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MLA Format Microsoft Word 2016

This tutorial will guide you through the process of setting up Microsoft Word 2016 for your MLA Format 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 Microsoft Word 2016, you are placed under the Home tab (like in the image below).
  2. Click on the font and select Times New Roman.
  3. Click on the size and select 12.

II. How to Set the Margins in Microsoft Word 2016:

  1. Click on the Layout tab => click on Margins => click on Normal => the margins will then automatically be set to 1 inch top, 1 inch bottom, 1 inch left, 1 inch right.

III. How To Create a Header in Microsoft Word 2016:

  1. To create the header with your last name and automatic page numbering, click Insert => Page Number => Top of Page => then click on Plain Number 3.
  2. Press the Left Arrow key on your keyboard (to deselect the inserted page number)
  3. Now type in your Last Name => press the Spacebar on your keyboard once to make a space between your Last Name and the page number.
  4. Now we need to set the proper font: Select your Last Name + Page Number => click on the Home tab => change the font to Times New Roman & Size 12.
  5. You are done with the header.
    To close the header, double click anywhere outside the header.
    To open the header again, use the same method, simply double click on the header.

IV. How to Setup Line Spacing to Double Spaced in Word 2016:

  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:Note: If your instructor requires you to create a cover page, please follow instructions here to make the cover page and the alternate first page.

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 the URL, Microsoft Word automatically applies the hyperlink to it. To remove the hyperlink, right-click on the URL => choose Remove Hyperlink.

Sample Works Cited Page:

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Take care!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Dimetri Crawford March 24, 2021, 10:29 pm

    I can not find the 1/2 inch bar ruler thing.

  • Sue Ann Miller January 21, 2020, 12:39 pm

    Hi! Does anyone pay attention to the exact 1 inch bottom margin any more? My software will get close, but nothing I can do will keep it at exactly 1 inch. This was pointed out to my by a colleague who was measuring. We use Word 2016. If anyone has a trick or tip, please let me know. Thanks!

    • MK Fusetti May 27, 2020, 5:59 pm

      Use a Custom margin and change only the bottom margin to .9 or .85 in stead of 1″.

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