How to Put MLA Format on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Putting MLA format on Google Docs is a straightforward process that involves setting up your document with the correct margins, font, header, and Works Cited page. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to create a properly formatted MLA document in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: MLA Format on Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. MLA format is a set of guidelines for writing research papers defined by the Modern Language Association. It includes specific rules for formatting documents. Google Docs is a user-friendly platform that allows you to easily apply these guidelines to your work.

Step 1: Set the Margins

Set the document’s margins to 1 inch on all sides.

In Google Docs, click on “File,” then “Page Setup,” and enter 1 inch for the top, bottom, left, and right margins. This leaves you with a clean, professional-looking document that adheres to MLA guidelines.

Step 2: Choose the Font and Size

Select Times New Roman as your font and set the size to 12.

The MLA format requires the use of a legible font that doesn’t distract from the content. Times New Roman, size 12, is the standard choice. It’s easy to read and widely accepted in academic settings.

Step 3: Create a Header

Insert a header with your last name and page number.

Click on “Insert,” then “Header & page number,” and choose “Header.” On the right side, add your last name and the page number. This header will automatically appear on every page of your document.

Step 4: Set the Line Spacing

Double-space the entire document.

Click on “Format,” then “Line spacing,” and choose “Double.” This ensures that your document is easy to read and leaves room for comments or corrections.

Step 5: Add a Works Cited Page

Create a new page at the end of your document for the Works Cited list.

Click “Insert,” then “Break,” and choose “Page break.” This will start a new page where you will list all the sources you cited in your paper, formatted according to MLA guidelines.

After completing these steps, your Google Doc will be properly formatted according to MLA standards. You can now focus on the content of your paper, knowing that the formatting is taken care of.

Tips: MLA Format on Google Docs

  • Always check the latest MLA guidelines, as they may change over time.
  • Use the “Hanging indent” feature for your Works Cited page to properly format your citations.
  • Save your settings as a template for future documents to save time.
  • Remember to italicize the titles of longer works, like books and movies.
  • Use the “Spell check” and “Grammar check” features in Google Docs to polish your final document.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to cite a source with multiple authors?

List the first author’s name in reverse (Last Name, First Name), followed by a comma and “et al.” for any subsequent authors.

How do I create a proper heading in MLA format?

Your heading should be left-aligned and include your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date, double-spaced.

Can I use a different font than Times New Roman?

While Times New Roman is the preferred font, other readable fonts like Arial or Calibri are also acceptable as long as they are size 12.

What’s the proper way to format titles of works in my paper?

Short works like articles or poems should be in quotation marks, while longer works like books or films should be italicized.

How do I make a hanging indent on Google Docs?

Highlight your Works Cited list, click “Format,” then “Align & indent,” and select “Indentation options.” Choose “Hanging” under “Special indent.”


  1. Set 1-inch margins.
  2. Use Times New Roman, size 12 font.
  3. Create a header with your last name and page number.
  4. Double-space the document.
  5. Add a Works Cited page with a hanging indent.


Mastering MLA format on Google Docs is a valuable skill that will serve you well throughout your academic career and beyond. These guidelines help ensure that your papers are uniformly structured, making them easier for instructors and peers to read and review. Remember, attention to detail is critical when it comes to academic writing, and proper formatting is a big part of that. With the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to confidently apply MLA formatting to your Google Docs, leaving you more time to focus on crafting your arguments and presenting your research. So why not get started on your next paper today? With a little practice, MLA format on Google Docs will become second nature.

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy