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Citation Guides: How to Cite Your Sources

General Formatting

Note: Always follow instructions given by your professor, even if they contradict with MLA guidelines

Last Name & Page Number

  • Place your cursor in the header area of your document. Select right alignment.
  • Enter your last name, a space, then the page number.Screen shot of Microsoft Word's page Number option within the Header and Footer menu
    • Use a standard 12-point font (such as Times New-Roman)
    • Use standard numerals (1. 2, 3, etc)
    • Utilize the Page Number feature (right) within your Word Processor so the pages number themselves consecutively.

Your Name & Course Info

  • Place your cursor in the upper left area of your document (below the header area). Select left alignment.
  • Set your document to double spacing.
  • Enter your full name. Hit enter.
  • Enter your professor's name. Hit enter.
  • Enter your course name. Hit enter
  • Enter your date in the following format: Day Month Year. Hit enter.


  • Place your cursor in the line following the date. Select center alignment.
  • Type in your title. Only italicize or use quotation marks if referring to the title or another work within your title. Do not underline. You may write with Standard capitalization or Title Capitalization; do not write in ALL CAPS. 


  • Hit enter after your title. Select left alignment. Hit tab once to indent.
  • Begin typing your text. Be sure to maintain double spacing and indent with each new paragraph.

Sample header for MLA paper


  • One-inch margins should be used on all sides


  • Double space your entire paper - header, text, and works cited
  • Single space after punctuation marks
  • Indent each paragraph five spaces from the left margin (can be done by hitting the tab key one time)


  • Use a standard, readable 12-point font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc)

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