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MLA Style Guide

Paper Format

Resources

Sample Papers

General Formatting

  • Margins are 1" from both side, top, and bottom. 
  • Use Times New Roman size 12 font. 
  • Double space all lines. 
  • Running head: in the right corner, one-half inch from the top, put the last name of the author(s) and the page number (Ex. Smith 1). 

Heading

  • At the top left of the page, list the following on separate lines:
    • Writer's Name(s)
    • Instructor's Name(s)
    • Course Number (Ex.: English 5)
    • Date (Number Month Year; Ex.: 2 April 2020)
  • NOTE: your instructor may prefer that you use a title page, in which case move all the information in the header and title to its own page starting one-quarter of the way from the top of the page. 

Title

  • On the line immediately after the date in the header. 
  • Centered. 
  • Use plain text (not bold, italicized, underlined, or in quotation marks).
  • Capitalize all words except articles and prepositions. 
  • NOTE: your instructor may prefer that you use a title page, in which case move all the information in the header and title to its own page starting one-quarter of the way from the top of the page. 

Text

  • Indent the first line of every paragraph by a half-inch. 
  • Quotes:
    • Short quotes can be surrounded by quotation marks and inserted in the lines of the text.
    • Long quotes do not use quotation marks and are separated out onto their own lines, all of which begin one-half inch from the left margin. 
  • Do not hyphenate words in order to separate them onto two separate lines. This often happens because your document is not set to left justify or because you have auto-hyphenate on. 
  • The punctuation mark at the end of a sentence is followed by a single space. 

Works Cited

  • Begin on a new page. 
  • Center the title "Works Cited" (if there is only one entry, title "Work Cited"). 
  • The first line of a citation is flush left and any subsequent lines are indented one-half inch from the left (a.k.a. a "hanging indent"). 
  • Alphabetize the list by first word in the citation.
  • See more guidelines in the Works Cited tab. 
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2020 9:28 AM