The Modern Language Association created M.L.A. format awhile ago, to the dismay of thousands of students across the country. On the other hand, many teachers were overjoyed at its creation because it forces students to use a format, cite sources, and more. Today, there’s a mix between teachers who do and do not require MLA format in both high schools and colleges. Arguments for and against the format exist everywhere, but it really boils down to each individual teacher’s preference. Still, despite what academics and sticklers may believe, MLA format is an unnecessary burden that does nothing for the majority of students.
First of all, MLA format causes thousands of students to adhere to the same process, which stifles individual creativity and uniqueness. Using MLA creates thousands of nearly identical papers that blend into each other to create a mess of nothingness. The best papers, whether from high school or college students, almost never come from a student’s use of the Modern Language Association format. Sadly, thousands of teachers and professors across the country seem to believe that this format is the epitome of perfection when it comes to academic papers. All this does is hold our country’s students back when they could accomplish so much more in classes by using their own writing flow and techniques.
Second, MLA format is simply too strict and picky. Every source has to be cited and every margin has to be correct, but what does this accomplish? Most students are smart enough to cite their sources within the text of their papers, and listing them at the end of the paper a second time just makes things too repetitive. In reality, academic papers should be focusing on the content of the actual paragraphs rather than focusing on who said what and where this quote came from. Enough of the texts we see in society are filled with nothing but trash, and MLA format only fuels this inflow of useless garbage that nobody but scholars care about.
Think about this statement quickly: MLA format means nothing outside of the education environment. Truthfully, how many authors of both non-fiction and fiction works are using MLA format? Of course, non-fiction authors cite their sources, but it isn’t nearly as specific as MLA format requires. The Modern Language Association may think it is doing the world a justice with their format, but they are doing nothing more than putting organization into a world that doesn’t really need it. Of course, there is structure to all pieces of writing, but it’s not like a book needs to be formatted like an essay. The Modern Language Association must think otherwise though.
The writing of students in high school and college alike needs to be free and thoughtful or else we simply start to breed generic individuals that get thrown into the real world with nothing beneficial for society. Undoubtedly, students suffer at the hands of moronic scholars who support strict formats for academic papers. When most of the content is just works cited, there is nothing to learn from a paper with so much filler. There needs to be a push in the academic world for content and not crap. The United States may not be behind other countries in literature and creative works, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if that changes in a few years. Honestly, why should their be such a strict format in writing, an area that is filled with creativity? MLA format is okay for academic essays by scholars and scientific papers, but what good does it do for students? Well, it teaches them how to do things the same way every time, so it teaches them to not think much about the content they are writing.