setting up an essay in mla format

setting up an essay in mla format

Setting up an essay in MLA format, whether it’s 1000 words or any other length, involves following specific formatting guidelines. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up your essay:

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1. Margins and Spacing:

  • Set one-inch margins on all sides of the page (top, bottom, left, and right).
  • Use double-spacing throughout the entire essay, including the title, headings, and Works Cited page.

2. Font and Font Size:

  • Use a legible 12-point font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.

3. Header:

  • In the top-left corner of the first page, include your name, your instructor’s name (if required), the course name (if required), and the date. This information should be on separate lines and aligned to the left margin.
[Your Name]
[Instructor's Name]
[Course Name, Section Number]
[Date in Day Month Year format, e.g., 4 September 2023]

4. Title:

  • Center the title at the top of the first page. It should be in plain text, not bolded, italicized, or underlined.
Title of Your Essay

5. Paragraph Indentation:

  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches (or one tab key press) from the left margin.

6. Page Numbers:

  • Include your last name and the page number in the top-right corner of each page as a header. Use an automatic page numbering function in your word processor to do this.
Smith 1

7. In-Text Citations:

  • Cite sources within the text using parenthetical citations (author’s last name and page number) when quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s work. For example: (Smith 45).

8. Works Cited Page:

  • List all the sources you used in your essay on a separate Works Cited page at the end. Follow the MLA format for Works Cited entries.

9. Title Case and Italics:

  • Use title case (capitalize major words) for titles and headings within your essay.
  • Italicize titles of longer works (e.g., books, films) and use quotation marks for shorter works (e.g., articles, poems).

10. No Extra Spaces: – Do not add extra spaces between paragraphs or after headings.

11. Conclusion: – Conclude your essay with a clear and well-structured conclusion that summarizes your main points and restates your thesis.

By following these formatting guidelines, you’ll be able to set up your essay in MLA format correctly. Always refer to your instructor’s specific requirements, as they may have additional instructions or preferences for formatting and content.

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