The MLA (Modern Language Association) is a styling format used by students and professionals for papers, questions, citations or any other forms of official documents. Most of the MLA formatting is designed to make papers look clean, organized and professional. The MLA style is heavily enforced in the college and higher education communities. Learning and following these specific guidelines will help you to develop a well-written and well-formatted paper that is sure to impress a professor.
Type your paper using the Times New Roman typeface, size 12 font and black color. Double-space the text throughout your entire research paper.
Set the margins to 1 inch from the edge of the paper on all sides. Indent the first line of each paragraph by pushing the Tab, rather than pushing the space bar five times.
Identify all book titles or long lengths of work by using the italic font. Any work citations are going to be placed on a separate page at the end of your paper.
Make a title page only if your teacher specifically asks for one. If you do need a title page, center justify your type and double-space all sentences. The title page should only have your title in italic font with your name underneath in bold font.
List your header on the first page of your paper. Everything should be left justified and double-spaced sentences. List your name, instructor's name, the course and the current date all on separate lines.
Double-space after the completed header and to begin your title. Center justify your title and do not underline, italicize or use quotations marks. Use title case standards and not all in capital letters.
Create another header in upper right-hand corner that includes your last name and the page number. Number all pages consecutively and formatted one-half inch from the top of the paper.
Write all citations as the last page of your paper. Book citations should be formatted with the author's name (last name, first name), the title of the article or section in quotations and the title of the book in italic font. The next line is the city of publication, name of publisher and the date published.
Format the website citations with the title of the website first in italic font, contributor's name or source and the date created. Next is the website URL and the date that you visited the website.
Print out on standard, white 8.5-by-11 inches paper. Staple papers together if more than one page is involved.