, you need to make sure you always use the most recent edition of the style manual. You’ll also want to check with your instructor to see if you need to include an MLA annotated bibliography with your paper, which contains additional information summarizing and evaluating each source after the regular citation.
Whether you need MLA, APA citations , or Chicago style notes, look up the latest edition before turning in a paper.
MLA Sample Paper #2
See below for an example paper or click below to download it as a Word Document.
The MLA header should be one inch from the top and left margins. The heading and the entire paper should be double spaced.
Eli YaffarabeProfessor Rapheor
28 August 2018
Privatization of Prisons in Texas
The privatization of governmental services has increased dramatically in the past decade as local, state, and federal agencies have searched for ways to cut costs while still meeting their mandated responsibility to provide various public services. This privatizing trend has particularly affected the criminal justice system. Since the early 1990s, privatized correctional facilities have increased significantly, nationally and statewide. This policy has far-ranging consequences not only within the criminal justice system, but as an instructive example for government officials when considering the costs and benefits of privatization as a public policy option. By 2001, thirty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had privately-operated correctional facilities (Austin and Coventry 4). This movement has incited considerable debate and controversy, mainly because prison privatization calls for giving the private sector direct control over the lives of a captive human population.
Surprisingly, there has been little objective and concrete analysis of the privatization of prisons in the United States. This is probably for two reasons: first, ideological arguments on the matter have pushed out substantive research, and second, because this trend has only recently accelerated in the U.S. and mainly on a state level. However, case studies and statistics at the state level are more accessible. With capacity for over 30,000 prisoners in 43 facilities, the state of Texas has privatized more of its prison system than any state in the nation (McDonald and Patten Jr. iv).
Public policy concerning the criminal justice system has become more daunting and important in the last decade. The problems in the system are twofold: an overcrowding prison population, mainly due to “three strikes” legislation and reducing early parole; and the costs of operating prisons with this growing population (Austin and Coventry). According to the most recent U.S. Department of Justice survey, slightly over 2.2 million people were incarcerated in correctional facilities in this country in 2003. In comparison, in 1993, 1.37 million people were imprisoned in this country (Beck and Harrison 1).
At the same time, the growth of privately operated correctional facilities has increased significantly in this country. Private prisons now hold 95,522 inmates in this country, which is 6.5 percent of total prisoners (Beck and Harrison 5). In Texas, 16,570 inmates (10 percent of its prison population) are held in private facilities, about 10,000 more than the next highest state. Furthermore, six states had at least 25 percent of their prison population housed in private prisons, led by New Mexico (44%), Alaska (31%), and Montana (29%). These current statistics show that while state governments have been forced to manage and operate overcrowded and over-capacity prisons at considerable costs, many have turned to the private sector to operate prisons (McDonald and Patten Jr.). According to the General Accounting Office, prison operating costs have grown steadily since 1980, increasing almost 550 percent since 1980 based on inflation-adjusted dollars (Austin and Coventry 1).
Prison privatization started in the early 1980s, ostensibly to ease the burden on taxpayers by offering financial relief to private companies to run state prisons. Thomas Beasley founded Corrections Corporation of America in 1983, “the nation’s leader in the construction and management of private prisons” (Darling). That year, Corrections Corporation of America set up the first privately-operated prison in Tennessee. Since then, the number of private
correctional facility firms has grown to 14 (Austin and Coventry 3). The privatization of prisons occurs in two ways. First, state government can contract out (or outsource) specific services in a correctional facility to a private company after a bidding process. Second, and more radically, private companies build their own privately-managed prisons and contract with state governments to house their inmates. This latter approach, giving private correctional facility firms wide latitude over inmates, is taken in the Texas criminal justice system. In fact, many of these privately operated facilities “have no relationship at all with the state governments in these states, other than an obligation to pay corporate income taxes” (McDonald and Patten Jr. v).
(Due to its length, the remainder of this sample paper is omitted).
Works Cited Page
Austin, James, and Garry Coventry. Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons . Bureau of Justice Assistance, Feb. 2001, www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/181249.pdf.
Beck, Allen J., and Paige Harrison. Prisoners in 2003 . Bureau of Justice Statistics, Nov. 2004, www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p03.pdf.
