How to Write an Essay Title Page

A compelling cover page is essential for every essay. It’s the initial point of engagement for your reader, and a well-crafted one signals your proficiency and attention to detail as a writer. Crafting the ideal cover page is straightforward if you adhere to simple guidelines. This article will guide you through the steps and styles of creating an effective essay cover page. Let’s dive in!

What is an Essay Cover Page?

An essay cover page is the first page of your academic document that formally introduces your work. It includes the title of your essay, your name, the course name, the instructor’s name, and the submission date. In some cases, especially in formal or research-oriented essays, it may include an institutional affiliation or a running head. 

The cover page is an opportunity to make a professional first impression, showcasing your attention to detail and adherence to academic standards. Different formatting styles, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, have specific guidelines for how a cover page should be structured and presented.

When Should a Cover Page be Used?

A cover page is typically used in academic writing, especially when formal presentation and adherence to specific formatting guidelines are important. This includes various academic levels, from university essays and dissertations to when you write a research paper. 

The requirement for a cover page often depends on the formatting style adopted, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, as each has its own rules for cover page presentation. Additionally, instructors or publishers might specifically request a cover page for submissions, regardless of general norms. 

Its usage is more common in formal and complex assignments like term papers, theses, or works submitted for academic journals or conferences, where it provides essential information at a glance and reflects a professional approach to academic writing.

Different Types of Cover Pages

Cover pages in academic writing vary primarily based on the formatting style used. Each style has its unique layout and content requirements, tailored to suit different academic disciplines and publication standards. The most commonly used types are APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

  • APA Style Cover Page: Predominantly used in the social sciences, the APA (American Psychological Association) cover page includes the title of the paper, the author’s name, and the institutional affiliation. Key features often include a running head and a page number at the top.
  • MLA Style Cover Page: The MLA (Modern Language Association) style is frequently used in the humanities. This cover page typically includes the essay title, author’s name, course name, instructor’s name, and the date, aligned to the left-hand side of the page.
  • Chicago Style Cover Page: Common in history and some other fields, the Chicago style cover page presents the title halfway down the page, followed by the author’s name, course information, instructor’s name, and date, usually centered at the bottom part of the page.

Each style caters to specific academic needs and preferences, ensuring clarity, consistency, and a professional presentation of academic work. Choosing the appropriate style is important based on the essay’s subject matter and the requirements set forth by the academic institution or publication.

Essay Title Page Design

Designing an essay cover page involves adhering to the specific formatting style required for your essay while ensuring the layout is clean, professional, and visually appealing. Here are some general guidelines to consider, irrespective of the formatting style:

  • Title Placement and Font: The title of your essay should be prominently placed, often in the center of the page. Use a clear, legible font, typically the same font type and size used in the rest of your essay.
  • Margins: Generally, the standard margin for academic papers, including the cover page, is 1 inch on all sides (top, bottom, left, and right). This standard applies across various formatting styles, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago, unless specified otherwise by your instructor or specific publication guidelines.
  • Author Information: Include your name, and depending on the requirements, you might also need to add your institutional affiliation, course name, and instructor’s name. This information is usually placed below the title.
  • Spacing and Alignment: Maintain consistent spacing and alignment. In most cases, the title and author information are centered on the page. However, alignment might vary with different formatting styles.
  • Running Head and Page Number: For styles like APA, a running head (a shortened version of the title) and a page number may be required at the top of the page.
  • Additional Information: Depending on the guidelines, you might also include the date of submission, the academic term, or a class identifier.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: While professionalism is key, ensure the cover page is not cluttered. Use white space effectively to create a balanced, uncluttered look.
  • Adherence to Style Guidelines: Most importantly, align your cover page design with the specific guidelines of the formatting style you use – APA, MLA, or Chicago. Each has distinct requirements for how to organize and present the information.

APA Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) format is widely used in social sciences. The APA cover page has specific requirements for its layout and content.

APA Cover Page Format 

Running Head: The running head is a shortened version of your title. It should be aligned to the left at the top of every page. On the title page, precede the running head with “Running head:”

Title: The title of your paper should be placed in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface. It should be concise yet descriptive.

Author’s Name: Below the title, include your name without titles or degrees.

Institutional Affiliation: Beneath your name, write the name of your institution or college.

Page Number: Include a page number on the top right of every page, including the cover page.

In APA format, essays, including the cover page, should be typed on standard white paper measuring 8.5 x 11 inches. The cover page appears as the first page of your essay.

Ensure that margins of 1 inch are set on all sides of the cover page – top, bottom, left, and right.

The text throughout your APA essay, including the cover page, should be double-spaced. The preferred font is Times New Roman in a 12 pt. size, though Arial is also acceptable.

