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Citing Sources: Sellersburg: Formatting Your Essay

MLA Style: Basic Format

To learn how to format your essay in APA Style, check out this video from Purdue OWL.

Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting - The Basics


  • Leave margins of one inch at the top, bottom, and on both sides of the text.

  • Use an easily readable typeface set to a standard size (e.g. Times New Roman, 12 point).

  • Type your name, instructor’s name, course number and date, each on a separate line, one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin. Double-space between lines.

  • Double-space after the above information, and type the title of the essay and center it. Do not underline, italicize, use quotation marks, or use all capital letters in the title.

  • Double-space the entire essay, including the Works Cited page.

  • Indent the first word of a paragraph ½ inch (or 5 spaces) from the left margin.

  • Insert pages numbers at the top of each page, flush with the right margin. Include your last name (e.g., Smith 3).    

  • MLA does not require a title page. If your instructor requires a title page, format it according to his/her instructions.

MLA Style: Sample Paper