MLA style needs one-inch margins on both sides of your paper. That indicates there is one inch of space between the text and the paper's edge. MLA style also dictates that all papers be double-spaced. Look in the "Paragraph" section of your "Format" menu to set spacing. You can also go into your Editor program and change this setting.
For example, if you were to type a short letter and then press the space bar, the following lines would appear: "This is a test." The next space will make another line, and so on. There should be an indent after each paragraph as well. This tells the reader that he or she is now entering a new thought or idea.
To create a blank line in Microsoft Word, simply hit the return key twice after typing the last sentence of a paragraph. It is important not to include any spaces or tabs here because they will cause errors when formatting your document later.
To create a blank line in Google Docs, just click the "Enter" symbol at the end of a paragraph. This will automatically insert a blank line below the paragraph. To insert a blank line in other programs such as Apple Pages, use the "Insert" tab and select the "Blank Line" option.
MLA Formatting Guidelines in General Your document should be in 12-point font. MLA demands that ordinary and italicized text be plainly identifiable from one another, regardless of typeface. Your paper's text should be double-spaced. This means every line of text should be set with a space between each letter or word. Punctuation such as commas, periods, question marks, and exclamation points should be placed at the end of each sentence. In general, use only single punctuation within sentences.
When writing in MLA style, it is important to follow certain conventions. One of these conventions is separating quotations with quotation marks. Another is spelling words in titles, headings, and footnotes. Yet another is dividing long passages into shorter segments by inserting page numbers for each section of your paper. Although this may seem like a lot of work, following these guidelines will ensure that your essay reads smoothly and accurately.
If you are having trouble deciding how much space to leave before typing the next sentence, try using the "rule of thumb" method: If you were to read this sentence now, would you know where to stop reading? If not, the answer is too much distance between sentences. Reduce the space accordingly.
Margins on Pages The MLA Handbook recommends setting your work's margins to one inch, which means leaving one inch of space between the text and the edge of the paper. The default margin size in Microsoft Word is one inch, while some word processing systems set it to 1.25 "or 1.5." If you set your document's margins to 1.5 inches, only 1.5 inches of space will show on each page. Set your document's margins to 1 inch if you want 8-point type at a normal size page.
If you reduce your document to a smaller size by using the View menu or clicking the down arrow next to the Page Number box, the margins will be reduced too. For example, if you view your document in Two Point Landscape mode (2 points = 2.5 inches), there will be 1.5 inches of space on both sides of the text.
Setting Your Own Margins In Word 2007 and later, settings for left and right margins can be found under Home > Paragraph > Left and Right Margins. By default, the horizontal spacing between paragraphs is also called a "left margin," but this can be changed by going to Home > Paragraph > Indentation and checking the box next to Don't indent from left margin.
For older versions of Word, you can set the left and right margins separately by typing the amount you want in the margin area.
MLA style requires 1-inch margins all around. The whole work, including the title block and Works Cited list, should be double-spaced. There is no additional space after the title, between paragraphs, or between items in the bibliography. 12 pt typeface (usually Times New Roman) is recommended.
In addition to the basic formatting requirements, an academic research paper in MLA style should have these elements:
A heading paragraph that serves as both a summary of the page's content and as a guide for readers when they begin to read the article/chapter/book/etc. This heading should be written at the beginning of each page of text with an indent of one half inch from the left margin. The heading should be limited in length to a maximum of 250 words or less.
An introduction that gives the reader information about the topic being discussed. The introduction should include a brief overview of the topic, why it is important, and any previous research that has been done on the subject. Introduction pages should be limited to 500 words or less.
A body of text that provides factual information or opinions about the topic raised in the introduction. Text body pages should be limited to 6,000 words or less. If there is more than one author involved, separate their names with a hyphen (-). If the work is a book, include its title in the works cited section at the end of the paper.
Use a readable font and double-space your paper's content (e.g., Times New Roman). MLA advises that the regular and italic type styles contrast sufficiently to be distinguished from one another. The typeface should be 12 point. Use either Arial or Helvetica as a substitute for Times New Roman.
In addition to creating a space between sentences, a full stop at the end of a sentence and a comma before the word "and" are required in MLA style. There should be a space after the punctuation at the end of a sentence.
To create a title page for your paper, follow these steps: Start with the subject line of the paper followed by its name; then list the author's names next to their corresponding affiliations (if any); finally, include the year that the paper was published.
An example of a title page would be: Finance, Management Accounting Research Journal. Published Year 2014.
On the first page of your paper, ensure that the title is included in the top left-hand corner. This will help readers identify the topic quickly. The title should be written in capital letters and should not exceed 16 characters.
Next, identify the author(s) and date the paper was published. The author's name should be given first, followed by the date.
Set your document's margins to 1 inch on both sides. The first line of each paragraph should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. MLA suggests that you use the "Tab" key instead of pressing the space bar five times.
MLA Paper Formatting Fundamentals