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The Beginner’s Guide to Writing an Art Essay | Steps and Examples – NoHo Arts District

Say you are studying cultural studies, language arts, and other humanities majors. In this case, you need to know the Modern Language Association (MLA) style because you need it to cite your sources and format your artistic essay. The resource published its 9th edition in April 2021. If you have no idea about MLA, please read on for a short guide to writing for beginners.

Why is the MLA style the style of choice for an art essay?

Proper use of the MLA format helps your readers understand your cheap writing by using familiar cues referring to borrowed information and sources. Your instructors and editors encourage you to use it for style consistency in your field. If you follow the MLA standards, you can:

  • Give your readers tips on how to effectively follow your ideas and quickly locate the information they need
  • Keep your readers focused on what you’re trying to say by not distracting them with complicated or unfamiliar formatting
  • Build your ethos or credibility in the field by understanding your readers and their needs

You are not alone in using the MLA style

You use the MLA style if you are a student or writer providing thesis writing services in the following humanities specialties:

  1. English studies
  2. Literary criticism
  3. Literature and foreign languages
  4. Cultural studies
  5. Comparative literature

Now that you know the why and what is of MLA formatting, you can start learning more about its notations and formatting styles. MLA has its general formatting requirements, and you should understand them as it is different from the more popular APA writing style.

Follow these general MLA style formats or fail

MLA has specific rules for citing research and formatting manuscripts and offers you a guide for referencing sources in your essays and Works Cited parts. Correct use of style makes you believable because you are accountable to your source material. More importantly, using this style protects you from accusations of plagiarism.

Paper format

Before submitting your art essay to your instructor, make sure it follows the basic MLA paper format.

  • Use letter-size white paper and type it using a computer.
  • Use a readable font with a 12 pt. Size and text should be double-spaced.
  • You can use italics or traditional styles for contrast.
  • Unless your instructor has specific instructions, you should use only one space after each punctuation mark.
  • Margins should be one inch on each side.
  • You should have a half-inch space for the left margin before indenting the first line of each paragraph. You can use the “Tab” key for indentation.
  • Page numbers should be in the upper right corner, aligned with the right margin and a half inch from the top. Usually, instructors tell their students not to number the first page. It will help if you follow your teacher’s instructions.
  • If you mention titles and want to emphasize them, type them in italics.
  • You should enter them on a separate page for endnotes and place them before the Works Cited page. It would be better if you label it as Notes.
The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Art Essay |  Steps and examples

First page size

You will only create a title page at the request of your instructor or if it is a group project. You must list all contributor names by line and follow the format requested by your instructor.

Here are some of the basic guidelines for formatting the first page of your essay:

  1. Type your name, instructor’s name, class, and date on the first page, in the upper left corner. Make sure your text is double-spaced.
  2. Center your title without quotes, italics, or underlines. Use title case.
  3. If you refer to other people’s works in your title, they should be italicized or use quotation marks.
  4. Write the first line of your essay double-spaced after the title.
  5. The header should be in the upper right corner and should consist of your last name and page numbers in Arabic numerals. Again, it would help if you typed half an inch from the top and flushed with the right margin. If your instructor has other guidelines, you should follow them.

Works Cited Page

You must list the following items in this order:

  • Author.
  • Source title.
  • Container Title,
  • Other contributors,
  • Version,
  • Number,
  • Editor,
  • Publication date,
  • Location.

Please note the punctuation mark after each item. You can also include the following optional details to help your readers quickly identify your source:

  1. Original release date:
  2. City of publication
  3. Access date
  4. URLs
  5. DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

Use in-text citations

The ninth edition retains much of the guidance from the eighth edition in in-text citations. It would be best to properly attribute any paraphrases, direct quotes, or ideas to your source. Additionally, it would be helpful if you directed your readers to the entries on your Works Cited page. An in-text citation contains the following in parentheses:

  • The author’s name
  • Page number

Your goal is to credit your source and provide an uninterrupted reference. Therefore, your readers should follow the flow of your argument without being distracted by the extra information.

Final Thoughts

If you are considering writing my online essay or if this is your first time writing an art essay, your instructor may have provided you with instructions, primarily on using the MLA style. Additionally, its ninth edition contains a list of formatting and citation guidelines you can follow. Finally, don’t forget to check your work for grammatical errors and unverified information.