How to Add MLA Page Numbers in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding MLA page numbers in Google Docs is simple. The process involves using the header feature, selecting the page number format, and making sure it aligns with MLA guidelines. Once you know where to click, you’ll be adding page numbers like a pro in no time!

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding MLA Page Numbers in Google Docs

Adding MLA page numbers to your Google Doc is important for proper citation and to keep your work looking professional. Follow these steps to get it done right.

Step 1: Open the Header

Open the header by double-clicking the top of your page or selecting “Insert” then “Header & page number” and then “Header”.

The header is where your page numbers will go. MLA format requires that your page number is in the top right corner, so that’s where we’ll place it.

Step 2: Insert Page Number

Click on “Insert” again, hover over “Header & page number,” then select “Page number” and choose the option that shows the number on the top right.

This step places the page number in the correct position for MLA format. Make sure you don’t accidentally choose a different page number format.

Step 3: Add Your Last Name

Before the page number, type your last name and press the space bar. This should align your name with the page number.

MLA format requires your last name before the page number, to help readers identify the source of the pages if they get mixed up with other papers.

Step 4: Check Formatting

Ensure the font, size, and placement match the MLA guidelines and the rest of your document.

MLA typically uses 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Make sure your header matches this to stay consistent throughout your document.

After you complete the action of adding MLA page numbers, your document will have a professional look that follows MLA formatting guidelines. It’s a key step in making sure your work is properly set up for academic standards.

Tips for Adding MLA Page Numbers in Google Docs

  • Make sure your document’s text is in 12 pt. Times New Roman before adding the page numbers.
  • Double-check that the page number is in the top right corner of the header.
  • Always include your last name before the page number to follow MLA rules.
  • Preview your document before printing or submitting to check for any formatting issues.
  • Remember to update your header if you change your document’s font or size to keep everything consistent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MLA format?

MLA format is a style guide used for writing papers in the humanities, especially in English studies, modern languages, and literature.

Do I need to add a page number on the first page?

Yes, MLA guidelines require that you have a page number on all pages, including the first one.

Can I use a different font for the page numbers?

The page numbers should match the font you are using for the main text of your document, typically Times New Roman.

What if I’m using Google Docs on a mobile device?

The steps are similar, but you may need to access the header and page number options through the app’s menu settings.

Is it necessary to add my last name before the page number?

Yes, MLA guidelines require the inclusion of your last name before the page number for proper identification and reference.


  1. Open the header.
  2. Insert the page number in the top right corner.
  3. Add your last name in front of the page number.
  4. Confirm the formatting matches MLA guidelines.


Adding MLA page numbers to a Google Doc may seem like a small detail, but it’s an essential part of presenting a well-formatted academic paper. From making sure your last name precedes the page number to ensuring the font and size are just right, it’s these little touches that can make a big difference in how your work is perceived. Whether you’re working on an essay for a class or preparing a paper for publication, following MLA guidelines shows attention to detail and a commitment to quality in your writing. Remember, if you ever get stuck or aren’t sure about formatting, there’s a host of resources available, including the MLA Handbook and Google Docs’ own support pages. So, take a deep breath, follow the steps outlined above, and add those MLA page numbers with confidence!