How to Do MLA Format on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you need to format your document in MLA style on Google Docs? It’s simpler than you might think! In this article, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, so you can confidently format your paper to meet MLA guidelines.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Do MLA Format on Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming for. MLA format is a style guide commonly used for academic papers. By following the steps below, you’ll be able to set up your document with the correct margins, header, and font settings that MLA requires.

Step 1: Set the Margins

Go to the “File” menu, select “Page setup,” and set all margins to 1 inch.

MLA format requires 1-inch margins on all sides of the document. This standard ensures consistency and readability across all MLA-style papers.

Step 2: Choose the Correct Font and Size

Click the “Font” drop-down menu and select “Times New Roman,” then choose “12” for the font size.

Times New Roman in 12-point font is the standard choice for MLA papers because it’s easy to read and widely available on all word processing programs.

Step 3: Double-Space Your Document

Click on the “Line spacing” icon and select “Double.”

Double spacing is another MLA requirement. It improves readability and provides space for comments and edits when reviewing the paper.

Step 4: Create a Header with Your Last Name and Page Number

Click “Insert,” then “Header & page number,” and choose “Header.” Add your last name, a space, and then click “Insert” again to add the page number.

The header on each page of an MLA-formatted document should include the author’s last name and the page number in the top right corner. This helps keep pages in order if they become separated.

Step 5: Title and Heading

Center your title on the first line of the document. On separate lines, left-align your name, your instructor’s name, the course title, and the date.

The heading should be double-spaced and placed before the start of your text. It provides essential information about who wrote the paper, for which class, and when.

After completing these steps, your document will be properly formatted according to MLA guidelines. This helps maintain a professional and uniform look across academic papers.

Tips: Navigating MLA Format on Google Docs

  • Always double-check the latest MLA guidelines, as they can be updated.
  • Use the “Tab” key for indents rather than the space bar to ensure proper spacing.
  • Remember to italicize the titles of longer works like books and movies.
  • Double-space between the title and the first line of the text.
  • When citing sources, use the “Cite” feature under “Tools” to keep track of your references.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MLA format?

MLA format is a style guide used for writing papers and citing sources within the liberal arts and humanities.

Why should I use MLA format?

Using MLA format provides a consistent structure for your paper, which is essential for both readability and credibility in academic writing.

Can I use other fonts besides Times New Roman?

While Times New Roman is the standard font for MLA, other readable fonts like Arial or Calibri can be used as long as they are size 12.

How do I cite sources in MLA format?

Citations in MLA format include the author’s name and the page number in parentheses for in-text citations, and a “Works Cited” page at the end of the document for full references.

Does Google Docs save my formatting changes?

Yes, Google Docs automatically saves your changes as you work, including formatting changes.


  1. Set all margins to 1 inch.
  2. Use Times New Roman font size 12.
  3. Double-space the entire document.
  4. Create a header with your last name and page number.
  5. Place a properly formatted heading and title before the text.


In the digital age, formatting academic papers has become a breeze thanks to word processing programs like Google Docs. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can easily apply MLA format to your document, ensuring that your paper meets the high standards of academic writing. Remember, while the steps may seem tedious at first, they are crucial for creating a professional and consistent appearance in your paper. Furthermore, mastering MLA format on Google Docs not only helps you with current assignments but also prepares you for future writing endeavors. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how straightforward it is to do MLA format on Google Docs.

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