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Setting up your MLA Paper for Success


[00:00:00] Hi, my name is Rachel Mozingo and I'm the academic success coordinator here at Cameron for the center for Writers and academic success. And welcome to our new YouTube series CU at tutoring.

This is what your basic word document looks like when you open it up. This is using a laptop desktop version. I highly suggest you only work on a laptop or a desktop. Try to do it on your phone is not very efficient when it comes to writing papers. Tablets are okay. But again, if you can access a desktop or laptop computer, that's the best case scenario.

Okay. So this is what it looks like on a laptop for MLA. You're gonna want to check your, size of your paper and make sure it's the standard eight and a half by 11. Every time you open a new word document, it typically auto formats to this, but you still wanna go [00:01:00] to the layout tab on this ribbon and then click size and make sure it's eight and a half by 11.

Additionally, you wanna check your margins and make sure that they're one inch margins all around the board. If you're using Google docs, this looks a little different. And a lot of the Google docs, margins are not the one inch all around. So you really wanna check that. All right. Next, you definitely wanna check your font.

Okay. So you want your font to be that times new Roman. If it's not in your recently used fonts, you're gonna have to scroll all the way down or you could just type it in and then it'll need to be 12 point not 11 point. Okay. So you could type it in, you could use this to search for it. You could press this, , icon right here and it'll make it larger, smaller.

So there's lots of different ways you can do the same thing in word. That's another thing I think people get confused about. There's usually not one way to do everything. So just do what works best for you. So now that we've made sure our pages, the right, our pages are the right sizes and [00:02:00] that our margins are good.

We can now start with the running head again for MLA. Your running head is gonna be your last name, space page number. So I suggest starting with, , if you're just in your home tab up here, you wanna double click into this top area. If you double click, it'll open up the header for you. Okay. So if you don't know how to get there, , you'll just go to, I think it's layout.

Actually to be honest, I I've never, oh, here you go. You go to insert and then your page, , number will be right here in the header and footer section. So again, two ways to do everything. I always just double click. I've never done it way differently. So. Now we know. , so if you double click your page, number's gonna be right here.

You'll wanna hover over with your cursor top of the page. And then you're gonna wanna go down to plane. Number three. This will make sure that your page number is all the way aligned to the right. And then next, all you have to do is [00:03:00] just type in your last name and hit space. So big thing to note here is that this is actually still in Calibri font.

It is not in the times new Roman font. Like you need it to be, so you have to double click this and change this to times new Roman 12 point as well. A lot of students don't know that, and it's very jarring as a professor when you get your paper, back from your students and that this is in a completely different.

The next thing you wanna set up for your MLA paper is your heading section. And so the first line should be your first and last name you'll hit enter. Your second line should be your professor's first and last name. So I'll put Dr. Carney cuz he teaches English comp one. And then let's say your.

The next line is your class. So if it's English comp one, it'll be E N G L. And then your course code. I think English comp one is 1, 1, 3. Um, but don't quote me on that. Make sure you check your syllabi. [00:04:00] And then finally the next line will be the date and the date will actually be in. And date month, year format.

I always get it confused and you're always gonna make it the date that it's due. Okay. So let's say the paper is due today. Then you'll put four, August 20, 22. Okay. So that is the date and then you'll press enter. The next thing you're gonna do is create a title for your paper. So you'll hit under this paragraph tab up here.

You'll hit this middle center alignment bar, and then you'll just insert a title. Then you'll press enter once more and then you'll have to make sure you align it back to the left to make sure your paper is actually aligned to the left as it. So in a nutshell, that is how you basically format it. And then I'm actually gonna share my screen and show you a real paper from Purdue owl.

And it'll show you what it looks like with real wor words. So [00:05:00] again, this is Purdue owl. This is not my own. But as you can see, it has the student's name, the professor's name, the class, course title and course code as well as the date. And then the. And that is how you basically format a MLA paper.