MLA 8th Edition: Basic Document Formatting

Your MLA paper should be typed on standard, white eight and a half by eleven inch paper. Set the margins of the document to one inch on all sides.

The text should be double-spaced in a legible font. MLA recommends that the regular and italic type styles contrast enough that they are recognizable one from another in the chosen font. The font size should be 12 point.

Indent the first line of paragraph one half-inch from the left margin.

Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.

Include a header in the upper right corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. The header should contain your last name followed by a space and a page number. Number all pages consecutively.

Rather than making a title page, MLA guidelines are to format the first page of the paper in a different way in order to include the necessary information.

Like in the body of your paper, the entire first page should be double-spaced.

In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, you list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Center the title below these elements. The title should be in regular font, not underlined or italicized and it should be written in title case so that the first letter of each principal word is capitalized. You may use quotation marks or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text.

If you want to include endnotes, start them on a separate page before the Works Cited page. The title should read, Notes, centered and in regular font.

Start your Works Cited on a separate page at the end of your paper. Include your header and keep margins the same. Label the page “Works Cited” in regular font and center the words at the top of the page. Double spacing should be maintained throughout. The second and subsequent lines of each citation should be indented by half an inch, known as a hanging indent. All works cited entries end with a period.

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