How to Set Up and Use MLA Format in Microsoft Word

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is an organization that provides guidelines for professional and academic writers. Many universities, employers, and professional agencies now require writers to adhere to the MLA style because it is easy to use and consistent.

In this article, we will explain how you can use the MLA format in Microsoft Word.

MLA format requirements

Here are the basic MLA guidelines:

  1. Use 1 inch margins on all sides
  2. Use a readable font like Times New Roman
  3. Use 12 point font
  4. Use double-spaced throughout the document
  5. Use indentation for the beginning of each paragraph
  6. Include a header that displays your last name and page numbers at the top right
  7. The first page should include your name, paper information and date
  8. The title of your article must be centered on the first page
  9. The end of the article should include a Works Cited page with MLA citations

How to configure MLA format in Word

Here’s how you can organize your Word document so that it complies with MLA guidelines. We’ll cover each requirement in turn, so start at the top and work your way down.

1. Set the margins

To set 1 inch margins:

  1. Click on the Arrangement tab (in older versions of Word this will be Layout).
  1. Select Margins then click Custom margins.
  1. For the High, Bottom, Right and Left margins, type 1 and press Walk in.
  1. Select OKAY.

2. Set font and font size

To change the font:

  1. Select the House tongue.
  1. Click it Character font drop-down menu and select the Times New Roman font (or a similar font like Calibri).
  2. Click it font size drop-down menu and select 12.

3. Set Double line spacing

To define double spacing:

  1. Select the spacing scrolling menu. This icon looks like blue up and down arrows next to four horizontal lines. Click on 2.

4. Set the Notch

To set paragraph indentation:

  1. Right-click the document and select Paragraph.
  1. Make sure the Withdrawals and spacing the tab is selected.
  2. Click on the drop-down menu under Special and select First line. Then click on the field under By and type 1cm.

Alternatively, you can press the tongue key before starting each new paragraph.

5. Set the On your mind

To define your header:

  1. Click it Insert tongue.
  1. In the On your mind & Footer section, select On your mind and click White (the top option).
  1. In the header, type your name and press the spacebar once.
  2. Click it House tongue.
  3. Select Align Text on the right in the Paragraph section.

6. Set the Page number

To set page numbers:

  1. Using your cursor, click in the on your mind after your name.
  2. Select the Header and footer tongue.
  1. Select Page numberClick on Current position and select Ordinary number.

7. Include key information about the First page

Now that your formatting is set up, it’s time to include the required information on the first page of your document.

It should be one to four lines with your full name and other key information such as your course name, course number, instructor name, and date (written in day, month, year format).

After the date, click on the Walk in enter the title of your document or research paper and center the text by pressing Align text center in the House tongue.

8. Format it Works Cited Page

If you include citations in your document, these must also comply with the MLA Handbook. The list should be:

  1. Headed “Works Cited” at the top of the page
  2. In alphabetical order
  3. left justified
  4. Double interline
  5. Indented with a suspended indent

To include a negative indentselect your citation list, right click on your document and select Paragraph. In the Notch section, select the drop-down list below Specialselect Suspendedand click OKAY.

It’s time to write

Now that you’ve properly formatted your MLA paper, it’s finally time to start writing. With this formatting guide, you will have no trouble passing the MLA requirements. Just be sure to double-check your document before submitting!

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