1.1–1.2: Margins and Text Formatting
Leave margins of one inch at the top and bottom and on both sides of the text. If you use Microsoft Word, one-inch margins may be the default setting for new documents, but you can verify the margins setting by clicking the Layout tab and then the Margins button in your document. See section 1.4, fig. 1.3, for margins used with a running head.
1.2 Text Formatting
Always choose an easily readable typeface (Times New Roman is just one example) in which the regular type style contrasts clearly with the italic, and set it to anywhere between 11 and 13 points, unless your instructor specifies a different font size. Generally use the same typeface and type size throughout the paper (however, see 7.3 on the formatting of note numbers, which most word processing programs automatically apply styles to). Do not justify the lines of text at the right margin, and turn off the automatic hyphenation feature in your word processing program. It is unnecessary to divide words at the ends of lines in a manuscript. (When checking word breaks in a professionally typeset text, consult your dictionary about where words should break.) Double-space the entire research paper, including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited. Indent the first line of a paragraph half an inch from the left margin. Indent block quotations half an inch as well. Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces.
Students: Submit your research paper written in MLA style for publication in “Writing with MLA Style,” a collection of student essays to appear online. Submissions are due 2 February.