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MLA Format Microsoft Word 2010

This easy tutorial will guide you through the process of setting up Microsoft Word 2010 for your MLA Format research paper.

It is very easy and we are going to accomplish the following settings:

I. How to Set the Font and Size:

  1. When you first start Word 2010, you are placed under the Home tab (like in the image below), if not, click on the Home tab.
  2. Click on the font and select Times New Roman.
  3. Click on the size and select 12.

Note: If you already typed your text, you need to select all your text before you select the font in order to apply the text to the new font. To select all text, press CTRL+A (that means holding down the CTRL key, keep holding it then press the A key on your keyboard).

II. How to Set the Margins in Word 2010:

  1. Click on Page Layout => then click on Margins.
  2. Make sure the margins for top, left, bottom & right are set to 1″.

III. How To Create a Header in Word 2010:

  1. To create a header with your last name and automatic page numbering, click Insert => Page Number => Top of Page => then click on Plain Number 3.
  2. Now type in your Last Name and leave a space before the page number. Note: make sure the font is being set to Times New Roman and size 12.

IV. How to Setup Line Spacing to Double Spaced in Word 2010:

  1. Click on the Home tab.
  2. Click on the Line Spacing button.
  3. Click on 2.0.

V. How to Enter the First Page Information:

  1. Type your full name => press Enter.
  2. Type your professor’s name => press Enter.
  3. Type course title => press Enter.
  4. Type your paper’s due date => press Enter.
  5. Click on the Align Center icon on the formatting toolbar (to center your blinking cursor) => Type the title of your paper, capitalizing the first letter and all major words and proper nouns. Do not use italics, boldfaced type, underlining, or all caps to format your title. Do not type a period at the end of the title => press Enter.
  6. Click on the Align Left icon (to bring your blinking cursor to the left).
  7. Click on the Tab key to indent 1/2 inch to begin your first paragraph. Use the Tab key on every next new paragraphs. Your completed setting should look like this:

VI. How to Setup the Works Cited Page:

Follow this how-to when you are ready to work on your Works Cited page. The Works Cited page has the following characteristics:

  • A heading “Works Cited” centered one inch below the top edge of a new page. Do not bold or underline this heading.
  • No indent on the first line of each entry. If an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines 1/2 inch from the left margin.
  • Alphabetize entries in your list of works cited by the author’s last name, using the letter-by-letter system.

Immediately after typing the final line of your paper, press the CTRL key and the ENTER key at the same time to begin a new page (another method is to insert a page break from the toolbar). Your header with your last name and automatic page numbering should appear at the top right of your paper.

  1. Click on the align center icon so that the text is centered.
  2. Type Works Cited (do not underline, boldface, italicize, or enclose the title in quotation marks).
  3. Press the Enter key once to begin a new line.
  4. Click on the align left icon so that the text is aligned left.
  5. The feature to setup indentation on the subsequent line/lines is called Hanging Indent. To setup hanging indent, click on Home => click on Paragraphs => under Special, choose Hanging => enter the value By 0.5 (or 1/2 inch) => click OK to apply the settings.
  6. Now type your sources. If you have Internet sources, when you type in the URL, Microsoft Word automatically apply the hyperlink to it. You should remove the hyperlink by right-clicking on the URL => choose Remove Hyperlink.


I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Take care!

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • stellai October 10, 2021, 2:04 am

    You saved my thesis’s life. Thank you so much.

  • Nick November 16, 2017, 11:14 pm

    Very, very helpful. Now I won’t get yelled at in AP English

  • Jamila May 4, 2017, 9:23 am

    Thank You so much. Really helpful.

  • Kasandra January 30, 2017, 10:39 am

    It was a little confusing but ill give it a try i guess #Go Evens Eagles!!

  • Raj September 13, 2016, 12:38 pm

    Love itttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

  • rizelle August 25, 2016, 6:54 pm

    idk how old this is, but I appreciate whoever made it. this helped me a butt load. thanks!

  • Jeremiah April 19, 2016, 7:36 pm

    This is helpful, but incomplete.

    MS Word, by default, adds space between each paragraphs, which causes all sorts of problems with MLA formatted papers.

    The way to remedy this is to click the paragraph tab (just like when you format the hanging indent for the work cited). You want to change the space after from 8 point down to 0 point, and then click the Dialogue Box that says, “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.”

    This should remove extra spaces that pop up between paragraphs and in the MLA header.

  • jesse April 4, 2016, 8:34 pm

    HELPS ALOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BoKai March 29, 2016, 12:00 am

    This saved my grade for my language arts class! 🙂

  • bay December 4, 2015, 3:38 pm

    Thank you this is a very very helpful website!!!

  • Joel December 1, 2015, 9:12 pm

    Thanks so much! Now i can finish my essay well.

  • Cameron October 27, 2015, 1:32 pm

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! Helped me greatly when typing an essay.

  • Mina October 11, 2015, 9:38 pm

    This was very helpful!! Thank you very much!

  • Page September 25, 2015, 8:54 pm

    Thanks, it was exactly what i was looking for!

  • SuperCool September 18, 2015, 11:15 am

    Thanks. Do you remove space after paragraphs?

  • Hannah May 3, 2015, 1:58 pm

    It was helpful but confusing.

  • Idgad April 29, 2015, 1:03 pm

    Thanks, help out very much!

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