MLA style has been widely adopted by schools, academic departments, and instructors for over half a century. The association's guidelines are also used by over 1,100 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines and by many university and commercial presses. The MLA's guidelines are followed throughout North America and in Brazil, China, India, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries around the world.
The MLA publishes two authoritative explanations of MLA style: the the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing.
MLA Heading and Headers and Margins
All formal papers should include the MLA header and every page should have a header on it. All papers must be double spaced, must observe the one-inch margins on all sides, must be in twelve-point font, and must be left-margin justified.
The MLA header:
English 4 or Honors AP English 3 (class color)
2 February 2005
Every line in your paper should be double spaced, including the space between the heading and the text.
The header: The header with your last name and the page number should appear at the top right-hand corner of every page of your paper. If you can't do this with your computer, do it by hand, e. g.
Notice that the same font is used in the header as is used throughout the paper, there is no comma or other mark of punctuation after the heading, and there is a single space between the name and the page number.
For most word programs, set your header by selecting "View" on the menu, clicking on "Header and Footer," clicking on the icon that moves from header to footer, and then typing in the text you want. You type in your last name, insert a space, and then click on the # sign. The program will insert the appropriate page number there. Make sure before closing that your header is typed in the same font as the one you're using in your paper.
Line Spacing: Every line of the paper, really, every line, must be double spaced. No line should be more than double spaced. If you have the new Word, you'll need to fix the "space after" to zero.
Margins: MLA formatting requires four one-inch margins. You don't need to re-adjust your computer-printer if your margins are not exactly one inch. For written work, you must include one-inch margins for both sides and for the bottom of the page. This way I can write comments on the paper.