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MLA 9 Quick Guide


Formatting Your Paper

General Formatting Guidelines

The following guidelines are from MLA Handbook 9th ed.  The Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

  • If your course instructions conflict with these guidelines, follow your course instructions.
  • MLA does not require a title page; instead, include your name and course information flush with the left margin at the top of the first manuscript page, and the title below that, centered on the page.
  • Leave one-inch margins on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
  • Number all pages with your last name following the number (e.g.: Smith 2) in the upper right corner, 1/2" from the top and flush with the right margin.
  • Use an easily readable and common typeface (e.g., Times New Roman) in 11 to 13 point font.
  • Label tables "Table" (numbered, if there is more than one) and title them. Label any other visual material (photos, charts, etc. ) "Figure" (also numbered if there is more than one). Tables and figures should be placed in the body of the text (not in appendices), as close as possible to the text that refers to them.
  • If you are asked to submit your paper in print, secure the pages with a paper clip, staple or (if the paper is lengthy) a binder clip.
  • If you are asked to submit your paper electronically, get guidelines from the instructor.

MLA 9 & Microsoft Word

This 5-minute video provides step-by-step instructions for using settings in Microsoft Word to format a paper in MLA style. Instructions also work in Google Docs.