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MLA Style for Writing: Paper Formatting

This guide will cover MLA format for papers.

Essential Elements of a MLA Paper

A paper formatted according MLA Style must:

  • have 1" margins (the space between the text and the edge of paper) all around the text
  • be double-spaced
  • have a legible, size 12 font (MLA recommends Times New Roman, but fonts like Verdana and Trebuchet are more legible for people with visual disabilities)
  • include your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date on separate lines in the upper left hand corner of your first page
  • include, on the line after the date, the title of your paper centered on the page in title capitalization
  • include a page header (see below)
  • have the first line of each new paragraph indented .5"
  • include at least two major sections:
    • main body
    • works cited list (see Works Cited tab above)


Your header should appear at the top of every page of your paper and it should include your last name, followed by a page number (flush right).

First Page Example

MLA First Page Example

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