Term Paper Cover Page: Tips from 3 Research Pros

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Term Paper Cover Page: Tips from 3 Research Pros

Most students will be required to write research papers while they are in college.  A cover page is an integral part of most research papers.  Unless instructed otherwise, the first page of any report should be a cover page.  Cover pages for research papers are subject to their own set of formatting rules.  Sometimes these rules vary according to formatting style guidelines.  Other times, cover pages for research papers are formatted according to the guidelines of the college, university, or professor.

Regardless of the report style guidelines, any cover page should include the same, basic information.  A cover page for a research paper should clearly indicate the student's name, the name of the course, the date the article is submitted or due, and possibly the university affiliation and the instructor's name.  Some paper formatting guidelines require that a research paper cover page also have a page number, running head, and short title.

How the cover page for a reference report is formatted is sometimes determined by an official formatting style guide.  For instance, the American Psychological Association (APA) includes specific formatting instructions for cover pages for research papers as a part of their official formatting style.  Many instructors prefer APA formatting for cover pages for research papers even if they request a different citation style for the rest.

APA formatting guidelines for cover pages are some of the most technical.  Whereas most cover pages merely require the title of the report, the student's name, and the date of the report centered and double-spaced on an otherwise blank page, APA formatting requires a bit more work.  An APA style cover page requires that a short title and the page number one appear in the upper right header.  At the top left of the report, the student should put the running head.  About halfway down the page, the student should include the report title, the report author's name, and the name of the university.

Students are often graded on their document cover pages.  Although the portion of the grade allotted to the cover page is often small, sometimes only five percent, it still makes sense to take care to follow the formatting guidelines as closely as possible.  The reason that many instructors assign a grade value to cover pages is because they want to see if students can follow directions.  The information that appears on a cover page is also very important for the instructor and warrants a portion of the grade for that reason, as well.

Viewpoint of Author #2

Most professors require that students include a term paper cover page when they turn in their documents.  A term paper cover page should introduce the report and help the professor to know which student created the document.  There are two basic styles for term paper cover pages that students may have to follow: APA and MLA.  A professor should let students know in advance what style of term paper he or she requires.

The purpose of a report cover page is not only to help the student introduce his or her work, but also to help professors stay organized.  Therefore, learners should always follow a professor's instructions when the professor requires that a student include a cover page.  After all, if things are easy for a professor, the professor will look more favorably upon a student's paper.  

When a student is required to write a document in MLA style, the student needs to create a project cover page in the same time.  The format for term paper cover pages in MLA style is simple: title of work, student's name, date.  Some professors also require that students include additional information, such as the course title and the professor's name.  

MLA term paper cover pages should all be centered.  The title of the work should appear about one third of the way down the page.  The student should list his or her name just under the title on the last line of the page, the student should include the date.  Some professors also require the professor's name and course number on the last line or last few lines of the page.  The font should be 12-point, Times New Roman.  

APA term paper cover pages are slightly more complex than MLA pages.  The APA term paper cover page should have the page number of the title page (which will be "1") in the upper right hand corner of the cover page.  At the top of the page, the student should also list the title abstract, which is about four words from the title.  The abstract should be left justified on the page.  The title should appear about hallway down the report with the author's name just below it.  The font should be size 11 or 12, Times New Roman or an equivalent.  

Term paper cover pages are different than first pages of a report.  If a professor does not require a cover page, then the student should state the title and his or her name on the first page of the report just above the first line of text for the document.  Term paper cover pages are required for many courses, but not all.  When in doubt, learners should include a cover page.

Viewpoint of Author #3

The research paper cover page is a significant part of any reference project.  Research paper cover pages not only state the title of the work, but also tell the readers who wrote the report and on what date.

There are many different types and styles for research paper cover pages.  The two most popular styles for most academic settings are APA and MLA format.  These two standardized formats are used universally in order to provide similarity and structure for research papers, regardless of the nature of the report or the grade level.  

Whenever a pupil writes research paper cover pages, the student needs to keep in mind that if the entire project follows one particular format, such as MLA, then the cover page should also follow that format.  There should be consistency and congruency between the style of the cover page and the style of the entire paper.  

Students also need to keep in mind that research paper cover pages should not be creative.  In fact, they should look exactly like a template of the particular format that a student is required to use.  Therefore, unlike the rest of an academic article, the report cover page should be very specific, as if a student simply fills in the blanks where appropriate.  

There is one significant part of any report cover page that is slightly creative and up to the student's imagination: the title.  Some professors ask students to keep their titles succinct.  Other professors like their students to have titles that are as specific as possible.  Some titles may also include a sub-title for further clarification.  The title is one of the most important parts of the cover page, as it introduces readers to the nature.  

While both MLA and APA are common styles, there are differences between the two that students should note.  Both MLA and APA reports should be typed in 12-point, Times New Roman font and double spaced.  However, an MLA research paper cover page is very simple, whereas an APA cover page is slightly more complex.  

For an MLA cover page, students center all text.  About one third of the way down the page, they include the title.  Directly beneath, they include their name.  They should place the date at the bottom of the page.  In APA style, students follow the same format, but they should also left-justify a title abstract at the top of the page and include a page number.

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