The text should be double spaced. A good proportion for margins is about an inch or an inch and a quarter at the left and an inch at the right. Indent each paragraph one tab stop. Unless the default seems longer than eight spaces or less than five, use the default.
If one uses direct quotations from a published source, these should be set off from the rest of the text. Quotes of fewer than five lines are put into quotation marks and double spaced within the text, as in "I indicate here the form that these would have. A parenthetical citation follows the quotation and contains the author's name and the page number if the source is a print and not an electronic source" (Leopold 22). If quotations longer than four lines are used, they are separated from the text by indenting two tabs (use the hanging indent function). No quotation marks are used but a parenthetical citation follows the quote. The long direct quotation is introduced with a reference to either the source of the quote or to the use of the quote, followed by a colon. For example, below is a long direct quotation:
Greek sepulchral monuments passed through several stages of development and differed somewhat in various localities. The large terra-cotta vases of the geometric period and of early seventh century B.C. were superseded in the later seventh and in the sixth century by stelai or shafts, generally decorated with reliefs and surmounted by finials; they remained the normal gravestones for several centuries. (Brilliant 8)
Quotations should be used only when the matter or the precise turn of phrase adds a dimension to the paper. They should not be sprinkled through the paper simply to display your sources. However, any direct quotation from a source must be cited.
If you put information into your own words, in the form of paraphrases, you must also cite that information in the same fashion that you cite direct quotations. However, paraphrases are not put in quotation marks. They are a rewriting of the information in your own words without changing the meaning of the information.
Writing for art classes will involve your inclusion of pictures of individual art works. In MLA style, include those pictures in the body of the paper if the picture is necessary to understanding the text. For example, if you are writing about the various artistic representations of the Biblical David, you will want to include pictures of those representations. Below is a picture of Donatello's David, a 5 ½ foot, cast bronze sculpture, done from 1425-1430:
Fig. 1. Donatello's David, from Mary Ann Sullivan, "The Bargello, Florence, Italy," Digital Imaging Project, 1999, http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/index/index3.html
By putting the image in the paragraph in which it is analyzed, readers can look at the image and follow the analysis at the same time. MLA prefers little or no use of Appendices.
At the end of the paper, you will need a Works Cited page that lists in alphabetical order the sources used in writing the paper. Follow the format given in the MLA documentation format available in composition handbooks, the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th edition), or the MLA citation format printout.
Brilliant, Richard. Roman Art. New York: Pindar Press, 1974.
Sullivan, Mary Ann. "Donatello's David: The Bargello, Florence, Italy." Digital
Project. 1999. 10 Mar. 2004 <http://www.bluffton.edu/