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MLA Style Guide

Guidelines for Formatting your Paper

  • Double space your paper including the header and the Works Cited
  • Use Times New Roman, size 12.
  • Leave only one space after punctuation marks at the end of sentences.
  • Use italics for the titles of books or magazines. Enclose poems or articles in quotation marks.
  • Create a header on the first page of your paper, which is right justified your last name and page number.  
  • The top left-hand corner of the first page of your paper must include, in the following order:
    • your name
    • your teacher’s name
    • the name of the class (AP US History)
    • the date your paper is due. (Day-Month-Year)
  • Skip a line between the header and the title.
  • The title should define the assignment or the topic of the paper. It should not be the title of the book, poem, essay, or short story about which you are writing. Your title should not be bolded, underlined or italicized. Type your title in the same font, size, and style as the rest of your paper.

If you are not sure whether your paper is formatted correctly, talk to your teacher or a librarian!

Example of a Properly Formatted Paper


 Example of an MLA Formatted First Page

 Jane Smith

 Ms. Federman

 AP US History

 28 August 2017

 Title is Centered and Not Underlined

       After you write your title, hit Enter to move to a new line and start your paper.While your title will be centered on the page, your

paper will be left-justified. Be sure to indent each paragraph. When you finish a paragraph, hit Enter to start a new paragraph on the

next line. Do not add extra spaces between paragraphs! You can do this by hitting the Tab button or pressing the space bar five times.

You should always double-space your work, as well. You can set this by using the Paragraph menu in Word.

On page two, and all subsequent pages, number your pages on the top right hand side of your paper with your last name and page number. The page header should appear on every page of your paper except the first page. 

 Example of MLA Formatted Second and Subsequent Pages    

Smith 2  

     To make a header for your name and the page number, click on the Insert tab at the tool bar of Microsoft Word. Click on Page

Number. Click on Top of Page. Choose Plain Number Three. Check off the Different First Page box so your page numbers start

on page two. Go to page two and insert your last name before the number 2. Don't put a page number on page one.  See the

example at the top right of this box.


If you are not sure whether your paper is formatted correctly, talk to your teacher or a librarian!