I am writing a research paper where it talks a great deal about a particular individual. I have already introduced the full name in the essay, should I address him by his last name after there on after? For example, if I introduced a person named John Lee, should I refer to him as Lee throughout the essay? I am using MLA format by the way.
One website citing the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA, 1988) 46-47 says that you should use just the last name after the first time (with some exceptions):
In general, the first time you use a person's name in the text of your paper, state it fully and accurately, exactly as it appears in your source.
Arthur George Rust, Jr.
Victoria M. Sackville-West
If you wish to include a fuller title to give the weight of authority to your source, you may do so in the first reference: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Venerable John Henry Newman.
In subsequent uses of the name, use the person's last name only (Sackville-West, King, Newman)—unless, of course you refer to two or more persons with the same last name—or give the most common form of the person's name (Michelangelo for Michelangelo Buonarroti; Surrey for Henry Howard, earl of Surrey).
Once you refer to them formally once, you just refer to them by their last name for the rest of your piece.