MLA Format

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Paper Format

Remember: MLA format is not for publication—you are writing a draft, even if it is a final draft. The paper you turn in is not meant to look pretty, but be very easily read and annotated by your teacher or editor. If you get creative with your page layout, you'll slow down the editing process.

Font: Times New Roman or Arial (probably the first)

Size: 12 pt (this is everything, including titles)

Line spacing: Double-spaced (remove extra spacing between paragraphs)

Page numbers: Your last name and number, e.g.: "Smith 1" (see Essay Header for how to add the number)

Indent: 1/2" first line of each paragraph (press Tab—so help me if you use spaces!)

Works Cited Page

The table below represents the information to be included for each reference in an MLA works cited page.

A great source of more detail is the Purdue OWL.

Basic rules

  • Punctuation and format (italics) are very important—match the examples below.
  • If you are unable to trace a piece of information, simply skip it.
1 Author. Entries are always alphabetized by author, so use Last, First organization.
2 Title of source. The title of the work you are writing about, or the source of the information you are quoting.
3 Title of container, The container contains your work. Sometimes a website, sometimes a book, sometimes there is no container. In that case, leave it blank.
4 Other contributors, Other contributors may be editors, adapters. narrators, performers, and translators. Write what they did before their name here.
5 Version, The version is rarely used, but may be an edition, a director’s cut, or a version of a textbook.
6 Number, May be a volume of a multivolume set, or a volume and issue of a journal, an issue of a comic book, or a season and episode of a TV show.
7 Publisher, The publisher of a book is found on the copyright page, the publisher of a website may be a government or organization, and a series is published by a production company.
8 Publication date, Publication date is the date the work was released. For books, it is the copyright date. For blogs, the date it was posted. Formatted day, mon. year. (12 Dec. 2013)
9 Location. Location is the location of the information in the resource. This may be page numbers in a book or journal, or a website URL. Journal articles use a DOI.


Brown, Millie Bobby. "Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak," Stranger Things. Season 2, episode 2, 21 Laps Entertainment and Monkey Massacre, 2017.

Hanlon, Christopher. "Eloquence and 'Invisible Man'," College Literature, vol. 32, no. 4, 2005, pp. 74-98.

Wells, H. G. The Invisible Man. Dover, 1992.