• MLA Style: Formatting Your Paper

    The way you set up or FORMAT your paper is important too--in this case, appearances DO matter.   If you took the time to write a fantastic paper, but neglected to type it properly or prepared it in such a way that it is difficult for a reader to follow, you have set yourself up for a poor reception of your work.   Nobody will be able to tell how brillant you are if they can't read the proof of your brillance--the paper itself. 
     The Modern Language Association (MLA) has a standard way that all papers should look.  Following these guidelines helps assue that the way your paper looks does not interfer with what your paper has to say.  
    Please remember that these are the most common guidelines for formatting your paper.  before turning in any assignment, always check with your teacher to be sure you followed his/her requirements as well.
    Paper & Typing
    • Choose plain, white 8 1/2-by-11-inch printer paper.
    • Use a legible font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier.
    • Use black font color--not blue or red or various colors throughout.
    • Don't forget to leave spaces after end punctuation.
    • Use italics and underlining consistently in your paper. 

    Margins & Spacing

    • Set your margins to 1 inch for each side and top & bottom.
    • Indent the first line of each paragraph one-half inch from the left margin (5 spaces or 1 tab).
    • Indent block quotations 1 inch (ten spaces) from the left margin.
    • Double-space the entire text of your paper.  This includes  your list of works cited.
    • Do not add extra spaces between paragraphs or after the title .

    Heading & Title

    • You do NOT need a Title Page unless you teacher requires one.  (See below)
    • Use the following HEADING & TITLE on the first page of your paper:
                      1.  In the upper left-hand corner, list your name, your instructor's name, the course,
                           and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
                      2.  Double space again and center the title. Don't underline your title or put it in
                           quotation marks; write the title in Title Case, not in all capital letters. Do not use a
                           period after the title.
                      3.  Double space between the title and the first line of the text
    • If your teacher requires a TITLE PAGE, do the following:
    • You should use the same type style and font size that you used throughout your paper.
    • Do not bold-face or italicize a title.
    • About 1/3 of the way down the title page, type and center your title.
    • About 2/3 of the way down the title page, double space and center the following information   in this order:
                                               Your Name
                                               Your Teacher's Name
                                               The Title of Your Class
                                               Paper Due Date in European Style (Day Month Year)
    Click on the link below to view an example:

    Page Numbers

    • You must number the pages of your paper. 
    • Number pages in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
    • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a  space with a page number  (ex:    Chortanoff 2  );  one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
    • Your  teachers may ask that you omit last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow their guidelines.
    Click on the link to view the first page of a paper that includes: Heading, Title, and page header

    Putting it Together

    Each teacher has his/her own preference when it comes to submitting your final copy--follow your teacher's instructions carefully.
    When you submit a paper to me you may choose from the options below:
    • Paper is secured with a staple or a paper clip in the upper left corner.
    • Paper is included in a plain pocket folder.  Paper is in one pocket (or secured with fasteners in middle of folder)and all other requested materials including paper in electronic format (disk/cd) is in second pocket.  Folder is clearly labeled (printed) with your Last Name, First Name, Date, and Assignment title on upper, front cover.

    ** Please DO NOT use plastic report covers/binders. 

    Click on the link to view  a complete Research Paper in MLA Style

    Submitting Your Paper Electronically

    • Your teacher/s may ask you to submit your paper electronically--this could mean saving your paper to a disk, burning it onto a CD, sending it as an attachement to an e-mail, or saving it to a particular folder accessible through the student shared folder.  Whichever method your teacher requests, please follow his/her guidelines.  HERE ARE A FEW HELPFUL HINTS:
    • If submitting on a disk or CD:
                     1.  Clearly label the disk or cd with your  name, the date, and the title of the assigment.
                     2.  Please make sure that the disk/cd has been properly formatted and that your work is proprerly saved on it and
                          can be opened with Microsoft Word. 
    • If submitting as an e-mail attachment:
                     1.   Save your document using your last name and first inital.
                     2.   Create a New Mail Message addressed to the appropriate teacher and create an attachment to the e-mail
                           containing your document.   DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT INTO THE BODY OF THE E-MAIL. 
                                  *** If you need help creating an attachment to an e-mail, ask for help.
    • If submitting to a folder opn the Student Shared Drive:
                    1.   Check with your teacher for proper folder name and location.  I have a folder marked "CHORTANOFF"  and
                          within this folder  are several folders for each class I teach--find the one for your period and save your work
                          here when requested.
                    2.   Save your document in the appropriate folder using your last name and first initial.
                                *** If you need help, just ask.