How to Write a Perfect Research Paper Cover Page

A research paper cover page or title page may include your title of the paper, name of school/university, your course name and name, your professor’s name or teacher’s name and the date the paper is due.

The cover page of a research paper usually comes before an abstract and the rest of the entire article.

Also Read: How to write the best research paper abstract

Title Page

The page of the title should include four items:

  1. The paper title, should concisely mention the topic of your paper as well as the theoretical or variables concerns that are being researched.  The title should be in the middle of the page, centered and between 10-15 words long.
  2. The name of the author and Institution.  The Institution is the university or college in which the research was done. The name of the author and the Institution should be put just under the title and centered.
  3. A running head.  This is what comes at the beginning of each page beside the page numbers in the whole paper. The designation of the running head should be at the beginning of the page and after the number page, it should be justified.
  4. A page number, should be at the right- hand corner of the title page followed by the running head.  Pages should be consecutively numbered at the right hand all through the paper.

A sample of a cover page for an MLA research paper

Modern Language Association Style (MLA) is earmarked for specifying the needs related to academic writing, like formatting and using English.  Although most research papers are made according to this style, MLA normally does not give a cover page. 

Instead, all the relevant and important information is stated on the first page. Therefore, you should not make up a cover page until special requirements are needed.

Read also: Step-by-step Research Paper Writing Process

However, instructors may need a cover page separately, since they think it is more professional.  Instructors usually designate the requirements for the page title.  The standard MLA Format page title contains the information below:

  1. Name of University
  2. Title of the paper
  3. Your name
  4. Your class
  5. Name of professor
  6. Due date

Your cover page should the following format:

  1. Write the university’s name
  2. Write the paper title, passing over about 1/3 of the page. Ensure that you have the right formatting.  You should write the title with the standard capitalization and keep in mind that the initial word is always done in capital letters, whether it is a preposition or an article.  Remember to use punctuation and not quotation marks. However, italicize the title and use punctuate citations.
  3. Jump a few lines and write your two names.
  4. Jump a few more lines and on separate lines, write down your class, name of professor and due date.  Remember to write them accurately including the title of the professor. Put down every information about the course or class accordingly.  In this MLA style dates are normally written in European format.  Therefore, you should do it in this order: day, month and year.
  5. Make sure to center all lines and to double-space the page title. For every line apply the same format but avoid using any specific formatting like highlighting, italicizing or underlining.

If your research paper needs a cover page, remember that your initial page will contain special formatting.  Do not mention every information on the cover page here. 

However, the initial page always includes your name and the work title.  Do not forget to write the page numbers and your name on every page of your paper.  

MLA Format Sample Cover Page

The APA Style

When you are using the APA ( American Psychological Association) style in writing your research paper, you are to follow some basic instructions for formatting. 

For proper structure, reference and guidelines you may get a manual from the APA Publication.  The title page can be made with the templates provided here together with the instructions below:

Cover Page Format APA

  1. Line spacing – should be double spaced
  2. Font size – 12
  3. Font – Easy to read, APA recommends Times New Roman unless your institution specifies another font.
  4. Margins – an inch all through

Most of these formatting styles are common with your APA paper, though every institution and professor might have different specifications on how they need your paper formatted.  Ultimately, their say is final for requirements therefore ensure that you have checked with them for differences.  The APA has the following two things on each page, starting on the title page:

Running Head in the Title Page

Take this as your abstract title.  This is a brief title and should be at the head of each page, according to APA blog.  The page header’s aim is twofold:

  • Identification _ to identify the reader’s page in case the pages are separate
  • Anonymity _ to keep the author unidentified while doing the review if the paper is to be submitted for publication.

Running Head Formatting

  •  It should all be typed in capital letters
  • It should be in the header, left flush
  • It should be prefixed with “Running head” on the page cover and do not forget the colon.
  • It should not exceed 50 characters, spaces included.

Page Number

Every page of the APA style research paper should contain a page number and follow these rules:

  •  Placement: right top corner at the top of the page besides the running head
  • Numbering: start with 1 on the page title
  • Justification: justify right

APA Cover Page Sections

Your APA style page title should have three major items, according to Purdue Online Writing Lab.  Full information in the lines should be:

  1. Double-spaced
  2. Use of upper and lower case
  3. Centered
  4. Use the easy- to- read font chosen by the institution or the Times New Roman in 12 recommended by the APA.

The 3 sections are:

APA Paper Title

The title has to follow the following instructions:

  •  Concise
  •  Should be less than 15 words long
  •  If need be, can take up to 2 lines on the paper
  •  Do not use abbreviations
  •  Unlike titles and work references you are citing in your paper’s essay you should not write the title in italics or boldface.

Name of the Author

This is just the place to write your name to enable your paper to be anonymous when presenting it to be reviewed for publication, with no title page.  Do not put anything else on this line and should be as below:

  1. Full name of the author.  Put their middle initial
  2. Place it below the title
  3. Do not put degrees and titles after the name

Institutional Affiliation

Institutional Affiliation should be under the byline of the author, where the research for the APA style paper was conducted.  Again, only the Institution name is needed, no descriptive text.

Free APA Title Page Examples

Below are template downloads and guides to help you put together your APA Paper Format.  You can also get more information and instructions at

A sample of a typical APA style research paper title page/cover page

There are 7 more samples listed as follows:

  1. Standard Format – A typical APA style paper where title is in the middle of the page
  2. Two authors, same affiliations – APA style paper with 2 authors and the same affiliation
  3. Two authors, two affiliations – APA style paper with two authors, two affiliations
  4. Three authors, two affiliations – APA style term paper with three authors and two affiliations
  5. Three authors, three affiliations – APA style term paper with three authors and three affiliations
  6. Three authors, same affiliations for the first and third authors – APA style term paper with three authors and same affiliation for the first and third authors
  7. One author, one affiliation –    APA style term paper with one author and one affiliation