Heading in MLA – How to write it and use it the right way

Heading in MLA – How to write it and use it the right way

We’ve put together an overview of how to write a heading in MLA format, as well as providing a template, so you can make sure your headings are top-notch. Headings help readers quickly parse through the document and find relevant information. And they look professional and easy to read. So how do you write an effective one? You can see the full guide here!


MLA heading format: what it is and how to use it


The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is one of the most common and widely-used formats for writing research papers in the humanities. It is used by a variety of academic disciplines, including English, history, philosophy, and religious studies.

To write a heading in MLA, you must follow the four steps outlined in this guide. But you can adapt these steps to suit your topic, whether you’re writing a contemporary topic or an older one.

Note: If you’re more of a visual thinker, you can still use formats outline. However, keep in mind that it’s a more complex format as well, requiring more careful consideration of heading choices.

Use your first and last name or your subject title.

What makes this heading stand out? Think about what makes your name special to you and plug it into a personal story. You can also think about your academic, professional, or creative writing backgrounds and see what imagery or metaphors may resonate with you.

Give some context on the text you’re writing about (a little about who you are, your job, or your discipline).

Start with the sentence so that you have the reader’s attention.

What would you like to say in your introduction/foreground? Can you be brief and also use language that isn’t too technical? Are you able or interested to relate your words to something in your life?

What would you like the reader to take away from your introduction?

In the body of your introduction, describe who you are and what you do. What exactly are your qualifications? What can you say about your own work and teaching background?

What are the main ideas or message of your study, research paper, article, or study design document? What does the reader need to know in order to move forward in the read?

If you’re writing a research paper, you may need extra space for footnotes and bibliographies.


 Why you should use MLA headings


MLA headings are commonly used as a way to make your paper more organized and easier to read. They help the reader easily navigate through your paper and find the information they’re looking for. They also help the writer by providing them with a visual guide that outlines the structure of their paper.

Rather than attempting to formulate different headings in advance of writing your paper, jump directly into writing. It’s simpler that way. Go through each section of your paper and write your heading based on the most relevant and helpful point to make.

Heading 1: The headings in this section should specifically state what section the heading relates to. Why are you stating this now? Well, if you have a section title with a headword either 

  • is something the reader will know without having to work out what you mean, or 
  • speaking to the point more directly, the reader will be able to easily find the section they are looking for. The reader will scan the rest of your paper first before they find what they are looking for.

Heading 2: This is where you give an outline for what is to come next in this section. This will help the reader if they need to move through your paper, naturally. You can color code the sections so there is a hierarchy to them.

Heading 3: I hope your second example above was successful and you were able to take all that information and grab the reader’s attention. You have tips for the next section, or you can improvise. If your paper is over 100 pages long, you won’t have time for a subsection here, but this is your opportunity to make an impact! You can also provide extra information to the reader if it is of value to them to have.

Heading 4: This should directly follow or begin the information given in your previous heading. Consider this a cliffhanger or a spin-off for the reader to read on. This will draw them in and entice them to continue on your paper.



How to write an MLA heading


In MLA format, headings are placed in the text and not in margins. To cite a heading in MLA format, place the author’s last name and the page number in parenthesis. For example, (Smith 23).


Selecting a template can help you write an effective heading immediately. Shapiro’s provides a dash font, while Marcus Avenue’s has a bulleted list format. There are also free templates available if you hop over to The Grid — but keep in mind, these are pre-made. Because best practices for headings vary depending on the style pre-installed on your writing tool, you can always start with your own. Take the time to research this entry to make it fit into your style properly.

After you select your template, you can refine its color and font choices to ensure you get your point across. Next, make sure to check out these tips on writing an effective headline structure in order to make your writing more readable, and your headings as crisp and efficient as possible.


This guide goes beyond writing headings directly in your document. It walks you through three steps for using the Medium homepage as your daily driver to create engaging headlines. You can use this template to open your articles and tailor the fixings to make these headlines grab your readers quickly.

Firstly, you’ll want to pick a template that has an interactive read statement at its head. These will make readers more likely to finish your article because they’ll believe that whatever you’re leaving out is vital information — which is exactly what happens when you provide as much context as necessary.

Secondly, incorporate some deeply meaningful information into your headlines. “Deep” can mean many things, but we’re talking about decidedly personal, deep details here.



How to format subheadings in MLA style


When you’re writing a paper in MLA style, you’re going to want to use subheadings in your paper to make it easier for your readers to follow along. For example, if your document is on nursing case study writing, a subheading like “A Closer Look: Nursing and ethics” can help break up a long nursing essay into digestible, break-down-free bites. It can also help shorten your paper when you have a long title like “The Perfect Writing Device,” or to represent an entire section like “How to succeed as a nursing major!”

Why would you want to do this? If you can break your paper up into digestible paragraphs, you will be able to improve the readability of your text. Besides, subheadings make your first draft much more memorable than a paragraph that just says “here we are.”

You can create subheadings by using a combination of sub-titles and sub-subheadings (as well as elsewhere within an article). Here’s how to do it in one easy step.

The link above is the acronym you’ll need for subheadings in this style. Type it in, then copy or paste it into your document.

