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Citing Sources: Formatting your paper in MLA style

A guide to citing sources in MLA, APA, and Chicago format.

Formatting papers

Papers written in MLA 9 format have the following recommended features:

NOTE: Always check with your instructor to see if they have any special instructions of their own.


  • One inch margins at top, bottom, and sides of paper
  • Use double-spacing throughout the paper, including quotations, notes, and Works Cited page.
    • In Microsoft Word:  Select all text > click Home tab > in Paragraph box, click Line Spacing icon > select 2.0
  • One space (instead of two) after each period


  • No separate title page is necessary
  • Include your name, instructors name, course number, and date in top left corner of first page, double-spaced and on separate lines
  • Center the title.  Do not italicize, underline, or bold the title.


  • Add your last name + page number in the upper right-hand corner of each page
    • In Microsoft Word, go to Insert > Page Number (in Header & Footer) > Top of page > select top right corner
    • Double-click on the page number to insert your last name before the number.  This automatically adds it to all the pages throughout your paper.


  • Add tables and illustrations as close as possible to the part of your paper where you discuss them
  • Tables are labeled Table.  Images, maps, drawings, graphs, and charts should be labeled Figure.  If using multiple tables or charts, include a number for each table or chart (e.g. Table 1, Table 2).
  • Include the source of the table or figure below it, in MLA notes style.



Example of MLA format:


Smith 1

Andrew Smith

Professor Lewis

WRT 101

6 April 2020

Cyberbullying and Its Impact on Today's Youth

        Recent events in the news have shed light on the growing seriousness of cyberbullying

for today's youth. Cyberbullying can be defined as the use of the internet, cell phones, or

any other electronic communication devices to spread harmful or embarrassing information

about someone. A 2010 report from Anglia Ruskin University notes how the impact of

cyberbullying compares to that of face-to-face bullying:

Cyber-bullying has some shared characteristics with traditional bullying such as repetition, power imbalance and intention. Cyber-bullying is also different to traditional bullying because it is anonymous, rapid, and victims cannot escape from it. When young people are involved in sending nasty text messages and emails about another young person they might not be aware of the potential harm they are causing to them, but bullying in all forms can have a negative effect on a young persons mental health. (O'Brien 9)                                                                                    

A study conducted over two years in Colorado on the prevalence of cyberbullying indicated

that it is less common than, face-to-face bullying. However, the impacts on victims can be

just as traumatic.

Table 1. Percentage of Youth Self-Reporting Physical and Internet Bullying Perpetration

by Grade

Source: Kirk R. Williams and Nancy G. Guerra, "Prevalence and Predictors of Internet

Bullying" Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 41, no. 6, 2007, pp. S14-S21.