This style is common in the humanities. This page will give you an overview and further resources.
This and other style guides are located at the front desk of the J. W. Martin Library.
Formatting a Paper
Follow these guidelines:
Use a consistent, readable font. Most professors prefer 12-point Times New Roman.
Use one-inch margins on all sides. In most word processors, this is the default setting.
- Use your word processor’s built-in headers and page-numbering features to add a page number to the upper right corner of every page.
Present your name and relevant class information in the top left corner of the first page (Figure 1).
Double-space your entire document and indent your paragraphs half an inch.
Use your word processor’s heading styles to create headings for your document. Divide your paper into sections and give each section a heading to keep your material organized.
Include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper (Figure 2).
Your professor’s requirements supersede anything in this guide. Be sure to read your syllabus and assignment instructions carefully.
Rules for Headings
There are no strict rules for formatting headings in MLA Style.
However, the headings should be double-spaced and have the same font and font size as your body text. Remember, do not skip heading levels.
Suggested heading levels and styles are as follows:
Do not create headings by simply styling the font. Your word processor has a feature called Styles, which allows you to insert semantic headings and give them a consistent look.
If you use them properly, these headings will create a dynamic outline of your paper, making it more navigable both for you and for other readers. If you use the provided template, we have already styled these headings for you.
These figures display pages of a sample paper.
Because these examples are designed to imitate the dimensions of an 8½-by-11 sheet of paper, they are best viewed on a desktop monitor. They will display on tablets and phones, but some text may be cut off or be illegible.
The examples are interactive! Tap or hover over any text with a dashed underline to learn more about styling your paper.