MLA format template

The Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style has specific requirements regarding formatting, as well as in-text citation, quoting and bibliographies.

Learn how to follow the MLA template, based on the eighth and most recent edition, published in 2016. You can also download our MLA format template to use as a guide for your own paper.

Sample MLA paper

Sample MLA paper

Word TemplateGoogle Docs Template

If you want to edit the Google Docs Template, go to the top-left corner and click ‘file’ and ‘make a copy’.

MLA format outline

There are several general requirements for an MLA format paper including margin sizes, spacing and font.

MLA format font
  • The MLA format font size is 12 pt, for both the body of text and headings
  • The standard MLA format font is Times New Roman. You can use another similar font if approved by your supervisor
MLA format spacing and indentation
  • Set the page margins to one inch
  • Use double spacing throughout the text
  • Leave just one space after periods, unless your university or supervisor instructs otherwise
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph 0.5 inches from the left margin
Other MLA format requirements
  • Use title case for headings
  • Include your surname and the page number in the top right corner of each page Check if your university or supervisor wishes for you to include the page number on the first page
  • Unless instructed otherwise, prefer the use of in-text citations over footnote citations

MLA format template: first page of paper

  • Only include a title page if your supervisor or university states that you should
  • On the first page, include your name, supervisor’s name, course name and date in the top left-hand corner — all double-spaced!
  • The title should be centred above the text and in the usual MLA format font and font size applied throughout your paper
  • Include double spacing between the information in the top left corner and the title, then again after the title before the main body of text

MLA format bibliography: Works Cited

  • Name the page “Works Cited” and centre the title at the top of the page
  • Follow the same formatting in terms of margins, spacing and font and font size as throughout the rest of the paper
  • Use hanging indents for works cited that cover more than one line of text
  • Use a hyphen to indicate page ranges
  • End all entries with a period
  • Capitalise titles of works, aside from conjunctions, prepositions and articles
  • Italicize the titles of longer works (e.g. books) and place quotation marks around shorter works (e.g. articles)
  • Alphabetize the list of works cited (Microsoft Word can do this for you)

Sample Works Cited list

Checklist: MLA format

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Courtney Gahan

Courtney has a Bachelor in Communication and a Master in Editing and Publishing. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2013, and joined the Scribbr team as an editor in June 2017. She loves helping students and academics all over the world improve their writing (and learning about their research while doing so!).

2 comments

sr. maria tran
October 31, 2018 at 3:55 AM

How do I capitalize my title: My feeling "A Little like God"?

Reply

Leon
Leon (Scribbr-team)
November 4, 2018 at 10:41 PM

Hi Maria!

I would suggest: My Feeling: "A Little Like God"

Cheers,
Leon

Reply

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