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Guidelines of Writing an MLA Paper Format 

Guidelines of Writing an MLA Paper Format 

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is the group in charge of designing the MLA format. That said, it was designed to provide a standardized way for writers, teachers, and scholars in the literature and language fields to format their papers and assignments. This consistent method of developing a document or task makes it easy to read.  MLA is now used in subjects other than literature and language; several others have adopted it as well.

In April 2016, the Modern Language Association published the eighth and most recent edition of their MLA Handbook.  It is important to point out that the Handbook contains extensive citation guidance as well as recommendations for submitting work that meets the Modern Language Association’s rules and standards. Even though we are not associated with the MLA, our citation specialists have compiled this thoughtful and comprehensive guide on the format.

MLA Paper

MLA Paper

The Header – Format

  • Firstly, start one inch from the top of the first page and end one inch from the left margin.
  • Secondly, on separate lines, write your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date, with double spaces between each.
  • Thirdly, double-space again and center the word. The title should not be underlined, bolded, or typed in all capital letters. Italicize only words that are usually italicized in the text.
  • Finally, do not have time after the title or any headings.
  • There should be a double space between the title and the first lines of text.

General Paper Format

  • Although many teachers, educators, and publications accept electronic submissions, others prefer hard copies of papers to be printed. This section discusses the form of paper that should be used for printed submissions.
  • Additionally, if you decide to print your paper, please use white paper. Use no ivory, off-white, or other shades or colors.
  • Also, to print your project, choose a normal, high-quality paper. The cardstock should not be used. The use of resume paper is not needed. Make use of standard, high-quality printers or copy paper.
  • Lastly, in terms of dimension, 8 12 by the 11-inch paper is recommended. If you choose to use a different size, please consult with your instructor before submitting your work.


Use One Inch Margins in MLA

Use one-inch margins around the page. In the one-inch margin, the running head should be the only thing visible.

Also, the margins of most word processing applications are set to one inch by design. To find the margin height, go to the program’s page settings.


Click Classroom Essays for more information if your professor demands that you use 7th edition guidelines for your work cited page.


In MLA, paragraphs should be indented.

In each paragraph, indent the first word. Note that sentences should start half an inch from the left margin.

Also, it is not appropriate to measure half an inch by hand. To make a half-inch space, press the “tab” key on your keyboard.

In MLA, double-space the paragraphs.

MLA research paper format includes double-spaced lines in the research paper or MLA format essay. Lines should be double-spaced between the written body of the job, in the heading, and on the MLA reference list.

Although it may be tempting to add a few extra lines between the heading, title, and start of the article, all lines should be double spaced.

MLA Font and Font Size

It is appropriate to use an easy-to-read font type in an MLA document. Many source styles, such as books and posts, use easy-to-read fonts, so look to other sources for inspiration if you’re looking for a suitable font style. Arial and Times New Roman are two of the most widely used fonts.

The reader needs to be able to tell the difference between italicized and standard font, so if you choose a font style other than Arial or Times New Roman, make sure the distinction between the two is clear.

The MLA heading is as follows;

  • Your full name (Student’s Name)
  • Your instructor’s name (Professor’s Name)
  • Class Name and Number
  • The Assignment’s Due Date

There should be a double-space between each of the above items. Additionally, the above items should be written at the top left of the document.

The MLA heading should not be italicized or in bold.

Running Head and Page Number

A running head is a short heading that appears in the top right corner of each page in a project. According to the Modern Language Association Style Center (online), the running head consists of:

  1. The writer’s Surname
  2. Page Number


Quotations in MLA

Quotes are used in assignments to help defend an argument, prove a point, emphasize a point, or simply to make a project more interesting.

Additionally, they do not take up the bulk of the space in your document or task. Quotes should be used sparingly in the document. Use direct quotes from other sources to supplement and draw on your writing and ideas.

Also, quoted words belong to the person who spoke or wrote them, so it is critical to credit the person’s work. Offer him or her credit by including an “in-text citation” in the body of the project.


Text or speech from another source is incorporated into a project, but the writer chooses to summarize it and incorporate his or her writing and writing style.

Even if the writer modifies information from another source, the source must still be properly credited. The format of the referenced information is the same as stated in the section directly above this one.

Use of Images, Diagrams, and Charts

Photographs, data sets, charts, graphs, and other images are used in projects or articles to facilitate or assist comprehension. Furthermore, they have compelling visuals for the reader. If the diagram or visual image does not improve the content of the paper, it should not be included in the project.

Tables and diagrams should be put as close to the text as possible.

MLA Works Cited

  • The citations list should be the very last page of a research project or essay.
  • The running head and the page number should be at the top of the page.
  • All entries in the MLA format citation should be arranged alphabetically by the first item.
  • The page should be double spaced throughout.