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Writing Center: MLA Style
A guide to information to help you research and write more effectively.
A set of guidelines for formatting academic manuscripts and citing materials used by other writers. It is most often used by writers in the Humanities and Liberal Arts. Citing sources you've consulted gives your paper credibility, and adhering to MLA's citation guidelines protects you from unintentional plagiarism.
Formatting Your Paper in MLA Style
The format of your paper should generally include:
Typed manuscript on letter-sized (8.5x11in.) paper
Standard 12 point font in Times New Roman typeface
1-inch margins on all sides of text
Double-spacing of all text
Works Cited list on new page at the end of your manuscript
Page numbers in the upper right-hand header, preceded by your last name
No title page - list information like your name, course number, professor, and date in the upper left-hand corner of page one on separate, double-spaced lines.
Title centered directly above the text of your paper. Do not italicize, underline, or place title in quotations.
Sources not only provide information and ideas but can help establish your credibility and strengthen your argument when used as “expert witnesses.” You should cite your sources to avoid plagiarizing words and ideas and to allow readers to find your sources more easily. This quick guide consists a) A Checklist for Working with Sources; b) For MLA-Style In-Text Citations; c) For an MLA-Style Works Cited List. Consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th. ed. (New York: MLA 2009), for additional help.