Skip to main content

MLA Style: 7th edition: Formatting the Paper


Margins should be 1 inch at top, bottom and both sides of the paper and the paper should be double-spaced (MLA Handbook 116-17).

For MLA style, a research paper does not need a title page (MLA Handbook 116).

First Page

Type your last name and the page number ½” from the upper right-hand margin  (MLA Handbook 116-117).

Beginning 1” from the top of the page and 1” from the left margin, type on separate lines:

Your Name  (Jane Student)

Instructor’s Name (Professor Smith)

Course Number (ENC 1101) 

​Date (day/month/year) (24 April 2015)

Center the title of the paper. 

Double-space between the title and the first line of the text. 


Works Cited Page 


The Works Cited page is found at the end of the paper.  It should be on a separate page and numbered (MLA Handbook, pp. 130-132). 

The page number should appear in the upper right-hand corner, half an inch from the top of the page

The words "Works Cited" should be centered and one inch from the top of the page. 

Begin each entry at the left margin and double-space between lines of an entry.  If an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent lines 1/2" from the margin (or 5 spaces). 

Entries are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name.  If an author's name is not known, alphabetize by the title, ignoring the initial A, An or The (MLA Handbook, p.132). 



Types of Outlines


The two most common outline forms are:

  • topic outline (each point of the outline is a short phrase)
  • sentence outline (each point of the outline is a complete sentence)

To view an example of a completed outline, click here

Labeling the Outline

The various parts of an outline are labeled as follows: 

I. Main Point 1

   A. Supporting Idea 1









     B. Supporting Idea 2

II.  Main Point 2


Sample MLA Research Paper

Video: Formatting Microsoft Office Word for MLA Style

Formatting Microsoft Office Word for MLA Style