McDonald, Douglas, and Carl Patten Jr. Governments’ Management of Private Prisons . Abt Associates, 15 Sept. 2003, www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/203968.pdf.
Darling, Michael. “Pitt News: University of Pittsburgh Shouldn’t Lend Its Name to Prison Privatization.” CorpWatch , 15 Nov. 2004, corpwatch.org/article/pitt-news-univeristy-pittsburgh-shouldnt-lend-its-name-prison-privatization.
MLA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- In-text Citations
- Page Numbers
- Sample Paper
- Works Cited
- MLA 8 Updates
- MLA 9 Updates
- View MLA Guide
- Book Chapter
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Website (no author)
- View all MLA Examples
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s name . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited. In-text citations are mentioned in the text in two ways: as a citation in prose or a parenthetical citation.
Citation in prose
Citations in prose are incorporated into the text and act as a part of the sentence. Usually, citations in prose use the author’s full name when cited the first time in the text. Thereafter, only the surname is used. Avoid including the middle initial even if it is present in the works-cited-list entry. An example of the first citation in prose for a source with one author is given below:
Doug Barry explains the status of the UK.
Parenthetical citations add only the author’s surname at the end of the sentence in parentheses. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:
The status of the UK is explained (Barry).
Examples of in-text citations
Here are a few examples of in-text citations for works with various numbers and types of authors:
Use both the first name and surname of the author if you are mentioning the author for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the author’s surname. Always use only the author’s surname in parenthetical citations.
Citation in prose:
First mention: Stephen George asserts …. (17).
Subsequent occurrences: George argues …. (17).
…. (George 17).
Use the first name and surname of both authors if you are mentioning the work for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the surnames of the two authors. Always use only the authors’ surnames in parenthetical citations. Use “and” to separate the two authors in parenthetical citations.
First mention: Kane Williams and Clark Ronald ….
Subsequent occurrences: Williams and Ronald ….
…. (Williams and Ronald).
Three or more authors
For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues.” For parenthetical citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.”
Krishnan Sethu and colleagues…. or Krishnan Sethu and others ….
…. (Sethu et al.).
For citations in prose, treat the corporate author like you would treat the author’s name. For parenthetical citations, shorten the organization name to the shortest noun phrase. For example, shorten the Modern Language Association of America to Modern Language Association.
The Language Literary Association of Canada….
…. (Language Literary Association).
If there is no author for the source, use the source’s title in place of the author’s name for both citations in prose and parenthetical citations.
When you add such in-text citations, italicize the text of the title. If the source title is longer than a noun phrase, use a shortened version of the title. For example, shorten the title Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to Fantastic Beasts .
Endgame explains …. (121).
…. ( Endgame 121).
In MLA style, two types of citations are used to cite a source: a short citation used within the text (called the in-text citation) and a full citation (called the works cited list entry) within the works cited list, which appears at the end of a paper.
The works cited list entry provides the complete details of a source. An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The in-text citation lets the reader know that the information is derived from the cited source, and helps the reader find the full citation within the works cited list.
In order to properly cite a source in MLA style, you must have both citation types in your paper. Every in-text citation has a works cited list entry. Every works cited list entry has at least one (maybe more) corresponding in-text citation.
The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s surname . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited.
First mention: Sian Anderson studies ….
Subsequent occurrences: Anderson analyzes ….
or if quoting directly:
First mention: Paul Fin and Anna Gabriel ….
Subsequent occurrences: Fin and Gabriel ….
….(Fin and Gabriel)
…(Fin and Gabriel 27)
Paul Hill and colleagues…. or Paul Hill and others ….
….(Hill et al.)
…(Hill et al. 138)
Examples of works cited list entries
Below are a few examples of different types of works cited list entries. The examples given are for one author.
Steinman, Louise. The Knowing Body: Elements of Contemporary Performance and Dance . Shambhala Publications, 1986.
Barad, K. “Nature’s Queer Performativity.” Qui Parle , vol. 19, no. 2, 2011, pp. 121–58.
Webpage of a website
Midgelow, Vida L. “Experiences and Perceptions of the Artistic Doctorate: A Survey Report.” Artistic Doctorates in Europe, 5 Feb. 2018, www.artisticdoctorates.com/2017/12/28/experiences-and-perceptions-of-the-artistic-doctorate-survey-report/ .
