MLA Style Basics

MLA Style Basics

mla style MLA is one of the most common reference styles in academic paper writing. It is important to correctly use this style to ensure you adhere to such requirements.

The following are the basics of MLA Style to get you started. If you require more detail, visit


1. Use a legible font such as Times New Roman.
2. Text should be double-spaced.
3. Use a single space after every period or quotation marks.
4. Indent the first line of every paragraph one-half inch from the left margin.
5. Unless specifically required by your instructor, do not use a title page.

First Page:

1. List your name, the instructor’s name, course, title, and date on separate lines in the upper left hand corner (not the header) of the first page. Ensure the text is double-spaced.
2. Center the title on the following line. Again, double-spacing remains germane.
3. In the upper right corner (header), list your name followed by the page number. Follow-on pages should be numbered consecutively.

In-text Citations:

1. In-text citations should follow the format of (Author’s Last Name, Page #). The following is an example: (Franklin, 175).
2. The in-text citation should be inside the punctuation of the sentence.
3. If the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, only the page number is required in a MLA parenthetical reference.

Works Cited:

1. Begin the Works Cited page on a new page, center the title “Works Cited,” and alphabetize the entries.
2. The Works Cited page should have the same consecutively numbered header as the rest of your paper.
3. All lines after the first line of each entry in your Works Cited should be indented one-half inch from the left margin; this is otherwise known as a hanging indentation.
4. You must indicate the medium of publication for every entry.

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