Help Me to Build Research Paper Outline in MLA Format: Writing Hints and Tips


The MLA format is one of the most commonly used ones in academic writing both at the college level and in the later years of high school. It is used most frequently in the wring of English papers although it is also used in many of the other humanities as well. If you would like to create a research paper outline that conforms to this style read on for some helpful tips.

  • Paper Size

    This may not be the first concern in completing a paper but all MLA formatted work should be sized for standard sized paper rather than longer sheets.

  • Font

    Keep your font simple, professional and easy to read. As a rule of thumb, you should use Times New Roman in size 12 but some other fonts are also permitted. If you are familiar enough with font etiquette to feel secure in making another selection, then feel free to do so.

  • Double Spacing

    All work in MLA format should be double spaced. This means that there will be instances were putting in an additional space would create unnecessary gaps on the page and this should be avoided.

  • Margins

    Your page should feature one inch margins to both the left and right sides.

  • Paragraph Indentation

    Paragraphs should start slightly indented. This can be achieved by hitting the TAB button just once.

  • Centered Titles in All Caps

    Titles should be included in capital letters and be aligned to the center of the page.

  • Subheadings Feature Roman Numerals

    Your first Heading can be featured with its full name. Points that come under that heading can be labeled with Roman Numerals such as I, II etc. Points that fall under those subheadings can be labeled with Capital letters such as A, B etc. Make sure that you do not lose track of which category a heading falls under so that the order remains consistent.

  • Sentence Structure

    The outline should contain only full sentences throughout.

  • Page Numbers

    The Author’s name should precede the page number in the outline and these should appear aligned to the outer corner of the page. The number should be typed as a common Roman numeral so that 1 appears as i, 2 appears as ii etc.

These instructions may seem like a bit much at first but a good sample can do wonders to aid in your understanding. Look for completed MLA style outlines outline and you will be able to write yours similarly.