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MLA Writing Format – Style Guide

This completely accessible and helpful guide provides information about MLA writing format and tells you what is it and how it works. If you are the professional writer, researcher or just a student, this writing format protects you from allegations of plagiarism.

Maybe, you are going to write the paper in MLA format, here are relevant and useful tips that should be followed:

Margin. Margins should be laid to 1 inch on the bottom, top, left and right sides.

Font size and type. Be sure that the font is legible rather than decorative (e.g. Time New Romans). Use the 12-pt font size throughout the entire text.  MLA also suggests to choose regular and italics types because they contrast enough to be recognized from one another.

Text indentation. Indent first line of paragraphs near half –inch from the left margin using Tab key instead of pressing the space bar a lot of times.

Spacing. The text of the entire paper should be necessarily double-spaced. Don’t exaggerate with spaces between the title and heading of the paper likewise between the title and body itself. There also should be only one space after periods and other punctuation marks.

Page numbers. Provide a header that numbers all the pages in the upside right corner of each paper, half an inch from the top and with right margin flashed. But, it might vary upon the requirements of your professor or instructor.

Endnotes. If there are the endnotes in your paper, place them on the separate page ahead of your Works Cited page. Situate the section “Notes” (centered and unformatted).

Formatting the Title Page

  • Don’t create a title page for the paper, if it is not required.
  • Write down your name, the instructor’s name, the course and the date in the top left corner of the page. Don’t forget to double – space them.
  • Provide quotation marks or italics while referencing to the works in your title.
  • Your last name as a header should be placed in the upper right corner followed by Arabic numerals in the consecutive order (1,2,3 etc.)

Section Headings

If you are going to write the long academic paper in MLA format, it’s the best to use Section Headings because it’ll make the paper more understandable and improve its readability.

The headings divided into two types:

  • numbered;
  • formatted, unnumbered;

The following examples help you to understand it clearer:


Soil Conservation

1.2 Terracing

1.1 Erosion

Energy Conservation

2.2 Alternative Sources of Energy

2.1 Traditional Sources of Energy

Water Conservation


Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left

Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left

Level 3 Heading: centered, bold

 Level 4 Heading: centered, italics

Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left

Text Citations

  • It is important to properly form all your sources with parenthetical references to sustain the paper’s authenticity but to eschew being suspected or even accused of plagiarism.
  • If you don’t want to be failed in your paper or even the entire course, follow guidelines below:
  • Enter the page for Works Cited while referring the external sources following the MLA format to show the readers where you’ve found the data and information in general.
  • Remember Bibliography is not the same as Works Cited page.
  • Create a header in advance to format Works Cited page. Double-space the entire page like the rest of the paper, implicating citation.
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