Instructions for Formatting Typed Papers

This is a quick reference. Most of these instructions are outlined in the Modern Languages Association (MLA) guide. They also follow our Canterbury High School Style Guide.
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If you have any questions, please let me know.

□ Paper: 8.5 ” x 11” white

□ Line Spacing: Double-space the document (with the exception of block quotes).

□ Font: 12-point Times New Roman

□ Margins: Default (1” top and bottom; 1.25” left and right) or 1” all around.


□ Standard Paragraphing: Tab 0.5” to start a paragraph; no extra blank line is to be added between paragraphs.

□ Justification: Leave this at the default; do not justify the right margin.

□ Page Numbering: If you set page numbering, have it print inside the top or bottom margin, double-spaced from the text of your paper. Do not allow page numbering to encroach on the text range (margins) of your piece.

□ Use of Italics: Used for emphasis, non-English words, titles of complete works.

□ Use of Underlining: Traditionally used in place of italics from a time when we used typewriters and could not italicize.

□ Use of Quotation Marks: For quotations and titles of pieces that are published within an anthology or periodical. Quotation marks are not used for emphasis.

□ Use of Single Quotation Marks: Quotations within quotations; not for emphasis.

□ Use of Square Brackets: Used to insert your voice, to make corrections, e.g., [sic], or make adjustments in order to integrate quotations smoothly and grammatically into your sentences.

□ Use of Hyphens and Dashes: Use these appropriately; create a dash by typing two hyphens.

□ Other Features: Use of bold, colour, shading, changes of font or size, block caps, obliques/slashes, &-signs, and ellipses… are not to be used in your essays.
Sample MLA Essay http://instruct.uwo.ca/english/234e/site/guidelns/smplessy/smplessy1.html


Last updated Apr. 26/11 R. Taylor