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How to Write an Essay in APA Format

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

title page for essay format

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

title page for essay format

What Is APA Format?

Apa essay format basics.

  • Steps to Follow

Frequently Asked Questions

If your instructor has asked you to write an APA format essay, it might at first seem like a daunting task, especially if you are accustomed to using another style such as MLA or Chicago. But you can master the rules of APA essay format, too.

An essay is one type of paper that can be written in APA format; others include lab reports, experimental reports, and case studies. Before you begin, familiarize yourself with some of the basic guidelines for writing a paper in APA format. Of course, it will also be important to follow any other formatting instructions that are part of your assignment.

How do you write an essay in APA format? The basic elements you need to include are:

  • A title page
  • An abstract
  • An introduction, main body, and conclusion
  • A reference section
  • Proper APA formatting with regard to margins, layout, spacing, titles, and indentations

This article discusses how to write an essay in APA format, including the basic steps you should follow and tips for how to get started.

Whether you’re taking an introductory or graduate-level psychology class, chances are strong that you will have to write at least one paper during the course of the semester. In almost every case, you will need to write your paper in APA format, the official publication style of the American Psychological Association . It is also used for academic journals.

Such rules are generally the same whether you are writing a high school essay, college essay, or professional essay for publication.

APA format is used in a range of disciplines including psychology , education, and other social sciences. The format dictates presentation elements of your paper including spacing, margins, and how the content is structured.

Most instructors and publication editors have strict guidelines when it comes to how your format your writing. Not only does adhering to APA format allow readers to know what to expect from your paper, but it also means that your work will not lose critical points over minor formatting errors. 

While the formatting requirements for your paper might vary depending on your instructor's directions, writing APA essay format means you will most likely need to include a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference sections.

Your APA format essay should have a title page . This title page should include the title of your paper, your name, and your school affiliation. In some instances, your teacher might require additional information such as the course title, instructor name, and the date.

  • The title of your paper should be concise and clearly describe what your paper is about.
  • Your title can extend to two lines, but it should be no longer than 12 words.

An abstract is a brief summary of your paper that immediately follows the title page. It is not required for student papers, according to APA style. However, your instructor may request one.

If you include an abstract , it should be no more than 100 to 200 words, although this may vary depending upon the instructor requirements.

Your essay should also include a reference list with all of the sources that were cited in your essay,

  • The reference section is located at the end of your paper.
  • References should be listed alphabetically by the last name of the author.
  • References should be double-spaced.
  • Any source that is cited in your paper should be included in your reference section.

When writing in APA essay format, the text will include the actual essay itself: The introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • There should be uniform margins of at least one inch at the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your essay.
  • The text should be in Times New Roman size 12 font or another serif typeface that is easily readable.
  • Your paper should be double-spaced.
  • Every page should include a page number in the top right corner.
  • The first word of each paragraph in your paper should be indented one-half inch.

For professional papers (usually not student papers), every page of the essay also includes a running head at the top left. The running head is a shortened form of the title, often the first few words, and should be no more than 50 characters (including spaces).

Steps to a Successful APA Format Essay

In addition to ensuring that you cite your sources properly and present information according to the rules of APA style, there are a number of things you can do to make the writing process a little bit easier.

Choose a Topic

Start by choosing a good topic to write about. Ideally, you want to select a subject that is specific enough to let you fully research and explore the topic, but not so specific that you have a hard time finding sources of information.

If you choose something too specific, you may find yourself with not enough to write about. If you choose something too general, you might find yourself overwhelmed with information.

Research Your Topic

Start doing research as early as possible. Begin by looking at some basic books and articles on your topic to help develop it further. What is the question you are going to answer with your essay? What approach will you take to the topic?

Once you are more familiar with the subject, create a preliminary source list of potential books, articles, essays, and studies that you may end up using in your essay.

Remember, any source used in your essay must be included in your reference section. Conversely, any source listed in your references must be cited somewhere in the body of your paper.

Write Your Rough Draft

With research in hand, you are ready to begin. Some people like to create an outline to organize their argument prior to drafting. You may want to start with a very rough outline, and then add details.

Once you have a detailed outline, the next step is to translate it from notes to complete sentences and paragraphs. Remember, this is a first draft. It doesn't have to be perfect.

As you write your paper in APA essay format, be sure to keep careful track of the sources that you cite.

How do you start an APA paper? Your paper should begin with an introduction that includes a thesis statement that presents your main ideas, points, or arguments. Your introduction should start on the third page of your paper (after the title page and abstract). The title of your paper should be centered, bolded, and typed in title case at the top of the page.

Review and Revise

After you have prepared a rough draft of your essay, it's time to revise, review, and prepare your final draft. In addition to making sure that your writing is cohesive and supported by your sources, you should also check carefully for typos, grammar errors, and possible formatting mistakes.

When citing information or quotations taken from an interview, APA format requires that you cite the source, how the information was collected, and the date of the interview. They should not be included in the reference section, however, because they are not something that can be located by a reader in any published source or searchable database.

Instead, the information should be cited parenthetically in the main body of the text. For example: “There was an increase in the number of college students who screened positive for depression/anxiety” (R. Heathfield, personal communication, May 9, 2021).

If the essay is in a chapter of a book, edited collection, or anthology, APA format states that you should cite the last name, first name, title of essay, title of collection, publisher, year, and page range. For example: Smith, John, "The Light House," A Book of Poems , editing by Peter Roberts, Allworth Press, 2005, pp. 20-25.

According to APA format, a two-part essay is formatted the same as an essay, however, you'll need to create two title pages.

If you're including a short direct quote in your APA-format essay, you will need to cite the author, year of publication, and page number (p.) or page number span (pp.). Quotations longer than 40 words should omit the quotation marks and be put in the text using block quotation formatting, on its own line and indented 1/2 inch from the left margin.

The cover page or "title page" in APA essay format should always include the title of your paper, your name, and school affiliation as well as the course title, instructor name, and date, if requested by your teacher.

Nagda S.  How to write a scientific abstract.   J Indian Prosthodont Soc.  2013;13(3):382-383. doi:10.1007/s13191-013-0299-x

American Psychological Association.  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  (7th ed.). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association; 2019.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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APA Title Page (Cover Page) Format, Example, & Templates

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Educator, Researcher

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

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Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

On This Page:

In APA Style (7th edition), the cover page, or title page, should include:
  • A running head (professional papers only) and page number
  • The title of the paper
  • The name of the author(s)
  • The institutional affiliation
  • An author note; optional (professional papers only)
  • A student paper should also include course information
Note : APA 7 provides slightly different directions for formatting the title pages of professional papers (e.g., those intended for scholarly publication) and student papers (e.g., those turned in for credit in a high school or college course).

Professional paper APA title page

An example of an APA format reference page

Student paper APA title page

An example of an APA format reference page

Formatting an APA title page

Note : All text on the title page should be double-spaced and typed in either 12-point, Times New Roman font. In the 7th edition, APA increaded the flexibility regarding font options: which now include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, or Georgia 11. All words should be centered, and capitalize the first letter of important words.

Running Head

In the 7th edition of the APA style manual, running heads are only required for professional papers that are being submitted for publication (student papers do not require a running head, but still need a page number).

