Skip to main content

MLA Citation Style Guide: Paper Format

Identification and Title

A Title page isn’t required for an MLA citation.  Begin your paper with the following items aligned to the left margin of the page, double spaced in separate lines:
Your Name
Your Professor’s Name
The Course Title
The Date

Center align the title of your paper.

Document Settings

Margins: 1 inch on all sides (left, right, top and bottom).  

To set margins in Microsoft Word 2010:

Select Page Layout > Margins > Normal

Line Spacing: double space all text.

To double space lines in Microsoft Word 2010:

Select Home > Line Spacing Icon > 2.0

Indentation: Indent each paragraph 1/2 an inch.

To indent a paragraph hit the tab button once (under the default Mircosoft Word settings).


Font Size: 12 point font size and (usually) Times New Roman font type

To change font size and type in Microsoft Word 2010:

Home > Font Size > Select 12

Home > Font > Select Times New Roman

Font Selection

Pagination

In the upper right corner of each page, enter your last name, then the page number.  

To enter your last name and page number in Microsoft Word 2010:

1. Click: Insert > Page Number > Top Of Page

2. Choose "Plain Number 3" (The right justified plain number option).

3. Your cursor will automatically go to the correct location for you to type in your last name.

4. Click anywhere on the body of the paper to exit the page numbering screen.

Works Cited Page Settings

The Works Cited page should always start on a new page.

Title: The title of the page should be centered on a 1" margin from the top of the page.  The title should be Works Cited (or Work Cited if you are only citing one source).

Entry Order: Citations should be organized in alphabetical order.  If there is no author for an entry than use the sources title.  If there is more than one source by the same author, organize by publication date (earliest to latest).

Alignment: The first line of each citation should align with the left margin (1" from left side).  Each subsequent line should indent a 1/2" from the first line.

Line Spacing: Double space each line of the works cited page.

For more help, please see the Formatting a Research Paper webpage by The MLA Style Center