MLA Formatting Guide
When you submit essays in college, you should format them correctly according to MLA formatting standards. You may use this document for instructions while formatting your own Microsoft Word document, or you can use this as a template to draft your own essays.
You should format the entire document in Times New Roman 12 point font. Everything should be double-spaced. Do not add superfluous spaces between paragraphs. In some versions of Microsoft Word, you should turn off the function that automatically adds a space between paragraphs (to turn off this function, highlight all of the text in the document and then open the Paragraph box from the Home ribbon by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the box. Then, select the checkbox next to “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style”). Include a heading (such as the one at the top of this page) that lists your name, your instructor’s name, your class, and the date. Format the heading exactly like the rest of the document (double-spaced), but do not indent the heading as you would indent the first line of a paragraph.
You should also include a title. The title should be centered. Do not add extra lines between the heading and the title or between the title and the first paragraph. You should capitalize the first letter of the title and all of the other words except articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), and prepositions (with, to, about, etc.). Be sure the title is interesting and relevant to the topic. If writing about a work of literature or an article, do not use the same title as the work. In other words, if you’re writing about the article called “Beyonce: Sex Terrorist,” you must name your paper something besides “Beyonce: Sex Terrorist.”
You should set all of your margins to one inch. You should indent the first line of each paragraph by .5 (one tab), except in the works cited page, where you should use a hanging indent for each entry (to format a hanging indent, highlight the entries in the works cited page. Then, open the Paragraph box by clicking on the arrow in the bottom corner. Then, click on the “Special” dropdown menu and select “hanging”). You should include a page number at the top right corner of the page (Microsoft Word formats it at .5, which is correct). You should include your last name with the page number. Be sure to use the page number function in Microsoft Word so that it updates for you automatically (double-click the very top of the page where the page number should go. When the header opens, select “Page Number” in the Design ribbon and then select the correct page number).