5 March 2014
Center Title, Do Not Bold or Underline
Created by Kirby Rideout of Collin County Community College [and edited by your
professor], this is a template for formatting a research paper in MLA format. The paper
has one-inch margins all around. Each page has a header of last name and page number.
The paper will be double-spaced throughout, no extra space between sections or
paragraphs. The entire paper, including the heading and title, needs to be in the same type
and size of font. This template uses Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Because it is easy to
read, this font is appropriate for college essays. Make sure that the essay is left aligned,
not justified on both sides. One space between sentences is standard; however, double-
spacing between sentences is okay [MLA requires double-spacing only throughout.]
In the MLA format, you document your research in parenthetical citations. This
allows you to “acknowledge your sources by keying brief parenthetical citations in your
text to an alphabetical list of works that appears at the end of the paper” (Gibaldi 142).
Notice that in this brief citation the period goes after the parenthesis. The information in
parenthesis should be as brief as possible. You will use the author’s last name or a
shortened title for works without an author. If you used the key information (author’s last
name or short title of an unsigned work) in your text, do not repeat it in the parenthesis.
Gibaldi explains this in his book, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (238- Lastname 2
239). [Chapter 33 of The