Your title page should contain a running head that is flush left at the top of the page and a page number that is flush right at the top of the page.

Place the running head in the page’s header:

  • The running head is the abbreviated title of the paper (IN UPPERCASE LETTERS) aligned left on the page header of all pages, including the title page. APA (7th edition) guidelines require that running heads be a maximum of 50 characters (spaces count as characters).
  • The “Running head:” label used in the APA sixth edition is no longer used.
  • Place the page number in this same header, but align right, beginning with page number 1 on the title page.
  • This header should be 1 inch from the top. Some instructors allow for 1/2 inch, too, but the default is 1 inch.

Paper Title

Position the title of the paper in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface, and important words should be capitalized.

The APA recommends that your title should be a maximum of 12 words and should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.

Author Name(s)

Institutional affiliation.

Position the school or university’s name below the author(s) name, centered.

A student paper should also include the course number and name, instructor name, and assignment due date.

Further Information

  • APA Student Title Page Guide
  • APA Referencing
  • How to Write a Lab Report
  • Essay Writing Guide for Psychology Students
  • APA Style Citations & References
  • Example of an APA Formatted Paper

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  • MJC Library & Learning Center
  • Research Guides

Format Your Paper & Cite Your Sources

  • APA Style, 7th Edition
  • Citing Sources
  • MLA Style (8th/9th ed.)

APA Tutorial

Formatting your paper, headings organize your paper (2.27), video tutorials, reference list format (9.43).

  • Elements of a Reference

Reference Examples (Chapter 10)

Dois and urls (9.34-9.36), in-text citations.

  • In-Text Citations Format
  • In-Text Citations for Specific Source Types


  • Chicago Style
  • Harvard Style
  • Other Styles
  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • How to Create an Attribution

What is APA Style?

Cover Art

APA style was created by social and behavioral scientists to standardize scientific writing. APA style is most often used in:

  • psychology,
  • social sciences (sociology, business), and

If you're taking courses in any of these areas, be prepared to use APA style.

For in-depth guidance on using this citation style, refer to Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed. We have several copies available at the MJC Library at the call number  BF 76.7 .P83 2020 .

APA Style, 7th ed.

In October 2019, the American Psychological Association made radical changes its style, especially with regard to the format and citation rules for students writing academic papers. Use this guide to learn how to format and cite your papers using APA Style, 7th edition.

You can start by viewing the  video tutorial .

For help on all aspects of formatting your paper in APA Style, see   The Essentials  page on the APA Style website.

  • sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, or
  • serif fonts such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or normal (10-point) Computer Modern (the default font for LaTeX)
  • There are exceptions for the  title page ,  tables ,  figures ,  footnotes , and  displayed equations .
  • Margins :  Use 1-in. margins on every side of the page.
  • Align the text of an APA Style  paper to the left margin . Leave the right margin uneven, or “ragged.”
  • Do not use full justification for student papers.
  • Do not insert hyphens (manual breaks) in words at the end of line. However, it is acceptable if your word-processing program automatically inserts breaks in long hyperlinks (such as in a DOI or URL in a reference list entry).
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph of text 0.5 in . from the left margin. Use the tab key or the automatic paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program to achieve the indentation (the default setting is likely already 0.5 in.). Do not use the space bar to create indentation. 
  • There are exceptions for the  title page ,  section labels ,  abstract ,  block quotations ,  headings ,  tables and figures ,  reference list , and  appendices .

Paper Elements

Student papers generally include, at a minimum: 

  • Title Page (2.3)
  • Text (2.11)
  • References  (2.12)

Student papers may include additional elements such as tables and figures depending on the assignment. So, please check with your teacher!

Student papers generally  DO NOT  include the following unless your teacher specifically requests it:

  • Running head
  • Author note

For complete information on the  order of pages , see the APA Style website.

Number your pages consecutively starting with page 1. Each section begins on a new page. Put the pages in the following order:

  • Page 1: Title page
  • Page 2: Abstract (if your teacher requires an abstract)
  • Page 3: Text 
  • References begin on a new page after the last page of text
  • Footnotes begin on a new page after the references (if your teacher requires footnotes)
  • Tables begin each on a new page after the footnotes (if your teacher requires tables) 
  • Figures begin on a new page after the tables (if your teacher requires figures)
  • Appendices begin on a new page after the tables and/or figures (if your teacher requires appendices)

Sample Papers With Built-In Instructions

To see what your paper should look like, check out these sample papers with built-in instructions.

APA Style uses five (5) levels of headings to help you organize your paper and allow your audience to identify its key points easily. Levels of headings establish the hierarchy of your sections just like you did in your paper outline.

APA tells us to use "only the number of headings necessary to differentiate distinct section in your paper." Therefore, the number of heading levels you create depends on the length and complexity of your paper.

See the chart below for instructions on formatting your headings:

Levels of Headings

Use Word to Format Your Paper:

Use Google Docs to Format Your Paper:

Placement:  The reference list  appears at the end of the paper, on its own page(s). If your research paper ends on page 8, your References begin on page 9.

Heading:  Place the section label References  in bold at the top of the page, centered.

Arrangement:  Alphabetize entries by author's last name. If source has no named author, alphabetize by the title, ignoring A, An, or The. (9.44-9.48)

Spacing:  Like the rest of the APA paper, the reference list is double-spaced throughout. Be sure NOT to add extra spaces between citations.

Indentation:  To make citations easier to scan, add a  hanging indent  of 0.5 in. to any citation that runs more than one line. Use the paragraph-formatting function of your word processing program to create your hanging indent.  

See Sample References Page (from APA Sample Student Paper):

Sample References page

Elements of Reference List Entries: (Chapter 9)

Where to find reference information for a journal article

References generally have four elements, each of which has a corresponding question for you to answer:

  • Author:   Who is responsible for this work? (9.7-9.12)
  • Date:   When was this work published? (9.13-9.17)
  • Title:   What is this work called? (9.18-9.22)
  • Source:   Where can I retrieve this work? (9.23-9.37)

By using these four elements and answering these four questions, you should be able to create a citation for any type of source.

For complete information on all of these elements, checkout the APA Style website.

This infographic shows the first page of a journal article. The locations of the reference elements are highlighted with different colors and callouts, and the same colors are used in the reference list entry to show how the entry corresponds to the source.

To create your references, you'll simple look for these elements in your source and put them together in your reference list entry.

American Psychological Association.  Example of where to find reference information for a journal article  [Infographic]. APA Style Center. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/basic-principles

Below you'll find two printable handouts showing APA citation examples. The first is an abbreviated list created by MJC Librarians. The second, which is more comprehensive, is from the APA Style website. Feel free to print these for your convenience or use the links to reference examples below:

  • APA Citation Examples Created by MJC Librarians for you.
  • Common References Examples (APA Handout) Printable handout from the American Psychological Association.
  • APA Style Quick Reference Guide See how to format three typical types of references.
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Edited Book Chapter
  • Webpage on a Website

Classroom or Intranet Sources

  • Classroom Course Pack Materials
  • How to cite ChatGPT
  • Dictionary Entry
  • Government Report
  • Legal References (Laws & Cases)
  • TED Talk References
  • Religious Works
  • Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Archival Documents and Collections

You can view the entire Reference Examples website below and view a helpful guide to finding useful APA style topics easily:

  • APA Style: Reference Examples
  • Navigating the not-so-hidden treasures of the APA Style website
  • Missing Reference Information

Sometimes you won't be able to find all the elements required for your reference. In that case, see the  instructions in Table 9.1 of the APA style manual in section 9.4 or the APA Style website below:

  • Direct Quotation of Material Without Page Numbers

The DOI or URL is the final component of a reference list entry. Because so much scholarship is available and/or retrieved online, most reference list entries end with either a DOI or a URL.

