The MLA (Modern Language Association) publishes a “style sheet” to help students write research papers and essays in a standardized format, across colleges and universities worldwide.

Why does it matter?

The MLA guidelines dictate how students use citations, works cited, footnotes, headers, paragraph indentations, and more when they write papers for evaluation or scholarly publication. 

Really, though, why does it matter?

Students can be docked points on their college papers for missing any of these rules. Like a comma or period out of place! What an irritating (and unnecessary) way to lose marks! 

Here’s an efficient way to run through an entire MLA research paper before the stakes are high.

Class Overview

Made With You in Mind

This class was made with your college-bound teen in mind. We draw directly from the current edition of The MLA Handbook. (No purchase needed for this class.)

The process for a 1500-2000 word research essay is taught in steps that can be replicated anytime a student is called on to write an academic paper in college. 

Your teen will work with our instructor to incorporate MLA guidelines in:

  • Locating appropriate sources 
  • Evaluating research 
  • Writing and outlining source notes
  • Inserting  parenthetical citations 
  • Formatting variations dependent on source type
  • Developing a Works Cited (bibliography)

We balance the emphasis on formats and citations with elements that teens love:

Peer Review

Students are encouraged to think about the comments that would be most helpful to themselves as writers and extend that type of commentary to their fellow students. Teens get to read each other’s papers as they evolve and cheer each other on.

Added benefit? Each student reads not only their own writing with instructor feedback but also each other student’s work with instructor feedback as well. They learn from the whole group!

Personalized Topics

We encourage your teen to choose a topic that lights them up. Enthusiasm will permeate their research and their writing. It’s a game-changer to love what you’re writing about!

(We know they won’t always have the opportunity to be in charge of their topic choice. It’s one way we bring teens on board while they learn about the ins and outs of MLA format!)

Want your teen to join us?

This course is designed for older high school students with essay writing experience. Students must be 16 or older to enroll in this class. No exceptions.

Familiarity with the elements of formal essay writing is a prerequisite for this class. The instructor assumes that students taking this class are well-versed in writing formal essays via one of these three methods:

  1. The student has taken Brave Writer®’s Essay Writing series;
  2. The student has learned to write a formal persuasive essay using Help for High School or;
  3. The student submits a sample persuasive essay to [email protected] for evaluation for admittance to the class.

[For options #1 and #2 above, be sure to provide ample practice in the essay forms taught before enrolling in MLA Research Essay.]

Week by Week

Week One

Students choose a topic of interest that is researchable using credible academic sources. Before beginning research on the topic, they'll formulate a hypothesis to help guide an effective inquiry.

Week Two

The difficult part of a large research project is organizing information! Students will focus on efficient note-taking in the MLA format this week. 

Week Three

Students continue to research credible sources offering multiple perspectives on the topic. Notes will include quotations, paraphrases, and summaries to provide correct citations and avoid plagiarism.

Week Four

This week is devoted to organizing notes and formulating a detailed outline to serve as the springboard for the final paper.

Week Five

After examining sample MLA research essays that work, students write the preliminary draft of their paper.

Week Six

Following a peer review and instructor feedback, students revise and polish their paper to have a portfolio-ready final product.

Registration Details

Join Us!

$349 per student
Required Ages:

16 - 18

Class Size:
10 students
Class Length:
6 weeks
Class Type:
  • High School

Select from the available class dates below to register for that session:

Susanne Barrett   Registration opens Jul. 22nd at noon ET

Word on the Street

This class made me feel a lot more confident in my overall knowledge of the MLA style components. The instructions and explanations of what is required were far more clear and detailed than any others I had received for previous MLA essays.

Zahra, 18

My favorite part of the class was the peer review! I really liked seeing what people would suggest to me, or even what they thought of it overall.

Amos, 17

I am so glad I took this class! Although it was a lot of hard work, I feel so accomplished and proud of my essay and I feel much more confident in my ability to write a research paper than I did at the beginning of class. 

Emma, 18

I have received a lot of valuable resources and advice on how to write correctly in MLA which will be vital for me as I go to college next year. 

Tala, 17

More Information

Sample class login

Want to see how our classroom works? Test drive a sample class complete with real class readings, assignments, and instructor comments!

Follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to If you are a current student, you’ll need to log out in the upper right corner before proceeding.
  2. Log in using these credentials:
    Username: [email protected]
    Password: Brave1
  3. Next, you will land on our Family Dashboard. You'll find a Parent icon and a Student icon to represent classes where the parent or the student is the primary participant. Click on Parent to view parent participation classes. To find classes with direct student-instructor interaction, click on Student.
  4. Click on the class name of interest and start reading posts!
How Our Classes Work Download a class summary
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