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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 This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.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 language 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. Formatting the First Page of Your Paper Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested. In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date.
Again, be sure to use double-spaced text. Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case standard capitalizationnot in all capital letters.
Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Always follow instructor guidelines.
Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style: These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.
Essays MLA recommends that when you divide an essay into sections that you number those sections with an arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.MLA format or style is the second most used international standard for writing academic papers.
This page summarizes MLA format rules for: MLA paper layout, MLA in-text citations, and MLA works cited. Here is how to format an MLA cover page: This page is double-spaced and the letters are centered.
Type the name of your university or college. Skip to about one-third of the page and type the research paper title, including subtitle if there is one. The following overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA eighth edition, including the list of works cited and in-text citations.
In the MLA format essay, include a page for Works Cited by referencing outside sources. Many students are confused, since they think that the Works Cited is the same as Bibliography, but it is not.
Create a header for the Works Cited in your paper. The guidelines on this page adhere to the following editions of the style manuals: APA: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition; MLA: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition; Chicago: The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition; Turabian: A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th edition.
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.
If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the MLA Handbook (8th edition).