When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.
When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. MLA Modern Language Association style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.
This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook 8th ed. MLA style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English Mla formatted heading in writing.
MLA style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages.
Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material.
Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material by other writers. The MLA Handbook is available in most writing centers and reference libraries; it is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site.
See the Additional Resources section of this handout for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA style. Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style.
General Guidelines Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8. Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font e. Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are recognizable one from another.
The font size should be 12 pt. Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks unless otherwise instructed by your instructor. Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides. Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin.
Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.
Use italics throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis. If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.
Entitle the section Notes centered, unformatted.This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the updates. To download the MLA sample paper, select the MLA Sample Paper PDF file in the Media box above.
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