  • A  DOI  is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. DOIs can be found in database records and the reference lists of published works.
  • A  URL  specifies the location of digital information on the internet and can be found in the address bar of your internet browser. URLs in references should link directly to the cited work when possible.

When to Include DOIs and URLs:

  • Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless of whether you used the online version or the print version.
  • If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI.
  • For works without DOIs from websites (not including academic research databases), provide a URL in the reference (as long as the URL will work for readers).
  • For works without DOIs from most academic research databases, do not include a URL or database information in the reference because these works are widely available. The reference should be the same as the reference for a print version of the work.
  • For works from databases that publish original, proprietary material available only in that database (such as the UpToDate database) or for works of limited circulation in databases (such as monographs in the ERIC database), include the name of the database or archive and the URL of the work. If the URL requires a login or is session-specific (meaning it will not resolve for readers), provide the URL of the database or archive home page or login page instead of the URL for the work. (See APA Section 9.30 for more information). 
  • If the URL is no longer working or no longer provides readers access to the content you intend to cite, try to find an archived version using the Internet Archive , then use the archived URL. If there is no archived URL, do not use that resource.

Format of DOIs and URLs:

Your DOI should look like this: 


Follow these guidelines from the APA Style website.

APA Style uses the  author–date citation system , in which a brief in-text citation points your reader to the full reference list entry at the end of your paper. The in-text citation appears within the body of the paper and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This method enables your reader to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of your paper.

Each work you cite  must  appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix) except for the following (See APA, 8.4):

  • Personal communications (8.9)
  • General mentions of entire websites, whole periodicals (8.22), and common software and apps (10.10) in the text do not require a citation or reference list entry.
  • The source of an epigraph does not usually appear in the reference list (8.35)
  • Quotations from your research participants do not need citations or reference list entries (8.36)
  • References included in a statistical meta-analysis, which are marked with an asterisk in the reference list, may be cited in the text (or not) at the author’s discretion. This exception is relevant only to authors who are conducting a meta-analysis (9.52).

Formatting Your In-Text Citations

Parenthetical and Narrative Citations: ( See APA Section  8.11)

In APA style you use the author-date citation system for citing references within your paper. You incorporate these references using either a  parenthetical   or a  narrative  style.

Parenthetical Citations

  • In parenthetical citations, the author name and publication date appear in parentheses, separated by a comma. (Jones, 2018)
  • A parenthetical citation can appear within or at the end of a sentence.
  • When the parenthetical citation is at the end of the sentence, put the period or other end punctuation after the closing parenthesis.
  • If there is no author, use the first few words of the reference list entry, usually the "Title" of the source: ("Autism," 2008) See APA 8.14
  • When quoting, always provide the author, year, and specific page citation or paragraph number for nonpaginated materials in the text (Santa Barbara, 2010, p. 243).  See APA 8.13
  • For most citations, the parenthetical reference is placed BEFORE the punctuation: Magnesium can be effective in treating PMS (Haggerty, 2012).

Narrative Citations 

In narrative citations, the author name or title of your source appears within your text and the publication date appears in parentheses immediately after the author name. 

  • Santa Barbara (2010) noted a decline in the approval of disciplinary spanking of 26 percentage points from 1968 to 1994.

In-Text Citation Checklist

  • In-Text Citation Checklist Use this useful checklist from the American Psychological Association to ensure that you've created your in-text citations correctly.

In-Text Citations for Specific Types of Sources

Quotations from Research Participants

Personal Communications

Secondary Sources  

Use NoodleTools to Cite Your Sources  

NoodleTools can help you create your references and your in-text citations.

  • NoodleTools Express No sign in required . When you need one or two quick citations in MLA, APA, or Chicago style, simply generate them in NoodleTools Express then copy and paste what you need into your document. Note: Citations are not saved and cannot be exported to a word processor using NoodleTools Express.
  • NoodleTools (Login Full Database) This link opens in a new window Create and organize your research notes, share and collaborate on research projects, compose and error check citations, and complete your list of works cited in MLA, APA, or Chicago style using the full version of NoodleTools. You'll need to Create a Personal ID and password the first time you use NoodleTools.

See How to Use NoodleTools Express to Create a Citation in APA Format

Additional NoodleTools Help

  • NoodleTools Help Desk Look up questions and answers on the NoodleTools Web site
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  • Last Updated: Nov 21, 2023 12:56 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.mjc.edu/citeyoursources

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 and CC BY-NC 4.0 Licenses .

Generate accurate Chicago citations for free

  • Knowledge Base
  • Chicago Style
  • Chicago Style Format for Papers | Requirements & Examples

Chicago Style Format for Papers | Requirements & Examples

Published on September 25, 2019 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 5, 2022.

The information in this article is largely drawn from Turabian style —a version of Chicago style aimed at students and researchers. When writing a paper in Chicago style, these are the guidelines to follow; for the sake of simplicity, the term “Chicago” is used here.

Chicago Reference Generator

To apply Chicago format:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt. Times New Roman.
  • Double-space the text.
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger.
  • Indent new paragraphs by ½ inch.
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.

Note that any specific formatting advice from your instructor or faculty overrules these guidelines. Template documents set up in Chicago style are available to download below. Just select the one with the citation style you’re following.

Author-date Notes and bibliography

Table of contents

General formatting, block quotes, numbers and acronyms, in-text citations and notes, bibliography or reference list, frequently asked questions about chicago format.

Chicago doesn’t require a specific font or font size, but recommends using something simple and readable (e.g., 12 pt. Times New Roman). Use margins of at least 1 inch on all sides of the page.

The main text should be double-spaced, and each new paragraph should begin with a ½ inch indent. Text should be left-aligned and not “justified” (meaning that the right margin should look ragged).

Page numbers can be placed either in the top right or the bottom center of the page—one or the other, not both.

Chicago formatting

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A Chicago title page isn’t required—often it’s sufficient to just include your title at the top of the first page—but if you’re asked to include one, Turabian provides guidelines for how to present it.

All text on the title page should be center-aligned and double-spaced, and written in the same font as the rest of your text. The title should appear about ⅓ of the way down the page, in headline capitalization and in bold.

If you have a subtitle, the main title ends with a colon and the subtitle appears on the following line, also in bold and the same size as the main title.

About ⅔ of the way down the page, add any information your instructor requests you to include—your name, student code, the course name and code, the date, etc. Each new piece of information appears on a new line.

The title page should not have a page number, but should be included in the page count—in other words, the page numbering starts on page 2.

