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Writing and Citing: MLA 9th Edition: Sample Paper & Works Cited Page

MLA 9th Edition

MLA 8 Paper Example

Paper Formatting

Basic format for student papers in MLA 8th edition.


  • 1-inch margins on each side

  • 12-pt legible font (Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri recommended)

  • Double-Spaced

  • Header is student's last name followed by page numbers in the upper right corner

  • No title page unless requested by your instructor

  • In upper left-hand corner using double-spaced text list:

    • Your name

    • Instructor's name

    • The course code and title

    • Date

  • Write title of paper using Title Case (standard capitalization) and center the text of the title

  • Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch (.05) by using the "Tab" key

  • Works Cited page in alphabetical order by authors' last names, double-spaced, with a hanging indent.

  • Print on white 8.5/11" paper.

Pronouns: Singular pronoun "they/their" accepted.

  • ExampleA person should enjoy their vacation.

Punctuation: One space after a period.

In text citations: Include the author name and the page number, with 2 authors, cite bothSources with 3 authors and more, cite first author and use "et al."

  • Example: (Todd and Peters, 2013) (Stevens et al., 2018)

Setting Up A Works Cited Page

Every item on the Works Cited page MUST be used and cited in text of your paper. All items should be listed in alphabetical order.

The words Works Cited should appear on the very top line, on a new page, at the end of your paper, with the alignment set to center. Include the one inch margins, last name, and page number header that you have for the rest of the paper.

All lines after Works Cited should be left aligned, only the title will be centered. The first line in each entry must be fully left aligned then every line after that should be indented by a half inch(0.5), known as the Hanging indent. Make sure that the entries are all double spaces. 

Work Cited Entry Core Elements:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of Source. (Book, chapter, article title, etc.)
  3. Title of container, (Book, periodical, journal, website, etc.)
  4. Other contributors, (Editors, translators, narrators, directors, etc.) 
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location. (Page numbers, URL/DOI numbers)

Each element should be followed by the corresponding punctuation mark as shown in the above list. 

List authors using last name first, followed by first name, then middle name or middle initials when possible. Do not list titles (Dr., Sir, Honorable) or degrees (PhD, MA, DDS) with the names. Do include suffixes (Jr. II, III),

Example of a citation: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be listed as "King, Martin Luther, Jr."

For multiple resources by the same author, list the entries in alphabetical order by title. You can use three hyphens in place of the authors name for every entry after the first.


  • Putten, Katie. The Things We Hear...
  • ---. The Things We See...

Make sure the journal titles look exactly as they are written in the journal.

Capitalize all major words in journal titles.

For article titles, chapters, and websites, capitalize only:

  • The first word of the title.
  • The first word after a colon, semicolon or dash.
  • Proper nouns.

Journal and Book titles are italicized. Article titles, chapters and websites are not italicized, either underline or presented with quotation marks. 

Here are some video tutorials to assist with your paper: