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MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition


  • MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman font or another readable typeface (e.g. serif).

Line Spacing & Margins

  • Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.
  • Leave 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and each side.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch from the left margin.
  • Quotes longer than 4 lines should be written as a block of text a half an inch from the left margin.

Heading and Title

An MLA research paper does not need a title page, but your instructor may require one. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below:

  • Type the following one inch from the top of the first page, flush with the left margin (double spacing throughout).
    • Your Name
    • Your Instructor's Name
    • Course Number or Name
    • Date
  • Center the title on the next line. Follow the rules for capitalization. Do not italicize, underline, or bold the title. An exception is when your title includes a title. Example: The Attitude toward Violence in A Clockwork Orange
  • Indent the next line and begin typing your text.
  • Include your last name and page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The page numbers will be one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. If your instructor prefers no page number on the first page, begin numbering from 2 on the second page.

Sample Papers from MLA

There are three sample papers available in the MLA Style Center. Check them out to see the correct formatting.

Sample MLA Paper

MLA 8th Edition Paper Formatting 




MLA Format Setup in Word 2013