Formatting an Essay in MLA Style

Heading. On the first page, in the upper left-hand corner, place your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date on separate double-spaced lines. Write the date in the Day Month Year format, as in 14 May 2010.

Title of Your Essay. Center the title.  Do not underline or bold the title. It should be double spaced from the text of the paper. No extra spaces are needed.

Titles of Other Works. If you mention titles of other works in your essay, see this page to format them correctly: Formatting titles of texts in MLA style.

Page Numbers. Number all pages in the upper right corner of the page preceded by your last name. In Word 2007, click on the Insert menu. Click on Page Number and then Top of Page. Choose the top right position (Plain Number 3). Type your name and a space in front of the number. You may need to change the font of the name and page number by clicking on the Home tab. Click the red X at the top right of the screen to exit.

Margins. Use 1-inch margins. Do not align the right margin. In Word 2007, check your margins by choosing Margins in the Page Layout menu. The default margins in Word 2007 are correct, so you may not have to change anything.

Line Spacing. Double-space the entire document. There should be no extra spaces between lines.

Indenting. Indent the first line of each paragraph 1/2" by pressing the Tab key once.

Font. Use Times New Roman 12-point font.

Works Cited. Include a Works Cited page that lists the works you quote or paraphrase, if your assignment requires that you use sources.

Title Page. Title pages are not required for essays or research papers unless requested by your instructor. Follow her or his instructions. 

Click here to see a sample first page in MLA style.