Now, keep in mind what’s happening here. You are not adding a new paragraph, rather you are rewording an existing one — basically, you’re very simply making it easier for the reader to navigate to the next section. You want them to skip straight to the end of your article if they feel the need to.

The second step, makes sure your headings are effective. In the example at the top of the article, I created headings based on the one I found on the HR Knowledge Base, so I basically made my own blue pen state.

When you copy or paste things like this within your document, you are basically outlining what, where, and when you will reference those subheadings throughout the document.


How to create a table of contents for your paper in MLA format


To make your paper easier to navigate, it’s helpful to create a table of contents that includes the title of each section and the page numbers that the section begins on. You may also want to include the number of pages for each section of your paper. The Headline and Paragraph Stylesheet templates we’ve provided illustrate how to do this.

For each chapter/section you want to include in your paper, take a few minutes to write a captions block. This box allows you to give your reader a quick look through the chapter or section that you’re creating. When the reader hovers over a tag, they’re taken to the corresponding paragraph. This is a great way to keep your reader moving through your paper quickly and maintaining eye contact. Once they’ve finished your chapter or section, they can jump back to the captions box to continue their reading.

Speed is important as you’re writing your paper. If you want to include some keywords, that’s also a great opportunity to add those as keywords in the document headline and in your table of contents. When you do this, you’re ensuring your paper has as broad a scope as possible.

Try not to write too much in your first draft. You can always delete, edit, and rework drafts from time to time. And your reader won’t balk too much if you make some additions as you write.

You can apply a few different caption styles to your paper, including the standard bilocation style, the upright face style, and the figure of eight styles. Here’s an example of a paper using a standard face style.

Do try to stick with simple and consistent styles, though. When writing a heading in MLA, use only one font (think Times New Roman, Arial, or font-weight 0) for all your formatting and for all your text. Again, research will help you determine the most appropriate font for your paper.

It can be tempting to pack your paper with jargon/ambiguous terms — to describe the abstract in two columns, for example.



Keep your readers happy by providing an easy-to-read and attractive heading to break up your content with. And make sure to check out our guide on how to write an effective heading in MLA format! 

Reach out to a professional essay writer to guide you through your MLA essay assignments and research papers


Homework Essay Paper Writers
Calculate your order
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Choose Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always confirm that writers follow all of your instructions precisely. you'll choose your academic level: highschool, college/university or professional, Your order will be assigned to a writer who possesses a respective degree.

Highly Experienced Paper Writers

Highly Experienced Paper Writers

Our team of professional academic writers has years of vast experience in academic writing, research, and formatting. So you can always be sure that your project is in safe hands.

Free Revisions Essay Writing

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you believe we missed something, feel free to send your order for a free revision. After receipt of the final document, You have 10 days to submit the order for review. A revision can be submitted by logging into your personal account or by contacting our support team.

Timely Assignment Delivery

Timely Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

We ensure that all papers are always delivered on the expected time. In any case, if we require more time to polish your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you are not in a position to allocate additional time, a 100% order refund is guaranteed.

Plagiarism free custom writing

Plagiarism free & Confidential

As part of our quality assurance process, we use several writing tools and checks to ensure that all documents you receive are 100% unique and original.Each paper undergoes careful review by our editors to deliver plagiarism free essays. We also guarantee maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

Real time chat essay writer

Real time online chat with your writer

Our writers and support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to assist you. We are committed to providing you with top-notch customer experience. Chat with us anytime.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Get your paper done in these simple steps

give essay topic

Give your requirements

Fill in the order form and tell us about your assignment, instructions and deadline

pay for essay

Proceed with the payment

Choose your preferred payment method and the writer will start writing your custom paper.

download custom essay

Download the final file

Once your high quality custom paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Paper Writing Services

We are here to ensure you dont get stuck with your coursework and assignments. Focus on your hobbies and enjoy some quality leisure time as we write your paper. You can trust our kinds of writing services.

essay writing service essay helper


Essay Writing Service

Stuck with an essay assignment? Making an admission application? We specialize in writing high quality and engaging personal statements as well as application essays. Our professional academic essay writers are experts in writing 100% original essays according to order specifications. From compositions, creative writing to literary analysis we've got you covered.

professional assignment Help assignment writer


Professional assignment Help

Your routine homework and academic assignments are completed on time and at affordable prices. Submit your assignments and the respective subject matter expert will get it done within no time and painlessly. Better grades will be yours without any stress at all!

research paper writing service english essay writer


Research and Term Papers

Every member of our dynamic essay writing team is an expert in academic research. They are all well versed with APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard citation formats. Your research paper gets to you fully formatted and ready to be submitted. The research involved in writing your paper is always 100% original. This is part of our commitment to provide you with papers free of plagiarism.

custom writing academic writer

Custom Writing

Custom Writing Services

Our highly experienced business, nursing, and psychology writers are true professionals with vast prowess at delivering outstanding work in a wide range of fields. You dont have to worry about Short deadlines anymore. Just give us the instructions and you'll receive your custom paper ASAP! We have fully qualified, full-pro writers on stand by to assist you.