The Modern Language Association (MLA) sets the following standards for properly formatting a document.
Paper & Ink
- Use standard, white, 8½-by-11-inch paper.
- Print all text in black ink.
- Use a single, readable typeface throughout your paper.
(for example: Times New Roman or Georgia)
- Set the font size for the entire document at 12 points.
- Set document margins to 1 inch all around (top, bottom, left, and right).
- Left-align all text. Do NOT justify text or hyphenate overflowing words.
- Indent the first line of each new paragraph ½ an inch from the left margin.
- Indent set-off quotations one full inch from the left margin.
- Double-space the ENTIRE document, including headings, quotations, and the list of works cited.
- Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark.
Heading & Title
- MLA style does NOT require a cover sheet or a title page—instead, at the top of the first page, list each of the following items on a separate line, flush with the left margin:
Course title and number
Date of submission
- Center and capitalize your title. Do NOT underline, bold-face, italicize, ALL-CAP, or otherwise specially format your title in any way.
- Insert your last name followed by the page number ½ an inch from the top of every page, flush with the right margin.
- Staple you paper together with a single staple in the upper left-hand corner.
- Do NOT submit papers in a plastic folder or binder.
If you use another word processor, study the Sample MLA Paper .pdf and carefully replicate its format in your own document.