El Camino College Torrance | 2017-2018 Student Handbook - page 53

Why Use MLA Guidelines?
MLA (Modern Language Association)
formatting is the gold standard
for writing papers in liberal arts and the humanities.
Parenthetical citation format and Works Cited pages allow the reader to quickly and clearly
access the sources you have used.
By citing all sources you have used in a standard and clear format, you protect your work
from accusations of plagiarism.
Using MLA formatting gives your paper instant credibility in the academic world.
MLA Guidelines
Paper Size:
Print all of your MLA essays on standard, 8.5” × 11” letter-sized paper.
Font and Size:
Type all MLA essays and reports using 12 point, Times New Roman font only.
Margins and Spacing:
All lines of text throughout the essay should be double-spaced.
Margins on all sides should be set to 1”.
The default setting for Microsoft Word is 1.25”, so this
needs to be adjusted in
File > Page Setup > Margins.
Header, Heading, and Essay Title:
containing the page number and the student’s
last name should appear in the upper-right hand corner of each page.
In Microsoft Word, this can
be accomplished through
View > Header and Footer.
appears slightly below the Header but in the opposite (left-hand) corner.
The Heading should be double-spaced. Use the following format for the Heading:
• Student’s Name
• Professor’s Name
• Course Name or Number
• Date –
Use the international date format in MLA essays (day month year with no
5 May 2010
• The
Essay Title
should be centered in the line directly below the Heading.
• Do not use any extra spaces between the Heading and the Essay Title.
• Essay Title should be written in the same font size and formatting as the body of the
essay (no use of
, or underline).
Correct Use of Formatting and Punctuation:
• Paragraph Indentation: Indent the first line of each new paragraph 1/2” from the left-hand
margin. To achieve this, use the Tab key rather than pressing the space bar numerous times.
titles of longer works
must be
MLA Guidelines Cheat Sheet
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