FAQ's

 Freshman English

What Are the Specific Guidelines for MLA Format?

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Paper
*Use 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper of good quality.
 
 
 


Printing on a Computer
*Use a high quality printer.
*Choose a standard, easily readable typeface.

The PVCC Mac Lab uses a typeface called Palatino size twelve. This typeface is an easily readable typeface.  Another easily readable typeface is Times size twelve.

*Print or type on only one side of the paper.
 

 


Margins
*All margins top, sides and bottom are one inch.

These margins should never be changed in MLA format.
 
 
 


Line Spacing
*All text including quotations, notes, outlines, and the work cited page are double-spaced in MLA format.  There are never any single, triple, or quadruple spaces in the text.

Occasionally students see samples in textbooks which may illustrate addition triple or quadruple spacing before or after titles.  These illustrations are incorrect.  Everything in the text is double-spaced.  There are not exceptions in correct MLA format.
 
 
 


Paragraph Indention
*Indent paragraphs one-half inch from the left margin when using a computer.

Some textbooks instruct students to indent paragraphs five spaces.  Paragraph indentions on a computer are one-half inch from the left margin.  Use the five space paragraph indention rule only for typewriters.
 
 
 


Long Quotation Indention
*Indent direct quotations that are longer than four typewritten lines in your own text one inch from the left margin when using a computer.

Some textbooks instruct students to indent quotations that are longer than four typewritten lines ten spaces.  Indent ten spaces for a long direct quotation only when using a typewriter.
 
 
 


Title Page
Do not include a title page for an essay or research paper in MLA format unless there are prefatory materials before the text like a summary, an outline, or a table of contents.  Should you have prefatory pages, create a title page using the following guidelines:

*On the title page only, change the margins top, sides and bottom to two inches.

These wider margins will allow you to more easily center the personal information like the title of the paper, your name, and course information.

*On the first line of the text, type your title.  If the title goes longer than one line, be sure to double-space between the first and second line of the title.  Capitalize initial letters of each word in the title in MLA format except prepositions, articles, and conjunctions.  If you are not sure which words are prepositions, articles, or conjunctions, take the time to look the word up in the dictionary to ascertain by looking at the italicized abbreviation which part of speech it is so you know which words should be capitalized and which words should not be capitalized.

*One line above the exact center of your page, type the word "by."  Now double-space. On the line directly below the center of the page, type your full name, capitalizing only the first letter of each word.

*Five single spaces or three double-spaces from the bottom two inch margin, type your instructor's name.  Double-space and type on this line your course designation.  On the last line before you start a new page, type the date that the paper is due.
 
 
 


First Page Heading When No Title Page Is Needed
* When you have no prefatory pages, do not include a title page.  Instead, one inch from the top of the first page of text on the first line, type your name.  Capitalize the first letter of each word in your name.

*Double-space and on the next line of the text, type your instructor's name.  Capitalize the first letter of each word in your instructor's name.

 *Double-space again and type your course information on this line.  You may want to include section number or time to help further identify the course you are taking.

*Double-space and type the due date of the paper using one of these two formats: May 1, l998 or 1 May l998.  Do not use all numerals.
 
 
 


Sample Heading for First Page of Text When No Title Page Is Needed

Kristy Lyon

Dr. Black

English 102

1 May 1998
 
 
 


Page Numbers
Place your last name and the consecutive page number in the upper right hand corner of the paper, one-half inch from the top of the page and one inch from the right side of the paper--flush with the right margin.

When using a computer, do not change the margins to accommodate the page number, instead locate the header or footer command in your word processing software and type in your name and page number using the above directions.  Many word processors have a command to sequentially number each page.  Using this command will save a lot of time.  Remember that the page number should be in the same font and same type size as the text of your paper.



PVCC - The Learning Assistance Center's Online English Tutor -Freshman English - FAQ's - What Are the Specific Guidelines for MLA Format?
© 1998 MCCCD. This page last modified on March 15, 1998
Questions and Comments to Jeanne Franco at franco@pvc.maricopa.edu
http://www2.pvc.maricopa.edu/tutor/eng/engmlsp.htm