THIS IS A SAMPLE OF WHAT YOUR MLA-STYLE PAPERS SHOULD LOOK LIKE:
Dec. 1, 2004
Basic Formatting of an Academic Paper
Begin the first paragraph of an academic paper two spaces (which is only one double-spaced line) below the centered title. Evenly double space all lines of text in the paper. Do not “stretch” an essay by tampering with the margins and line spacing. Use a 12-point font that is easy to read. Many professors prefer a font with serifs, or “feet” on the bottom of each letter. Do not use a font designed to imitate handwriting. Times New Roman is a popular and reliable font for academic work.
Indent each new paragraph. Do not skip extra lines between paragraphs.
The paper heading should be on the left of the first page only, as page numbers always go on the right. The heading is double-spaced, with the four pieces of information used above, in that order. Do not include section numbers, room numbers, or class meeting days unless your professor requests it. Generally, English professors do not want a separate title page, though you should ask to be sure. If you do create a title page, the four-line heading on page one should be omitted.
Page numbers belong in the top right margin. They should begin on page one and should include your last name, a space, and the number. Do not add punctuation or any type of abbreviation such as “pg.” In Microsoft Word, create this type of page number through the “headers and footers” option.
The title of your paper should be centered, but it should not be in bold, italics, underlining, or quotation marks. It should look just like the rest of your paper. Do not skip extra lines after the title or between the title and the heading. Main words, including the first and last words, of a title should be capitalized. See the title of this document for an example. Do not include a “by-line” under the title.