The essay writing always involves making a cover page, and this is usually the first thing that your readers see. Therefore, you should use this opportunity to make a good impression and make sure that your readers will understand what your essay or research paper is about, and why it can be interesting to them. In this quick guide, we will consider cover pages in more detail and share some tips on how to make a cover page for an essay when dealing with different citation styles.
What an Essay Cover Page (Title Page) Is
A cover page is the very first page of an essay, research paper, or another academic paper. The cover page, which can also be called the title page, provides basic information about the author and the paper. The title page also features information on the author’s institution, and the publication date. The format of the title page and its content depends on what citation format you should use. For instance, some citation formats require you to include a running head.
The main purpose of a cover page is to help your readers immediately understand what your essay is, what it’s about, what its purpose is, and who wrote it. A proper cover page also makes your essay look more professional and formal. Quite often, a cover page isn’t a mandatory part of an academic paper. However, it’s usually included in papers formatted according to the APA style. Professors usually provide students with instructions regarding the cover page so if you’re not sure whether or not you need to write it for your essay, we recommend that you talk to your instructor.
Generally, it’s better to include the cover page because, even if your instructor doesn’t ask for it, nobody will deduct your points for providing it. The main thing is to know the required formatting because cover pages written in different styles may look completely differently. Let’s take a closer look at the common types of cover pages.
MLA format cover is one of the most common ones. Usually, papers written according to the MLA format don’t feature a cover page. If you need to include information about you, your course, professor, and date of writing, you can do it in the top left corner above the essay titlefname. However, sometimes professors ask students to make a title page for their MLA essays, and in this case, you should know what an MLA title page looks like.
The name of your university should be centered and written at the top of the page. In the middle of the cover page, include the title of the paper. You may also add the necessary subtitles and a running head with your last name and the page number. Author's name, course name and number, the date of writing, and your professor’s name should be written at the bottom of the page. You should also add 1 inch margins on all sides and use the 12 pt Times New Roman font size.
MLA Cover Page Format
Image source: https://www.chegg.com/writing/guides/style-guides/mla-format/mla-title-page-format-example/
As we’ve already mentioned above, cover pages are common in APA papers. When creating an APA cover page, you should include your name, the essay title, and the name of your institution (institutional affiliation). You should also add a running head to the top of your page. The running head should include the page number, and it may also feature the shortened title of your paper written in all caps. You may even include the words “running head” before the paper title, but on the first page only.
Just like all the other pages of your essay, the title page should have one-inch margins on all sides. Make your document double-spaced and use Times New Roman font size 12 or Arial font. Make sure that the entire title page is double-spaced and don’t include any additional spaces. Here's the cover page template that you can use as an example.
APA Cover Page Format
Image source: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/title-page
When dealing with the Chicago format, your cover page should look similar to an MLA cover page. At the same time, these two formatting styles also have some differences. For instance, Chicago style requires you to include the title of your essay in the top half of the page. At the bottom, you should provide name of the author, name of the course, and the date. The Chicago cover page format doesn’t require you to provide the name of your university.
Chicago Cover Page Format
Image source: https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org
Although making a cover page for an essay isn’t always required, it’s better to know what a title page should look like depending on the format. Adding a title page to your essay is always a good decision because it will make your essay look more professional. Cover pages are necessary elements of formal writing, and if you need to write a well-formatted cover page, our tips will help you.
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