How To Set Up Your Paper in MLA Format
- Open a new Word document.
- Change font style to Times New Roman.
- Change font from size 11 to size 12.
- Change paragraph spacing from 1.15 to 2.0.
- From the same icon that you changed the paragraph spacing, click "Remove space after paragraph" to get rid of the extra line. Otherwise, the computer will add an extra space every time you hit "enter".
- Type your heading (your name, my name, class and period, and date with the day first, then the month, then the year, and WITHOUT using any commas).
15 August 2018
- Click the icon Center for the title of the paper (do NOT change the size from 12 or the font style —this means no italics, no bold, no underlining, and do NOT put quotes around your title)
- After you type your clever, orginal title, click the icon Align Text Left, and then press the tab key ONCE to indent the paragraph (and each paragraph after).
- If your paper is more than one page, you need to set up pagination, which magically numbers your pages for you. :)
- Click Insert tab (at the top of the screen).
- Click on Header & Page Number.
- Scroll down hover over Header.
- Several options appear, so you must scroll to the first option (a 1 is on the first page and a 2 is on the second page). Once you do this, you will be taken to the header of your page and a number 1 will appear in the upper right corner.
- Do NOT change the number. The computer will automatically number your pages for you, but only if you do not touch the number.
- To get your name to appear before the number, you must type it. Be sure to capitalize the first letter.
- After the last letter of your name, press the space bar so that you have a space between your name and the page number.
- Highlight your last name and the number 1. Change font to Times New Roman and the size to 12.
- Click in front of your last name and hit "enter" twice so that the pagination does not get cut off by the printer.
- Highlight both your name & the page number & change the font size to 12 and the font style to Times New Roman
Double click in the body of the paper to get out of the header area.
This next part is not MLA required, but I have found it helpful to see the ruler at the top and sides of my documents. To get this feature, click "View" and then find "ruler" and click the box in front of it. This will help you figure out why tabs or margins stop functioning correctly. Another helpful tool is the "show paragraph marks" symbol, which is a paragraph symbol (directly under the "MathType" tab). That will show you all keystrokes, allowing you to see what keys you have pressed and how they have affected the format of your paper.