Paper Format

What are the MLA guidelines for setting up your paper?

To start for this, let’s turn to the OWL at Purdue: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/

Here is what it says at the OWL:

General Guidelines

  • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are recognizable one from another. The font size should be 12 pt.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise instructed by your instructor).
  • 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. MLA recommends that you use the Tab key as opposed to pushing the Space Bar five times.
  • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor’s guidelines.)
  • Use italics throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis.
  • If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).

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. Again, 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 Case (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.
  • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)

Moving forward from what it says at the OWL at Purdue, I have provided you an example of what it should look like:

screen-shot-2015-03-26-at-8-34-35-am

But, here is the catch, the sample above here is one that I have already adjusted. Typically,when one opens up a MS Word program, typically, it is not already in MLA format.

So, you have to begin by adjusting this yourself.

Whether you are doing this on a PC or MAC, there are typically some minor differences, but you can do yourself a favor by practicing putting your documents in MLA formatting.

Let us begin with simple, General format, as with what the OWL at Purdue provided us with above.

General MLA format begins with Paper Formatting

HERE IS A VIDEO LINK:

 

 

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