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How to write an MLA format paper in Google Docs using a template or other built-in features

  • Google Docs has all the features you need to write a paper in MLA format.
  • The basics of MLA format include double-spaced lines, one-inch margins, headers on all pages, and more.
  • Google Docs also offers an automatic MLA format template, if you don't want to set it up manually.

Anyone who has had to write an English paper has heard of MLA format. MLA — short for Modern Library Association — is a standardized method for writing academic papers. It lays down specific rules for what the page should look like, which font you use, how you cite your sources, and more.

If you're writing a paper in MLA format, consider using Google Docs. It lets you customize your documents in dozens of ways, making it a great choice for MLA writing.

Here's how to set up MLA format in Google Docs, either manually or with a template.

How to set up MLA format in Google Docs

MLA format has a variety of different rules and guidelines. Here are the most important ones, along with tips on how to follow those rules in Google Docs.

  • The font needs to be size 12, and written in a "readable" font.

Contrary to popular belief, MLA doesn't require you to use Times New Roman, just a "readable" or "legible" font. That said, Times New Roman is a great choice for this, and comes installed in Google Docs by default. 

You can find it in the font menu at the top of the screen, and you can change the font size with the menu next to it.

  • Every page needs to have one-inch margins on all sides.

You probably don't need to worry about this one — new Google Docs documents have one-inch margins by default. 

But if you want to double-check, or if you've been told to not use one-inch margins, you can change the margins using the Page Setup menu or ruler feature .

  • All body text needs to be double-spaced.

There's a Line & paragraph spacing menu in the toolbar above your document. Select Double in this menu to turn on double-spacing . If you've already written some text without double-spacing, highlight it before you turn on double-spacing.

  • Every page needs a header in the top-right corner with your last name and the current page number.

Google Docs lets you place both headers and footers on any page. You can add automatic page numbers through the Insert menu , and then double-click the headers to type your last name next to them.

Remember that they need to be in the same font and font size as the rest of your paper.

( And if you ever need to remove the header, you can do that quickly too .)

  • The paper's title should be centered one line above your first paragraph.

Google Docs has four alignment options, which you can find in the toolbar above your document. Click the second option — Center align — to move your cursor to the center of the screen.

  • Your full name, your instructor's name, the name of the class, and the current date should be written in the top-left corner of the first page, each on a separate line.

Left align is the default alignment setting, so you shouldn't have to do anything special to write in the top-left. But if you've changed the alignment, you can change it back using the alignment options in the toolbar.

  • Body paragraphs all begin with a half-inch indent.

Google Docs has a feature that lets you automatically indent paragraphs — but it's probably easier to just hit the Tab key on your keyboard at the start of every paragraph.

  • Your paper should end with a Works Cited page, and each entry should be written with a hanging indent.

Once you've finished writing your paper and want to move onto the Works Cited, make sure to create a new page . The Works Cited needs to be on its own page (or pages, depending on the length).

The words Works Cited should be centered on the very first line of the page. You can center the words using the alignment options mentioned above.

Finally, list your citations in alphabetical order, and use the ruler to give each one a hanging indent — in other words, every line after the first needs to be indented .

How to use Google Docs' MLA format template

While you can format your paper manually, Google does offer an MLA template. This will let you meet most of the formatting requirements automatically, although you'll likely need to change some of it.

To use this template:

1. Head to the Google Docs homepage and click Template gallery in the top-right.

2. Scroll down the templates page until you reach the Education section. In this section, click MLA [Add-on] .

3. A page will open with a two-page paper already written in fake Lorem Ipsum language. Most of the formatting is there, so you just need to replace the pre-written words with your own.

You can find this template in the mobile app by tapping the plus sign icon in the bottom-right, and then selecting Choose template .

essay format google docs

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How to set up an APA format of an essay in Google Docs

Students have to deal with hundreds of writing assignments during their academic path. Such papers aim to develop undergraduates’ critical thinking, writing, formatting, and structuring abilities. Indeed, every essay has to be written according to a specific format and structure. Depending on your major, you may need to follow different formatting styles. The most prominent and used ones are MLA (Modern Language Association), Chicago, and APA (American Psychological Association). If you use Google Docs, you can find some templates to use there. However, if you want to manually set up this format, you are most welcome to read this article.