“Behind the Scenes Chili’s Baby Back Ribs Spot.” YouTube , uploaded by Alvin Chea, 11 Sept. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTDLh7gNRYA .
MLA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
Upload a paper to check for plagiarism against billions of sources and get advanced writing suggestions for clarity and style.
an Excelsior University site
MLA Sample Papers
Causal Argumentative Essay (9th edition)
Classification and Division Essay From a Beginning Writing Class (8th edition)
Compare and Contrast Essay From a Beginning Writing Class (9th edition)
Compare and Contrast Essay From a Literature Course (8th edition)
Definition Argumentative Essay (9th edition)
Definition Essay From a Literature Course (8th edition)
Description Essay From a Beginning Writing Class (8th edition)
Multiple Rhetorical Styles Within One Essay From an Introductory Writing Course (8th edition)
Narrative Argumentative Essay (8th edition)
Narrative Essay From a Beginning Writing Class (8th edition)
Rhetorical Analysis (8th edition)
Toulmin Argumentative Essay (8th edition)
Write | Read | Educators
Grumble... Applaud... Please give us your feedback!
- Citation & Documentation »
- MLA Style »
- MLA Sample Papers »
English Education & English Writing: MLA Sample Paper from OWL Purdue
- Books & eBooks
- Dissertations, Videos, & Reviews
- English Education
- Research Methods
- Discourse Analysis
- Writing Centers
- Creative Writing
- MLA Sample Paper from OWL Purdue
- Search Terms
- Who to Stalk?
- Sample Articles
- Capstone Presentations
Sample Paper Formatted in MLA Style from OWL Purdue
- Sample MLA Paper Below is a sample paper from OWL Purdue formatted to MLA Standards
- << Previous: Citation Help
- Next: ENG 322 >>
- Last Updated: Nov 27, 2023 1:19 PM
- URL: https://mc.libguides.com/writing
Citation & Documentation
- MLA Setup in Word
- In-Text Citations
- Understanding MLA Works Cited
- MLA Images & Media
Sample MLA Paper
- Works Cited
- APA Setup in Word
- APA References
- APA Level Headings
- Sample APA Paper
- APA Supplemental Resources
- MLA vs. APA
- Chicago Style Formatting
- Notes-Bibliography Style
- Author-Date (Reference List) Style
- Paper Format
- Reference List
- AMA References- Books
- AMA References - Journals
- AMA References - Websites
- AMA Resources
- Florida Law Citation
- Annotated Bibliography
- Avoiding Plagiarism & Using Sources
- Academic Integrity at DSC
- Getting Help
- Writing Center Homepage
- MLA Sample Paper This is a performative sample essay that talks you through the proper formatting of your paper in MLA 9th citation style.
- MLA Sample Paper #2 Click on the document above to open a sample paper in MLA format from the DSC Writing Center's MLA Guide.
- MLA Sample Paper #3 This is a MLA-selected example paper with great usage of in-text citations, pictures, research, and thoughtful writing.
- More Sample Papers Additional high-quality sample papers from the MLA Style Blog demonstrating MLA formatting, usage of sources, and organizing an argument.
- << Previous: MLA Images & Media
- Next: Works Cited >>
- Last Updated: Nov 15, 2023 9:08 AM
- URL: https://library.daytonastate.edu/citation
MLA Style: Sample First Page of a Paper in MLA Format
- Using Source Material: In-Text Citations
- Using Source Material: Quotations
- Using Source Material: The Works Cited List
- Sample Works Cited Entries
- Writing in MLA Style
Sample First Page of a Paper in MLA Format
- Sample Works Cited Page
- Tables and Illustrations
MLA Style is the format used by the Modern Language Association. Most papers written for classes in the arts and humanities use MLA style; instructors in other disciplines may also prefer MLA format.
MLA Style Resources
For additional information on MLA Style, consult
- MLA Handbook, 8th Edition
- The MLA Style Center at https://style.mla.org/mla-format/
- Learning Commons Homepage
- Learning Commons Resources Page
24 April 2017
Do Pets Really Improve a Person’s Health?
Are you feeling stressed and depressed? Is your blood pressure up and your self-esteem down? Get a pet, and you’ll feel better
physically and mentally, according to conventional wisdom. But does pet ownership really have a significant effect on one’s health?
