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Citation Help for MLA, 8th Edition: Formatting Your Paper

An introduction to MLA Style.

Paper Set Up

MLA has a number of rules your instructor may want you to follow. The following information is what the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook had and is confirmed by Purdue OWL as the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook does not give this information.

NOTE: Your instructor may prefer slight changes to these rules. Check with your instructor for any variations.

Document Format:
Margins - 1 inch all sides, including top, bottom, left and right.

Font preference and size - Choose a standard, easily readable typeface and type size e.g. Times Roman 12-pt. 

Line Spacing - Double spacing should occur throughout the document.

Page Numbers - Page numbers should be located in upper right corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. Type your last name before the page number unless specified differently from your instructor. 

Paragraph Indentation - Paragraphs should be indented 5 spaces or 1/2 inch. 

Punctuation Spacing - Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces.

View sample papers from the MLA website.

Works Cited

Always start your works cited on a new page.

Page title - The words Works Cited should appear centered one inch from the top of the page. If you have only 1 citation the title should be Work Cited.

Line Spacing - Double space between each line. 

Alignment - The first line of each entry should align with the left margin. All subsequent lines should be indented 5 spaces or set a hanging indent at 1/2 inch.

Order of entries - Alphabetical order by author. If there is no author, use the title of the document. If you have more than one entry by the same author, order the entries alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author's name for every entry after the first.