Table of Contents

APA format: Definition, Rules, and Purpose

As we already know, APA stands for American Psychological Association. It is mostly used by scholars who study Social Sciences, such as Linguistics, Criminology, Sociology, Economics, etc. Indeed, it has established rules regarding font, title, and a reference page. Even though professors may require sticking to different instructions, a standard APA paper has the following attributes:

  • Double-spaced text without spaces between paragraphs
  • The text follows 12 Times New Roman font (it can be replaced by any other font, such as Arial; however, Times New Roman is hardly ever replaced by other fonts)
  • One-inch page margins all over the paper
  • A header that includes your paper’s title and page number
  • The first page, also known as the title page, comprises your credentials, the topic, and affiliation you belong to
  • Body paragraphs are indented with a ½ inch
  • In-text citations for direct quotes or paraphrased sentences
  • The last page is called References in the APA format, where you include your sources used

Note that the default template placed in Google Docs includes units that can be redundant for your piece. That is, you may not need such sections as Methodology or Results. Either way, you are free to go to the official APA page and find out what you need.

Using The APA Template In Google Docs

In case you want to use a standard APA format in Google Docs, you have to go to Files — New — From template. When you do this, you will be redirected to a new tab where you will find the bulk of different templates. Go a little bit down, and you will see an Education section. Select an APA format, and voila.

The document will have some text just to show you how the paper should look. Some essays don’t need to have specific chapters. You are free to delete them when using this template.

How To Set Up The APA Format In Google Docs

Many people encounter problems with Google Docs. Which may have them switch to another alternative . The reason is they can’t see any templates. When using Templates , they are redirected to the page with their previously written documents. Suppose you face the same issue, no need to worry. You can create a document on your own, and we will gladly help you with that:

  • Undoubtedly, a default Arial is a real pain in the neck. You always have to change it before writing an academic paper. Change it to Times New Roman 12.
  • Then click Insert on the left top — Headers and footers — Header (or you can simply press Ctrl+Alt+O or Ctrl+Alt+H ).
  • Again, when filling out the header, you have to change its font from Arial 11 to Times New Roman 12. Remember to write it in CAPS.
  • The next thing you have to do is to set up page numbers. Go to Insert — Page numbers — Page number .
  • You have to align the page number with the top-right margin. You can do that by clicking the tab or spacebar. And don’t forget to click Different first page. Your title page doesn’t have to be indicated by a page number. Don’t worry, though, as the page number will appear on subsequent pages.
  • Besides, type “Running head:” before the title. Make sure the following pages have numbers and are aligned with the top-right margin.
  • Click anywhere on the paper and choose Format — Line — Spacing — Double. Please note that your professor may require you to follow single line spacing. Clarify which spacing you have to stick to.
  • On the title page, make sure your indicator is about mid-way down the page. Select Center Align.
  • Type the document’s full title, your first and second name, and the institutional affiliation. You must write every item on separate lines.
  • Finally, choose Select — Break — Page Break to start a new page.
  • Again, pick Center Align and type Abstract. Alternatively, you can Align your text and line space in the toolbar at the top right of Google Docs.
  • Once you do that, press Enter and select Left Align .
  • Press Tab to indent the text and start a new paragraph.
  • Since the Abstract has to be written on a separate page, press Enter + Ctrl to start a new one. Plus, press Tab to indicate the beginning of the paragraph.
  • Repeat that when finishing your paper with a Reference page.

How To Handle Referencing in APA

Each and every academic paper needs to have credible sources to support the student’s arguments. Regardless of the formatting style, you have to give credits to academicians you refer to. To do that, you have to create a page called References. Your sources must be alphabetized by the scholar’s last name. Besides, every second line of the same reference must be indented. For example:

Gore, A. (2006). An inconvenient truth: The planetary emergency of global warming and what

we can do about it. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.

Michaels, P. J., & Balling, R. C., Jr. (2000). The satanic gases: Clearing the air about global

warming. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.

Begley, S., & Murr, A. (2007, July 2). Which of these is not causing global warming? A. Sport

utility vehicles; B. Rice fields; C. Increased solar output. Newsweek, 150(2), 48-50.

How To Give Credits In Text In APA

When writing essays using APA, you also need to know how to make in-text citations. APA requires mentioning the author’s last name and the year of publication. If you insert direct quotes, you must include the page number, as well. The citation itself has to be at the end of a sentence, followed by a period. The following are in-text citations for various textual or statistical evidence:

Paying no attention to global warming, people jeopardize our future, which, in turn, may not occur (Gore, 2006).

