Creating an MLA heading

The first page of your MLA format paper starts with a four-line left-aligned heading containing:

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s name
  • The course name and number
  • The date of submission

After the heading, the title of the paper is centred on a new line. The heading and title do not take any special styling, and should be the same font and size as the rest of the paper.

MLA style does not require a separate cover page. The main body of your paper starts on the same page, directly under the title.

Include your name and the page number right-aligned in the header on every page.

Download the MLA heading template (Word)

MLA heading format

The MLA heading follows the same format at the rest of an MLA paper.

  • 1-inch margins
  • Double-spaced
  • Left-aligned
  • 12 point standard font (e.g. Times New Roman)

Put each piece of information on a separate line, and don’t use periods or other punctuation at the end of each line. The heading and title should be in plain text, without any styling.

MLA heading example

MLA header

On each page of your paper, include a right-aligned header with your last name and the page number. Don’t use any punctuation or styling.

Most word processing programs will allow you to automatically add page numbers in the header. In Microsoft Word, you can do this by selecting the “Insert” menu and clicking on “Page Number”.

Make sure the header is the same font as the rest of your paper.

Creating an MLA header in Word

Creating an MLA header in Word

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Shona McCombes

Shona has a bachelor's and two master's degrees, so she's an expert at writing a great thesis. She has also worked as an editor and teacher, working with students at all different levels to improve their academic writing.


November 11, 2019 at 5:19 AM

Hi, I have a question about the header. If there are 4 co-authors on a paper, what would you put in the header where your last name should be?


Shona McCombes
Shona McCombes (Scribbr-team)
November 20, 2019 at 10:49 AM

Hi Zoe,

MLA does not provide any specific guidelines for this situation, but we'd advise including all four last names in the header, separated by commas. Hope this helps!


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