MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (2023)

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (1)

So you need to create an MLA title? You're not alone - the MLA format is one of the most common styles you'll come to expect when writing a liberal arts paper, whether you're a high school student or a graduate student.

Keep reading to learn what a correct MLA title looks like and how to create one that works like magic.


  1. What is an MLA title?
  2. How to format an MLA title?
  3. What is an MLA header?
  4. How to format an MLA header?
  5. Headlines are just the beginning
  6. MLA headers FAQ
  7. final thoughts

What is an MLA title?

The term "MLA Headline" refers to the five lines of important information that appear at the top of the first page.

Here are two examples of what an MLA title might look like:

Example 1

Hermine Granger

Professora McGonagall

Transfiguration - 6th period

October 18, 1991

"How to Turn a Match into a Needle"

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (2)

example 2

Harry J Potter

Prof. Ruder Lupin

Defense against the Dark Arts

(Video) MLA Tutorial #1: Basic Paper Formatting

March 4, 1994

"Why I Think My Teacher Is A Werewolf"

Why are these titles important? Well, your professor probably collects hundreds of papers every year. When these assignments lack identification, classification, and organization information, it becomes a much greater challenge.

MLA headlines ensure that all important information is presented upfront. With just a glance at the first page, your teacher can easily find out who wrote this work, when it was submitted, and for which class it was written.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (3)

What are the parts of an MLA headline?

An MLA title must include:

  • Your name
  • Your teacher's name
  • the class name
  • The date the task is due
  • The title of your job

Your teacher can give you specific guidance on how much detail to include on each line. For example, some teachers ask you to address them by their title, while others ask you to use their full name. If you weren't given specific instructions, don't worry - either option is fine as long as it's clear and consistent.

How to format an MLA title?

Follow these formatting rules for the MLA title:

  • Start each information on a separate line
  • Do not use periods, commas or other punctuation marks at the end of the line
  • Keep the title double-spaced and in the same font as the rest of your work.
  • Left-align the first four lines (they should start at the 1" margin on the left side of the paper)
  • Center the title (it should appear in the middle of your paper)
  • Make sure your title is written in title letters

Case sensitivity means that large words must be uppercase and smaller words must be lowercase. Nouns are nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns and any words with more than four letters. Subordinate words are conjunctions, prepositions and articles.

Hint: Remember that Hermione's "Society for the Promotion of the Welfare of Elves" is related to the S.P.E.W. is abbreviated, not for S.F.T.P.O.E.W - only the most important words are capitalized!

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What is an MLA header?

The MLA title should only appearon the first page of your work🇧🇷 But wait, you're not done yet! In the rest of your work, you'll need to include what's called an MLA header in the top-right corner of every page.

Think of the MLA header as a short, simple "You are here" bullet that shows the reader where they are in the newspaper. By looking at the MLA headers, your instructor can easily understand where each page goes and what role it belongs in.

What are the parts of an MLA header?

The MLA header consists of your last name and page number.

For example, the second page of Hermione Granger's essays would be labeled "Granger 2", the third "Granger 3", and so on.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (5)

How to format an MLA header?

Creating MLA Headers in Microsoft Word

If you write your paper in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:

(Video) How to format your essays using MLA 9th edition

  • Click Insert
  • Scroll down to Page Numbers and click on it
  • Set the position to "Top of Page (Header)"
  • Set Alignment to "Right"
  • Make sure the "Show number on first page" checkbox is not selected.
  • Click OK"
  • Click on the page number and type your last name before the number
  • Set the font and font size to match the rest of the paper, if you haven't already.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (6)

Creating MLA Headers in Google Docs

When writing your work in Google Docs, follow these steps:

  • Click Insert
  • Scroll down to Page Numbers and hover over them
  • Choose the option that defines the page number in the upper right corner
  • Click on the page number and type your last name before the number
  • Set the font and font size to match the rest of the paper, if you haven't already.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (7)

Tip: After creating your first MLA header, save a template document to use again next time, so you don't have to follow these steps every time you write an article!