It is not clear to what extent specimens as tools to document phonological changes can help people slow down severe effects caused by global warming (Miller-Rushing, Primack, Primack, & Mukunda, 2006, p. 1671)


Writing academic essays may seem easy at first glance. Knowing a structure, you can complete the paper promptly and submit it to the teacher. But, be that as it may, the professor will likely put an unsatisfactory grade. This may occur because of the improper formatting style.

The mentioned guide goes through the most crucial aspects you have to meet to write an academic piece. Following this guideline, you will spend less time creating headers, indenting texts, and writing citations. Employ this guide daily to make your writing abilities and productivity skyrocket.

essay format google docs

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How to Write in the MLA Format With Google Docs

If you need to apply MLA formatting to your academic or business paper, here's how to meet all the requirements in Google Docs.

If writing a paper wasn't complicated enough, you often have to contend with specific formatting requirements. Have you been told that your paper must use the MLA format? Do you have any idea what that means or how to apply it? Don't worry, we're here to help.

We're going to explain what the MLA format is and how to apply it to your documents in Google Docs, both through a template and manual set-up.

What Is the MLA Format?

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. According to the MLA website , it's a group that established itself in 1883 with the aim to "strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature". As part of the group's work, it publishes a style guide that many educational establishments and businesses adhere to.

If you're asked to use the MLA format, you should clarify the specific expectations. Though MLA sell a handbook, your school or organization may have slightly different requirements.

When it comes to setting up a Google Docs document to use the MLA format, these are the key formatting points to account for, as taken from the MLA Handbook :

  • A one-inch margin on all sides of the text.
  • A readable typeface, between 11 and 13 points in size, where the regular style contrasts clearly with the italic. Times New Roman is a good choice, though not a requirement.
  • Double-space the entire document.
  • Indent the first line of every paragraph half an inch from the left margin.
  • On the right side of the header, enter your surname, followed by a space, and then consecutive page numbers. This should be half an inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
  • Also on the first page, beneath the details above, place and center your title. It doesn't need any formatting, like bold or underline.
  • Cite your works at the end of the paper on a new page. Title it "Works Cited", centered and an inch from the top of the page. Each entry should be flush with the left margin, with additional lines indented half an inch from the left margin.

How to Apply the MLA Format in Google Docs With a Template

Google Docs offers a range of templates so that you don't have to manually set up common formatting rules. Handily, one such template is for the MLA format. Here's how to use it:

  • With a Google Doc document open, go to File > New > From template .
  • This opens the template gallery. Scroll down and look for the Education header.
  • Click Report MLA . This opens a document in the MLA format, with dummy text for you to replace.
  • On the right-hand sidebar, you'll see information about the EasyBib add-on , which is an automatic bibliography citation generator compatible with the template. Click Add to Docs if you want to use it, otherwise dismiss the sidebar with the X in the top-right.

Remember, you may need to follow slightly different MLA rules than what the template provides, so double-check everything is in order before submitting your document.

How to Apply the MLA Format in Google Docs Manually

Alternatively, you can apply the MLA formatting yourself. This is a good option if you have slightly different requirements from what the template offers, or if you want to be completely certain that you've applied all necessary formatting rules.

1. One-Inch Page Margin

Google Docs uses a one-inch margin on all sides of the document by default. However, you can double-check this:

  • From the top menu, click File .
  • Select Page setup .
  • Within Margins , ensure everything is set to 1 . If Google Docs is using centimeters, it should be 2.54 .

2. Readable Typeface

By default, Google Docs uses Arial at size 11. Remember, MLA requires a readable type face, not necessarily Times New Roman at size 12, but many people prefer this. As such, to change the font in Google Docs :

  • Click the Font dropdown in the top toolbar and select Times New Roman .
  • Click the Font size dropdown in the top toolbar and select 12 .

3. Double-Spacing

To apply double-spacing to all your text:

  • Click the Line & paragraph spacing button in the top toolbar. It's to the right of the alignment buttons and to the left of the list buttons.
  • Select Double .

4. Page Numbers

You need your surname and page numbers in the right of the header:

  • Double-click at the top of the document to edit the header.
  • Your header is separate from the rest of your document, so you will need to apply your font face and size again.
  • In the top toolbar, click Right align or press Ctrl + Shift + R .
  • Type your surname followed by a space.
  • From the top menu, go to Insert > Page numbers and select the diagram that shows the page numbers in the top-right.

