Posted: January 24th, 2023

How to MLA format a paper

The time and effort required to complete a research paper call for various requirements. However, it is important to abide by the writing format as required by the publication standards of the institution. This article is for you if you are writing in a mla format. You will learn how to MLA format a paper, among other relevant insights.

What is MLA format?

Before we delve deeper into mla format, it is crucial to understand what mla format is. MLA formatting, created by Modern Language Association, established a standard way for academics and researchers to format, structure, and arrange their writing and cite their sources.

In the past, MLA format was predominantly used in arts, cultural studies, languages, and humanities disciplines. Today, with the dynamism experienced in learning, a lot has changed. The mla format is currently applicable in languages, literature, and many word-processing systems.

Like other academic formatting and stylistic standards, the MLA style manual has certain margins that should be followed. The headings, works cited page, in-text citations, margin and font sizes, and other components are all intended to be consistent throughout MLA-styled papers.

The elements of a title page

  1. Mla format header

To correctly format a mla paper, you should understand how to mla format a header. Here are specific elements that should be considered;

You should include your paper’s title and the entire heading on the first page. In this case, your heading should be something like this;

  • Your name
  • The name of the instructor
  • Your class information
  • The date usually takes the day, month, and year format. For example, on 9 November 2022
  • The deadline for the paper

After writing the above information, ensure you set the settings correctly. Typically, the settings are;

  • Font

Select a simple font that is easy to read. You can use Times New Roman, where the font is not specified.

  • Font size

You can set the font size to 12 for your entire paper. Don’t ever set the font size beyond 12

  • Margins

You can use 1 inch for the right, left, top, and bottom throughout your paper.

  • Double-space

Use double spaces in your entire paper. Never add extra spaces.

A separate title page is not required in mla style. However, you may include one if your lecturer requests it or if the paper is a joint project. But typically, your paper’s main body begins on the same page beneath the title.

  1. Page numbering and running head

At the top of each page, include your last name and the page number starting with the first. Your page number will also appear in the running head.

The running head is located at the top right of the page. Before the page number, you can enter your surname. There should be one gap between the page number and the last name.

  1. The title of the page

Before you start your paper’s main body content, briefly mention the title of your essay. After your header, your paper’s title should be included double-spaced.

There are other important aspects to pay close attention to mla format heading, such as;

  1. Avoid using bolded text, italics, or quotation marks in your title.
  2. Don’t use all capital letters; use title case (standard capitalization) for the title.
  3. When referencing other works in your title, just like in your text, use quotation marks or italics.
  4. Don’t add a period to the end of the title or any headings.
  5. Leave a space after the title and the first few lines of the body text

Mla format heading

In mla, headings and sub-headings are crucial as they help structure and organize your writing well. Generally, complex and lengthy writing demands more of them than shorter ones. There are also requirements on how to mla format heading.

Requirements of mla format heading;

  • It should be written in the title case
  • Be left-aligned
  • Not finish in a period

To help you understand how to write a header in mla format, below is a mla format header example.

Level 1

Formatting; Aligned or flushed left, title cased, bold

Level 2

Formatting; Normal, title-cased, left-aligned margin or left-flushed

Level 3

Formatting; Italicized, normal, title-cased, left margin aligned, or flushed.


When learning how to mla format a paper, it is essential to understand the citation aspect of the style. MLA style calls for parenthetical citations whenever you discuss someone else’s writing in your own.

This style calls for the inclusion of the appropriate source information in parenthesis when a sentence contains a paraphrase or quotation.

In MLA format citation, the “author-page” style of the in-text citation is used. This is the author’s surname and the page number(s) where the paraphrase or quotation is taken. Remember that your “Works Cited” page should include a comprehensive reference.

Why citation is crucial in your writing

  1. Give support and evidence

Since citation originates from a direct paraphrase or quote of information lifted from another source, it adds value and meaning to your work.

Additionally, it can help your audience understand the source of evidence for extensive research.

  1. Avoid plagiarism

In today’s academic environment, plagiarism is increasing in institutions like schools, colleges, and universities. To avoid plagiarism, every piece of content you submit must cite its sources.

In other words, you must provide credit to the source you utilized to finish your article with citations.

  1. Add credibility to your paper.

Since the contents of your paper are not entirely your work, citations give your essay more credibility.

You will benefit from having a crucial reputation for your paper. Additionally, it will make it easier for the reader of your article to identify the information you are highlighting.

  1. Convincing writing

Readers who read your content find facts supporting your point of view. However, the source significantly impacts the credibility of this information. To convince the readers, you must include references in your material.

  1. Give overall appeal

Whether you’re writing a research paper or an essay, using citations correctly can give you an excellent opportunity to improve the general appeal of your academic writing. It will strengthen the information’s foundation and add credibility to the findings of your paper.