It’s important to maintain double spacing on the entire cover page, with no single spacing in any section. This double-spacing rule applies to the entire paper formatted in APA style. Additionally, avoid adding extra spaces anywhere in the document, including the cover page, to adhere to APA guidelines.

APA Format Title Page Example

Here’s an example of an APA cover page:

How to Write a Cover Page for an Essay

At the top left, the running head includes a shortened title version in all caps. The cover page is preceded by “Running head:” On subsequent pages, only the title (in caps) appears.

The full title is in bold on the upper half of the page. It should concisely represent the content of your essay.

Below the title, the author’s name and the name of their institution are centered and double-spaced.

Remember, the entire cover page should be double-spaced, and the page number (1) should be in the top right corner. This example follows the standard APA format for cover pages.

APA Cover Page Template


Full Title of Your Paper

Your Name

Institutional Affiliation

MLA Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is commonly used in the humanities. Unlike APA, an MLA cover page is not always required and often depends on your instructor’s preferences. When used, it has a specific format.

MLA Cover Page Format 

Begin with the first student’s name at the top of the page. If the paper has multiple authors, list each additional author’s name on a new line below the first. Following the final author’s name, add the instructor’s name on the next line, using their title (e.g., “Professor Green”) without the full name.

Below the instructor’s name, write the course name along with its numeric code. Then, on the subsequent line, indicate the date. The date can be formatted as day-month-year or month-day-year, ensuring the month is fully spelled out, as MLA does not use abbreviations for months.

Finally, leave four to five double-spaced lines after the date, and then center the title of the paper. The title should use standard text formatting, without bold or italics, and follow the standard rules for title capitalization, similar to the APA cover page format.

MLA Title Page Example

Here’s an example of an MLA cover page:

How to Write a Cover Page for an Essay

In this example:

The author’s name (Emily Johnson) is at the top.

The instructor’s name (Nurse Brown) follows.

The course name and number are below the instructor’s name (Nursing Fundamentals 204).

The date (15 January 2024) is on the next line, in the MLA-prescribed format.

The essay’s title (“Ethical Considerations in Patient Care”) is centered a few lines below the date. The title uses standard text formatting, maintaining MLA style guidelines for capitalization and formatting.

MLA Cover Page Template

[Your Name]

[Instructor’s Name]

[Course Name and Number]

[Date in Day Month Year Format]

[Title of Your Paper]– Should be centered

Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is widely used in history, literature, and some other fields. It has specific requirements for cover pages.

Chicago Style Cover Page Format

Title: Place the title of your paper centered, about a third of the way down the page. Ensure it is clear and prominent, often in a larger font size or bolded for emphasis.

Subtitle (if applicable): If your paper has a subtitle, end the main title with a colon and place the subtitle on the line directly below the main title.

Author’s Name and Class Information: A few lines after the title or subtitle, center your name. Below your name, also centered, include your class information, such as the course name and number and your instructor’s name.

Date: Finally, include the date of submission, centered, a few lines below your class information.

Chicago Style Cover Page Example

Here’s an example of a Chicago format cover page:

How to Write a Cover Page for an Essay

On this cover page:

The title “The Impact of Technology in Modern Nursing Care” is centered a third down the page, in bold or a larger font for emphasis. The subtitle “Advancements and Challenges” follows directly below it, separated by a colon. Several lines below the subtitle, the author’s name, “Samantha Lee,” is centered. 

This is followed by the course details, “Nursing 301: Advanced Patient Care,” the instructor’s name, “Professor Jane Miller,” and the submission date, “April 10, 2024,” all centered and spaced accordingly.

Chicago Style Cover Page Template

Title of Your Paper

Subtitle (if applicable)

Your Name

Course Name

Instructor’s Name

Date of Submission

What’s the difference between a title page in APA format vs. MLA format?

In APA format, the cover page centers most information in the middle of the page. This includes the title of the paper, the author’s name, and the institutional affiliation. In contrast, an MLA format cover page usually places the majority of its information in the upper-left corner, except for the title, which is centered in the middle of the page. Both styles have distinct rules regarding the placement of information and adhere to specific formatting guidelines.

Conclusion on How to Make a Cover Page

Writing a proper essay cover page is an essential aspect of academic writing that reflects your attention to detail and adherence to scholarly standards. Whether you’re working within APA, MLA, or Chicago style guidelines, understanding and applying the specific requirements of each ensures your work is presented professionally.

Remember, the cover page is your essay’s first impression, setting the tone for what follows. By mastering this skill, you not only comply with academic norms but also enhance the credibility and visual appeal of your work.