Guide to Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format
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All formal assignments must be prepared in MLA format. Professors in your other classes may require MLA, or they may require another format. If you already know that your major requires APA or another format, let me know know so that you may submit work in and learn in that format instead.

The Modern Language Association publishes The MLA Handbook for Writers or Researchers for use in writing and documenting research. It is a fairly complex and comprehensive publication. Instead of purchasing the MLA Handbook, you were asked to purchase The Pocket Wadsworth Handbook, which addresses the most common MLA citation issues, as well as questions of grammar and style.





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Assignments prepared in MLA must have:
MLA Style Margin, Line Spacing, and Font Settings
First Page Heading
Title
Header with Last Name and Page Number in Upper Right Hand Corner
Parenthetical Page Citations for Each Outside Source
List of Works Cited






Below you will find standard MLA formatting procedure for each of these items and hints on how to set the newest version of Microsoft Word for each. You can also view an example of MLA format.


MLA Style Margin, Line Spacing, and Font Settings

MLA style requires you to have one-inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides of your paper. That means that there is one inch of space between the text and the edge of the paper. In the most recent version of Microsoft Word, the default margin is 1.0”.

Check or change document margins by clicking the PAGE LAYOUT tab and then the MARGIN option.

MLA style also requires all papers to be double-spaced. To set spacing, click the HOME tab and look in the PARAGRAPH drop down menu. Be sure to check the box that reads, Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style.

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All spacing should be double-spaced, including the space between the first page heading items, between the title and the first paragraph, and between paragraphs.

MLA format specifies a readable, 12-point font. For this class, the requirement is Times New Roman.


First Page Heading

Don’t submit a title page unless you are asked to do so.

The first page should have a heading in the upper left-hand corner that provides the following identifying information in this order:

Your full name
The instructor’s name
The class title and section number
The date that the paper is DUE

These lines should be double-spaced. See the example of MLA format.


Title

The title should be in 12-point type, not in a larger font. It should also be in normal text; do not use boldface, italics, underlining, quotation marks or other effects for the title.

According to Kennedy and Kennedy, "your title should indicate your perspective and, if possible, capture the spirit of the issue you are addressing" (100).

If including the title of another work in the title of your paper, follow proper format for that title (i.e., italicize if it is a full length work; use quotation marks if it is an essay or short work). The title should be one double-space below the last line of the heading. The first line of the essay begins one double-space below the title.


Header

A header is a line of text that appears on every page. In MLA format, a header with your name and the page number should appear at the top of every page, including the first.

To create a header, select the INSERT tab and choose HEADER. Select the BLANK option and type your last name and a space. Select PAGE NUMBER, then CURRENT POSITION, and then PLAIN NUMBER. And page number in the current position. Highlight the name and change the font to Times New Roman, then CONTROL + R to right-justify the header.


Parenthetical Page Citations

Every outside source--whether quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, must be integrated grammatically and smoothly into your writing and followed by a parenthetical (or in-text) page citation, according to MLA guidelines. The page number (alone, without "#" or "p." or "page") should appear either directly after the quotation or at the end of the sentence.

The Basics of MLA Parenthetical or In-text Citations


List of Works Cited

The Works Cited page appears on the last page of any work that contains information attributable to an outside source, whether quoted, paraphrased or summarized. On it, you construct an entry for each source and list them in alphabetical order by the author's last name.

Title the page "Works Cited." The title should be in 12-point type, not in a larger font. It should also be in normal text; do not use boldface, italics, underlining, quotation marks or other effects for the title.

The first line of the first citation begins one double-space below the title. The citations are also double spaced; do not quadruple space between citations. Each citation has a hanging indent, which means that the first line of the citation is flush with the left margin; consecutive lines of the same citation are indented.

MLA Works Cited Page Basic Format.

UCA Writing Center Links:



Adapted from the Harvard-Westlake English Dept. Guide to Using MLA Format.
Related: How to cite images in MLA format at the OWL at Purdue and citation generators found on the Tools page of the Wiki.

Assignments prepared in MLA must have:
MLA Style Margin, Line Spacing, and Font Settings

First Page Heading

Title

Header with Last Name and Page Number in Upper Right Hand Corner

Parenthetical Page Citations for Each Outside
Source
List of Works Cited


A Note about Epigraphs (from Harvard-Westlake School):

The MLA Handbook lists no specific formatting instructions for an epigraph (a quotation used before an introduction). Most students adapt the rules for indented quotations. Thus, the epigraph should be placed one double-space below your title. It should be indented on both sides one inch further than your regular margin (i.e., two inches from the edge of the paper), and, in the interest of not taking up a disproportionate amount of space, your epigraph should be single-spaced. The author’s name should appear below it, on the right side of the text. Don’t forget to include your source in the list of works cited. An example of a first page with an epigraph.