The MLA format for a bibliography entails the use of the Modern Language Association’s paper structure for a collection of sources used in research and placed at the end of the essay, article, or research paper. Each kind of source on the bibliography has a proper format in the Modern Language Association’s classification list. Books are not formatted like articles, and articles are not formatted like websites and blog posts. Before formatting a source, you have to know what kind of source you are formatting and what the proper source format is for that particular source.
Benefits of the MLA Format for a Bibliography
One benefit of the MLA format for a bibliography is that it helps organize the bibliography. Without organization, the source list of any research paper would spell nothing short of chaos. Next, having the MLA format for a bibliography is beneficial because it helps students learn how to properly format their bibliographies. Even after a great paper is written in MLA style and properly formatted (double-spacing, in-text citations are correct, etc.), you can still fumble the research paper with a poorly formatted bibliography. While title pages are first impressions, bibliographies are last impressions, and you do not want to leave a sour taste in the mouths of your professors due to your bibliography.
Another benefit of the MLA format for a bibliography is that the format is designed for liberal arts and humanities students. Each format is made for a separate set of disciplines, and students within those disciplines must “speak the language” of their set academic discipline. If a student is an English major, for example, it makes no sense for the student to invest all their time in Turabian format. An English major should spend a greater amount of time in MLA than Turabian because the Modern Language Association format was made for English majors. Conversely, students should spend more time in APA than MLA. Although both English and Biology majors can use alternative formats (and do in many cases), the formats that are made for their disciplines are formats other than Turabian and MLA.
The MLA format for a bibliography is designed to provide a bibliography for a research essay, article, or paper that is already written in the Modern Language Association format. It is a tool that students of art history, cultural studies, cinematic studies, comparative literature, English, history, and other humanities classes need to gain respect in their academic fields.