MLA Format Guide – How to Write it.

MLA Format

MLA Format Guide: Modern Language Association is a specific style of writing which is used in various works. The MLA Format is very useful for students as well as professional writers. If you are a student and your professor asked you to write an essay or an assignment in MLA Format, you need to check guidelines carefully. Because you already know what to write in that essay, but all you need to take care of is format of your essay. The same way, if you are an employee, your boss or client may ask you to file the document paper(s) in MLA Format.

The MLA Format is generally used only when a person gets instructions from opposite party/person to do so. But, in addition to the special instructions, the MLA Format is also used in some kind of writings i.e. (a)Literary Analysis, (b)English Literature Studies, (c)English Language Studies, (d)Literary Criticism and (e)Cultural Studies. The Essay or Paper writing in MLA Format may have several themes like Raising Arguments, Showing Cause & Effects, Persuasive, Research etc.

If your professor/boss/client has any special requirements regarding the work or project you are working on, please consider those instructions first. Please consider the MLA Format Margins, Measurements while printing the Paper on completion. There are some simple rules (disciplines) which should be followed in writing something in Modern Language Association (MLA) Format, kindly refer the guidelines given below:

MLA Format

Anything which is prepared on the basis of data collected through a research process, should be written and presented in MLA Format. First of all, you must take care of Margins, then Heading, Spacing, Text Formatting and Capitalization, Italicization, Work Citation, References etc.

MLA Format

Formatting of Paper /Research Paper and Margins

  • Take one White Paper of 8½ by 11 Inches.
  • Leave One Inch Margin on top of page, bottom of page and on right side as well as left side.
  • In case your Paper size is larger than 8½ by 11 Inches, the Text area on Paper must not exceed the Margins of 6½ by 9 Inches.

Text Formatting and Size

  • Avoid typical font styles and choose a simple font type which can be read easily. For Example: Choose “Times New Roman” as font style.
  • With simple type of fonts, the Italic effect will appear clearly and can be recognized quickly by reader.
  • The size of Text must be at Standard level size i.e. 12 (Twelve).

Double Space, Text Effect & Justification

  • Do not justify the lines of text at right margin, Turn Off Automatic Hyphenation option (if any) available in the writing software/application.
  • Keep Double Space in entire page (paper) including quotations, notes and work citation list.

Heading and Title

First of all, you must know that a Research Paper does not require a Title Page. So from the very first page, you should start with Heading and Title in MLA Format. Here we will discuss about Formatting of Heading and Title as follows:

  1. On upper left corner at One Inch distance from top of page and left end of page, you need to write four details with double space, I)Your Name, II)Your Instructor’s Name, III)Course Title & Number and IV)Date.
  2. On upper right corner at Half Inch distance from top of page and One Inch from right end of page, Create a Header with Your Last Name and Page Number.
  3. Then apply double space and write Title of Essay/Paper with Centre Alignment. You can put your Title in quotations (“Title”) or give it boldface. Do NOT italicize or underline the Title.

Start Writing First Paragraph

  • Start the first paragraph after leaving half inch space from Left Margin (i.e. Indent one and a half inches from left end of paper).
  • Only first line of first paragraph should begin at half inch away, start all lines thereafter right from the Left Margin.

Quotation Formatting

  • When quotations are short* (refer description given below), show them in double quotation marks ” “.
  • When quotations are long# (refer description given below), indent half inch space from Left Margin and omit the quotation marks.

*Short Quotations means the quotations which are shorter than four lines of prose or three lines of verse.

#Long Quotations means the quotations which are longer/lengthier than four lines of prose or three lines of verse.

Page Number on Next Page and Running Old Heading

On the Next Page (i.e. Page No.2) on upper right corner, you need to Create a Header with Your Last Name and Page Number same as described above for first page. The same heading with change of page number should appear on upper right corner of every page of Paper in MLA Format. Do NOT use abbreviation for page number, Do Not add a period, a hyphen, a mark or a symbol.

MLA Format

Various Illustrations as Required

You can present Illustration based on requirement of topic to explain it well to the reader.

Visual Illustration and Musical Illustration

A simple drawing or picture should be created within the Area Margins as mentioned for Paper Formatting.

MLA Format Guide Work Citation

When your paper is complete with required content, quotations, illustrations, endnotes etc., you should provide List of Work Cited at the end. The Work Citation is to be presented on a New Page with same Header on upper right corner of page showing Your Last Name and Page Number. For Example: If the text of your Research Paper ends on Page Number 13, the Work Citation will begin on Page 14.

MLA Format

  • Label the Page with title Works Cited at Centre position one inch down from top of the page.
  • Do Not put quotation and not italicize the label.
  • Apply Double Space in all Citations including title and first entry.
  • Start each entry of Work Cited at level with Left Margin. In case an entry is lengthier than one line, all lines after the first one will start at one inch indent from Left Margin.
  • If you have more than one entry in Work Citation, follow the same rules for subsequent entries.


The details mentioned above about MLA Format based writing on Research Paper are prepared by using the data Modern Language Association (MLA) website data. Kindly visit the official website portal at for complete information on MLA Format Guide.

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