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MLA Style: Formatting Rules

Formatting Your Paper

General Guidelines
  • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white A4 paper.
  • Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman) set to a standard sixe (e.g. 12 pt.). Use the same font and size throughout the paper.
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. 
  • Create a page-number header that appears in the upper right-hand corner, flush-right and one-half inch from the top of the page, including your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). This header must appear in every page.
  • Use italics throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis.


Formatting the First Page of Your Paper
  • Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested.
  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Be sure to use double-spaced text.
  • Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks; write the title in Title Style (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
  • Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
  • Double space between the title and the first line of the text.

MLA Sample Paper


Here you can find a template of a paper formatted in MLA style. You can download it and start writing your text without changing the formatting.