MLA Formatting: The Basics
Papers constructed according to MLA guidelines should adhere to the following elements:
- Double-space all of the text of your paper, and use a clear font, such as Times New Roman or Courier 12-point font.
- Use one-inch margins on all sides, and indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch from the left margin.
- Type your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. This is called a heading. There is no cover page.
- Insert a header in the upper right-hand corner with your last name, a space, and then a page number. This is called a running header. Pages should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. You only need a running header when your paper is longer than one page.
- Provide in-text citations for all quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information in your paper.
- If you use endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.
- Include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper that gives full bibliographic information for each item cited in your paper. For more information review the Works Cited page.
- Your Works Cited page at the end of your project should match with the in-text citations in the body of your essay.
The information in this section follows the MLA Handbook, 8th edition.