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Reading Writing Lab

MLA Page Formatting


1 inch margins on all sides.½ inch margin before the header.The first line of each paragraph should be indented ½ inch (usually press "tab" once).The first line of block quotes is usually not indented, but the entire block quote should have an additional 1 inch margin from the left margin (press "tab" twice).


The entire paper is aligned left. Do not "justify"—the right margin should be ragged.The header, however, is always in the top right corner of the page.The title is centered.


12 point font sizeTimes New Roman is the generally accepted font (ask instructor for preferences).12 point, double-space throughout unless otherwise directed (even block quotes and works cited should be double-spaced).Use only one space after a period, unless your instructor prefers two.The title will be the same font and size as the rest of the text. Do not underline, italicize, bold, or enclose it in quotation marks.There is no extra space between paragraphs (Press "Enter" only once).


Top right of every page, including the first page and the Works Cited page.Type your last name followed by the page number.DO NOT put a comma between your name and the page number.DO NOT write "page" or "pg." or "p." before the page number.


Some professors will have their own preferences for what to include in your heading, but these are the general MLA guidelines:

Your Name Professor's Name Course Name Date (D Month YYYY)


A block quote is any quoted text that is four lines or more. While most quotes can be integrated into paragraphs, these long quotes receive their own special formatting (see the example below):

After an introductory phrase, press ENTER to start on a new line. The entire block is indented twice the length of a normal indent (1 inch instead of ½ inch)Do not add an extra indent to the first line, the block's left margin should be uniform.While physically separated from paragraphs, block quotes are still part of paragraphs. After the last line of the block quote, press ENTER to start a new line and resume the text of your paragraph. Because it is still part of the same paragraph from before the block quote, do not indent the line. The block quote does not need quotation marks around it, and the citation should be after the period of the last sentence. A block quote should appear as follows:

Her demonstrations of grief are also feminine dedication to the only other female in the home: Her voice is strong, young . . . the fan still moving steadily up and down, whispering the useless air. Then she flings herself across Addie Bundren’s knees, clutching her, shaking her with the furious strength of the young before sprawling suddenly across the handful of rotten bones that Addie Bundren left, jarring the whole bed into a chattering sibilance of mattress shucks, her arms outflung and the fan in one hand still beating with the expiring breath into the quilt. (1711) It paints a rather beautiful picture of a woman dedicated to care as she never stops fanning her mother, despite it being of no use now.