  1. Fast-checking

To persuade your readers to believe what you wrote, you must show that the information in the material you just wrote came from a reliable source. Your readers may therefore verify the validity of your content using references.

In other words, by providing references, you are attempting to support the claim.

  1. Offer reference

References can be made using citations. Recognizing the thoughts and points you employed in your work would be helpful. It will provide a citation for the in-depth information discussed in the paper.

Citation example

Mla format citation is easier, especially if you have visuals or examples to refer to. Thousands of examples are available online if you don’t have a single idea on how to cite your mla format writing. An MLA format citation example can be found in the following;

  1. Edited book
  2. Print book
  3. Edited book chapters
  4. E-book from the Internet
  5. Website
  6. Online journal article
  7. Print journal article
  8. Online Magazine
  9. Print magazine
  10. Online newspaper

Don’t wait until the last minute to get references! Record the sources you utilize in the MLA outline. The process will be easier for you if you do this!

Sometimes, your tutors may require you to prepare an MLA annotated bibliography. To help you cite, organize, and become comfortable with your sources before writing your paper.

How to integrate a quote in mla format

There are three main steps to follow when writing a quote in mla;

  1. Introduce it. You can bring up something like, ‘as the author confesses…’ to effectively incorporate someone else’s comments in your writings.
  2. Insert and document. The quotes should be inserted with quotation marks, however, do not include a period at the end of the quotation marks. Instead, insert the quotations.
  3. Analyze it at the end. Why is it relevant to your argument? Or how does it support your point? What conclusions are you able to take from it? Among other questions

The page number should always appear in parentheses and never in the body of your statement. The author’s name can either appear in the sentence independently or in parenthesis after the paraphrase or quotation.


Endnotes are an essential component of a publication; therefore, it is worth understanding their use when learning how to mla format a paper.

Endnotes are notes you include in your article that cite a specific source or provide a brief justification for any data you have incorporated. They can include a reference, a detailed explanation, or a comment added after a chapter, book, article, or research paper.

Endnotes are included at the conclusion of a research article and are organized chronologically according to the order in which the reference is presented in the document.

Where to use endnotes in a mla format paper

Endnotes are useful for giving readers information without deviating from the paper’s main points. They include explanations that do not obstruct the rhythm of the main content and do not clutter the page, and they credit the source of any quotations, figures, or summaries.

Endnotes are a section added to a research paper just before the “Works Cited” page, allowing the reader to view all the references simultaneously.

How to number endnotes

Endnotes are numbered sequentially across a section or essay, with the first endnote of every new chapter or section. The endnote numbers for each chapter or section are listed beneath the chapter or section breakdown in the reference section at the bottom.

  • When including endnotes, you must also consider some of the following requirements.
  • Enter endnote numbers in the text in superscript
  • In the reference section, ensure you use the same number to differentiate the endnote from that in the text.

Mla format on word

The Modern Language Association (MLA) offers formatting guidelines for usage in academic and professional settings. Many companies and schools demand that publications adhere to the MLA rules since it is consistent and simple to utilize.

If you are unfamiliar with word processing software, you are likely to struggle with, let’s say, how to make a header in mla format or write mla format essay. However, here are steps to help you set up mla format on word.

Step 1

Choose “File” from the main menu, then the “Page Setup” menu. Set the margins of the page. Set the margins to 1.0 inches apiece by selecting the “Margins” option. To save these options, click the “Ok” button.

Step 2

Change the font. The Times New Roman font with a 12-point pitch is preferred in the MLA for all manuscripts. Select the “Font” menu after selecting “Format” from the main menu. Set Times New Roman as the font and 12 as the font size.

Avoid using bold, italics, or underlining for the default text of the document. To save these options, click the “Ok” button.

Step 3

Set double spacing. Every line of text in an MLA document is double-spaced, meaning there is a space between the lines of text. From the main menu, choose “Format” then “Paragraph.” Select “Indents and spacing” from the menu. Click “Ok” after setting “Line spacing” to “Double.”

Step 4

From the main menu, select “View,” then “Header and Footer.” Decide on a title. Your document’s header section will be enclosed in a grey square with dotted lines. Your surname and page number are usually listed in the header of each page in an MLA format.

Click the picture of a pound symbol on the page to open the floating menu. Add a space after your last name. The page number will then be added automatically.

Format generator

Mla format generator can be a helpful tool if you don’t understand how to mla format a paper. It minimizes time wasting and can help you understand how to put the header in mla format when you are required to write a mla format header for an essay.

It is important to seek further knowledge from any mla format example available on the internet to understand how to mla format a paper properly.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, this article was informative. Up to this point, you should proceed to write a paper comfortably in mla format. If you need help writing a paper, our experts can help with affordable prices. Visit for more.

Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
Live Chat+1-631-333-0101EmailWhatsApp