English Composition 1
The Proper Format for Essays
Below are guidelines for the formatting of essays based on recommendations from the MLA (the Modern Language Association).
- Fonts: Your essay should be word processed in 12-point Times New Roman fonts.
- Double space: Your entire essay should be double spaced, with
no single spacing anywhere and no extra spacing anywhere. There should not be extra spaces between paragraphs.
- Heading: In the upper left corner of the first page of your essay, you should type
your name, the instructor's name, your class, and the date, as follows:
20 January 2010
- Margins: According to the MLA, your essay should have a
one-inch margin on the top, bottom, left, and right.
- Page Numbers: Your last name and the page number should appear in the upper right corner of
each page of your essay, including the first page, as in Jones 3. Insert your name and the page number
as a "header." Do not type this information where the text of your essay should be.
- Title: Your essay should include a title. The title should be centered and should appear under the heading information on the first page and above the first line of your
essay. The title should be in the same fonts as the rest of your essay, with no quotation marks, no underlining, no italics, and no bold.
- Indentation: The first line of each paragraph should be indented. According to the MLA, this
indentation should be 1/2 inch or five spaces, but pressing [Tab] once should give you the correct indentation.
- Align Left: The text of your essay should be lined up evenly at the left margin but not at the right margin. In
your word processor, choose "Align Left." Do not choose "Justify."
Putting all of the above together, you should have a first page that looks like the following:
This page was last updated on January 12, 2010. Copyright Randy Rambo, 2010.