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HUM 203: Interdisciplinary Survey of Humanities IV: Paper Formatting

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Formatting Your MLA Essay in Microsoft Word

Prefer Step-by-Step Text Instructions or need help with Google Docs? Please navigate to the following page:

Table of Contents for Screenshot Instructions

Line Spacing, Font, and Font Size

*Your entire document needs to be double-spaced in Times New Roman with a 12 pt font size!

Remove Microsoft Word's default Line Spacing by clicking on the No Spacing Styles option.

Select 2.0 from the Line and Paragraph Spacing drop-down menu.

Select Times New Roman from the Font drop-down menu.

Select 12 from the Font Size drop-down menu.

Make sure that you repeat the above steps to change your Page Numbers and Header to Times New Roman with a 12 pt font size!

Page Numbers & Header

Insert your Page Numbers before inserting your Header!

Insert your Page Numbers by

  • Clicking on the Insert thread;
  • Clicking on the Page Number drop-down menu;
  • Hovering the mouse over the Top of Page option; and
  • Clicking on the Plain Number 3 option.

If you don't need Page Numbers on your first page, then click on the Different First Page option before inserting your header!

Click on the Close Header and Footer button.

Scroll to the second page of your document (using the Enter or Return key on your keyboard if necessary).
You should see your Page Number appear on page 2.
Insert your Header by

  • Clicking on the Header drop-down menu; and
  • Clicking on the Edit Header option.

Insert your Last Name by clicking to the left of the Page Number.
Make sure that you include a space between your Last Name and the Page Number.

And make sure that your Page Numbers and Header are in Times New Roman with a 12 pt font size!

Click on the Close Header and Footer button (see screenshot above).

First Page

Insert the following information in the top left-hand corner of the first page (in the body of the document, not the header):

  • Your Name
  • Your Professor's Name
  • The Course Number
  • The Date [following the format of Day Month Year]

On the next line after your informational header, insert the Title of your essay, and click on the Center paragraph option to centrally-align your Title.

On the next line after your Title, use the Tab key on your keyboard to indent your first paragraph, and start typing your introduction.

Make sure that you click on the Align Left paragraph option so that the body of your essay is aligned to the left of the page and not centered.

Works Cited

When you have finished typing your essay, scroll to the next blank page of your document (using the Enter or Return key on your keyboard if necessary).
Insert the title of your Works Cited page, and click on the Center paragraph option to centrally-align the Works Cited page title.

On the next line after your Works Cited page title, insert your first citation (alphabetical by either the author's last name or the title if there's no known author).
Click on the Paragraph Settings icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the Paragraph section.
In the Paragraph pop-up window that appears, click on the drop-down menu underneath Special in the Indentation section.
In the drop-down menu that appears, click on Hanging.
Click on the OK button in the bottom right-hand corner of the Paragraph pop-up window.

Make sure that you click on the Align Left paragraph option so that your citations are aligned to the left of the page and not centered.

Whenever you add a new citation to your Works Cited page, make sure that you keep them in alphabetical order.