Chicago title page

Headings should use headline capitalization:

  • Summary of results
  • Summary of Results

If you use different levels of heading (e.g., chapters, sections, subheadings), make sure your presentation makes clear which type of heading each one is.

All headings of one level should be presented the same way, and higher-level headings should stand out more from the text. For example, you might use a larger font for chapter headings, bold for section headings, and italics for subheadings:

Chicago headings

Prose quotations of five or more lines (or more than 100 words), as well as poetry quotations of two or more lines, are presented as block quotes .

Block quotes do not use quotation marks . Instead, a blank line separates them from the surrounding text on both sides and they are indented by an additional ½ inch. Unlike the rest of the text, they are not double-spaced.

Chicago block quotes

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Chicago recommends using words, not numerals, for numbers lower than 100. For example, you would write “ninety-five,” not “95.” But numerals should still be used when you’re referring to a specific measurement (e.g., “15 cm”) and when using decimals (e.g., “1.5”).

Acronyms should be introduced the first time you refer to the thing they stand for:

After this point, you can use the acronym alone.

Neither numerals nor acronyms should be used at the beginning of a sentence. Either rewrite the sentence so that the numeral or acronym appears elsewhere, or write out the full phrase or number:

  • 100 people responded to the survey.
  • One hundred people responded to the survey.
  • The survey received 100 responses.

Chicago provides guidelines for not one but two citation styles : author-date and notes and bibliography.

In author-date style , citations are placed directly in the text in parentheses . In this style, you have some flexibility about how exactly to integrate the citation:

In notes and bibliography style, citations appear in Chicago footnotes or endnotes (the format is identical either way), and the reader is referred to them by superscript numbers in the text.

Footnote and endnote numbers appear at the end of the relevant clause or sentence, after any punctuation except a dash .

Endnotes appear on their own page just before the bibliography ; footnotes appear at the bottom of each page. Footnotes should be separated from the text by a short rule and be presented in the same font size as the main text, or smaller. Word’s footnote function automatically creates footnotes like this:

Chicago citations and notes

At the end of your paper, you’ll likely include a bibliography (for notes and bibliography style) or a reference list (for author-date).

Bibliographies and reference lists are not double-spaced, but leave a blank line between entries.

If an entry extends onto a second line, a ½ inch indent should be applied to all but the first line of the entry.

Chicago Bibliography

If you have to create a Chicago style annotated bibliography , follow the same format as a normal bibliography, but indent and double-space the annotations under each source reference.

Turabian style is a version of Chicago style designed specifically for students and researchers. It follows most Chicago conventions, but also adds extra guidelines for formatting research papers , theses and dissertations .

More information can be found in A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian, now in its ninth edition.

  • A reference list is used with Chicago author-date citations .
  • A bibliography is used with Chicago footnote citations .

Both present the exact same information; the only difference is the placement of the year in source citations:

  • In a reference list entry, the publication year appears directly after the author’s name.
  • In a bibliography entry, the year appears near the end of the entry (the exact placement depends on the source type).

There are also other types of bibliography that work as stand-alone texts, such as a Chicago annotated bibliography .

In Chicago author-date style , your text must include a reference list . It appears at the end of your paper and gives full details of every source you cited.

In notes and bibliography style, you use Chicago style footnotes to cite sources; a bibliography is optional but recommended. If you don’t include one, be sure to use a full note for the first citation of each source.

Footnotes appear at the bottom of the relevant page.  Endnotes appear in a list at the end of the text, just before the reference list or bibliography. Don’t mix footnotes and endnotes in the same document: choose one or the other and use them consistently.

In Chicago notes and bibliography style , you can use either footnotes or endnotes, and citations follow the same format in either case.

In APA and MLA style , footnotes or endnotes are not used for citations, but they can be used to provide additional information.

Chicago format doesn’t require you to use any specific font, as long as you choose something readable. A good standard choice is 12 pt Times New Roman.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, December 05). Chicago Style Format for Papers | Requirements & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved December 11, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/chicago-style/format-paper/

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write an Essay Cover Page

How to Write an Essay Cover Page

What you include in your cover page depends slightly on which citation style you are using, but the rules are generally the same.

Guide Overview

  • APA cover pages
  • MLA cover pages

For APA cover pages:

Include the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note.

Here is an example of a cover page in APA:

APA Cover Page

For MLA cover pages:

Cover pages are not as frequently used in MLA format, as the inclusion of headers is preferred.

A header looks like this:

Header in MLA

Cover pages can include the name of your school, your paper title, your name, your course name, your teacher or professor’s name, and the due date of the paper. If you are unsure of what to include, check with your instructor.

Here is an example of a cover page in MLA format:

Cover page in MLA

For more help making cover or title pages, visit our title page generator   here.

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

General Format

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects APA 6, which is now out of date. It will remain online until 2021, but will not be updated. The equivalent APA 7 page can be found here .

Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.

To see a side-by-side comparison of the three most widely used citation styles, including a chart of all APA citation guidelines, see the Citation Style Chart .

You can also watch our APA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel .

General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Include a page header (also known as the " running head ") at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head , insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.

Major Paper Sections

Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page , Abstract , Main Body , and References .

The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name , and the institutional affiliation . Include the page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page. Please note that on the title page, your page header/running head should look like this:

Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:

After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first printing sample papers have incorrect examples of running heads on pages after the title page. This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide.

Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

Beneath the title, type the author's name : first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).

Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation , which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

This image shows the title page for an APA sixth edition paper.

APA Title Page

Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).

Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.

You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.

This image shows the Abstract page of an APA paper.

APA Abstract Page

Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.

How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA

Individual Resources

The page template for the new OWL site does not include contributors' names or the page's last edited date. However, select pages, like the Citation Style Chart , still include this information.

In the absence of contributor/edit date information, treat the page as a source with a group author and use the abbreviation "n.d." for "no date":

Purdue Online Writing Lab.  (n.d.) .  Title of resource.   Retrieved from http://Web address for OWL resource

Purdue Online Writing Lab.  (n.d.).   General Writing FAQs . Retrieved from  https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/general_writing_faqs.html

The generic APA citation for OWL pages, which includes author/edit date information, is this:

Contributors' names. (Last edited date).  Title of resource . Retrieved from http://Web address for OWL resource

Paiz, J., Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M.,…Keck, R. (2010, May 5).  General format . Retrieved from  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

How to Title an Essay, With Tips and Examples

Lindsay Kramer

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll notice something about our blog posts’ titles: They all summarize what their post is about. This is so you know exactly what you’ll find in the post, so if you’re looking for specific tips, you know exactly which post to read. 

An essay title does the same thing. There are a lot of similarities between essays and blog posts , and one of those similarities is that for the title to be effective, it needs to be concise and clear. It should also contain one or more keywords, which tells readers the essay’s main topic.  Write papers with confidence Grammarly helps you make the grade Write with Grammarly

What is the purpose of an essay title?

An essay title tells readers what your essay is about. This gives them a heads up on what to expect from the essay and, if they’re reading it to conduct their own research, whether it’s relevant to their area of study. 

Ideally, an essay title also catches readers’ attention and stokes their curiosity, prompting them to read your work. How important it is to achieve this depends on the kind of essay you’re writing—if it’s an assigned essay and your instructor has to read it, an engaging title isn’t your top priority. But if you’re submitting your essay to a contest, as part of an application to college or graduate school, or pitching it for publication, it needs a catchy, intriguing title because the title is the first part of your work the editor or admissions committee will see. And depending on the title’s catchiness and other circumstances of your submission, it could be the deciding factor in whether they read your essay. 

As we mentioned above, a strong essay title gives a clear preview of what the reader will find in your writing . You don’t have to give it all away, but it should act as a general briefing on what to expect from your work and make them want to continue reading it. 

>>Read more: How to Start an Essay: 7 Tips for a Knockout Introduction

What are the rules for essay titles?

Guidelines for essay titles in mla format.

In MLA format , your essay’s title should be in title case. That means every principle word— words that aren’t articles , prepositions , coordinating conjunctions , or the word “to” paired with an infinitive —is capitalized. The only exception to this is when one of these words is the first or last word in the essay’s title. Here’s a quick example: 

Looking Through the Rear Window: Perspective in Hitchcock’s Films

Guidelines for essay titles in APA format

Similarly to MLA format, APA format requires essay titles to be in title case. In addition to this formatting requirement, APA requires that essay titles be succinct and specifically not contain any abbreviations or unnecessary words. Here is an example of how an essay title looks in APA format:

Effects of Blue Light on Boston Lettuce Crops

See how straightforward this essay title is? You know exactly what the essay is going to be about: How exposure to blue light impacts growing Boston lettuce crops. Keep in mind that APA format is typically used for scientific and technical work, so it’s unlikely you’ll use figurative language in your title. 

Guidelines for essay titles in Chicago Manual of Style format

Chicago style also requires that essay titles be in title case. Other than that, Chicago style doesn’t have specific guidelines for what a title should or shouldn’t include. Here is an example of an essay title in Chicago style:

2021 Returns: What We Projected vs. Actual Returns

How to brainstorm your essay title

When you’re brainstorming for your essay, think about the potential titles you can choose. Jot down your keyword and the kind of essay you’re writing, such as an analytical or compare-and-contrast essay . This won’t only help you determine an effective title, but it can also help you determine the best way to structure your essay .

Stay away from punny or otherwise funny titles unless you’re writing a humorous or personal piece—your creative writing class is probably the only course where that kind of title is appropriate. 

Here’s what your essay title should include

  • One or more relevant keywords to your subject
  • Any other necessary words or phrases that tell the reader what to expect from your essay
  • When applicable, a catchy phrase or figurative language

Let’s take another look at the example essay titles from the section above. In the first example, Looking Through the Rear Window: Perspective in Hitchcock’s Films , we have the following elements:

  • An attention-grabbing phrase that references one of Hitchcock’s most well-known films
  • The keyword “perspective,” which tells us immediately what this essay is about
  • Clarity around how the essay specifically explores perspective in Hitchcock’s films and instances where Hitchcock used perspective as a storytelling device

Now take a look at the example APA title essay, Effects of Blue Light on Boston Lettuce Crops. This one is more straightforward and technical. But still, it’s got the key elements that make up a strong essay title: 

  • A clear preview of exactly what’s in the essay: data on how an environmental factor affects specific crops
  • Clear keywords: “blue light” and “Boston lettuce crops”

Additionally, notice how the tone is different from the tone in the MLA essay title. This essay title feels more objective and detached from its subject, giving a preview of the tone the reader will find in the essay. 

What not to include in your essay title

It’s usually best to stay away from negative or controversial terms. Do this even if your essay is taking a stand against something or arguing that another position is harmful. Instead, reframe your position using neutral or positive words to avoid potentially offending a reader or undermining your own position by coming across as aggressive or bitter. Compare these two essay titles:

  • Why Rerouting Campus Traffic Is a Terrible Idea
  • Finding Solutions to Campus Traffic Challenges 

See how the second option, the one that avoids negative language, sounds more engaging and promises a more resolution-oriented read? Remember, your reader is supposed to draw their own conclusions from your essay—don’t attempt to do their work for them by telling them what to think in your title. 

As you brainstorm titles, write them down so you can revisit them after you complete your first draft. Once you have a finished draft , it can be a lot easier to determine the title that fits your essay best. 

Essay title examples

Take a look at these example essay titles and take note of how the tones and vocabulary vary between essay types. A title that’s perfect for a persuasive essay might not be right for a college application or expository essay . And similarly, a title that works for a comparative essay might be too lackluster for a personal or argumentative essay . 

Personal essays

Why I’ll Never Wear a Blue Baseball Cap Again

How 20 Years in Corporate America Made Me a Better Parent

Analytical essays

What is Love? How Romantic and Modern Artists’ Answers Differ

Three Reasons Why We Won’t See a Repeat of the 2008 Bubble

Argumentative essays

The Correlation between New School Buildings and Higher Test Scores—Three Stats You Can’t Ignore

Are We Using the Right Success Metrics for Students?

Persuasive essays

Four Ways Free Wi-Fi Will Boost the City’s Economy

Unless We Take Action, This Heat Wave Is Just the Beginning

Compare-and-contrast essays

Dynamite, Profit, and the Pursuit of Power: Chasing White Whales in Moby Dick and Jaws

Outdoor Growth Patterns of Shiitake and Lion’s Mane Mushrooms 

College application essays

What Scooping Ice Cream Taught Me about Human Nature

Dancing and Math Are More Similar than You Realize

Essay title FAQs

What is an essay title.

An essay title concisely states what an essay is about.

Why is an essay title important?

An essay title is important because it accomplishes a few things:

  • Tells readers what the essay is about
  • Catches potential readers’ attention
  • Helps researchers sort essays and find the ones most relevant to their work

What should you consider when creating an essay title?

When creating an essay title, think about the essay’s purpose. Then, explain the essay’s subject and purpose in a brief clause or short sentence, making it appropriately intriguing to draw readers’ attention. 

title page for essay format

MLA & APA Title Page Generator - Free Creator with Templates

3 hours!

The title page is a representation of your whole paper. It shows how well you follow the guidelines and how you can catch the reader’s attention. Yet, the task of creating a title page might be quite challenging and time-consuming.

We know how to help you!

A title page creator is a tool that allows creating a title page within a few clicks. You need to enter the information, choose the formatting style, and click the button. Whether your paper’s style is MLA, Harvard, or APA, a title page generator will save much time and provide an instant high-quality result.

Our professionals wrote the article below to show the rules of formatting and essential differences between MLA and APA styles. Check it out!

💻 Formatting a Title Page in MS Word

In case you are wondering how to create a title page on your own, you will need MS Word or its equivalent. Below, see what elements to include on a title page and in what order. Note that the following guidelines are for the APA style – the most common writing format.

  • Title of the paper. Write a full title of your paper and center it in the upper part of the page.
  • Author’s name. Write the author’s name under the title.
  • Author’s affiliation. If you’re writing a paper for a class, then all you need to mention is the university’s name.
  • Page header. You will need to include a shortened version (no more than 50 symbols) of your title at the top of the page. It usually looks like this: Running Head: TITLE OF THE PAPER. Be sure not to capitalize “Running Head.”
  • Author’s Note. You only include the author’s note on printed articles. It contains information about financial support and acknowledgments.

The text formatting on the title page should be the following:

  • Font style – Times New Roman
  • Spacing – double-spaced
  • Font size – 12.

📄 MLA & APA Title Page Templates

Wondering how to create an APA or MLA title page? In the following section, you can find useful templates for different writing styles. Or we even have a better option for you. Use our online title page generator, save your time and get a flawless title page.

Do you want to challenge yourself and create a title page without the help of any additional tools? We have the most useful templates for your academic work. Download the one you need and enjoy the process!

APA Title Page Template

This title page template is useful if you’re working on an APA-style paper. It is created according to specific guidelines and instructions. It includes all the necessary information that needs to be present on the APA-style title page. Consider using this template, as it will minimize the possibility of making mistakes and save your time.

Download the template

MLA Title Page Template

In case your instructor requires an MLA title page format, download this template. It will help you to save time and make your writing process easier. The template will be a great help in following the guidelines. Moreover, it contains instructions that will guide you through the process of creating your title page.

General Academic Work Template

The present template will be useful in cases when no specific formatting is needed. It can be applied to academic works, such as reports or assignments. The template includes the instructions, so you can neatly organize the information on your title page. Download it, and you’ll spend significantly less time on formatting.

✒️ MLA vs. APA: Stylistic Differences

MLA and APA are the most common styles for academic papers. The majority of professors, educational institutions, and various conferences require them. But you may not be sure why we share these styles for title pages everywhere.

Therefore, in the following sections, we will explain why, or rather indicate, their main differences.

👩‍🏫 Formatting Rules

Formatting rules are a set of standardized guidelines used to create academic papers. They determine the font size and style variations, the spacing, making a reference list, and organizing in-text citations. This section will explain in more detail the similarities and differences between APA and MLA style.


The general formatting rules for both academic styles do not differ significantly. Both require double-spacing, Times New Roman font, size 12, and 1-inch margins.


The key differences between the APA and MLA writing formats are apparent in:

  • Title page format.
  • Running head.
  • In-text citations.

According to the APA guidelines, each paper should have a separate title page. In contrast, for an essay written in MLA format, a cover page is not an essential element. Instead of making a separate page, the latter requires just a heading on top of the first page. Yet, an MLA style title page can be required.

The headers are also different for these styles. In APA format, it consists of only a page number. If you are applying an MLA style, include it along with your last name. Also, note that only professional papers have a running head unless instructed otherwise.

The differences also include supporting documents. They are generally not required, but if your instructor says otherwise, you need to have them:

  • For APA style: author’s note, appendix, abstract, and footnotes.
  • For MLA style: an annotated bibliography and footnotes.

🔖 In-Text Citations

An in-text citation is a reference in the essay that alerts the reader about the information you used in your writing. As it was mentioned, APA and MLA styles differ in this formatting aspect as well.

Both styles require an in-text citation, which includes the author’s last name and the page number. In MLA style, the page number should be present, while APA requires it only when you quote or paraphrase a specific piece of information. If there are multiple authors, then both styles use the abbreviation “et al.”

When citing a source in MLA referencing style, you need to include the author’s last name and the page number. In APA style, indicate the author’s surname and publication year. If there are two authors, MLA uses “and,” while APA uses “&.”

📋 Works Cited vs. References

A reference section is a list of sources used in your paper. It is intended to provide all the necessary information to help the reader find the source. Here, we will discuss the main similarities and differences of the reference list in both academic styles.

These formatting styles include a separate page for sources used. The citation pages’ titles in both of them are centered at the top, and the text is double-spaced.

To cite work in MLA, you need to write the author’s last name, first name, title in italics, and publishing date. To cite work in APA, you need a last name, initial, date of publishing in brackets, title, and publisher.

The key distinctive feature is the name of the citation page:

  • In MLA style, title the section as “Works Cited” (or “Work Cited” if there is only one source).
  • In APA style, write “References” (or “Reference” in case there is only one source) to name your reference list.

Thank you for reading this article until the end. Consider using the title page generator and send it to those who might need it!

  • In-text Citation, APA Quick Citation Guide: Library Guides at Penn State University
  • APA Style, Overview: Academic Guides at Walden University
  • MLA Style Formatting: Brigham Young University Writing Center
  • Formatting an Academic Paper: Augsburg University, Minneapolis

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Essay Cover Page - MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and APA Format Cover Sheet

Picture this, you have completed your daily duties and now settling in to complete an essay. What is the worst that would happen? Well, the majority of high school, college, university, and graduate students undervalue the need to format an essay cover page properly. In return, most of them end up with either great essays with a poorly done cover page or a poorly done essay with a poorly formatted cover page.

I don’t know which of the above categories, but mine was worse. It is a great mistake to care less about the proper formatting of a title page for any essay. Sometimes the content in the entire class can be great, and the cover page becomes what separates a good grade from a poor grade. You do not have to leave anything to chance when working to maintain a good GPA, do you?

Why master how to make an essay Cover Sheet?

Your title page informs the reader or the professor what to anticipate in your essay. Sometimes, if they are in a hurry, a catchy topic can entice them to read your essay from introduction to conclusion.

The cover page has your name, title of the essay, institution, instructor, and date. A well-formatted title page is enough a getaway to a strict professor’s marks or grade fountain.

And when you are almost giving up on your cover page, we give you a reason to smile. In this article, we will teach you how to make a cover page for an essay, MLA cover page format, Chicago cover page format, APA cover page format, and Harvard cover page format, with examples.

Why should you learn How to Make a Cover Page for an essay?

Sometimes professors and instructors assume the basic things like formatting a college essay. In the end, students end up losing marks over flimsy mistakes. A common question students ask is “how do you make a cover page for an essay?” or “what is to be included on a title page?”

If you have had these questions or related ones, you are in the right place at the right time. We will take you through cover page essay essentials. But before then, why do we have an essay cover page. Or simply, what is an essay cover page?

An essay cover page is the opening page, sometimes called the title page, and offers a comprehensive description of the essay title, identifies the student, and sometimes bears the date and the instructors’ names.

You will notice that the cover pages for essays differ depending on the specific format you are using. For instance, when creating the MLA essay cover page format, you should only do so if the essay prompt requires you to. If not asked for one, there is never any need to include one. The same applies to Harvard, Chicago, and APA cover page formats.

MLA Essay Cover Page Format with Template/Example

Also known as the Modern Language Association, MLA is a unique essay writing and citation format. It is important to mention that most MLA essays do not require an essay cover page. Nevertheless, some instructors insist on you having a cover page for your MLA paper.

When requested to have an opening or cover page for MLA papers, these are some of the details to include:

  • Author’s Name
  • Instructor’s Name
  • The Due Date

Here is a sample MLA cover page template

MLA Sample essay cover page

Note that the format for MLA research paper cover page is slightly different. It will contain:

  • Name of university
  • Title of the Research Paper
  • The subtitle of the research paper
  • Your Name (Author’s Name)
  • Course Name and Number
  • Instructor/Professor’s Name

Below is a sample MLA research paper cover sheet

MLA research paper title page cover sheet

Some professors or instructors will advise you to use the research paper MLA format title page for your essay.

