Learn All About MLA Format with Our Helpful Guide

mla format

If you're a student, then you know that you're often required to write papers in MLA format. But what is MLA format, exactly? And how do you go about formatting your paper correctly?

This guide will walk you through the basics of MLA formatting. We will provide simple guidelines on how to format your papers in MLA style. We'll cover everything from margins and spacing to header requirements and citations.

By following this guide and with a little bit of practice, you'll be able to write papers that are formatted correctly and conform to all of the standards set by the Modern Language Association.

So if you're getting ready to write your paper in MLA format, read on for helpful guidelines!

What is MLA Format?

MLA format is a set of guidelines created by the Modern Language Association (MLA). It was made for people who research, write papers or do assignments in the fields of literature and language. But now, many other disciplines also use MLA format.

The Modern Language Association released the 9th edition of their MLA Handbook in 2021. The Handbook provides instructions on how to correctly cite sources, as well as guidelines for formatting work, which is an update on the previous MLA 8th format.

This blog post provides guidelines in accordance with the updated edition. So, rest assured you can accurately format your paper by following our MLA style guide below. Do follow these guidelines, because good formatting is essential for impressive essay writing or research paper writing.

How to do MLA Format?

"What is MLA format for an essay?"

Whether you need to write an MLA format essay or an MLA format paper, follow the general formatting guidelines below:

  • MLA Format Margins

    Make margins of 1 inch from the top, bottom, and sides.

  • MLA Format Spacing

    Double-space the entire research paper, including the Works Cited page. The first word in every paragraph should be indented one-half inch from the left margin.

  • MLA Format Font Size and Style

    Use a font that is legible, such as Times New Roman. Use 12-point size.

  • MLA Header Format

    A running head or header is placed at the top of every page. It consists of the last name of the author(s) and page number in the upper right-hand corner.

  • MLA Page Number Format

    The page numbers in a proper MLA format are placed next to the author’s last name in the top right corner of the header. Do not use the word “page” or abbreviations like “p.” and “pg.”, instead write your headers in the following format:

    Austen 1

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How to Write in MLA Format?

Ensure the following guidelines to structure an accurate MLA paper format:

MLA Format First Page

In MLA format, instead of a title page, usually the first page contains important introductory information. However, you can also choose to include a title page or if your professor instructs you to.

To format the first page, include the following components at the top left corner of the page, one inch from the top and left margin:

  • Full name of the author(s)
  • Full name of the instructor
  • Course name and number
  • Due date of the paper (Date Month Year)

If you choose to include an MLA format title page, follow the guidelines below:

  • Use double spacing.
  • Write your institute name at the top of the page.
  • Write the title of your paper in the center of the page.
  • Do not bold, italicize, place quotation marks around, or use capital letters.
  • The title should be written in title case form.
  • Add your full name, the name of your instructor, the name/number of the course, and the due date in separate lines, on the bottom third portion of the page.

MLA Format Heading

MLA heading format requires numbering your headings with Arabic numerals and putting a period next to it. Include the section heading afterward.

Follow the format below for MLA-style headings:

  • 1st Level Heading:
    • Left-aligned
    • Bolded
    • Use title case
  • 2nd Level Heading:
    • Left-aligned
    • Italicized
    • Use title case
  • 3rd Level Heading:
    • Centered
    • Bolded
    • Use title Case
  • 4th Level Heading:
    • Centered
    • Italicized
    • Use Title Case
  • 5th Level Heading:
    • Left-aligned
    • Underlined
    • Use title case

For Example,

1. 1st Level Heading

2. 2nd Level Heading

3. 3rd Level Heading

4. 4th Level Heading

5. 5th Level Heading

MLA Format Footnotes and Endnotes

Endnotes and footnotes should be numbered consecutively in the order they appear in your paper. Footnote numbers should be superscripted and should follow any punctuation in the text.

The endnotes should be included in a separate section on a separate page right before your Works Cited. It should be entitled 'Notes'.

MLA Works Cited Page Format

The references in MLA format are on a separate page at the end of the paper. This section is labeled as “Works Cited” and includes information about the sources you used in your paper for information.

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How to Cite in MLA Format?

MLA format style has two types of citations: in-text and references at the end of the paper. Check out the guidelines on how to do both below:

In-Text Citations MLA Format

In-text citations are added when you use someone else's words in your paper, either as a quote or paraphrase.

“How to quote in MLA format?”

If you’re quoting an outside source, add the author’s last name and page number in parenthetical citations in the following format:

………. (Austen 126)

As described by Austen in her work, ……. (126)

In the case of block quotes, use footnotes and endnotes.

Works Cited MLA Format

Follow the guidelines below to cite your references properly in your Works Cited list:

  • All entries should be placed in alphabetical order.
  • Use double spacing.
  • Left-align the first line of the citation.
  • Indent the subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
  • Include the author’s last name followed by his/her first name.
  • The title of the source can be italicized or put in quotation marks depending on the type of source.
  • Self-contained works (like books or journals) are formatted in italics.
  • Works that are part of a larger work (like articles or chapters) are formatted in quotation marks.
  • End your MLA format citations with a period.

“How to cite a book in MLA format?”

Use the format below to cite a book reference:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date (pp.).

“How to cite a chapter in MLA format?

Use the format below to cite a chapter from a book:

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Chapter.” Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.

How to cite a journal article in MLA format?

Use the format below to cite an article from a journal:

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

“How to cite a website in MLA format?”

Use the format below to cite a website source:

Author. "Title." Title of Container, Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink).

Using MLA Citation Generator

Many people seek to use an MLA format citation generator to make quick work of their references. However, keep in mind that with such tools, there is no surety of accuracy.

You need to ensure that the structure of your format is absolutely correct when using an MLA format generator.

Hence, it is still better to do it yourself by following our guidelines or hire a professional writing service to do it for you.

They have experts who will ensure that your paper formatting and citations are up-to-date and accurate.

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MLA Format Example

“What does MLA format look like?”

Check out the examples below to understand what an accurately-written MLA essay format looks like. Take guidance from these samples to write a perfect MLA-style paper on your own.

MLA Format Template (PDF)

MLA Format Template

MLA Format Essay Example (PDF)

MLA Format Essay Example

MLA format is a popularly used style for formatting academic papers and essays. If you are asked to write in MLA format or need to cite sources using MLA guidelines, our guide will show you how.

In addition, we provide an MLA format example so you can see what an MLA-style paper looks like.

There are other types of formatting styles as well that you can consider. For instance, there is an APA format that is widely used. However, reading APA vs. MLA format will better help you understand the difference between the both and make you decide which one to use.

If you need help, our team at TheEssayWritingService.com provides a professional essay writing service that can write any type of essay or paper for you. You can contact us anytime! We are available to assist you 24/7.

Our expert writers are experienced and knowledgeable in various fields. Rest assured, they can format your paper in any format you require.

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