how to write essay in mla format
- To set the margins, select File and Page Setup from the Menu Bar:
Select Format from the menu bar and Paragraph. In the Indents and Spacing section, click Special and then click Hanging.
Use italics to emphasize any titles of longer works that you are referencing.
The MLA essay format meets the standard layout guidelines as set out by the Modern Language Association.
In the above example, Dan Gutman is the author of the book that this quote is pulled from.
The abbreviated MLA paper below (linked here without annotations) is about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and how the author used myth, story, and song to link all of his works together. Tolkien is famous for creating a fantasy universe called Middle-earth, which readers can’t truly understand until they read all of the books about Middle-earth ( The Silmarillian, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings ).
- Times New Roman 12
- 1″ page margins
- Double line spacing
- ½” indent for new paragraphs
- Title case capitalization for headings
If a reference entry is longer than one line, each line after the first should be indented ½ inch (called a hanging indent). All entries are double spaced, just like the rest of the text.
Beginning one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin, type your name, your instructor’s name (or instructors’ names, if there is more than one instructor), the course number, and the date on separate lines, double-spacing the lines. Months may be spelled out or abbreviated. On a new, double-spaced line, center the title (fig. 1). Do not italicize or underline your title, put it in quotation marks or boldface, or type it in all capital letters. Follow the rules for capitalization in the MLA Handbook (67–68), and italicize only the words that you would italicize in the text.
If your instructor has specific requirements for the format of your research paper, check them before preparing your final draft. When you submit your paper, be sure to keep a secure copy.