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MLA Format 8th Edition: Formatting the Paper

How to create citations using the 8th edition (2016) of MLA Format, which is the standard for all English classes at Cuesta College

Rules for Formatting the Paper

Unless you are told otherwise by your instructor, format your paper according to the following MLA Style rules:

  • Double-spaced text
  • No extra space between paragraphs
  • 12 point Times New Roman font
  • 1" margins top, bottom, left, right
  • Indent first line of each paragraph by 1/2"

title page with MLA formatting



Video on MLA Format

More Detail on Formatting

Sample Papers

Microsoft Word Settings for Formatting the Paper

Word 365 header

Setting Up Software for MLA, Word 2003 through Word 365

Knowing proper MLA formatting for your paper is one thing; knowing how to get your version of software to comply is another. Check this link for tips, since the settings vary depending upon the Word version you are using.

Google Docs Template for Formatting the Paper

Using a Google Template:

  1. On the Google Docs menu, click on File => New => From Template.
    Google Docs template
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see many professional templates.
  3. Scroll all the way down
  4. Under the Education category, click on the template that says “Report MLA
  5. The template will be copied to your Google Drive and you are ready to type your essay.
  6. Ignore the formatting of the Works Cited page, because it is not using the updated 8th edition of MLA.


Video: Setting up Hanging Indent in Google Doc

Formatting Other Software for MLA