RWC: MLA Reference: Formatting

MLA Page Formatting


  • 1" margins on all sides.
  • ½" margin before the header.
  • The first line of each paragraph should be indented ½" (usually press "tab" once).
  • The first line of block quotes is usually not indented, but the entire block quote should have an additional 1" margin from the left margin (press "tab" twice). 


  • The entire paper is aligned left.  Do not "justify"—the right margin should be ragged.
  • The header, however, is always in the top right corner of the page.
  • The title is centered.


  • 12pt font size
  • Times New Roman is the generally accepted font (ask instructor for preferences).
  • 12pt double-space throughout unless otherwise directed (even block quotes and works cited should be double-spaced).
  • Use only one space after a period, unless your instructor prefers two.
  • The title will be the same font and size as the rest of the text.  Do not underline, italicize, bold, or enclose it in quotation marks.
  • There is no extra space between paragraphs (Press "Enter" only once).


  • Top right of every page, including the first page and the Works Cited page.
  • Type your last name followed by the page number.
  • DO NOT put a comma between your name and the page number.
  • DO NOT write "page" or "pg." or "p." before the page number.


      Some professors will have their own preferences for what to include in your heading, but       these are the general MLA guidelines:

  • Your Name
  • Professor's Name
  • Course Name
  • Date (D Month YYYY)


     A block quote is any quoted text that is four lines or more.  While most quotes can
      be integrated into paragraphs, these long quotes receive their own special formatting (see
      the example below):

  • After an introductory phrase, press ENTER to start on a new line. 
  • The entire block is indented twice the length of a normal indent (1" instead of ½")
  • Do not add an extra indent to the first line, the block's left margin should be uniform.
  • While physically separated from paragraphs, block quotes are still part of paragraphs.  After the last line of the block quote, press ENTER to start a new line and resume the text of your paragraph.  Because it is still part of the same paragraph from before the block quote, do not indent the line.  


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