MLA Format

Topics: Typography, Parenthetical referencing, Bibliography Pages: 6 (1829 words) Published: June 13, 2014
MLA Format Papers: Step-by-step Instructions for Writing Research Papers in MLA Style Jerz > Writing > Academic >
0.1) If you’ve been asked to submit a paper in MLA format, your instructor is asking you to format the page and present the content in a specific way. Just as football referees dress a certain way, and Japanese chefs cook a certain way, writers in certain disciplines follow a certain set of conventions, known as MLA format or MLA style. This document will show you how to format an essay in MLA style. 0.2) If, instead of questions about putting the final formatting touches on your essay, you have questions about what to write, see instead my handouts on writing a short research paper, coming up with a good thesis statement, and using quotations in the body of your paper. 0.3) On this page:

1. Document Settings
(1 inch margins; double spaced; 12-point)
2. Page Header
(name and page number, upper right of every page)
3. Title Block
(assignment info and an informative title)
4. Citations
(no comma between the author and page number; commas and periods go outside of inline quotes) 5. Works Cited List
(lots of tricky details! sort alphabetically by author, not by the order the quotes appear in your paper) For the most complete information, check your campus library or writing center for the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.

How to format the first page of an MLA style paper.

How to format the Works Cited page of an MLA style paper.
1. Document Settings
Your word processor comes with default settings (margin, line height, paragraph spacing, and typeface) that will likely need adjustment. For MLA style, you need: 1. 1-inch margins all around
2. 2.0 line height (double-spaced)
3. no extra spacing after paragraphs
4. 12-point typeface (usually Times New Roman)
(Jump directly to instructions for adjusting MS-Word settings in Windows or Mac; or, skip ahead to 2) Page Header.) 1.1 Adjusting Document Settings in MS-Word (Windows)
My copy of Microsoft Word for Windows defaults to
1. 1-inch margins all around
2. 1.15 line height
3. 10pt spacing between paragraphs
4. Calibri 11-point  typeface.
Changing to MLA Style (Windows)
1. The default margins in my test run were fine, but if you need to change them: Page Layout -> Margins -> Normal (1-inch all around)
2. The default line height is too low. Change it to 2.0.
Home -> Line Spacing -> 2.0.
(You could try fudging it to 1.9 or 2.1 to meet a page count, but any more than that and your instructor may notice.) 3. The MS-Word default adds extra space after paragraphs.(MLA Style instead requires you to  signal paragraph breaks by indenting the first line.) CTRL-A (select all your text) 

Home -> Line Spacing -> Remove Space After Paragraph
4. Change the typeface to Times New Roman 12-point.
Home -> Font Face Selector (change to Times New Roman)
Home -> Font Size Selector (change to 12)
1.2 Adjusting Document Settings in MS-Word (Mac)
My copy of  Microsoft Word for Mac defaults to
1. 1.25 inch left and right margins, 1 inch top and bottom
2. 1.0 line height
3. no extra spacing after paragraphs
4. Cambria 12-point typeface
Changing to MLA style (Mac)
1. In my test run, the left and right margins are too big. To change them: Layout -> Margins -> Normal (1-inch all around)
2. The default line height is too low. Change it to 2.0.
Home -> Line Spacing  -> 2.0
3. My Mac copy of MS-Word does not add extra spaces after paragraphs. If yours does: Home -> Line Spacing  -> Line Spacing Options… (a new window will pop up) Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style (check this box) -> OK 4. The 12-point Cambria will probably be fine, but to change the typeface: Home -> Font Face Selector (change to Times New Roman)

Home -> Font Size Selector (change to 12)
2. Page Header
In the top right of every page, use your word processor’s “Page Header” function add an automatic page number and your surname. 2.1 Adding the Page...
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