Formatting your MLA paper is important to the overall presentation of your paper. As part of the learning process, your teacher will require you to format your essay by following MLA rules. The cover page is critical to your overall paper as it’s the first impression your instructor and readers will see. However, in MLA, a formal cover page is not required.
Fortunately, it’s easy to format margins and fonts using word processing programs like Word or even Google Docs. Since you do not have to provide a separate cover page, unlike APA style, follow the same formatting rules as the reset of the paper. Formatting rules for research papers depend on the type of editorial style. However, most styles use the same margins and fonts.
- Top & Bottom: One inch
- Left & Right: One-inch
Indent the first sentence of a paragraph .5 inches.
Indent block quotes another .5 inches from that indentation.
Times New Roman 12 point is the recommended font size.
Set to left margin and do not use right justify option.
Double-space each line, including:
Space once after a period.
Formatting the First Page
Since you’re not required to provide a separate cover page, you’ll need to place your name, teacher’s name, course and date on the top of the first page.
Include the page number on the first page:
- .5 inches from the top
- Right justified. Your last name and page number
- Do not use commas or p. for page
Your information is placed one inch from the top:
Left justified and double-space
Professor’s last name
10 June 2019
Center the tile of your report two spaces after the report date
Indent the first sentence in the paragraph .5 inches.
All the page numbers are formatted .5 inches from the top of the page.
Last name and page number
Formatting styles for publishing were developed before desktop publishing became common. Now, due to the changing publishing field, publishers may have different requirements than writing for a school or college paper.
MLA Style is used often in middle and high school papers as it is the simplest style to use. It’s designed to be flexible and easy to use. However, particularly with formatting, your teacher may prefer a different way of numbering or creating the first page. Review your assignment rubric and follow those instructions.