MLA Term Paper Format Guidelines

Term Paper Format
The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is broadly used for academic writing in the areas of Humanities and Liberal Arts. If you were assigned the MLA term paper format, make sure you are perfectly acquainted with the numerous requirements that are specific to this style.

General Features

  1. Use Times New Roman 12 pt. throughout the paper.
  2. Use double space.
  3. Make 1-inch margins on each side.
  4. Indent the first line of each paragraph at one and a half inch.
  5. Use a header to numerate all the pages in the upper right corner.
  6. Use italics for book titles throughout the text.
  7. Label your section headings with Arabic numerals.

The First Page

  1. Don't make a separate title page unless requested by your instructor.
  2. Subsequently, list your name, your teacher's name, your course, and the date of submission in the upper left corner of your first page.
  3. Center the title of your paper. Use standard capitalization.

In-Text Citations

MLA term paper format implies the parenthetical citation style. It means that you should put the basic source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase. In general, the author's last name and the page of cited text should appear in the text whereas the complete bibliographical description is stated in the Works Cited page. If the author of this text is unknown, parenthesize the shortened title of his work. Indicating the page number is obligatory, but identifying section (sec.), paragraph (par.), chapter (ch.) or volume (vol.) is also appropriate.


Although it is optional, MLA style recommends that all the notes be listed on a separate page (named Notes) before the Works Cited. Use Arabic numerals to list them. They have to correspond with notations in the text. Indent the first line of each footnote five spaces.

Works Cited Page

The reference page is provided in the end and gives more detailed information about the sources used for your research.
  1. Put the name Works Cited at the top of your page, centralized.
  2. Create the hanging indentation by indenting the second and subsequent lines of your titles at a half inch.
  3. Capitalize each important word.
  4. Use italics for large works, such as books and journals, and quotation marks for smaller works, like poems or articles.
  5. List the entries alphabetically by the author's last name.
  6. Arrange the works with author unknown by their title.

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