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Format Of A Research Paper Cover Page

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

Sample Paper:

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:

MLA Format in Detail

This page contains general guidelines on how to properly format the headings on a paper using MLA format.

Without a Cover Page:

This is the most common way to begin an MLA essay because MLA does not require a cover page. Some instructors, however, may require one (see instructions and example below).

1. The Opening Page:
On the opening page or the first page, a comprehensive identification (sometimes referred to as the main heading) and essay title should appear. The identification includes the following information:

  • Student/Author Name
  • Instructor’s Name
  • Class Name/Information
  • Your Paper’s Due Date

Settings:

  • Font: choose an easy to read font such as Times New Roman
  • Font Size: set the font size to be 12 throughout the paper, including the paper’s title. Never set the font size larger than 12.
  • Margins: 1-inch for top/bottom/right/left throughout the paper
  • Double-space: double-space throughout he paper. Don’t add extra spaces (besides the already used double-spacing) between headings, title and/ paragraphs.  Important Note: In the newest Microsoft Word settings, adding extra spaces between paragraphs is a default setting and must be disabled by the writer; otherwise, extra spaces will be automatically created. 

Sample of the opening page:

With a Cover Page:

The Modern Language Association (MLA) does not require a cover page, but some instructors may require it. In certain situations or assignments, a paper with a cover page can look more professional.

Instructors who require the paper to have a cover page usually provide specific instructions on what should be included. Here is the general MLA Format cover page. This page should include your school or university’s name (i.e. Aims Community College), a paper title, author name, class name, professor name and paper due date.
Here is how to format an 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 the research paper title, including subtitle if there is one.
  • Skip several lines and type student/author name, course name and number, instructor name and paper due date.

Sample MLA Format Cover Page:

Sample MLA Format Cover Page

Alternate First Page:

If an instructor requires a cover page, the identification heading on the first page should be omitted. Below is an example of the first page if a cover page is used. Last name and page number should appear on all pages, and the title should appear at the top of the first page only.

Sample MLA Format First Page with Cover Page


2. The Inner Pages:
For the pages that follow the first page, set the heading like this: instead of the whole heading, use the header feature in the word-processing program to include author last name and page number.

Inner Page Example:

Example of the heading for inner pages.

3. The Works Cited Page:
Every research paper must include a works cited page(s).

  • The works cited list is placed at the end of the paper, beginning on a new page.
  • The header for the works cited page(s) should be similar to the header for the inner pages, which includes author name and the page number at the top.
  • Enter the title as “Works Cited” and place this title 1-inch from the top of the page, see more details in the example illustration below.

Example of the works cited page:

Example of the works cited page.

For moreiInformation on MLA works cited pages, including in-depth instructions for citing various sources, view MLA Works Cited Page.