MLA Format in Detail
This page contains general guidelines on how to properly format the headings on a paper using MLA format.
Without a Cover Page:
This is the most common way to begin an MLA essay because MLA does not require a cover page. Some instructors, however, may require one (see instructions and example below).
1. The Opening Page:
On the opening page or the first page, a comprehensive identification (sometimes referred to as the main heading) and essay title should appear. The identification includes the following information:
- Student/Author Name
- Instructor’s Name
- Class Name/Information
- Your Paper’s Due Date
- Font: choose an easy to read font such as Times New Roman
- Font Size: set the font size to be 12 throughout the paper, including the paper’s title. Never set the font size larger than 12.
- Margins: 1-inch for top/bottom/right/left throughout the paper
- Double-space: double-space throughout he paper. Don’t add extra spaces (besides the already used double-spacing) between headings, title and/ paragraphs. Important Note: In the newest Microsoft Word settings, adding extra spaces between paragraphs is a default setting and must be disabled by the writer; otherwise, extra spaces will be automatically created.
Sample of the opening page:
With a Cover Page:
The Modern Language Association (MLA) does not require a cover page, but some instructors may require it. In certain situations or assignments, a paper with a cover page can look more professional.
Instructors who require the paper to have a cover page usually provide specific instructions on what should be included. Here is the general MLA Format cover page. This page should include your school or university’s name (i.e. Aims Community College), a paper title, author name, class name, professor name and paper due date.
Here is how to format an MLA cover page:
- This page is double-spaced and the letters are centered.
- Type the name of your university or college.
- Skip to about one-third of the page and type the research paper title, including subtitle if there is one.
- Skip several lines and type student/author name, course name and number, instructor name and paper due date.
Sample MLA Format Cover Page:
Sample MLA Format Cover Page
Alternate First Page:
If an instructor requires a cover page, the identification heading on the first page should be omitted. Below is an example of the first page if a cover page is used. Last name and page number should appear on all pages, and the title should appear at the top of the first page only.
Sample MLA Format First Page with Cover Page
2. The Inner Pages:
For the pages that follow the first page, set the heading like this: instead of the whole heading, use the header feature in the word-processing program to include author last name and page number.
Inner Page Example:
Example of the heading for inner pages.
3. The Works Cited Page:
Every research paper must include a works cited page(s).
- The works cited list is placed at the end of the paper, beginning on a new page.
- The header for the works cited page(s) should be similar to the header for the inner pages, which includes author name and the page number at the top.
- Enter the title as “Works Cited” and place this title 1-inch from the top of the page, see more details in the example illustration below.
Example of the works cited page:
Example of the works cited page.
For moreiInformation on MLA works cited pages, including in-depth instructions for citing various sources, view MLA Works Cited Page.
When you are applying for college admission, it's important to do everything possible to make sure your application really stands out. Sending a cover letter in support of your application materials can be a great way to capture admissions officers' attention in a positive way while also giving them a chance to learn a little bit about your personality and unique circumstances.
Example Cover Letters for College Applications
You can use a cover letter whether you are applying via the common application or if you are submitting an individual admission packet.
- If you are using the common application, send the cover letter at the same time that you complete the application or a few days before.
- If you are submitting a school-specific applicant packet, include the letter with all of your other materials.
Choose the sample letter below that best fits your needs and adjust it to convey key highlights of why you should be considered for admission. To access each letter, simply click the image. It will open as an editable PDF file that you can customize, save and print. This guide for Adobe printables can be of assistance if you need help accessing the documents.
Writing Your College Application Cover Letter
While the samples here are great starting points, you will need to adjust them to focus on your specific situation. You will need to include:
- Why you want to attend this particular school
- What your academic interests are
- How the school is a good fit for your academic interests and long-term goals
- How your background and future interests make you a great candidate to consider
- Any special connections you have to the school (i.e., do you have relatives who graduated from the school?)
- Details on how the other components of your application packet will be received
- A specific request to consider you for admission
- Details on how to contact you
Stand Out to College Admission Officers
A well-written cover letter can be a terrific add-on to your college application package. Not everyone will think to send this kind of document, so it just might help you stand out among the other applicants. Of course, a poorly-written letter can have the opposite effect. So, be sure that your letter follows an appropriate business letter format, really presents you in a positive light, is well-written and error-free.