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A few years ago, students submitted their essay assignments using their own format. There wasn’t any standard to follow. As such, the students crafted their papers easily and without much effort.

Today, the Modern Language Association (MLA) provides standards for written assignments and academic papers. The MLA is an organization that developed the MLA format. It’s used by students, scholars, and researchers to uniformly format their academic works. If you need to submit your paper using the MLA style, you should know how to do this.

General formatting tips

Many instructors, publications, and professors allow the submission of papers electronically. But some still prefer printed assignments. When instructed to follow the MLA style, make sure to only use plain white paper. Choose high-quality papers to print your papers on.

When it comes to paper size, the recommended measurements are 8.5″ x 11″. There should be 1-inch margins all around the page. The only thing that should appear in the margin is the running head. While formatting the body, indent all the first words in each paragraph. The sentences should start 1-inch away from the margin on the left side of the page. The paper format for MLA style requires double-spacing. This means that you should double-space the entire document.

In terms of fonts, the MLA style allows for any font style. Just make sure it’s easy to read. The most common choices for fonts are Times New Roman and Arial. As for the size, using a 12-pt font size is the norm. This is great since this is the default size of MS Word and many other word processing programs.

Studying is already for a lot of students in college. As a student, you need to learn a lot of things as part of your education. When it’s time to write academic papers, doing it isn’t always easy. You need to learn generally formatting along with how to create a proper MLA heading that can make your paper stand out. There are many things to consider when following this style. Fortunately, there are now many online resources you can use to do this well. Applying these tips makes it easier to write academic papers.

Create a title page only if instructed

Creating a title page for your written assignment isn’t a requirement. The reason for this is that all of the relevant information would already appear on the first page. But some instructors may ask you to include this page. If your paper will have a title page, include all of the required information in the proper order. Start with the title of your paper and use the title case. Then follow with your full name, details about your course, and the due date or submission date given by your instructor.

Paraphrasing and quotations

Paraphrasing is when you include a speech or text taken from other sources. But instead of just copying content, you would summarize the ideas using your own writing style and words. Since the content gets revised, it isn’t considered the original author’s material anymore. So there is no need to credit the information source when following the proper MLA style.

Adding quotes can enhance the credibility of the paper and support ideas. It could also prove or emphasize a point. Since quotes come directly from other authors or persons, it’s essential to give credit using proper citations. 

Format the citations properly too

When using research material for dissertation or any other academic paper, it’s important to include citations. Create a new page at the end entitled “Works Cited.” This is where all the sources you referenced are alphabetically listed. It isn’t a requirement to include sources that you cited unless the paper is a potentially MLA annotated bibliography. Place the title at the top center of the page. After the title, enter one space, then insert the references. 

If an entry goes beyond a single line, every line after the first one should have a 1/2-inch indentation. This is a hanging indent. All reference entries should be double-spaced like all the other parts of the paper.


A written paper developed with a uniform or consistent method makes it easier to read. The MLA style of formatting is now used in language and literature. But it’s also used in other subjects too. The 9th edition of the MLA Handbook is the most recent, and it came out last April 2021. The handbook provides comprehensive citing instructions. It also includes guidelines for submitting works that comply with the MLA standards and rules.

Author’s Bio

Robert Everett is a motivated writer who finds his inspiration from new and different places that he travels to or by discussing his ideas with his close friends. His idea is always to come up with new writing ideas to enable him to write the best college essays and thesis. His free time is for playing guitar and biking.