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MLA 9th Edition Style Guide: Formatting your Paper

This guide will assist you in formatting in-text citations and a Works Cited list in the current MLA style.


Below you will find guidelines to help you format your paper in MLA style. Although these guidelines are widely used in educational settings, it is always advised to follow the specific instructions given by your professor. More detailed information is available on the MLA Handbook Plus website, specifically the section Introduction to Formatting your Research Project

Text formatting

For all of the following instructions, always make sure to be consistent throughout your paper

Font - use a readable font or typeface (Examples: Arial or Times New Roman). The idea is to make your text clearly distinguishable from italics.

Size - choose between 11 and 13 points

Line Spacing - double-space your entire paper (header, quotations, notes, works cited list). Leave one space after the period of each sentence.

Indentation - first line of each paragraph should be .5 inches from left margin. Block quotations are .5 inches as well.


  • 1 inch on all sides
  • first page should include on the top, left side
    • your name
    • your professor's name
    • your course name
    • date (day month year)
  • alignment
    • all pages aligned left (flush left style)
    • do  not use "justify"

 Check out the sample paper below for more details.


The running head includes your last name and page number. This will appear on the top, right side of all the pages of your paper. More details from the MLA Handbook Plus are available here: