How to Write a Cover Page for a Research Paper and Catch the Attention of Readers

A research paper with a cover page is a great way to impress your readers with a professional look that speaks volumes about your dedication and hard work. Cover letters shouldn’t be in any way distracting or decorated; they should provide readers with succinct and clear information about the content you have provided.

Here are the three most widely used styles and cover page elements for each:

MLA Format Style Cover Page

The MLA format style doesn’t require you to create a cover page when writing research papers, however, some instructors may require you to include one on a case by case basis.

  • The title of your research paper should be center aligned and a third of the way down the page.
  • Your name should be center aligned and 2 – 3 lines below your title.
  • Write the course information 2 – 3 lines below your name, center aligned, and write your instructor’s name directly below this.
  • Write the date of submission below your instructor’s name, center aligned.

APA Format Style Cover Page

The APA format style is most commonly used for citation within the social and behavioral sciences and is widely used by hundreds of scientific journals.

  • The title of your research paper should be center aligned and halfway down the page.
  • Your name should be center aligned at the bottom of your page.
  • Write your institution’s name immediately below your name, center aligned, and write the date of submission directly below this. Note: You do not have to include your instructor’s name.
  • Include a running head at the top of every page, left justified. A running head is a shortened version of the title, which is no more than 50 characters long.

Chicago Format Style Cover Page

The Chicago format style is widely used in publishing but is also used in social sciences and history fields and generally mixes a number of formats to give writers more freedom.

  • The title of your research paper should be center aligned and halfway down the page.
  • Your name should be centered aligned on the line immediately below your title.
  • Your instructor’s name, course title and section, and date submitted should be written in three lines, center aligned at the bottom of your page.
  • Don’t use a page number on your cover page.

These simple instructions will give you a good title page that provides your reader a great first impression that should reflect favorably upon all the hard work you have put into your research.