The Discerning Blog


A TRUE Beginners' Guide: How to Format an MLA Paper in Google Docs

OY! Have you tried to use some of the Tutorials out there? They all assume you know your way around... not this one! This is the True Beginners' Guide to MLA Standard for Google Docs.

1. Find Your Google Drive:

Go to Google

-Sign into your Google Account (click the face or letter icon in upper right and choose your account and sign in – create an account if you need one)

-click the box of dots to the left of the face / letter icon in upper right

-click on the Drive triangle (it is not always in the same place!

2. Open a New Document:

-click the big Plus sign beside new

-click Google Docs to open a new document file in your google drive

(take a look around sometime... you can do a lot of different things on your Google drive!)

This area here is like a table of contents for your document – you can just click the arrow and it will collapse.

HINT for another time: If you highlight a line of text in your document and click on the down arrow beside normal text you can choose header sizes - these headers are organized in this Table of Contents area! This is great for long documents!

3. Begin to Format Your Page

-Choose File from the Menu Line at the top

-Scroll down to Page Set Up and click it.

This is the page set up menu pop up.

Change the Margins to 1” all around

(if it is set in cm set it to 2.5 cm)

4. Get your Name and Page number ½” from the top right of very page

-Click Insert

-Scroll down and click Headers and Footers

-Click Header

Now to Get Your Name to Appear on the right hand side of the screen:

-Click the Justify Icon (Hint: You can hover over all these icons and it will tell you what they are!)

-Choose the Right justify icon (all lines even on the right side)

Add your name and add the page number

-Just your Last Name and a space (or add a comma then a space if your teacher prefers)

-Do NOT type a page number here!

-click Options

-choose Page Numbers

This is the Page Numbers pop up

-click apply (unless your teacher wants something fancy - then read the options in the pop up)

5. Double Space Your Document

(this means a line of typing and a line of space then a line of typing….etc -do NOT just click return/enter 2 times at the end of each line of typing! )

-choose the menu button with the lines and an arrow up and down beside it

-click double

Add your student, teacher, course, date to the first page

-As shown below type in your information on the left side of the page (left justified)


-click the Justify menu button and choose center align

Now type your title (no bold, no underline) Use capitals for the beginning of every word unless it is 2 letters or less.

6. Type in Your Essay

-you want this left justified:

-choose the justify menu icon

-choose the left justify icon (the words left align will pop up - unlike the picture)

HINT: Don't forget to give it a logical file name so that you can find it again!

Click on the words "Untitled Document" at the top and change them to your assignment name!


Your paper is now formatted in MLA standard!

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