This handout provides a quick reference to the basics of using MLA style. For complete guidelines, consult
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
ed., call number: LB2369 .G53 2009.
All page numbers provided
below refer to the
Major Updates from the New (7
MLA no longer requires underlining
. Titles, such as books and periodical titles, are now
rather than underlined
All entries in a reference list, whether print or electronic, must now include the medium in which
they have been published (Print, Web, DVD, Television, etc.)
URLs are no longer required in citations. MLA recommends that writers only include a web address
if the audience is unlikely to find the source otherwise.
Some sources do not have a date, publisher or pagination. MLA advises, where
applicable, to write n.d. for no date, n.p. for no publisher, and n.pag. for no pagination given.
Double space throughout paper, with no extra spaces between paragraphs.
Do not right justify.
Top, bottom, and side margins should be one inch.
Indent the first word of each paragraph by ½ inch or 5 spaces.
Do not use a title page for the research paper: instead simply type your name, instructor’s name,
course number, and date. This should be flush with the left margin.
Center the title of the paper. Do not underline
the title, or put in “quotation marks,” or set in ALL
Number all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, ½ inch from the top and flush with
right margin. Type your last name before the page number, and do not use “p.” before the number.