MLA (Modern Language Association) style is commonly used for formatting research papers in the humanities, such as literature, language, and cultural studies. Here are the main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style:
- Margins: Set one-inch margins on all sides of the document.
- Font: Use a legible font such as Times New Roman, size 12.
- Line spacing: Use double-spacing throughout the document, including the title page, references, and quotations.
- Title page: Include a title page with your name, the instructor’s name, the course title, and the date.
- Header: Create a header with your last name and the page number in the upper right-hand corner of each page.
- In-text citations: Use parenthetical citations to indicate the source of a quotation or paraphrase. The citation should include the author’s last name and the page number(s) of the source.
- Works Cited page: Include a Works Cited page at the end of the document, listing all sources cited in the paper. The Works Cited page should be organized alphabetically by the author’s last name.
- Hanging indents: Use a hanging indent for the second and subsequent lines of each Works Cited citation.
- Italics: Use italics for titles of larger works such as books, journals, and websites, and use quotation marks for titles of shorter works such as articles, poems, and songs.
- Page numbers: Number all pages in the upper right-hand corner, including the Works Cited page.
These are the basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style. For more detailed information, refer to the MLA Handbook, 8th edition.