5. Course Information and Title

The information about yourself, your course, and the title of your document should appear on page one:

  • In the body of the document, select Left align from the top toolbar or press Ctrl + Shift + L .
  • Type the necessary course details, pressing Enter after each to insert a new line.
  • Press Enter after the final detail (usually the date) to insert a line break, then enable Center align from the top toolbar (or press Ctrl + Shift + E ).
  • Type your title using title case, remembering to apply no extra formatting.

6. Indent Paragraphs

The first line of every paragraph needs to be indented by half an inch:

  • Press Enter to place a line break after your title, if you haven't already, and return to Left align ( Ctrl + Shift + L ).
  • From the top toolbar, select Format > Align and indent > Indentation options .
  • Use the Special indent dropdown and select First line .
  • Input 0.5 inches or 1.27cm.

7. Works Cited

Finally, your list of cited works must be on a new page, with a half-inch indent for overflow lines:

  • From the top toolbar, go to Insert > Break > Page break or press Ctrl + Enter .
  • Enable Center align from the top toolbar (or press Ctrl + Shift + E ) and type the header Works Cited .
  • Return to Left align ( Ctrl + Shift + L ) and enter all your citations.
  • Highlight all the citations and, from the top toolbar, select Format > Align and indent > Indentation options .
  • Use the Special indent dropdown and select Hanging .

Turn In Your MLA Formatted Paper With Confidence

Now that you've applied all the necessary formatting, the only thing left to do is write. Google Docs saves automatically, so you don't need to worry about losing your work. Just remember to keep track of everything that you want to cite at the end. Good luck on your paper!

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How to Format Your Essay in MLA Style Using Google Docs

by Mel Beasley | Jan 23, 2021 | Academic Writing

Information is taken from the 8th edition MLA Handbook, latest version, 2022. 

MLA format was created by the Modern Language Association and is a widely used styling for research papers and academic essays. If you’re a college student, you’ll notice that MLA format is required in liberal arts and humanities subjects. 

Most professors will strongly recommend that you use Microsoft Word to format your essays, but some students might not have access to this paid software. If this is the case, it is possible to format your essay in MLA style correctly while using the free Google Docs app within your Gsuite. This guide will show you exactly how to format your essay properly in MLA style using Google Docs. This guide only covers the basics of formatting such as margins, spacing, etc., so please see our other resources for further MLA formatting guidelines

What will we cover?

  • Proper MLA font style and size
  • Margins and header
  • First-page title information
  • Body-paragraph spacing

1. Open your blank document

To get started with your essay, you’ll need to log in to your Gmail account. Once signed in, you should be looking at your email dashboard.

  • Look to your profile image and name at the top right.
  • Click on the squared dot icons to view your apps.
  • You should see “Docs” as one of your options.
  • Click on “Docs.”

mla format in google docs

2. Set the font and size

In MLA format, you may only use Times New Roman font at size 12. It’s understandable if you’re feeling the urge to get creative with styling but don’t. Stay focused on following the MLA style guidelines and you’ll save yourself valuable grade points later. 

When you open Google Docs, the font and size are set automatically, so make sure you manually make tweaks to these settings. Unlike MS Word, Google Docs only has one main view with all options listed in dropdowns. This simplicity should help you easily set up your document without getting lost.

How do you do it?

  • In Google Docs, you’ll see your font and size dropdowns slightly off-center left of the page.
  • Select Times New Roman .
  • Select size 12 .

essay format google docs

2. Set the margins in MLA format

MLA Style requires that your margins stay set to 1 inch around the entire page.

  • Click on File at the top left of the page.
  • Click on Page Setup.

essay format google docs

  • Next, you’ll see a popup appear in the middle of the screen.
  • Check to make sure all the boxes for the top, bottom, left, and right are set to 1 inch.

mla format in google docs

3. How to add your name and page number in Google Docs 2020

Properly formatting your essay in MLA Style using Google Docs has a few extra steps compared to doing the same thing in MS Word, but as long as you follow this guide, you shouldn’t have any issues making it happen. Keep in mind that not adding your name and page numbers to your document could count against your grade. This part of formatting is very easy to do, and it’s not worth losing grade points over, so don’t forget this step!

  • Select Insert.
  • Hover over Headers & Footers .
  • Select Header .

essay format google docs

  • A header section should appear.
  • Change your font to Times New Roman and your font size to 12 .
  • Make sure the box next to “Different first page” is unchecked or the header won’t show on every page.
  • Type your last name only and make a single space .

essay format google docs

  • Before navigating out of the header, you’ll need to insert the page number.
  • Select Insert again.
  • Hover over Page Numbers .
  • Select the first option .
  • When your page number appears in your header, you can simply select the middle of your page with your cursor to make the header changes stick.

essay format google docs

4. How to set double-spaced lines in Google Docs

MLA Style requires that all your body text be double-spaced. This helps your essay look cleaner and easier to read. 

