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MLA Style: Sample First Page of a Paper in MLA Format

An introduction to MLA style for academic papers, based on the MLA Handbook, 8th Edition.

MLA Style

MLA Style is the format used by the Modern Language Association. Most papers written for classes in the arts and humanities use MLA style; instructors in other disciplines may also prefer MLA format.

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Sample First Page of a Paper in MLA Format

Armstrong 1

Charlotte Armstrong

Professor Cutler

English 1010

24 April 2017

Do Pets Really Improve a Person’s Health?

             Are you feeling stressed and depressed? Is your blood pressure up and your self-esteem down? Get a pet, and you’ll feel better

physically and mentally, according to conventional wisdom. But does pet ownership really have a significant effect on one’s health?

 Recent studies have produced widely varying results, but it seems likely that the primary benefits of pet ownership are associated with the

increase in physical activity and social interaction that comes with taking care of dogs, and in some cases owning a pet can actually put

one’s health or happiness at risk.

            "We do best medically and emotionally when we feel securely attached to another," says psychiatrist Greg Fricchione, director of

the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine (qtd. in “The Health Benefits” 3). Owning a pet can be an excellent way of achieving

this feeling, Fricchione goes on: “No matter what you do or say, your dog or cat accepts you and is attached to you” (qtd. in “the Health

Benefits” 3). This feeling of acceptance is essential to humans as social animals, but there is also a physiological element in the happiness

pet owners can derive from living with their animals. Simply gazing  into a dog’s eyes, according to Fricchione, can boost a person’s

oxytocin, a brain chemical associated with both bonding and a feeling of well-being (“The Health Benefits” 3).

          Some support for this belief that pet ownership can improve one’s mental state has been provided by a recent study showing that

HIV positive men who own pets experience less depression than those without pets. However, pet ownership also involves risk; the loss of

a pet, especially if it was a close companion or was associated with a deceased loved one, can trigger severe depression. In fact, one

Australian study suggested that pet owners, especially women, experience more depression than non-pet owners (Arhant-Sudhir et al.

736).