purdue owl mla format essay
- Type using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word
- 8.5″ x 11″ paper
- 1″ margins on all sides
- 12 pt. Times New Roman font
- Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise instructed by your instructor).
- Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin, use the Tab key as opposed to pushing the Space Bar.
- Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor’s guidelines.)
- Use italics throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis.
- If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).
- The Appendix appears before the Works Cited list
- If you have more than one appendix you would name the first appendix Appendix A, the second Appendix B, etc.
- The appendices should appear in the order that the information is mentioned in your essay
- Each appendix begins on a new page
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- Double-space all of the text of your paper, and use a clear font, such as Times New Roman or Courier 12-point font.
- Use one-inch margins on all sides, and indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch from the left margin.
- List your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. This is your heading. There is no cover page.
- Type a header in the upper right-hand corner with your last name, a space, and then a page number. Pages should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
- Provide in-text citations for all quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information in your paper.
- Include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper that gives full bibliographic information for each item cited in your paper.
- If you use endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page
- Your Works Cited page at the end of your project should line up with the in-text citations in the body of your essay.
MLA stands for the Modern Language Association. Most papers that use MLA formatting and citation style are those written in the humanities, especially in languages and literature. In 2016, the MLA Handbook was updated in an effort to simplify much of the documentation process in MLA format.
The following guidelines come from Purdue’s The OWL.
Please note: The following guidelines for formatting your paper in MLA style are based on the 8th edition of the MLA Style Guide. As new editions of the Guide are released, we will update this FAQ.
- When a source has three or more authors, et al. is used after the first author. Previously this was done when a source had four or more authors. (p. 22)
Books and Other Printed Works