Creating MLA Format with Word
Standard font such as “Times New Roman” or “Arial” in size 12
MLA format requires that you use a standard, readable font like those named at the left. Please avoid using decorative fonts in the body of your writing or font sizes that are too small (10, 8, 6) because they are difficult for readers to see. Also avoid font sizes that are too large (16, 18, etc.); they can give readers the impression that you’re simply trying to fill up space.
Font names and sizes appear at the top of the document screen. You may change them before you begin typing by clicking the corresponding black arrows and making your selections. Or you may “select” some text first by pointing the mouse cursor (the one that looks like a capital “I”) at the beginning of a line or passage, pressing down the mouse key, and dragging the cursor to the right or downward until the text you want to change is highlighted with a black background. Release the mouse key; then select the font style and size. Clicking anywhere in the darkened background will display the text normally again.
The default page settings in Word are normally set at one inch. To check, click the “File” menu and select “Page Setup.” A window will open showing the margin settings. If the left and right margins are set at 1.25” that’s fine. If, however, the margin settings are too large or small, click the black arrows next to each setting until it shows 1”.
Heading in the upper left-hand corner of the page
1. Move the flashing cursor to the top of your document by pointing your mouse cursor in front of the first line of text and clicking once.
2. Press the “Enter” key a couple of time to create some space between the first line of text and the heading you’re about to create.
3. Point your mouse cursor at the top of the document screen and give it a click. Make sure the “Align Left” button on the toolbar is selected.
4. Type your full name. Press “Enter.”
5. Type your instructor’s name. Press “Enter.”
6. Type the name of the course. Press “Enter.”
7. Insert the date by clicking “Insert” on the menu bar. Click “Date and Time.” Click the date in the format you want it to appear; then click the “OK” button.
1. Insert two lines after your heading by pressing “Enter” twice.
2. Use your mouse arrow to click on the “Center” feature on the toolbar (it should look like a button with six rows of centered lines). The flashing cursor should move to the center of the screen.
3. Type the title of your essay. The first letter of each important word in the title should be capitalized. (Note: Capitalizing small words like “a,” “the,” “in,” etc. is optional unless one of these is the first word of the title.)
4. Note: There is no need to underline the title of your essay.
1. “Select” the text of your essay by pointing your mouse cursor in front of the first line of text you want to double space.
2. Press the mouse key and do not release it.
3. Drag the mouse to the right and down the screen, blackening the text you want to change.
4. When you’ve reached the end of the document or the end of the passage you want to double space, release the mouse key.
5. Click the “Format” menu and then the “Paragraph” option.
6. Find “Line spacing” near the center of the window and click the small, black arrow for spacing options.
7. Click “Double” and then “OK.”
8. Click anywhere in the blackened area to return the text to normal.
Header with your last name and page number
1. Click the “View” menu at the top of the screen.
2. Click “Header and Footer” to open the “Header and Footer” screen.
3. Inside the “Header” box, type your last name and then press the spacebar once.
4. Next click the “Insert Page Number” button which looks like a small white page with a bent corner and a # symbol in the middle. A page number should appear after your name.
5. Click in front of the first letter of your last name to move the flashing cursor to the beginning of your header.
6. Click the “Align Right” button on the toolbar at the top of the screen. (The button shows six lines that match up on the right side.) This will make your header appear in the upper right-hand corner of each page.
7. Click “Close” in the Header and Footer window to return to the normal screen.
(Page one of an MLA formatted essay)
June 5, 1998
Cory and Waverly, two main characters in August Wilson’s drama Fences and Amy Tan’s novel “Rules of the Game,” struggle against issues that are at once current and age-old. Cory and Waverly are both minorities in a White dominated world. They also have in common a struggle with a dominating parent who strongly influences their lives and beliefs. Each in their own way strives to make a mark for themselves by excelling in particularly American activities. Cory, on one hand, works hard at the very physical sport of football, gaining recognition from his coach and even from college recruiters. In the same manner, Waverly, a Chinese girl who has been taught to have “inner strength,” studies the intricate game of chess and eventually wins tournaments with her ability.
Each of these works comes to a climax when Cory and Waverly challenge their parent’s authority. Though neither Cory nor Waverly “win” the power struggle, Cory succeeds at least in breaking some negative patterns that his father’s example had set for him. Waverly, on the other hand, is unable to make her “invisible strength” sustain her under the persecution of her mother’s rejection.
(Page two of an MLA formatted essay)
Cory grows up in a Black neighborhood and probably goes to school with all Black students. As he grows up, he learns that Blacks are not treated with the same respect . . .