The Main Parts of an MLA Format Paper Outline

Outline for a MLA Format Paper

Even though most students have heard of the MLA style, they may not necessarily realize the importance of preparing one before starting to write. An outline is one part of a complete paper that helps organize ideas and give it an order.

It also helps in presenting ideas sequentially and following a logical flow of ideas.

Outlines are a requirement of academic writing when writing as a master’s, Ph.D., and doctorate students. It is crucial to understand this before you start the writing process. While there are many pages you can include in your outline, the primary rule is that they should be written last.

The Structure of an MLA Format Paper Outline

The section where an overview appears will be called the Introduction and should either be a single page. The next two parts of the outline will be known as the body and the conclusion. The body should be used when discussing a point in more detail and helps in consolidating your ideas. The conclusion shows whether you disagree with the writer’s stand or not, and you should write it last.

There are several sections that fall in the outline, and each of them has its own significance. However, the outline must have the following parts:

Page Number

Here, the writer should write the page number of the outline. Be careful not to scribble it down on a sticky note! When writing this section, use right leg letters for the page numbers.

Title of the Article

Here, you should give a brief synopsis of your piece to convince the reader to continue reading the main body of your work. This section is important as it allows the reader to be focused on what you are writing. You should always make your title interesting and captivating to keep the reader coming back for more. Besides, it will force them to engage in discussions and arguments.


This section introduces the reader to your essay and the main topic to discuss. In this section, the writer should briefly introduce the topic. It should include a topic sentence as the first sentence to give an overview of the topic and point to why you chose the topic and how you believe it will help the topic become relevant.


This is the part where you expound on the points you made in the introduction section. You should put emphasis on each point to make it more manageable. Each paragraph should contain one stand and two or three arguments. These should be stated in the order the writer discussed them in the introduction. So ensure to back each position with evidence that relates to it.


Like the body, the conclusion involves summarizing and justifying the opinion you took in the body. You must emphasize your ideas while noting down the stand that you took while making your stand last. It must be a stronger stand than the one you took in the body, and the purpose of this section is to convince the reader.

The outline is not a requirement as long as you follow the rules of academic writing. Once you know what to include in the final paper, you can start drafting it.

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