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How To Write A Research Paper In The MLA Format: A Step-By-Step Guide

MLA format is usually used in the liberal arts and humanities field. They use these guidelines to standardize the way papers are written so people can concentrate on the content instead of the design. Many professors will recommend a certain format so they know exactly where to find everything in a paper they are grading. When you are assigned a paper make sure you ask the professor what style he wants the report written in. Sometimes professors don’t care what style but many times they will indicate the format. Many of these formats change occasionally so it is important to always check on the internet before you do another paper and see if there have been any changes to any of the formatting requirements. The internet is probably the best place to find the most updated information.

The general format of a paper with this formatting has the following details. All reports are always put on standard white paper that is 8 ½” wide by 11” tall. The entire report is double spaced for consistency.

  • - It is suggested to use Times New Roman type of font but any font that can distinguish the difference between regular font and italics is ok

  • - 12 pt. font is recommended
  • - Leave one space after all punctuation
  • - Set margins on all sides of one inch
  • - Indent the first line of paragraphs ½ “
  • - On the header- all of the pages are numbered in upper right corner and flush with the right margin
  • - Use italics for titles of longer works
  • - Endnotes are on a separate page before your Works Cited page – entitled Notes-centered and unformatted

There is no title page unless your professor specifically requests one. Since there is no title page the following information will appear in the upper left corner: The student’s name will come first followed by a double space and then the professor’s name. Then input another double space to list the course name. Insert one more double space and input the date. Then another double space and the title is centered on the page with normal capitalization. Do not capitalize the entire title. Then double-space again before you being your works.

It is best to go to the internet to find actual examples of the footnotes and cited works because you can see the actual format and copy just how they will look.