How to Head an Essay in MLA Format

Essays written for high school, college and graduate school work generally are required to be written in MLA (Modern Language Association) format. This system keeps research and writing orderly and easy to understand. Unlike some other formatting protocols, MLA style does not require a title page. It designates that all essays should be properly headed by the author. You must put a heading with author and course information on your first page. Each page should also contain a header that helps identify your work.

How to Format an Essay Heading

Set the spacing to “double space” in your word processing program. All essays in MLA format must be double-spaced.

Type your name in the top left corner of the first page. For example:

Jane Doe

Include the last name of your teacher or professor beneath your name on the left side of the page. For example:

Jane Doe

Smith

Type the identification number for your course below the instructor’s name in the top left corner. For example:

Jane Doe

Smith

ENG 101

Write the date below the course-identification number in the top left corner. For example:

Jane Doe

Smith

ENG 101

July 31, 2011

How to Format an Essay Header

Type the page number on the top right corner of the page. Make the number half an inch below the top of the page, unless instructed otherwise by your teacher or professor.

Type your last name in front of the page number. Make sure that exactly five spaces exist between your last name and the page number.

Repeat this information on every page of your manuscript.

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