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MLA Style Guide

Below is an example of what an academic paper in MLA style should look like. There are bubbles the highlight features with instructions as to how to properly format the text in Microsoft Word. Click on the play buttons for short videos that walk you through each formatting technique.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: Format Your Paper in MLA Style


1 The first step is to open a new document in Microsoft Word.

We are going to start my creating the header:
Click Insert

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2 Click Page Number

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3 Click Top of Page

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4 Click Plain Number 3

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5 Type your last name to the left of the page number

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6 We have to change the font.
Click Home

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7 Click the font drop down menu

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8 Click Times New Roman

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9 Click Page 1 content

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10 Doubleclick onto the main area of the page to get out of the header settings

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11 We have to set the font for the paper. Click on the font drop-down menu

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12 Click Times New Roman

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13 Type in your name, first and last and Press Enter

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14 Type your instructor's name and Press Enter

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15 Type the name of the class and Press Enter

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16 Type the date: day, abreviation of the month., and year and Press Enter

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17 Click Center Align for the title of your paper

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18 Type the title of your paper and Press Enter

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19 Change the alignment for the body of your paper:
Click Align Left

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20 Start to write you paper

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21 A few more formatting notes:

Highlight all the content and
Click Paragraph...

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22 In the spacing section, Click Line spacing: drop-down menu

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23 Click Double

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24 Click Don't add space between paragraphs of the same ...

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25 Click OK

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26 Highlight the body of the paper

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27 Click Paragraph...

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28 In the Indentation section, Click Special drop-down menu

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29 Click First line

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30 Click OK

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31 Click Page 1 content

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32 Type in Page 1 content and Press Backspace

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33 Press Shift+Backspace

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34 Type up your paper now that it is all properly formatted.

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35 When you are ready to create your Works Cited page, Click Insert

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35b Click

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36 Click Pages

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37 Click Page Break so that you start on a brand new page without any funny issues of where it starts.

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38 Click onto the new Page

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39 Click Home

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40 Click Center

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41 Type Works Cited as the title of this page and Press Enter

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42 Now for the sources, Click Align Left

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43 Click Paragraph...

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44 In the Indentation section, Click Special:

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45 Click Hanging

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46 Make sure that Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style is checked

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47 Click OK

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48 Click Page 2

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49 Type in the author's name: 
Last name, First name.
Punctuation is important!

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50 Type "The Title of the Article in Quotation Marks."
Make sure the period goes before the closing quotation mark.

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50b Click

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51 Click Italic 
Type in The Name of the Journal that Published the Article,
and Click Italic to turn the italics off

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51b Click

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52 Type the volume and issue number:
vol. #, no. #,
Note: Because the abbreviation is happening in the middle of this "run-on sentence" that includes all the publication information, the abbrev. will be lower case unless it is a proper name, like a month.

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53 Type the page range and a period.

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54 Type the name of the database in Italic

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54b Click

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55 Paste the permanent link or DOI 
Press Enter

Repeat for all the sources and put them in alphabetical order based on the first letters of each entry.

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56 Don't forget to SAVE
Click File Tab

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56b Click

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57 Click Save

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58 Click Browse

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59 Type in File name: and Click Save

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59b Click

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60 That's it. Ask a librarian if you need any help formatting you paper in MLA style.

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Here's an interactive tutorial for the visual learners

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