Recent studies have produced widely varying results, but it seems likely that the primary benefits of pet ownership are associated with the
increase in physical activity and social interaction that comes with taking care of dogs, and in some cases owning a pet can actually put
one’s health or happiness at risk.
"We do best medically and emotionally when we feel securely attached to another," says psychiatrist Greg Fricchione, director of
the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine (qtd. in “The Health Benefits” 3). Owning a pet can be an excellent way of achieving
this feeling, according to Fricchione, who states, “No matter what you do or say, your dog or cat accepts you and is attached to you” (qtd. in “the Health
Benefits” 3). This feeling of acceptance is essential to humans as social animals, but there is also a physiological element in the happiness
pet owners can derive from living with their animals. Simply gazing into a dog’s eyes, says Fricchione, can boost a person’s
oxytocin, a brain chemical associated with both bonding and a feeling of well-being (“The Health Benefits” 3).
Some support for this belief that pet ownership can improve one’s mental state has been provided by a recent study showing that
HIV positive men who own pets experience less depression than those without pets. However, pet ownership also involves risk; the loss of
a pet, especially if it was a close companion or was associated with a deceased loved one, can trigger severe depression. In fact, one
Australian study suggested that pet owners, especially women, experience more depression than non-pet owners (Arhant-Sudhir et al.
- << Previous: Writing in MLA Style
- Next: Sample Works Cited Page >>
- Last Updated: Oct 25, 2023 7:14 PM
- URL: https://libguides.lccc.wy.edu/MLA
- How To Setup Your Software
- Motivational Stories
- Funny Jokes
- Memory Techniques
MLA Format Sample Paper, with Cover Page and Outline
Here is a sample paper in MLA format that has both the cover page and the outline pages . This paper has 10 pages so if you are under a slow Internet connection, please wait a few seconds for all of the pages to load. This paper is current with the latest MLA manual.
MLA Format Sample Paper, Title Page
MLA Format Sample Paper, Outline Page 1
MLA Format Sample Paper, Outline Page 2
MLA Format Sample Paper, Page 1
MLA Format Sample Paper, Page 2
MLA Format Sample Paper, Page 3
MLA Format Sample Paper, Page 4
MLA Format Sample Paper, Page 5
MLA Format Sample Paper, Works Cited
MLA Format Sample Paper, End of Sample Paper.
– Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006).
Very helpful information.
Intructions are clear in the begining.
Thank you, This will certainly help with assignments
I don’t care
Concise and easy to understand example. Thank you for your effort.
I am an older student returning to college and this helped me so much.
I didn’t have a clue what this format was, now I do. Thank you for your help.
Thank you for this resource; I am teaching MLA formatting to high school students and this will help with the “Why do we have to do it this way?!” questions. I just update them on the 8th edition changes.
The only way to achieve happiness is to cherish what you have and forget what you don’t have
thank you so much for your reference!
Thank you! I found your outline super helpful!
Awesome! Thank you so much. This information was so helpful. 🙂
Thank you so much. This is such a big help. God bless!
thank yu its amazing helped me with assignments
Leave a Comment
Current ye ignore me @r *
Leave this field empty
Next post: APA Format Title Page
Previous post: MLA Format Sample Paper
- How to Format the Research Paper
- MLA Format Cover Page
- MLA Format Headings
- MLA Citations
- MLA Format Works Cited
- MLA Format Sample Paper
- MLA Sample Paper w/ Cover & Outline Pages
- MLA Format FAQs
- General Format of the APA Paper
- APA Format Title Page
- APA Format Abstract Page
- APA Headings
- APA Format Citations
- APA Reference Page
- APA Sample Paper
AcademicTips.org 1999–2023 • MLA Format • Privacy • Back to top ↑
- Utility Menu
Jeffrey R. Wilson
- A Sample MLA Style Paper
- Aphorisms on Academic Writing
- Aphorisms on Rhetoric
- Aphorisms on the Writing Process
- Aphorisms on the Elements of Academic Argument
- Aphorisms on Structure
- Aphorisms on Prose
- Aphorisms on Literature
- Aphorisms for the Social Sciences
- Aphorisms on Higher Education
- Other Handouts and Aids
- A Sample APA Style Paper
- A Sample Chicago Style Paper