How do you format an MLA Cover Page?

Formatting an MLA title page is easy!

  • It should be double-spaced.
  • The preferable font is Times New Roman size 12 or a legible font.
  • All the letters must be in Title Case.
  • It should have 1-inch margins throughout the paper.
  • Ensure that the title page is double spaced.
  • Remove any spaces between paragraphs from your Microsoft Word settings page.

See the details in the sample MLA format cover page provided above. Notice the difference between the two and always read the instructor’s essay prompt before deciding on which one to settle for.

APA Cover Page Format with Example/Template

Students have been asking this for a while, and we felt like addressing it would save many of you out there. “How do I make an APA cover sheet?” Well, just like MLA, an APA essay cover page is easy to make.

To begin with, the APA style title page should include:

  • Running head (Left aligned in the header section).
  • Page Number (Right aligned).
  • Title and subtitle of the essay/paper (centered)
  • Name of the author (centered).
  • Institutional Affiliation (centered).
  • Author’s Note (for long research papers, thesis, and dissertations).

An important note, in APA the title should not exceed 50 characters and should be in capital letters. Times New Roman font size 12 is always preferred as well.

For more details, see the example APA title page provided below.

sample APA essay cover page

Note that there are changes to APA 6. In APA 7, there is no "Running head" instead, you will only need a page number situated to the top left of the paper. Here is a sample APA 7 Cover page.

APA 7 sample Cover Page

Chicago Cover Page Format with Example/Template

Even though less common in academic essay writing, understanding the Chicago essay title page is necessary. It can save you some trouble when writing a Chicago style paper, which is the case with most literature and humanities subjects such as history. Thus, after reading this, you should understand how to format a Chicago essay title cover page correctly.

Here are tips when making Chicago format opening page:

  • Chicago title page has no page number or running head in the header section.
  • Using Times New Roman or any legible font of size 12 is preferred.
  • All the text on the cover page is centered.
  • The cover page is double spaced with no spaces between paragraphs

You see, a Chicago style paper opening page is relatively simple to make. A caution, though, when making any type of cover page, your professor’s guidelines are your rule book. Therefore, everything you need to format an essay cover page is always in the prompt.

Chicago style papers are the easiest to handle. However, despite the ease of inserting a title page, it remains a challenge to most students. Sometimes, seeking professional help can be the only option. Our experts can help you craft your Chicago format essays and research papers, talk to us!

Here is a Chicago style format essay cover page.

Harvard Cover Page Format with Example/Template

Harvard formatting has a specific and well-organized cover page.

  • The shortened version of the title of the paper comes in the header section (aligned to the right) and is preceded by the page number).
  • The full title, written in all capital letters , appears halfway through the page.
  • The author’s name (three lines from the title).
  • Then four lines down you will have class name and code, name of the professor, City and State the university is located, and the due date.

Here is an example of the Harvard format Cover Sheet Page.

harvard  essay cover page template

Bottom Line

A cover page for an essay is a critical aspect when undertaking your academic writing tasks. Even though it might seem boring and unnecessary, it can be the only aspect left to differentiate who passes a course and who fails.

When writing an APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago format paper, produce an essay cover page that fits each formatting and citation style. I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to do the cover page as the last part of the essay after writing and proofreading. Yet some in our team prefer setting the cover page for their essays first before they outline the essays . As a ritual, it is my last part to shake hands with the mighty Microsoft Word or Google Document applications.

Check out our article on indenting paragraphs and how to title an article when writing an essay. 

Sometimes, you can ask the instructor or professor how to make a cover page for your essay. We believe no teacher will reprimand you. These are essential basics to keep with you as they will help you understand how to make a cover page for an essay. If you need help writing an essay, our professional writers can always come in handy. Until then, have a happy academic writing session!

title page for essay format

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Free APA Title Page Generator for Students

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A title page is your first chance to make readers interested in your paper. It is also an essential instrument to show professors your academic referencing skills. Consider the APA style if you wonder how to make your page title easily.

APA title page for students' papers includes a title, author's name, and affiliation. The most challenging part is formatting. We designed the APA title page generator to ensure your writing fits all of them.

  • ️🕹️ How to Use APA Title Page Generator?
  • ️💌 APA Title Page
  • ️✨ Benefits for Students
  • ️📖 APA Title Page Details
  • ️🔗 References

️🕹️ How to Use APA Title Page Generator by StudyCorgi?

We designed the APA cover page generator for everybody who needs to develop a cover page in a short time. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can use our tool.

💌 What Is an APA Title Page?

A title page is the first page of your research work. It is essential for articles, research papers, a thesis, and some essays and should include all the introductory information . Let us look closely at the key components of the student and professional APA title pages.

The picture lists the components of a student APA title page.

Student APA Title Page Generator

Student APA title page includes:

Your paper title should carefully reflect the main idea of the writing and attract readers' attention. Note that you need to capitalize all the major words from the title.

Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health

The author's name should be introduced on a separate line from the title. If there are two authors, add "and" between their names. You need to separate each name with a comma for a group of authors and only put "and" before the last one.

Kate J. Johnson, Jan Schoppmann, and Edward Williams

The next step is mentioning the university and department an author attends. It can also give an idea about the content of your writing.

Department of Psychology, Harvard University

One more essential element of affiliation is the course title and number. Usually, you can find a course code in a syllabus or instructional materials.

PSY 101: Health Psychology

It is important to mention an instructor who supervised the writing process along with an author's name.

Dr. Joseph Brown

If the writing has a deadline or a due date, you should put it on the following double-spaced line after introducing the supervisor.

September 21, 2022

Finally, remember to add a page number, "1," in the top right corner of your title page. Note that you can do it automatically in Google docs or Microsoft Word.

Professional APA Title Page Generator

Professional papers are written by scientists and educators who aim to solve a particular problem or contribute to the existing knowledge in a specific field. A professional title page is similar to a student one but has peculiarities. Consider these key elements:

Professional papers tend to have longer titles, so make sure you don't overcomplicate them . Focus on the key terms, and make sure you capitalize all the words.

Social Factors that Positively Affect Second Language Learners.

When introducing the author of a professional paper, it is essential not to forget a person's doctoral degree, like the title Dr., Ph.D., etc.

Dr. Maggie Davis

The key element of a professional title page is the name of the organization or institution for which the research was conducted. Note that if there are two or more authors, they might have different affiliations.

Department of Foreign Languages, Williams College

A running head is a brief version of a paper's title that is repeated as a heading at the top of each page and written in all capital letters.


An author's note provides some extra information about authors, their affiliations, or their research. An author's note isn't necessary, but it is a great tool to get more engaged with readers. You should put the author's note in the bottom half of the title page.

This research paper was written with great help from Williams College's department of foreign languages.

Finally, don't forget to enumerate the first page in the top right corner, which can be quickly done automatically.