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Headlines are just the beginning

After organizing your titles, it's time to start writing your thesis. While we can't help youEdit the content of your essay, ProWritingAid is here to make sure your grammar, spelling and style are correct.

ProWritingAid not only checks your grammar, but also shows your progress against key goals like varied sentence structure, active voice, readability, and more. Target scores are all based on real essay averages, so you'll always know if you're on track.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (9)

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MLA headers FAQ

Whose last name should you use in the MLA header when writing a group assignment?

The MLA Style Guide does not provide specific guidelines for group projects. You should always list the names of all group project members on the first line of the header, but you don't necessarily need to do this for the header of every page.

If only two or three authors are collaborating on your work, you can include all of their last names in the MLA header, for example B. "Granger, Potter and Weasley 2".

(Video) MLA Style Essay Format - Word Tutorial

If you are part of a larger group and it takes up too much space to include all of your last names, you can write the first name in the alphabet followed by "and others", for example. B. “Granger et al. 2.” (The term “et al.” is short for the Latin term “et alia,” which means “and others.” You'll see it frequently in academic works by various authors.)

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (10)

Should you include your lesson in the MLA header or just the class name?

There's no MLA rule about this, but when in doubt, it's always better to include too much information in your title than too little.

If your professor teaches more than one version of the same course, it will probably help if you include the class you are in. You can specify your lesson after the class name, for example, "History of Magic - Hour 2" or before the class name, for example, "2. History of Magic Hour".

What should you write in your MLA title if you don't have an instructor?

If you don't have an instructor, you can explain the situation on the line where you would normally put the instructor's name, for example, "self-study" or "no teacher".

What should you write in your MLA title if you have multiple instructors?

If you have multiple instructors, you can put their names on the line where you would put the instructor's name. If you're in a college class where you have a professor and a TA, choose whose name to include in the header based on who will be reading your work.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (11)

Should you include the date you started writing the paper or the paper's due date?

The MLA Style Guide does not provide specific guidelines on what date to include in the title. However, it is generally best to include the order due date.

This is because all assignments for the same assignment have the same due date, even though different students start writing their assignments on different days, making it easier for your instructor to use the due date to determine which assignment the assignment is for. determined.

Should the date be formatted as day month year or month day year?

In MLA format, you must write the date in order day month year. For example, instead of writing May 31, 2021, you would write May 31, 2021.

What font should you use for your MLA headline and title?

Both the title and header should be in the same font as the rest of your work. If you haven't already chosen a font for your work, remember that the number one goal is readability. If you choose a font that your teachers have to squint to read, or one that your teachers know the difference between italics and not, you might want to reconsider your choice.

When in doubt, use Times New Roman, 12 pt. It's always a safe bet for MLA documents unless your instructor specifically says otherwise.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (12)

Do you need to italicize or bold your MLA article title?

no It is not necessary to add special styling to the title of an MLA article, such as B. bold or italic.

How do you format the section headings in your MLA article?

If you are writing a paper with several sections, it may be necessary to include a subheading at the beginning of each section.

The MLA Style Guide offers two options for using captions in an article: single-level section headings or multi-level captions (for articles with subsections within each section).

With single-level section headings, formatting is simple. Each subheading should look the same as the heading (centered and double-spaced, with no special formatting).

(Video) How to Format Your Essay in MLA Style - Word 2022

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (13)

The only difference is that instead of capitalizing the title, you should only capitalize the first word of each subtitle. For example, a title would be "How to Turn a Match into a Needle", while the subtitle would be "How to Turn a Match into a Needle".

For multi-level legends, you must format each level differently to indicate which level each section is on. You can use bold, italic, and underline to distinguish between layers. For example, captions at the highest level should be bold, while captions at the next lower level should be italicized.

The table below shows the formats proposed by the MLA.

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What is the difference between MLA format and APA format?

MLA and APA are two guidelines for formatting articles and citing research.

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. The MLA manual is most commonly used in humanities such as literature, history, and philosophy.

APA significa American Psychological Association. EsteAPA formatmost commonly used in fields related to the social sciences such as psychology, sociology, and nursing.

