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Rose Library - Cleveland Community College


Formatting: The Basics

MLA, like all style guides, requires papers to be formatted a certain way.

  • Typed

  • Use 1 inch margins all around

  • 12 pt. Times New Roman (recommended) or any other readable font

  • All text throughout paper should be double-spaced

  • Page header should include your last name and the page number aligned to the right

Formatting: Page Numbers and Header

Follow the steps below to add page numbers to a document.

1. To add page numbers in Word, double click in the header area at the top of the document.

2. In the header section, double click the mouse on the right side of the page. 

3. Type your last name and then press the spacebar once.

4. Click Insert from the top menu of items.

5. Click Page Number, then click Current Position, and lastly click Plain Number.


Formatting: Heading

First Page Heading

  • MLA does not require a title page unless otherwise specified 
  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, include your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date
  • Center the title; do not underline, italicize, or put your title in quotation marks.

Formatting: Works Cited

Your works cited appears at the end of your paper. If you cited a source in the text of your paper, it must be listed here; if you list a work here, it must be cited in your paper. 

Overall Page

  • Begin on a new page, separate from your paper
  • Title the page Works Cited (top of page, center aligned)--Do not bold, underline or add quotation marks
  • All text should be double-spaced
  • Entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of the work (or the title if no author is available)
  • After the first line of each entry, you should indent one-half inch (hanging indentation) 

Individual Entries

  • Invert authors' names (last name first)
  • Capitalize all important words in titles
  • Italicize longer works like books and journals
  • Use quotation marks around shorter works (articles, entries, etc.)