Gender and Women's Studies

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Guide To MLA Format and Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) provides the style guidelines for the formatting of research papers in a number of academic disciplines. Below is a brief overview on how to format your paper using MLA’s style guides. Unless otherwise noted by your professor, these guidelines should be followed for all papers submitted in face-to-face and online courses. Students should use Microsoft Word for all typed assignments. If you don’t have Microsoft Word, it is recommend that you use Open Office, an excellent free software package. You can download it at

Paper Format Guidelines

  • The page layout should be set to 1″ margins on all sides.
  • All papers are to be double-spaced.
  • The font for the entire document should be set at 12 pt. and should be either Arial or Times New Roman.

Title Block

MLA guidelines dictate that there should not be a separate title page. Every paper should be left justified and begin with the following information:

  • Student’s first and last name
  • Professor’s name
  • Course
  • Date (day, month, year)
  • Title (centered)
    • Titles should be original and reflect the content of the paper.


Jane Doe

Dr. Donna Hughes

WMS 325: International Women’s Issues

4 May 2011

Women’s Voices and the Internet: A Global Community


Papers should have a header including the student’s last name and page number.

  1. In Microsoft Word select View from the menu options at the top of the screen.
  2. Click Header and Footer. The header section will appear on your document inside a gray dotted square. Inside the square you will see a flashing cursor.
  3. On the menu bar just above the ruler, click the Align Right icon (it looks like four lines aligned to the right).
  4. Type your Last Name.
  5. Add a single blank space after your name.
  6. On the floating menu bar, click the Insert Page Number icon (looks like a number symbol in a page). It will automatically place the current page number on every page of your report.
  7. Click Close to return back to your document. You can look at the top right-hand section of your page to see the header. It appears faint, to remind you that it is automatic; when you print your paper it will not appear faded.


All citations are inserted parenthetically with the author’s last name and page number. All citations should be referenced at the end of the documents on a Works Cited page.


In order to be successful in college it is imperative to remember that “responsibility to

yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means

learning to respect and used your own brains and instincts” (Rich 26).

Note: You should not use a comma between the author’s last name and page number, nor should you use “pg.” or “p” before the page number.

Long Quotations

Any quotation longer than four lines should be indented as a “block quotation.” The entire quotation is indented twice without “ ” quotation marks. The author’s last name and page number go in parentheses after the period.



Claiming, rather than receiving, an education means:

       The student sees herself engaged with her teachers in an active, ongoing struggle for

       a real education. But for her to do this, her teachers must be committed to the belief that

       women’s minds and experience are intrinsically valuable and indispensable to any

       civilization worthy of the name. (Rich 27)

In this model provided by Rich, both student and teacher are obligated to live up to a high

standard that gives women the credit they are due.


Works Cited

A reference list of all the works you cite in your paper must be included at the end of your document.

To insert a new page:

  • In Microsoft Word select Insert from the menu options at the top of the screen.
  • Select Break
  • Select Page Break

This new page should be titled Works Cited, with the title centered at the top of the page.

  • Your entries should be in alphabetical order by author’s last name.
  • The first line of each entry should be left justified; subsequent lines in each entry should be indented. By setting your hanging indents to 0.5″ Microsoft Word will do this automatically for you.

To set hanging indents:

  • In Microsoft Word select Format from the menu options at the top of the screen.
  • Select Paragraph
  • Find the section labeled Indentation,
  • Under Special select Hanging
  • Set the indentation to 0.5″

Note: All sources should be cited including anything found on the Internet (i.e., Google, Wikipedia, etc.).

Sample Works Cited Page


Below is a sample Works Cited page. The type of entry is noted in parenthesis and red font; this information is for reference purposes only and should not be included on actual Works Cited pages.

Works Cited

Atwood, Feona. “Intimate Adventures: Sex Blogs, Sex ‘Blooks,’ and Women’s Sexual

     Narration.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 12.1 (2009): 5 – 20. Web.

     (journal article accessed online)

Babcock, Linda, and Sara Laschever. Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide.

     Princeton: Princeton UP, 2003. Print. (book with two authors)

“Breastfeeding: the Right Start for Every Infant.” World Health Organization 1

     Aug. 2010. Web. 4 August 2010. (web page)

Lee, Janet and Susan M. Shaw, eds. Women Worldwide: Transnational Feminist


     Perspectives on Women. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print. (edited book)

Lisberger, Jody. “What is Women’s Studies?” WMS 150: Introduction to Women’s Studies.

     University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI. 14 Sept. 2009. (lecture)

Nick, Adina. “Why Men’s Health is a Feminist Issue.” Ms. Magazine Winter 2010: 32 – 35.

     Print. (print magazine)

Valian, Virginia. Why So Slow?: The Advancement of Women. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.

     Print. (book with one author)

Williams, Christine L. “The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the ‘Female’

     Professions.” The Gendered Society Reader. Eds. Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson.

     New York: Oxford UP, 2011. 389 – 401. Print. (article from an edited collection)

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