The APA Guide includes a title format similar to the MLA title format with some important differences, such as: B. Using a separate cover page instead of just adding the title at the top of the first page. Both title formats ensure that all your documents contain all important identifying information clearly and consistently.

MLA Format: The ultimate guide to formatting your paper properly (15)

Where can you learn more about the MLA style?

If you have questions about the formatting of a specific assignment or paper, it's best to consult your instructor first. Your school may also have a writing center that can help you with formatting issues.

Additionally,Purduehas fantastic features for all types of formatting topics, from MLA headers toMLA quotesand everything.

If you want to learn more directly from the Modern Language Association, check out theMLA Style Centeror the MLA Handbook (8th edition).

final thoughts

You are now ready to write an MLA article with an awesome title. Make sure your writing matches your headline by checking it with ProWritingAid.

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(Video) How to set up MLA Format Paper with Works Cited Page in Microsoft Word (latest)

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What is the correct formatting for MLA? ›

Guidelines for Formatting a Paper in MLA

Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides. The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch. Indent set-off or block quotations one half inch from the left margin. Use any type of font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman.

What are the 7 elements of a proper MLA style citation? ›

All MLA citations will follow a template of applicable core elements: author, title, container, contributors, version, number, publisher, date, and location. If you are missing any of the core elements, simply leave them off.

What is MLA style formatting and what is it for? ›

Modern Language Association, or MLA, format is a style of crediting sources you use to write a paper. This style is typically used for research papers for English Composition and other communication classes. Use our MLA Citation Guide to learn how to cite sources in this style.

What is MLA format for an essay? ›

The basic characteristics of an MLA document include double-spaced lines throughout the essay with paragraphs indented half an inch, size 12 Times New Roman font, and a double-spaced Works Cited page with a hanging indent.

What is MLA format for an essay on word? ›

MLA formatting requires the text of your paper to be double-spaced. The default when you begin typing is usually single-spacing. You can change the spacing before you begin typing, or you can change it after you have typed everything up by highlighting all of the text and then completing the steps listed here.

What are the three parts of MLA documentation? ›

Your MLA paper should include the following basic elements:
  • Body.
  • (If applicable) Endnotes.
  • Works Cited.

What are the three things MLA format regulates? ›

MLA Style establishes standards of written communication concerning: formatting and page layout. applying stylistic technicalities (e.g. abbreviations, footnotes, quotations) citing sources.

How many elements are in MLA format? ›

Citing an Article in MLA

This citation includes six of the nine Core Elements: Author, Title of source, Title of container, Number, Publication Date, and Location. You could provide additional optional information, such as date of access, but you are not required to.

What are the 4 parts of MLA format? ›

An MLA paper has a standard look for every page including 1-inch margins, a readable font, a running header including your last name and page number, and author-page in-text citations.

What are the main formatting elements of an MLA style paper? ›

Essential Elements of a MLA Paper
  • have 1" margins (the space between the text and the edge of paper) all around the text.
  • be double-spaced.
  • have a legible, size 12 font (MLA recommends Times New Roman, but fonts like Verdana and Trebuchet are more legible for people with visual disabilities)
Feb 10, 2022

How do you start an MLA essay? ›

In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text. Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks.

Should I use MLA 8 or 9? ›

MLA offers in-depth guidance on how to cite your sources properly. There are two primary ways to cite: in-text and a Works Cited list. MLA 9 provides ample guidance on both, as well as a total of 333 sample citations (quite a jump from MLA 8's 164). Below is the updated guidance MLA 9 offers for each kind of citation.

Is MLA format MLA 8 or 9? ›

The new version of MLA was released in spring 2021. This is the 9th edition of MLA style. Works cited entries and in-text citations are generally written in the same way for MLA 9th edition as they were in the 8th edition, with exceptions to this listed below.

Is MLA Format 1.5 or double spaced? ›

MLA Essay Format Type Rules

Everything in the essay, including long quotes and the Works Cited list, should be double spaced. In the essay itself, the following spacing rules for punctuation apply: 2 spaces between sentences. 1 space after commas.


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