Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here. Earlier editions of the handbook included the place of publication and required different punctuation such as journal editions in parentheses and colons after issue numbers. In the current version, punctuation is simpler only commas and periods separate the elementsand information about the source is kept to the basics.
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 This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.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.So, if you are supposed to create an essay in MLA format, but not even sure where to start, stick to our MLA format example essay and you will easily get through the writing process.
Your title page First of all, MLA format for essays expects the author to locate the following on the title page. 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.
Behind the Style. Find out the thinking behind MLA style and get opinions and tips about writing. Formatting a Research Paper. Get our guidelines on margins, page numbers, Two kinds of notes are suitable with the parenthetical citations used in MLA style. When authoring papers in MLA writing format, remember that the Title Page is not necessary unless you were specifically asked by the instructor to make one.
In case you were instructed to do so, your Title Page will then serve as your Page 1. Nov 09, · Article SummaryX. To do a title page in MLA format, start by writing the title of your paper one-third of the way down the page, using normal title capitalization standards and not underlining or italicizing the title%(58).
MLA style is a system for documenting sources in scholarly writing. For over half a century, it has been widely adopted for classroom instruction and used throughout the world by scholars, journal publishers, and academic and commercial presses.