Typeset your MLA papers in XeTeX
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Typeset your MLA papers in XeTeX.

Getting started

First, download mla.cls and copy or symlink it into the same directory as your .tex document.

Start with the following template:



Your content goes here.


Compile as follows, or however you prefer to compile XeTeX:

$ latexmk -pdfxe -interaction=nonstopmode <document>.tex

You will notice a number of placeholders in the PDF, for example there is \firstname{?} where your first name should be. To set your first name, put in the preamble:

\firstname{Joe}  % adjust name to taste

Similarly for \lastname, \professor, \class, and \title. By default, the current date is used; you can substitute another one by specifying \date.

Works cited

Obtain bibliographic information in BibTeX format (you can download this from any reputable library database) and place it into a .bib file. Specify in the preamble \addbibresource{<file>.bib} to make those sources available. In the main text, you can cite them by their shortnames as \cite{<name>} or \cite[<pagenum>]{<name>}. Any cited sources will automatically be placed in a works cited if you include the command \makeworkscited at the end.


You can cause text to be justified rather than left-aligned by providing the [justify] documentclass option.

You can use Tinos for the main font rather than Times New Roman by providing the [tinos] documentclass option.

You can prevent the Works Cited from being placed on a new page by providing the [workscitedsamepage] documentclass option.

You can put page numbers in the lower-right corner rather than the upper-right corner by providing the [lowerrightpagenumbers] documentclass option.

Advanced usage

To cause a field to be omitted in the printed document, with not even a placeholder, simply specify it as e.g. \title{} rather than \title{<text>}.

You can replace the default header format with one more to your liking by using the header and centered environments rather than the \makeheader command. For example:

  ID Number
  The title