✨ APA Title Page Maker Benefits for Students

APA cover page generator is a helpful tool for everybody who wants to make the best impression on readers. Check out these benefits:

  • It's 100% free. You get a well-formatted title page made according to all the APA 7 requirements with no hidden payments.
  • It saves you time. APA title page generator will do all the work for you to focus on more important things, like the content of your research paper.
  • It is precise. The tool ensures your title page has all the elements, including the running head, page number, and affiliation.
  • It's entirely online. You can design your perfect APA title page on any electronic device. No extra storage is needed!
  • It has other citing styles. You can adjust the tool to different citation styles, for example, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, or Turabian.

📖 More APA Format Title Page Details

Consider these extra APA style tips to ensure you have a successful title page.

  • Avoid abbreviations that readers might not know.
  • For a running head, focus on keywords and terms to make it precise.
  • Put the names of all the authors on the same line, but don't mention their titles or degrees if it's a student title page.
  • Add other affiliations, such as the college's location, if you feel like it can increase the value of your paper.
  • Check up with your supervisor on the preferred name and title.

🔗 References

  • APA Style Introduction // Purdue Writing Lab
  • Title page setup | American Psychological Association
  • Professional Paper Elements - Title Page - APA Citations (7th ed.) - LibGuides at Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center
  • How to Write Bibliography for Assignment: Tips on Working with Your Sources
  • How to Write an Appendix in a Paper: Examples and Tips on Writing


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  1. Title page setup

    The professional title page includes the paper title, author names (the byline), author affiliation (s), author note, running head, and page number, as shown in the following example. Follow the guidelines described next to format each element of the professional title page. Last updated: July 2022 Date created: September 2019

  2. APA Title Page (7th edition)

    Revised on June 7, 2022. This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines. APA provides different guidelines for student and professional papers. The student version of the APA title page should include the following information (double spaced and centered): Paper title Author name

  3. MLA Title Page

    To create an MLA format title page, list the following on separate lines, left-aligned at the top of the page: Your name Your co-authors' names, each on its own line, if it's a group project Your instructor's name The course name and number The submission date

  4. APA format for academic papers and essays

    APA Style 7th edition APA format for academic papers and essays APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples Published on November 6, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on August 23, 2022. This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

  5. General Format

    Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. Include a page header (also known as the "running head") at the top of every page. For a professional paper, this includes your paper title and the page number. For a student paper, this only includes the page number.

  6. How to Create a Title Page in APA Format, With Examples

    Matt Ellis Updated on March 29, 2023 Students An APA format title page is the first page of a paper that gives the title, author's name, author's affiliations (school or institution), and other information helpful for organizing and introducing the paper. When you're writing papers in the APA format, a title page is required.

  7. PDF Student Title Page Guide, APA Style 7th Edition

    TITLE PAGE: The title page needs to provide information about the paper's topic and authors and the course to which it is being submitted. Title Page Content. A student title page includes the following elements: • title of the paper • author(s) ° include the full names of all authors of the paper; use the form first name, middle initial,

  8. PDF Student Paper Setup Guide, APA Style 7th Edition

    Student Paper Setup Guide This guide will help you set up an APA Style student paper. The basic setup directions apply to the entire paper. Annotated diagrams illustrate how to set up the major sections of a student paper: the title page or cover page, the text, tables and figures, and the reference list. Basic Setup

  9. APA Sample Paper

    Purdue OWL Research and Citation APA Style (7th Edition) APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition) APA Sample Paper APA Sample Paper Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here.

  10. Formatting an APA title page

    An APA title page for any paper being submitted for a class, degree, or thesis is all about the basics. Here are the elements that should be included in Byline (author or authors) Affiliation (department and university) Course name and course number Your professor or institution might have their own formatting requirements.

  11. A step-by-step guide for creating and formatting APA Style student papers

    This article walks through the formatting steps needed to create an APA Style student paper, starting with a basic setup that applies to the entire paper (margins, font, line spacing, paragraph alignment and indentation, and page headers). It then covers formatting for the major sections of a student paper: the title page, the text, tables and ...

  12. APA Essay Format: How to Write a Successful APA Essay

    If the essay is in a chapter of a book, edited collection, or anthology, APA format states that you should cite the last name, first name, title of essay, title of collection, publisher, year, and page range. For example: Smith, John, "The Light House," A Book of Poems, editing by Peter Roberts, Allworth Press, 2005, pp. 20-25.

  13. Creating an MLA title page

    What you will need If you are creating an MLA heading on the first page of your essay instead of a title page, you will need most of the same information, but you will format it differently. To create a title page, you need to include: The name of your high school, college, or university (if applicable) The title of your paper

  14. APA Title Page (Cover Page) Format, Example, & Templates

    Formatting Rules. In APA Style (7th edition), the cover page, or title page, should include: A running head (professional papers only) and page number. The title of the paper. The name of the author (s) The institutional affiliation. An author note; optional (professional papers only) A student paper should also include course information.

  15. APA Style, 7th Edition

    APA Style uses five (5) levels of headings to help you organize your paper and allow your audience to identify its key points easily. Levels of headings establish the hierarchy of your sections just like you did in your paper outline. APA tells us to use "only the number of headings necessary to differentiate distinct section in your paper."

  16. How to Make a Cover Page: APA and MLA Format

    Matt Ellis Updated on April 12, 2023 Students A cover page is the first page of a paper or report that lists basic information, such as the title, author (s), course name, instructor, date, and sometimes the name of the institution. Also known as a title page, a cover page is a requirement of some formatting styles.

  17. Chicago Style Format for Papers

    Use 1 inch margins or larger. Indent new paragraphs by ½ inch. Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center. Note that any specific formatting advice from your instructor or faculty overrules these guidelines. Template documents set up in Chicago style are available to download below.

  18. How to Write an Essay Cover Page

    Cover pages can include the name of your school, your paper title, your name, your course name, your teacher or professor's name, and the due date of the paper. If you are unsure of what to include, check with your instructor. Here is an example of a cover page in MLA format: For more help making cover or title pages, visit our title page ...

  19. General Format

    General Guidelines Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another.

  20. General Format

    General APA Guidelines. Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Include a page header (also known as the " running head ") at the top of every page.

  21. How to Title an Essay, With Tips and Examples

    In MLA format, your essay's title should be in title case. That means every principle word— words that aren't articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, or the word "to" paired with an infinitive—is capitalized. The only exception to this is when one of these words is the first or last word in the essay's title. Here's a quick example:

  22. MLA & APA Title Page Generator

    Title page format. Running head. In-text citations. According to the APA guidelines, each paper should have a separate title page. In contrast, for an essay written in MLA format, a cover page is not an essential element. Instead of making a separate page, the latter requires just a heading on top of the first page.

  23. Essay Cover Page

    Well, just like MLA, an APA essay cover page is easy to make. To begin with, the APA style title page should include: Running head (Left aligned in the header section). Page Number (Right aligned). Title and subtitle of the essay/paper (centered) Name of the author (centered). Institutional Affiliation (centered).

  24. Free APA Title Page Generator for Students

    Step 2. Fill in a small questionnaire on your research paper: add the title, author's name, and other important information. Step 3. Choose the due date of your assignment and click the "Generate" button. Step 4. Download a ready template of your APA title page in docs, pdf, or other formats you need.