MLA Format

5 Steps to formatting your paper:

The Modern Language Association (MLA) specifies a standard format for essays and research papers written in an academic setting:


  1. One-inch page margins.
  2. Double-spaced paragraphs.
  3. A header with author's last name and page number aligned on the right margin one-half inch from the top of each page.
  4. Name of author, name of teacher, title of course, date of paper on the first page of the paper.
  5. Citations to borrowed information in parentheses in the body of the paper and a works cited page beginning on a separate page at the end of the paper whenever the paper includes summaries, paraphrases, or quotations from other sources.
"MLA Format for Essays and Research Papers.", Feb.12, 2010. Sandhills Community College. Web. Oct. 24, 2016.


Step 1

Your Microsoft Word document should default with the 1" margins.  

To check go to:

> Page Layout

> Margins


How to set margins

Step 2

Set line spacing to double, font to "Times New Roman" and size 12.

> Home

> Line Spacing

> 2.0


How to set the line spacing

Step 3

Create a header with your last name and automatic page numbering.

> Insert

> Header

> Slice 1 (scroll down to find this option)


How to set the header

Step 4

Enter the first page information.

> Type your name, press the ENTER key once.

> Type your teacher's name, press the ENTER key once. 

> Type the course name and period, press the ENTER key once.

> Type the date, press the ENTER key once.

> Click on the ALIGN CENTER icon on the home toolbar, then type the title of your paper.  Do not use italics, boldfaced type, underlining or all caps to format your title.  Press the ENTER key once.

> Click on the ALIGN LEFT icon

> Press the TAB key to indent 1/2 inch.  Begin typing your paper.

> Be sure to press the ENTER key once only when you have completed a paragrah.


How to format the first page

Step 5

Type to works cited page.

Click on the the blue "MLA Works Cited" button at the top of this webpage.

Works cited button

MLA Works Cited