How to Do MLA Format on Word 2019: A Step-by-Step Guide

Formatting your document in MLA style can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you get the hang of it. If you’re using Word 2019, the process is even simpler, thanks to its built-in features that help you set up your document according to MLA guidelines. In just a few clicks, you can have your paper ready to go, complete with proper margins, font, and header. Let’s dive into how you can achieve this with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Do MLA Format on Word 2019

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what these steps will help us achieve. Following this tutorial, your Word document will be formatted according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. This includes setting up the correct page margins, line spacing, font choice, and header information.

Step 1: Set the Page Margins

Set your document’s margins to 1 inch on all sides.

In Word 2019, go to the Layout tab and click on Margins. Select ‘Normal’, which will automatically set your margins to 1 inch on all sides. This is the standard margin size for MLA format.

Step 2: Choose the Correct Font

Change your document’s font to Times New Roman, size 12.

MLA format requires the use of Times New Roman font at 12-point size. Simply highlight your text, go to the Home tab, and find the Font options. From the dropdown menus, select Times New Roman and 12.

Step 3: Set the Line Spacing

Adjust your line spacing to double.

For MLA format, your document needs to be double-spaced. Go to the Home tab, click on the Line and Paragraph Spacing icon, and choose ‘2.0’. This will apply double spacing to your entire document.

Step 4: Create a Header

Insert a header with your last name and page number.

Go to the Insert tab, click on Header, and choose ‘Blank’. Type your last name, add a space, then go to the Header & Footer tab and click on ‘Page Number’. Choose ‘Current Position’ and ‘Plain Number’. The page number will automatically update on each page.

Step 5: Set the First Page Format

Format the first page according to MLA style.

On the first page, you’ll need to include your name, your instructor’s name, the course title, and the date, each on a new line, double-spaced, and aligned to the left. Then, add the title of your paper, centered, before starting your text.

Once you complete these steps, your document will be fully formatted according to MLA guidelines. From there, you can focus on writing your paper, knowing that the formatting is taken care of.

Tips for MLA Format on Word 2019

  • Always double-check your professor’s requirements, as they may have specific preferences that deviate from standard MLA guidelines.
  • Use the ‘Styles’ feature in Word to save time. You can set up a style for MLA format and apply it to any text you want.
  • Don’t forget to indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch. You can do this by pressing the Tab key once.
  • If you’re including quotations that are more than four lines long, format them as a block quote, which is also double-spaced and indented one inch from the left margin.
  • Always proofread your header and page numbers, as these can sometimes get mixed up when editing the document.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a title page for MLA format?

No, MLA format does not require a separate title page. Instead, you’ll include your name, instructor’s name, course, and date on the upper left-hand corner of the first page, followed by the title of your paper.

Can I use fonts other than Times New Roman?

While Times New Roman is the recommended font for MLA format, other legible fonts like Arial or Calibri can also be used. However, always check with your instructor first.

What’s the proper way to cite sources in MLA format?

In MLA format, you’ll use parenthetical citations within the text that correspond to an entry in the Works Cited page at the end of your document. The in-text citation typically includes the author’s last name and the page number.

How do I create a Works Cited page in Word 2019?

To create a Works Cited page, start a new page at the end of your document. Title it ‘Works Cited’ and list your sources in alphabetical order. Each entry should be double-spaced with a hanging indent.

Can I automate the MLA formatting process in Word 2019?

While you can’t automate everything, you can save your formatting settings as a default or create an MLA template for future use. This can significantly speed up the process.


  1. Set the page margins to 1 inch on all sides.
  2. Change the document’s font to Times New Roman, size 12.
  3. Adjust line spacing to double.
  4. Insert a header with your last name and page number.
  5. Format the first page with your personal information and paper title.


There you have it, folks – a simple guide on how to do MLA format on Word 2019. It’s straightforward, right? Once you get the hang of it, MLA formatting will become second nature. Remember, the goal of formatting is to create a consistent and easy-to-read document that adheres to the standards of the academic community. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll ensure that your paper is polished, professional, and ready to make an impact. So the next time you’re assigned a paper, don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on your research and arguments, and let Word 2019 take care of the formatting. Happy writing!

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