MLA Format -

Click here for example of how your papers should appear before submission.
filenaming | Green Guide | Easybib | Paraphasing | Citation | formatting titles

  • MLA Template (please remove Mr. Go's notes prior to submitting) with Works Cited only (use this easy template to create your assignments in MLA. Be sure to edit your name on page numbering and alter the Works Cited list as necessary). Be sure to follow the filenaming rules below when submitted assignments <firstname lastname - course code - assignment title.doc>
  • **MLA Template** with process and stages of the writing process (MS Word)
  • Sample Student paper with MLA formatting notes.

Basic Formatting Rules
  • Always left justify your work
  • maintain 1" margins all around except for the pagination (0.5" from top)
  • Use 12pt font Times New Roman or Arial
  • print in black ink on one side of white paper
  • secure paper with one staple at top left (no duotangs or binders)


File Naming: Always SAVE your files to the H: drive (at school) using this filenaming convention (pattern): <firstname_lastname_assignment_title.doc>
ex: <Mary_Lee_Myth_Story.doc>

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is a recognized organization that, among other duties, maintains the standard for formatting of papers in the Humanities (English, History, some Social Sciences). Following the MLA format in English ensures that your papers maintain a professional, academic look that says you are serious about the subject and proud of your ideas and work.

Think of the resumé. Certain conventions in resumé formatting allow the selection committee to review the work efficiently and find particular information easily. In the case of an English paper, there may be sources and research you wish to showcase to your instructor. The aesthetic symmetry of your work on the page (double spacing and 1" margins all around) ensure that there is enough room for the teacher to properly insert comments and comfortably read your work. A flagrant disregard for basic (MLA) formatting conventions gives the reader the impression that you are unable (or unwilling) to adhere to details and frames your ideas in an unfavourable light before the content of the work has had a chance to engage the reader.


researchguide.pngTDSB Research Guide - the "Green Guide"

Password: (see start of agenda, around p22). Some key sections to look at (note: pdf pages do not match the print pages. Use the Acrobat Reader's jump-to-page feature at top or bottom of window).
  • Evaluating Information Sources - such as websites (pdf pp 33-34)
  • MLA: Sample Essay Page and Works Cited (pdf pp56-57)
  • MLA: Works Cited (pdf pp72-77)

NotaBene: "pp" means pages.

Academic Honesty:

>>Check out this great workshop from the library by clicking here.

Paraphrasing Strategies (to avoid Plagiarism, follow these steps to paraphrase material (which you still must CITE)

  • make point-form notes in your words of the most salient, key concept, noting the page number and bibliographic/source information to use in the Works Cited page later
  • use thesaurus and dictionary to help develop original diction (vocabulary) and phrasing
  • more paraphasing tips from OWL@Purdue University and others from USCA
  • use easybib's online notebook to assist (email Mr. Go for coupon code).


Citing your work (always give credit to an author for her ideas)

- when in doubt, put the source's words in quotations and cite the author and page number.
- See examples of properly embedded quotations in the
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"Plagiarism" [pley-juh-riz-uhm, ] external image dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif

–noun1.the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language andthoughts of another author and the representation of themas one's own original work.2.something used and represented in this manner.

"plagiarism." Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 09 Nov. 2010.

1621, from L. plagiarius "kidnapper, seducer, plunderer," used in thesense of "literary thief" by Martial, from plagium "kidnapping," fromplaga "snare, net," from PIE base *p(e)lag- "flat, spread out."Plagiary is attested from 1597.Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

"plagiarism." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 09 Nov. 2010.

Formatting Titles (MLA 7th edition)

When referring to the titles of plays, novels, short stories, or poems in your writing, be sure to format the title of the piece correctly.

  • Bound works (with their own cover):
    format: italicized.
    Novels, plays, anthologies or collections of literature, movie scripts, Musical Albums, News Sources, Databases(e.g., Romeo and Juliet, The Storyteller, Macbeth, The Complete Poetic Works of Pablo Neruda, The Toronto Star). When writing a piece by hand (such as a test or in-class piece of writing), use underlining to indicate a bound work.
  • Smaller works, often part of a larger collection:
    format: "in quotation marks"
    (e.g., short stories, poems, short plays, scenes, news articles, or article from journal, encyclopedia or database such as "Love must not be forgotten", "Lamb to the Slaughter", "Chinese Revolution").