Definition: Cover Page
The cover page serves as a representation of the author. The format of the cover page will differ based on the style you choose, but it typically contains the name of the author, the name of the professor, the name of the student’s educational establishment, and the due date of the paper. The topic of the paper and the course name is always included on the title page, regardless of the format used. As the name suggests, the cover page is placed at the front of the paper and is the first thing your professor will see when they receive your paper.
When writing an academic paper, you have to adhere to certain established standards. A cover page is required for many papers as it introduces the professor to the project. In this article, we will look at the different types of cover pages and their formats.
The cover page should be simple and straightforward, and it should only consist of text. For the cover page design, you should consult the latest manual of your institution. You may be required to use a certain style of formatting such as APA, or MLA. The requirements for an APA title page differ from the requirements of a MLA title page.
The cover page will take up a whole page in your essay. However, it does not count as one page in terms of the page count for your essay. As well as the cover page, the table of contents and biliography are also not included in the word/page count of your essay.
If more than one person was involved in writing the paper, all the names should be clearly indicated. The format used will depend on the affiliations of the authors and the institution that they’re working with. For an APA cover page, the authors should be listed below the title of the paper. List their first names, middle initials and last names with any titles and qualifications.
The cover page is typically required when you use the APA citation style. With the MLA, and Chicago formats, your instructor will advise you on whether or not you have to include a cover page. However, more often than not, MLA formatting does not require a cover page.
No instructor will penalize you for including a cover page when it is not strictly required. You should consider adding a cover page if you are not sure whether or not it is required for your academic writing work. Nevertheless, you should check with your institution anyway to ensure that you’re fulfilling all requirements.
Essentials of a Cover Page
A cover page requires:
- A running head
- The title of your academic paper
- The name of your university
- The name of the author or authors
Besides these requirements, your professor may ask you to add extra information. As mentioned earlier, you should refer to the latest guidelines to see how the cover page should be formatted. With APA style, you have to use 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1-inch margins.
The running head has to be left-aligned, and it should be capitalized. Besides the ‘running head,’ your header should have a maximum of 50 characters.
The title of your paper should also be properly formatted. It should be in title case, meaning the first letters of every word should be capitalized. The only words that should not be capitalized are small words like articles and propositions. The title should be no more than 12 words in length. For the title, you should use whole words only. Avoid contractions and abbreviations.
The names of the authors should also be properly formatted. If multiple authors were involved in writing the paper, they should all be mentioned, along with the institutions they are affiliated with. Students with different affiliations should be listed separately.
The cover page should not be spruced up unnecessarily. Its only objective is to provide the reader or professor with essential information. Don’t use colored paper, colored text, or fancy images to make your cover page more attractive. That will only make you appear less professional.
Kinds of Cover Pages
There are as many kinds of cover pages as there are academic writing formats. The most commonly used cover page formats are MLA, APA, and Chicago. The difference between these cover pages is in their format and contents. Here is an overview of each of these types of cover pages:
APA Cover Page
The APA cover page should start with the running head, positioned at the top left of your paper. The page number is in the top right. Your paper title is to be in title case, in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title should be 12 words in length or less, and it should not include any abbreviations or contractions. Words that serve no purpose should also be left out. The title can take up one or two lines.
Below the title of your paper, list the names of the authors and their institutional affiliations. The author’s name should include first name, middle initial(s), and last name. The titles of the author(s) and their educational qualifications should not be included in this part of the paper. The institutional affiliation is included under the author’s name, and it shows where the researcher carried out the research.
For more information, read our article about the APA Cover Page!
MLA Cover Page
No cover page is required when using the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Your instructor will let you know whether or not they require a cover page. For some assignments, a cover page can make your paper look more professional, so you should always consider adding a cover page. For MLA, you will have to include the school or university name, the title of your paper, the name of the author, the name of the class, the name of your professor, and the date of submission. You should note that different instructors may require that you add other details to the cover page.
Like in APA, the cover page is double-spaced and the letters are centered on the page. The name of your university should be typed first, after which you can skip down to a third of the page and add the title of the research paper. From here, you can skip several lines and add the rest of the details. These details should be in the bottom half of the page.
The Chicago cover page requires the title of your page, the name of the author, the name of your teacher, the course title, and the due date. The title should be typed at about one third of the way down the page. Some professors accept CMS cover pages using 11 pt Arial font, but the most widely used font is 12 pt Times New Roman. You should generally avoid using fancy fonts or underlining the text. You can only use bold for the title and subtitle. The page should be double-spaced. The page number should not be included in a CMS cover page.
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In a Nutshell
Here are some key points to note about academic cover pages:
- They can make your paper look more professional and should be included where possible.
- They will not be counted as contributing to the length of your paper.
- The cover page will typically contain the title of your paper, your name, the name of your professor, and the due date.
- The cover page will usually be double-spaced and should be done in 12 pt Times New Roman.