MLA Format Set-up

Steps to set your paper up with correct MLA format:

  • Margins – should be correct (1 inch all around) in default unless you are using MSWord older than 2007
  • Font – default of Calibri 11 is fine.  You may also choose Arial 11 or Times New Roman 12 or Century Gothic 11.  (NO ARIAL 12!!)
  • Spacing
    1. Open the paragraph drop-down tab (in Word Online choose the Layout tab and use the 3 dot menu on the far right to find the paragraph dropdown)
    2. Change the spacing to DOUBLE
    3. Change the “after” spacing to ZERO (this keeps Word from adding extra space between lines when you enter manually)
    4. Save these settings (if you have this option)
  • Page numbers
    1. Click in the header area at the top of the page (for Word Online – choose INSERT & then Page #)
    2. Choose top of page – right hand side
    3. Leave the page number there, but add YOUR last name & a space before 1 (for Word Online it will say < # > – leave this as is)
    4. Click back outside the header
    5. In WordOnline you won’t be able to see these page #s when you are in the document – no worries, they are still there.
  • Top info – (Top of page 1 only, NOT in the header)
    1. At top left type YOUR NAME – enter
    2. Teacher’s name (Mrs. Connolly) – enter
    3. Course name (English ___) – enter
    4. Date (number month and year)  Ex. 8 September 2021 -enter
  • Title
    1. Click the centering option (It’s on the HOME tab)
    2. Type your title  – USE appropriate title capitalization and standard font (this means NO bigger, NO darker, NO underline, NO extra space below it) – enter
  • Typing the paper
    1. Click the left align button to move back to the left
    2. Use the TAB button to indent this paragraph (and every other one)
    3. Start typing your paper

TIP:  You can set this format up for this class, use the SAVE AS option (name it MLAtemplate), and then open it each time you start a new paper with the format all set up and ready to go.  Just be sure to change the document name when you save again to reflect the piece you happen to be working on.  (I recommend saving a template outside your shared folders and then copying it into the draft folder when you get ready to write.  Once the paper is itself, name the document accordingly, so you don’t have a million papers named MLAtemplate).

Document naming system:

  1. YOUR last name
  2. Type of writing (MB, QW, etc)
  3. # if it applies

Example:  Smith QW#4 or HernandezMB#6

See the Purdue OWL to clarify any of the above info.