One of the most popular styles that are used by authors in the humanities field like language and literature is the MLA style. MLA stands for Modern Language Association and this style was conceived in the mid 1980s. The main audience that this style caters to is students, scholars, professional writers and professional editors. One of the reasons that its patrons adore this style so much is because it is generally simpler and more concise than other styles. Scholars and academicians in countries from North America and the Far East to India and China use this style for authoring their works. Preparing citations in this method is very simple and its judicious use has helped many authors guard against charges of plagiarism.
Thus far seven editions of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers have been published and authors should make an attempt to use the latest version. It is essential for editors to be well versed with this style of publishing. If they are going to be editing papers in the field of humanities they will find that they are bound to come across this style of publishing quite a lot. They will need the knowledge to make sure that the author has used the style correctly.
The general guidelines of the MLA style are rather simple. The content needs to be published on standard white paper that has the measurement of 8.5 x 11 inch. Most people use the Times New Roman font with a size of 12, but authors are free to use whatever font and in whichever size they deem fit. One of the recommendations made by this style is that the regular and italics types should be quite different from each other. Only one space is to be left after a punctuation mark. The margins of the document should be one inch on all sides.
There are different levels given for the headings. The first level heading should be in bold with a flush left. The second level is not in bold, but rather in italics and also flush left. The third and fourth level headings are both centred with the third level being in bold and the fourth being in Italics. The fifth and final level heading needs to be in normal lettering. However, it should be underlined with a flush left margining. While these are just the basics, editors need to have comprehensive knowledge of this style of writing before starting to edit academic reports.