In every field of research, there is a need to borrow facts or figures from other scholarly studies. Based on the requirement, the conventions used in various papers may vary. The MLA style follows a set of guidelines set by the Modern Language Association. This style is widely used in the field of humanities, especially in English, philosophy, foreign languages, and religious studies. High school and college writing assignments mostly follow this standardized writing style. Generally, MLA style of formatting is considered to be simpler and more concise compared to other styles.
Basic Guidelines for MLA Style of Formatting
- The standard 8.5 x 11-inch paper should be always used.
- Set a margin of 1-inch on all sides of the document.
- Give an indent of half inch/5 spaces (or you can give a tab) for the first line of each paragraph. Do not give extra space between the paragraphs.
- The entire text should be double-spaced.
- Use a clear font, such as Times New Roman and the point size should be 10-12 point.
- All the pages should be numbered (in some cases, there might be specific instructions not to number the first page). Place the page numbers on the top right-hand corner of the page and align them flush right. Your last name must precede the page number.
- The title should be centered. Do not give extra space above or below the title of your paper.
- You need not set a separate title page unless specified.
- Do not use boldface in an MLA paper unless specified.
- In case of a quoted sentence, punctuation (a period or comma) should be placed inside the quotation marks.
- Endnotes, if any, should be set on a separate page just before the ‘Works Cited’ page.
These basic guidelines are provided just to give you an outline idea about the structure of the MLA style of formatting. For further details, you can refer to the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual.