As a rule, essays are short things that do not require a cover page. At least, that's how it is in high school. Most of the time, your name and the title at the top are enough. However, you may want to create a cover page for an extended essay over five pages long.
In college, things get a bit more formal. A cover page is usually required for all sorts of papers – granted, the papers themselves become lengthier. In this post, your friendly writing helper will look at how a cover page appears in three main formatting styles used in academia – APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian.
Please keep in mind that the requirements for the cover page may differ from school to school. If your writing center specifies what goes on the cover pages of students' papers, your university's recommendations take precedence before the style guide traditionally used in a particular discipline.
Cover Page Template for Essay
First things first: what is a cover page for an essay? A cover page (or a title page) is a separate sheet that comes at the very beginning of your academic essay and contains crucial information about it. At the very least, an essay's title and your name. Additionally, it may include the number of pages or words, the name of the class you've written the paper for, the name of your instructor, your school email, date of submission, etc.
Please note that your cover pages should be formatted the same way as the rest of your essay. Luckily, there is an overlap in the requirements for all three major academic styles. To save yourself oodles of time, format a template Microsoft Word opens by default to meet those requirements:
-   Set all margins to 1 inch
-   Choose a legible font (Times New Roman and Arial are accepted in all style guides)
-   Set font size to 12 pt.
-   Set line spacing to double
Now, every time you open a new doc, formatting is already optimized, and you have fewer things to format. With that out of the way, let's see how the layouts for the cover page look like in major academic styles.
APA essay cover page
APA is the most widespread format used in most colleges and universities as a default set of rules, regardless of the discipline. A good cover page in APA should contain:
-   The full title of the essay, centered in Title Case (APA recommends you to use no more than 12 words for your full title, taking up one or two lines)
-   Your name, centered
-   The name of your college or university, centered
At the top of the page, you should add a header following the format:
Running head: SHORTENED TITLE OF YOUR ESSAY IN CAPS
Running head should not exceed 50 characters. All the subsequent pages should have a header with just a SHORTENED TITLE OF YOUR ESSAY IN CAPS on the left (without the words "running head") and the page number on the right.
Here is a cover page essay example in APA:
MLA essay cover page
As a rule, MLA does not require a cover page, so do not create one unless specifically asked by your instructor. Instead, MLA recommends to include some essential information on the first page of your paper, in the left upper corner:
-   your name, the name of your instructor, the course the paper is for, and the date of submission
-   Below goes the title of your page, centered, in Title Case
-   Under the title goes the text of your essay. Don't forget to indent the first line of each paragraph from the left (use the "Tab" key instead of hitting the space bar several times).
At the top right corner, create a header that includes your surname and the page number, for example, Doe 1 for the first page, Doe 2 for the second page, and so on. Please note that your instructor may ask you to modify the header or drop it altogether, so carefully read the instructions you get with the assignment.
This is how it should look like:
Essay cover page Chicago style
Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) gives recommendations for published papers, so the essays and other class papers are covered in Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.
The manual is flexible on the matter of cover pages and says that you can either create a title page or just include a title on your text's first page – whichever is more appropriate or is required by your instructor. Here is how to make a cover page for an essay, according to Turabian Style Guidelines:
-   Place your title a third of the way down the page, centered, in Title Case.
-   Several lines below include your name, the name of the course, and the date of submission on separate lines, centered.
Here is how it will look like:
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