  • Click on the Line Spacing icon.
  • In the dropdown, select Double . 

essay format google docs

5. How to set name and title information

The name, assignment type, date, and essay title are the first things your professor sees in your essay because they’re at the top of the first page.

Before you begin writing the first draft of your essay, go ahead and enter the name, course, and date information. MLA Format requires a very specific setup for how this information is listed in your essay. You should list your first and last name, the professor’s name, the course number, and the date all on designated lines. This information should be neatly aligned to the left of the page. 

How do you format your name and course info in MLA Format?

  • You’ll need the first page of your MLA Style essay to contain your name , professor’s name , course number , and the date in that order. 
  • Align the essay information to the left of the page.
  • Hit Enter once before writing your essay title in the Center of the page.  
  • Hit Enter once, Align Left , and tab over a half-inch before you begin writing your essay text.

The finished title information should look like this:

mla format in google docs

Not sure how to set your indent to a half-inch in Google Docs?

Google docs should already have your half-inch indentation automatically set, but here’s how to do it just in case.

  • Select Format .
  • Hover over Align & Indent .
  • Select Indentation Options .

essay format google docs

  • You’ll see a popup appear in the center of the screen.
  • Enter .5 in the box beside Left .
  • Hit Apply .

mla format in google docs

That’s all there is to properly set up your essay in MLA Format using Google Docs. Good luck!

Mel Beasley

Mel Beasley has a bachelor’s in creative writing and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He brings 9+ years of digital marketing and writing experience to the table by writing for publications such as Lumina News and Encore Magazine. He spent 2 years as a college-level writing tutor, and is a certified writing tutor through the CRLA, which is a prestigious cert recognized by the Association for the Coaching & Tutoring Profession. He is a professional SEO blogger with experience writing for brands such as Boardworks Education and The Greater Wilmington Business Journal. One of his latest website and marketing projects has been building the website for the now New York Times Bestselling author, Nina de Gramont .

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  • Knowledge Base
  • MLA format for academic papers and essays

MLA Format | Complete Guidelines & Free Template

Published on December 11, 2019 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on June 16, 2022 by Jack Caulfield.

The MLA Handbook provides guidelines for creating MLA citations and formatting academic papers. This quick guide will help you set up your MLA format paper in no time.

Start by applying these MLA format guidelines to your document:

  • Times New Roman 12
  • 1″ page margins
  • Double line spacing
  • ½” indent for new paragraphs
  • Title case capitalization for headings

Download Word template Open Google Docs template

(To use the Google Docs template, copy the file to your Drive by clicking on ‘file’ > ‘Make a copy’)

Table of contents

How to set up mla format in google docs, header and title, running head, works cited page, creating mla style citations, headings and subheadings, tables and figures, frequently asked questions about mla format.

The header in MLA format is left-aligned on the first page of your paper. It includes

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
  • The course name or number
  • The due date of the assignment

After the MLA header, press ENTER once and type your paper title. Center the title and don’t forget to apply title-case capitalization. Read our article on writing strong titles that are informative, striking and appropriate.

MLA header

For a paper with multiple authors, it’s better to use a separate title page instead.

At the top of every page, including the first page, you need to include your last name and the page number. This is called the “running head.” Follow these steps to set up the MLA running head in your Word or Google Docs document:

  • Double-click at the top of a page
  • Type your last name
  • Insert automatic page numbering
  • Align the content to the right

The running head should look like this:

MLA running head

The Works Cited list is included on a separate page at the end of your paper. You list all the sources you referenced in your paper in alphabetical order. Don’t include sources that weren’t cited in the paper, except potentially in an MLA annotated bibliography assignment.

Place the title “Works Cited” in the center at the top of the page. After the title, press ENTER once and insert your MLA references.

If a reference entry is longer than one line, each line after the first should be indented ½ inch (called a hanging indent ). All entries are double spaced, just like the rest of the text.

Format of an MLA Works Cited page

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

Prefer to cite your sources manually? Use the interactive example below to see what the Works Cited entry and MLA in-text citation look like for different source types.

Headings and subheadings are not mandatory, but they can help you organize and structure your paper, especially in longer assignments.

