How to do MLA format on google docs

Google docs are being used by almost all age groups ranging from school kids to high profile employees. But, the level of understanding varies between groups. The format of documents that commodities expect also varies.

Companies expect you to document things in a much professional format. Thus, schools also train you with such standards as practice.

If you use your Google Drive for schoolwork, you should know how to do MLA format on Google Docs. What is MLA format on Google Docs? Why is it required? How to use it on Google Docs? Let’s try to find answers to all the above questions in this article.

What is MLA format?

Although we are required for various formats while making documents, some standard formats like MLA are in demand always.

Using MLA Style properly makes it easier for readers to navigate and comprehend a text through familiar cues that refer to sources and borrowed information.

Editors and instructors also encourage everyone to use the same format so there is a consistency of style within a given field.

General guidelines for MLA format

  • Use Size 12 Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced text with no extra spaces between paragraphs should be adapted
  • One-inch page margins on all sides should be ensured
  • A header with your last name and a page number in the top-right of every page
  • Your full name, the instructor’s name, the course name, and the due date in the top-left of the first page
  • A centered title above the body text
  • Body paragraphs should begin with a 1/2 inch indent
  • A Works Cited page at the end of the paper

Different ways to do MLA format on Google Docs

There are two ways, one is to use a template with all the settings preconfigured and the other way is to perform the settings yourself.

  • Method 1 – to use a Google Template with settings pre-configured
  • Method 2 – to perform the settings yourself (recommended one)

How to use MLA format on Google docs with settings pre-configured – template way?

We might have used various templates available on Google Docs for our day to day documenting purposes. The Google Docs Report MLA add-on is one such template that comes in handy for various use cases. 

Steps in setting up MLA format on Google Docs: 

The following steps are required to set up an MLA format on Google Docs,

Step 1: Open a new document and select File > New > From template.

google docs MLA format
Google docs MLA format

A template gallery will be opened in a new tab.

Step 2: Scroll down, you’ll find the Report MLA add-on under the Education section.

How to do mla format on google docs
How to do mla format on google docs

Step 3: A new document will be opened with some dummy text that you can replace with your own later. The formatting for the document will already be in place. You can just play with the words and replace them as required.

How to use MLA format on Google docs
How to use MLA format on Google docs

Hurray, we are good to go now without much hassle.

How to use MLA format on Google docs on your own?

Although the template way is easy, you might not trust the template way every time. Sometimes the document you are up to present could have much priority and should ensure proper formatting covering each and every aspect. In such cases, it’s good to configure on your own. 

But, once you’ve set it up, you can also save it as your own, customized template so you don’t have to do it again the next time you need the format.

Changes to be done to do MLA format on Google Docs:

Font and font-size:

  • Change the font to Times New Roman
  • Change the font size to 12

By default, when you create a new document, the font is Arial and the size would be 11.


  • By default Google Docs uses the margin of 1 inch for all top, right, bottom & left 

This is the same required for MLA format as well, thus needs no change.

If you would like to verify the margins for correctness, follow the step: 

  • click on File => Page Setup


  • Click on Insert => Header & page number => Header.
  • You’ll notice that the font on the Header is NOT Times New Roman. Thus change the font to Times New Roman and font size of 12.
  • You’ll also notice that the cursor is blinking on the left, thus click on the Right Align icon to align the cursor to the right.
  • Now press the Enter key on your keyboard twice.
  • Then type your Last Name and then press the Spacebar key on the keyboard once.
  • Following it click on Insert => Header & page number => Page number => then click on the first box.
  • Finally, now click on anywhere below the Header line so that header would be closed.

Line spacing as double spaced:

Click on the Line Spacing button => Choose Double.

MLA format on Google Docs

First-page information:

  1. Initially, type your full name and then press Enter.
  2. Then, type your professor’s name => press Enter.
  3. Type course title => press Enter.
  4. Then, type your paper’s due date followed by the ‘Enter’ key.
  5. Then, click on the Align Center icon on the formatting toolbar (to center your blinking cursor). Then also type the title of your paper, capitalizing the first letter and all major words and proper nouns. Make sure you’re not using italics, boldfaced type, underlining, or all caps to format your title. Do not type a period at the end of the title. Finally, press Enter.
  6. Click on the Align Left icon to bring your blinking cursor to the left. 
  7. Finally, click on the Tab key to indent 1/2 inch to begin your first paragraph. Use the Tab key on every new paragraph. 

That’s it done with the first page information.

Works cited page:

The Works Cited page usually possess the following characteristics:

  • Make a heading “Works Cited” centered one inch below the top edge of a new page. Make sure you do not bold or underline this heading.
  • No indent on the first line of each entry. If an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines 1/2 inch from the left margin.
  • Alphabetize entries in your list of works cited by the author’s last name, using the letter-by-letter system.

Steps for works cited page: 

Step 1: After typing the final line of your paper, click on Insert => Page Break to begin a new page.

Step 2: Click on the align center icon to make the text centered. 

Step 3: Type Works Cited and does not underline, boldface, italicize, or enclose the title in quotation marks.

Step 4: Press the Enter key once to begin a new line.

Step 5: Then, click on the align left icon so that the text is aligned left.

Step 6: Now type your information sources. Do not worry a lot about indentation on the subsequent lines.

Step 7: Once you are done typing your sources, highlight all your sources, and then click on the Left Indent icon and drag it to the 1/2 inch mark.

Step 8: Finally, now click on the First Line Indent icon and drag it to the 0-inch mark.

You may like following Google docs tutorials:

Thus we have seen in detail how an MLA document can be made using Google Docs. Try both these methods and choose the one that works for you efficiently. Happy documenting!