The BPHS English Department requires the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style for formal paper submission. The MLA Style is widely used in schools and universities.
By using the style, you make your paper easier to read and understand because it is uniform with other papers and its format is familiar to people who know the style.
FIRST PAGE FORMAT
Page format in the MLA Style has a few simple requirements:
• Margins are ONE INCH from the top of the page. Page numbers, however, fall only ONE-HALF INCH from the top of the page. (Note this one-half inch margin requirement if you are typing, especially on a word processor; you may have need to reset your top margin to .5 inches. If you set your top margin for .5 inches, then your header will place your pagination correctly. Tip: after your pagination, hit the return/enter key to give one space below the pagination, and viola, your pagination and top margin will be perfect.)
• EVERY LINE typed in MLA style is DOUBLE SPACED on white paper. No extra spaces between paragraphs. (If hand-writing, you may single space; always write in blue or black ink.)
• In the upper LEFT, place the following (each on a separate line: Your Name, Your Instructor's Name, The Title of the Course, The Date.
• After the date, double space, and type the title of your paper CENTERED. Never put in all capitals, italics, underline, boldface, or color.
• Double space, INDENT once from the left margin, and begin typing the opening sentence.
• ALL pages must be numbered, beginning with page one, in the upper right-hand margin, ONE-HALF INCH from the top of the page. The style for pagination (page numbering) includes your last name, followed by a space, followed by the page number. No punctuation is required. All page numbers on following pages should be located on the same line and use the same format.
Here's a sample of the top of a First Page in MLA Style (text width has beenreduced to show margins):
Beth L. Park
Mr. Charles Youngs
English 9, Period 2
15 Sept. 1997
The Lost Colony: An American Tragedy
Most young students of American history have dutifully learned the dates of the
first colonial settlements at Plymouth and Jamestown, 1620 and 1607, respectively. Few
students know of another important event in the colonization of North America, that is, the
(remainder of the page would follow, with a one-inch margin at the bottom)
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 4th ed.
New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1995.