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Writing Help (formatting, templates, and writing samples): MLA Help

APA, MLA, Chicago styleguide help; sample assignment, templates, etc.

General Formatting

Basic guidelines for formatting a paper accorind to the MLA style.

General Guidelines

  • Always follow your instructor's guidelines - they may vary somewhat from the general guidelines
  • Your paper should be printed on white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • Double-space the text of your paper
  • Use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). 
  • Font size should be 12 pt., unless your professor says otherwise.
  • Margins of the document should be 1 inch on all sides, which is the default in most word processing programs.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
  • Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. Use the Tab key not the Space Bar.
  • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.


Tables & Graphs in your paper

Visuals such as graphs and tables should used to assist in communication, not take up space in order to meet minimum page requirements. Use them carefully and wisely. A good discussion and excellent samples can be located at the OWL website.

MLA in Word 2007

In Text Citations Demo

In-Text Citations

MLA uses the author-page method of citation. The last name of the author and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken are placed in parenthesis and inserted in the appropriate place.

When referencing or summarizing an entire source, mention the author name and title in the body of your text. When quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing a particular passage or idea of the original source, include the author name and page number in the parenthetical citation. However, if you mention the author's name in your text, include page number(s) only.

If a direct quote is fewer than four lines, infuse it into your own text and use quotation marks

However, if a direct quote exceeds four lines, make the quotation a free-standing indented block quote and DO NOT use quotation marks. 


End notes & MLA

If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).


All research materials from which direct quotes, paraphrases, or summaries are taken must be included in the Works Cited. The Bibliography, on the other hand, must include all cited sources in addition to any sources consulted during the research and writing process. 


Use EasyBib to organize your paper/project, create a bibliography/Works Cited page, and track resources. EasyBib is a free resource for students of Saint Leo University. You must first register in order to use it.Your Bibliography should include ALL resources referred to within your paper or presentation. It should be comprehensive enough so that your audience can locate all of the resources used to support your work. This can sometimes be difficult for website and other online resources, so it needs to be as complete and accurate as possible. The Purdue OWL website has a comprehensive list of various types of references and how to format them.