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

Putting MLA format on Google Docs might sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple once you know the steps. By following a few simple guidelines, you can make sure your document is properly formatted according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. This will not only make your work look professional, but it’ll also ensure you’re following the academic standards required by many educational institutions. So let’s get started!

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

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. MLA format is a set of guidelines for writing research papers. This includes using a specific font, size, margins, and heading structure. By following these steps, your Google Doc will be ready to meet all these requirements.

Step 1: Set the Font and Size

Choose ‘Times New Roman’ as your font and set the font size to 12.

When you open a new Google Doc, the default font is usually ‘Arial’ and the size is 11. For MLA format, you need to change this. Click on the font drop-down menu on the toolbar and select ‘Times New Roman.’ Then, click on the font size drop-down and select ’12.’

Step 2: Set the Margins

Change the document margins to 1 inch on all sides.

Go to the ‘File’ menu, select ‘Page setup,’ and a new window will pop up. Here, you will see fields for the margins. Make sure all of them (top, bottom, left, and right) are set to 1 inch, which is the standard for MLA format.

Step 3: Add a Header

Insert a header with your last name and page number.

Click on ‘Insert’ in the top menu, choose ‘Header & page number,’ then ‘Header.’ A header section will appear at the top of your document. Type your last name, press the space bar, then go back to the ‘Insert’ menu, select ‘Header & page number’ again, and this time choose ‘Page number’ and then ‘Top of page.’

Step 4: Create the Title Block

Type your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date on separate lines, aligning them to the left.

Hit ‘Enter’ a few times until you are about a third down the page. Then, type your full name, hit ‘Enter,’ type your instructor’s name, hit ‘Enter,’ type the course name and number, hit ‘Enter,’ and finally, type the date in the Day Month Year format.

Step 5: Input the Title and Body

Center the title of your paper and then begin writing your body paragraphs with a left alignment.

After entering your title block, hit ‘Enter’ twice to move two lines down. Then, change the alignment of your text to ‘Center’ by clicking on the center align button in the toolbar. Type the title of your paper, hit ‘Enter’ once, then change the alignment back to ‘Left’ and start writing your content.

Once you complete these steps, your Google Doc will be in MLA format. You’ll have the right font, size, margins, header, title block, and alignments. This ensures your paper is easy to read and meets the standards for MLA style.

Tips: How to Put MLA Format on Google Docs

  • Always double-check the alignment of each section to ensure it’s in the correct format.
  • Remember to use double-spacing throughout the entire document.
  • Avoid adding extra spaces between paragraphs; MLA format uses a uniform double-spacing.
  • If you’re including a Works Cited page, start it on a new page at the end of your document.
  • Use the ‘Tab’ key to indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure the entire document is double-spaced?

To double-space your document, highlight all text, click on the line spacing icon in the toolbar, and select ‘Double.’

Can I change the default settings so all my documents start in MLA format?

Yes, after setting up one document in MLA format, you can save these settings as a template for future use.

How do I create a hanging indent for my Works Cited page?

Highlight your citation, go to ‘Format,’ then ‘Align & indent,’ and select ‘Indentation options.’ Under ‘Special,’ choose ‘Hanging.’

Why is Times New Roman the preferred font for MLA?

Times New Roman is a serif font that is widely accepted in academia for its readability and professional look.

What should I do if my instructor has specific formatting requests that differ from standard MLA?

Always follow your instructor’s guidelines first. The steps provided are based on standard MLA format, but your instructor’s preferences should take precedence.


  1. Set the font to ‘Times New Roman’ and the size to 12.
  2. Adjust the document margins to 1 inch on all sides.
  3. Add a header with your last name and page number.
  4. Create a title block with your information.
  5. Center your paper’s title and then write the body with a left alignment.


By following the steps above, you can easily format your Google Doc according to MLA style. It’s a straightforward process that can significantly improve the presentation and professionalism of your work. Whether you’re a student or a researcher, mastering MLA format is an essential skill that will serve you well throughout your academic and professional career. Remember, the key to perfecting your MLA format on Google Docs is attention to detail and consistency. With practice, it will become second nature. If you ever find yourself stuck or unsure, there are plenty of resources available online, including the MLA Handbook, which provides in-depth guidance on every aspect of MLA formatting. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your documents transform into well-structured works that conform to academic standards.

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