MLA Checklist


MLA Format

Is your paper in 12 PT Times New Roman? Are you margins set to 1’’? Is your spacing double? After “O”?
Is your name, teachers name, date, and class in the top left-hand corner of the first page? Is it double spaced?
Is a header with your last name and the page number on the top right-hand corner of every page?
Is there no extra space between paragraphs? Is the beginning of each paragraph indented?
Are titles of books in italics and titles of articles in quotations? Do you have a centered title?

Works Cited

Is a work cited page on the last page of your essay? Does your work cited page have a centered title?
Is there a work cited entry for all of your sources? Are the entries in alpha order?
Are titles of books in italics and titles of articles in quotations? Do you use all black ink, even for URLS?
Is there a hanging indent in the 2nd and subsequent lines of the work cited entries?
Are the work cited entries double spaced with no extra space between entries?
If applicable, do you have up to 9 elements of a work cited entry included in your entry (Author name, source name, container, contributors, version, number, publisher, publication date, location) properly punctuated?

Intro Paragraph

Does your intro paragraph start with a general statement? Do you smoothly integrate author/source names?
Do you smoothly transition from idea to idea in your intro paragraph?
Do you include background information for you subject(s)? Do you provide context for the addressed issue?
Do you have a clear assertive thesis? Does your thesis have sufficient support?

Body Paragraphs

Do you make phrasal transitions between body paragraphs (No “First’, “Next”, “However”)?
Do you have a clear topic sentence/controlling idea in every body paragraph?
Do you include context for quotes? Is there commentary for your quotations? Are block quotes formatted?
Do you use signal phrases before integrating quotations? Do you punctuate the signal phrase correctly?
Do you include relevant textual evidence (only cite the good stuff!)? Is the evidence clearly relevant?
Do you include citations after your quotations? Are your citations correctly formatted/punctuated?
Do you use internal transitions when making a comparison ? Do you begin a new paragraph when shifting to a new idea?
Do you avoid both verbal and conceptual repetition (repeating the same idea in different words)?

Style/Word Choice/Grammar

Do you avoid excessive use of “to be” verbs? Do you use active verbs and strong descriptive language?
Do you avoid unnecessary wordiness? Do you avoid colloquial/slang word choices? Do you write in a “formal” register?
Do you omit 1st person pronouns (I, me, mine, my, we, us, ours) and 2nd person (you, your)?
Do you avoid words on the “blacklist” of banned words? Are words used correctly/appropriately?
Do you include variation in sentence structure (differing sentence lengths and types)? Do you avoid faulty parallelism?
Do you omit contractions? Do you spell out numbers 1-99 and two-word numbers?
Do you use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation? Do you use suffixes appropriately?
Do you avoid phrases like “In the article it says” “In Paragraph 5” “In the story” and “In the quote it says”?
Do you avoid fragments, run-ons, and dangling/misplaced modifiers? Do you maintain consistent verb tense?
Does your word choice create clarity in your writing? Do you use words whose connotations match the subject/task?


Does the writing clearly respond to the given task, prompt, circumstance, or audience?
Is there a logical progression of ideas in the writing? Do conclusions stem directly from the premises? Is there a clear and logical structure to your writing? Do you discuss the implications of the issue/topic?
Does the writing avoid errors in logic and fallacious lines of reasoning (no logical fallacies)?
Does the writing address potentially relevant assumptions or problematic premises?
Does the writing adequately explore a given concept, task, or idea?
Do you meet the page requirement fully? Is the page requirement met when you exclude quotations?