The Modern Language Association (MLA) does not require you to create a cover page when you complete your research paper, but some instructors may require you to have it. A paper with a cover page also looks more professional.
If your instructor requires your paper to have a cover page, he/she usually provides specific instructions on what you should put on the cover page. Here is the general MLA Format cover page: this page should include your university name, your research paper title, your name, your class, your professor name and your paper’s due date.
Here is how to format your MLA cover page:
- This page is double spaced and the letters are centered.
- Type the name of your university or college.
- Skip to about one-third of the page and type your research paper title, include a subtitle if you have.
- Skip several lines down and type your name, your course name and number, your instructor name and your paper’s due date.
Sample MLA Format Cover Page:
Sample MLA Format Cover Page
Alternate First Page:
If your instructor requires a cover page, you may omit the main heading on your first page. Here is an example of the first page if a cover page is used. You still need your last name and page number on the first page and every other pages.
Sample MLA Format First Page with Cover Page
Visit here for a real sample paper with the cover page. This paper also has the outline page for your sample.
MLA Format Guidelines:
APA Format Guidelines:
CRLS Research Guide
Making a Title PageTip Sheet 20
Ask these questions:
Why is this so important?
The title page is the first thing teachers see and it makes a big impression on them. Even if you write a great paper, an incomplete or messy title page will give your teacher the impression that you aren't very careful. Then they'll be looking for mistakes and problems instead of being open to how good your work might be.
What do I need to put on a title page?
If they don't let you know, here is some standard information that is usually required:
Small School #
Date of turning in the project
Title of your project
Title of the class
Period of your section
The teacher's name
What should the title page look like?
1. Use only one or two fonts. More than two can be confusing to read.
2. Use a clear font that is easy to read.
3. Keep it simple. Too many words or pictures can have a distracting or confusing effect.
4. Keeping all of the lines starting on either the left or right margin is easier to read and creates a stronger visual impression than centered text or random placement. The first example shows the text lined up on the left margin and the second shows the text lined up on the right margin.
Here are some examples of clean, strong, simple title pages:
The Amazon Rain Forest:
Principles of Science
Is Harmony in Our Future?
Predictions on the future of Race Relations in America for the 21st Century
If you would like to add a graphic (picture), use one that doesn't overpower the text because it is too big, or so small that it isn't clear.
Or, you could do a large background graphic in a lighter colored ink. That would also be attractive and appropriate.
Just make sure there is contrast between the background and the words so that the words are readable.