MLA has only a few formatting requirements for headings. They should

  • Be written in title case
  • Be left-aligned
  • Not end in a period

We recommend keeping the font and size the same as the body text and applying title case capitalization. In general, boldface indicates greater prominence, while italics are appropriate for subordinate headings.

Chapter Title

Section Heading

Tip: Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word allow you to create heading levels that help you to keep your headings consistent.

Tables and other illustrations (referred to as “figures”) should be placed as close to the relevant part of text as possible. MLA also provides guidelines for presenting them.

MLA format for tables

Tables are labeled and numbered, along with a descriptive title. The label and title are placed above the table on separate lines; the label and number appear in bold.

A caption providing information about the source appears below the table; you don’t need one if the table is your own work.

Below this, any explanatory notes appear, marked on the relevant part of the table with a superscript letter. The first line of each note is indented; your word processor should apply this formatting automatically.

Just like in the rest of the paper, the text is double spaced and you should use title case capitalization for the title (but not for the caption or notes).

MLA table

MLA format for figures

Figures (any image included in your paper that isn’t a table) are also labeled and numbered, but here, this is integrated into the caption below the image. The caption in this case is also centered.

The label “Figure” is abbreviated to “Fig.” and followed by the figure number and a period. The rest of the caption gives either full source information, or (as in the example here) just basic descriptive information about the image (author, title, publication year).

MLA figure

Source information in table and figure captions

If the caption of your table or figure includes full source information and that source is not otherwise cited in the text, you don’t need to include it in your Works Cited list.

Give full source information in a caption in the same format as you would in the Works Cited list, but without inverting the author name (i.e. John Smith, not Smith, John).

MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman , since it’s easy to read and installed on every computer. Other standard fonts such as Arial or Georgia are also acceptable. If in doubt, check with your supervisor which font you should be using.

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Set 1 inch page margins
  • Apply double line spacing
  • Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
  • Center the paper’s title
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
  • Use title case capitalization for headings
  • Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end

The fastest and most accurate way to create MLA citations is by using Scribbr’s MLA Citation Generator .

Search by book title, page URL, or journal DOI to automatically generate flawless citations, or cite manually using the simple citation forms.

The MLA Handbook is currently in its 9th edition , published in 2021.

This quick guide to MLA style  explains the latest guidelines for citing sources and formatting papers according to MLA.

Usually, no title page is needed in an MLA paper . A header is generally included at the top of the first page instead. The exceptions are when:

  • Your instructor requires one, or
  • Your paper is a group project

In those cases, you should use a title page instead of a header, listing the same information but on a separate page.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Streefkerk, R. (2022, June 16). MLA Format | Complete Guidelines & Free Template. Scribbr. Retrieved November 1, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/mla/formatting/

Is this article helpful?

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Add citations and a bibliography

You can add citations and a bibliography to your Google Doc with these styles:

  • MLA (8th ed.)
  • APA (7th ed.)
  • Chicago Author-Date (17th ed.)

Important: The citations tool is available in all languages, but the elements the tool generates in your document only appear in English at this time.  For example:

  • A book title you enter in the citations tool appears in the language you entered it.
  • The “Bibliography” heading, “edited by,” and other elements generated by the citations tool appear in English regardless of your language in Google Docs.

You can translate auto-generated elements to another language after you insert them in your document.

and then

  • In the sidebar, select your formatting style from MLA , APA , or Chicago Author-Date .

Add a citation source and related details

  • In the Citations sidebar, under your selected style, click + Add citation source .
  • Select your source type.
  • You can use a URL to search for websites or online newspapers, or use an ISBN number to search for books.
  • Recommended fields include a blue asterisk.
  • To add multiple contributors, click + Contributor.
  • You can indicate if a contributor is an organization, such as a company.
  • Click Add citation source .

Learn more about how to add and edit sources .

Insert an in-text citation

  • In the Citations sidebar, hover over the source you want to cite.
  • A Cite button appears on the side of the citation source.
  • The source appears in your selected style within the text of your document.
  • If a “#” appears in the text of your document, delete it or replace it with the page number(s) for your citation.

Edit a citation source


  • At the bottom of the sidebar, click Save source .

Delete a citation source

Insert a bibliography.

  • In your document, place your cursor where you want the bibliography to appear.
  • In the Citations sidebar at the bottom, click Insert bibliography. A bibliography appears in your selected style.

Related articles

  • Add and edit sources
  • See and use suggested content in a document
  • Correct your spelling & grammar in Google Docs
  • Count the words in a document
  • Search and use find and replace

Need more help?

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