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MLA Style-Using MS WORD

Click on this link below to see a complete set of the directions with helpful photos on how to set up MLA style using MS Word 2011.


Follow these steps in this order to set up your paper to follow MLA guidelines using MS Word 2011.


  1. Open MS Word.   SAVE the document.
    Make sure when you save the document, you leave no spaces in the name and include the extension .doc or .docx after it.

For Example:      Callofwild.doc    or      death_penalty.docx      not      Call of the wild .doc


2.      Do not make a title page.


3.      Double-space your entire paper.
How To Directions: On your keyboard, press and hold down the “Command” key and then press the number “2” key once. Let go of the command key.


4.      Use the font: Times New Roman. Use the size: 12 pt.

How To Directions: Make sure you are in the “Home” tab in the ribbon.

Choose Times New Roman for the font.

Choose 12pt for the size.


5.      Set the margins of your document to be 1 inch on all sides.
How To Directions: Go to Format in the menu bar and move down and select Document. Make all four margins: Top, Bottom, Left and Right to 1”.


6.      Header: Type only your last name in the top right corner and select automatic page numbering.
How To Directions:
Go to View in the menu bar and move down and select Header and Footer.

On your paper click your mouse above the blue line. This will put you in the Header.

Click on the Right Alignment icon in the Ribbon.

Type in your Last Name only.

Press the space bar on your keyboard once.

Go to Insert in the menu bar and move down to Page Numbers. The Page Numbers Window will appear.

Make sure under Alignment, it says Right.

Make sure there is a check mark to the left of the words, Show number on first page.

Click the blue OK button in the bottom right corner of the window.


Click once on the blue Close button on your page to move you out of the Header.


7.      On the left side of your page, type in the following (It should be double spaced)

Your First and Last Name

         Teacher’s Name

         Class Name

         Date in MLA Style: Example: 12 January 2014


8.      Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin.

How To Directions: Go to Format in the menu bar and move down to select Paragraph.

Click on the pull-down menu under Special and choose First Line.

In the rectangle under By, it should now show, 0.5”

Click the blue OK button in the bottom right corner of the window.



9.      Center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in “quotation marks”; put the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters; do not capitalize prepositions or the articles (a, an, the) unless they are the first word in the title.

How To Directions: Click on the Center alignment icon in the Ribbon.


After you have typed in your title, press Return on your keyboard and  press once on the Left alignment tab in the ribbon.

10.      Begin typing. Do not double space between paragraphs.

Works Cited Page


1.      Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and your last name and page number will appear in the header as with the rest of your paper.

2.      Label the page, Works Cited, (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words, Works Cited, at the top of the page.

3.      Double space all citations but do not skip spaces between entries.

4.      Use Hanging Indentations: Indent the second and subsequent lines of each citation.

How To Directions: Go to Format in the menu bar and move down to select Paragraph.

Click on the pull-down menu under Special and choose Hanging.

In the rectangle under By, it should now show, 0.5”

Click the blue OK button in the bottom right corner of the window.



MLA Website

MLA stands the Modern Language Association

MLA format provides a consistent form for writing papers and citing references.

MLA style has been widely adopted by schools, academic departments, and instructors for over half a century. The association's guidelines are also used by over 1,100 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines and by many university and commercial presses. The MLA's guidelines are followed throughout North America and in Brazil, China, India, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries around the world.

If you would like more info, MLA has its own web site.

Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab

The Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab is a great resource for all phases of a research paper. It is has great help in preparing, conducting and incorporating research into your paper.

It also has great help with MLA formating.

Here is the web site....

How do you place quotes and cite them correctly

Want to see how a paper looks using MLA. Here is a excellent example with explanations for many parts.

MLA Sample Paper From Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab

Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Summarizing

What's the difference among quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.


Here is a great explanation of the differences and also how to cite each one...

Great Site To Help Teachers & Students With MLA Style: Valencia College

Click on the link below to go to Valencia Coillege's website on MLA Style.