MLA Paper Format


The following guidelines should be followed when submitting your work for a grade.

Heading and Title:  Begin one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin, typing your name, your instructor's name, the course number, and the date on separate lines, double-spacing between the lines.  Double space again and center the title.  Double space also between the lines of the title, and double space between the title and the first line of the text.  Do not underline or quote your own title or type it all in capital letters.  Do not submit a separate title page.       



Example of proper MLA paper format.


Miscellaneous:

When typing (preferred) your work:

Use a standard, easily readable font (Times New Roman, for example) and type size (12 point).

Use only one side of the paper.

Indent new paragraphs five spaces (or one-half inch) from the left margin.

Use double-spacing.

Use 1" margins for top, bottom and sides of your paper.

Leave two spaces after each period.

Use a stapler.


When handwriting your work:

Write legibly and in a standard font size.

Use a black ink pen.

Use only one side of the paper.

Double space by skipping every other line.

Use 1" margins for top, bottom and sides of your paper.

Paper edges should be clean, not torn.  Cut frayed edges from a spiral notebook with scissors.

Use a stapler.



How to place your last name and page number in the page header
As in the above example, your last name and page number should be placed within the header of each typed page.  Here is how to place your last name and current page number in the header using Microsoft Word (versions prior to 2010).  While in Microsoft Word, click on View in the Toolbar and then hit the Header and Footer button.  The Header and Footer Toolbar will then appear.  Click on the number symbol [#] and then move the number that appears to the right by clicking on the Align Right button (it is to the right of the button you use to center your titles).  Move the cursor to the left of this number and type in your last name making sure there is a space between your name and the number.  Hit Close on the Header and Footer Toolbar.  Word will now place your last name and current page number on each subsequent page of your document automatically.

For Word 2010: Go to the "insert" tab at the top of the page, click on "page number," choose one of the versions that places page number in the upper right corner, delete the word "page" or simply type in your last name + space (place a space between your name and the number).  Close heading at the top of the page and continue working on your document.

 

 



Source:  Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.