The Format of the MLA Research Paper

by Stephen on October 1, 2012 · 7 comments

Here is how to setup your research paper using the MLA Style. If your instructor has a specific requirement, be sure to obey his or her instructions.

Type:How To:
Paper– Use white paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches. If you lack this paper, you can use the closest available size.
– Print on single side only.
Margins– 1 inch for all top, bottom, left, and right. (1 inch = 2.5cm)
– For page numbers, set at 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) from the top upper-right hand corner, flushed to the right margin.
Text Formatting– Font: Times New Roman
– Size: 12 points
– Do not justify the text
– Double-space the entire research paper
– Leave one space after a period
HeadingBegin at 1 inch from the top of the page, type:
– Your name
– Professor name
– Course number
– Due date

All on separate lines then begin your research paper title on a new line and center it (see first page sample below).

Do not:
– Italicize, underline, in quotation, boldface, or type in all CAPs your title.
– There is no period after your title or after any heading in your paper

Page Numbers– Place page number in all pages
– Place page numbers 1/2 inch from the top-right margin
– Type your last name before the page number: your last name followed by
  a space then page number.
Tables and IllustrationsPlace tables and illustrations as close as possible to the parts of the text to which they relate. A table is labeled Table, given an arabic numeral and titled. Photograph, map, drawing should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assign an arabic numeral and give a caption. See samples below.

Sample Of The First Page:

Here is a sample of the first page. If your instructor requires you to make a cover page, please follow instruction here.

Table Sample:

Figure Sample:


– MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition, Chapter 4, p115-122

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Justin Barnes August 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm


2 Mohamed ALZERK September 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Thank you for this valuable information

3 John kahema September 24, 2016 at 11:22 am

Thank you very much for your educational information.

4 Denise Hodgson November 26, 2016 at 8:06 pm

Thanks for clear concise instructions.

5 Philip March 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Thanks now my essay on EBOLA will go smoothly.

6 js March 18, 2017 at 3:25 am

simple and clear

7 Pete April 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm


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