T. Balton

Quick Guide for Formatting MLA Paper

Microsoft Word

Margins
File, Page Setup, Margins tab

 

Line Spacing
Format, Paragraph, Indents and Spacing tab

          Double Space (A research paper must be double-spaced throughout, 
                                  including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited.)

Font Style and Size

Always choose a standard, easily readable typeface.
Set size at 12 pt.
Do not type in all caps!

Header (with name and date)
View, Header and Footer

On Formatting Toolbar, Align right
Type last name, put in one space, insert the page number , and close.

If title page is made, you will need to insert the numbering differently.

Heading

A research paper does not need a title page.  Instead you make a heading (aligned to the left) that contains your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date (on separate lines).
(If your teacher wants a title page, format it according to the instructions you are given.)

At this point, your paper should look something like this:  

                                                                                                                                                         Header Info

   

Title

Press Enter one time after you have written the date.

On Formatting Toolbar, Align to the center   and type the title of your paper.

 

Do not:  underline
              put in quotation marks
              type in all capital letters
              change font style, size, color, etc.

Do: follow the rules of capitalization

            “Capitalize the first words, the last words, and all principal words, including those  
              that follow hyphens in compound terms.” (MLA Handbook 5th Edition, page 73)

 

Body

Press Enter one time after you have written the title.

On Formatting Toolbar, Align left
Format, Paragraph, Indents and Spacing tab

 

              

Documentation

“In MLA documentation style, you acknowledge your sources by keying brief parenthetical citations in your text to an alphabetical list of works that appear at the end of the paper.” (MLA Handbook 5th Edition, page 73)   Put citations at the end of sentences.                                                 

Page Break

After typing the body of the paper, press Enter three times to come down the page.
Insert, Break

 

Works Cited

On Formatting Toolbar, Align to the center    and type the words “Work Cited”.
         (Note: don’t put in quotation marks.)

Press Enter one time.
On Formatting Toolbar, Align left
Format, Paragraph, Indents and Spacing tab

             

Listing are done alphabetically.  When there is no author listed for a work, use the first significant word of the title. The Encyclopedia of Bioethics would thus be alphabetized by the word Encyclopedia.