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research paper cover pages

APA Title Page (Cover Page) Format, Example, & Templates

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Editor-in-Chief for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, PhD., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years of experience in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Learn about our Editorial Process

Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

On This Page:

In APA Style (7th edition), the cover page, or title page, should include:
  • A running head (professional papers only) and page number
  • The title of the paper
  • The name of the author(s)
  • The institutional affiliation
  • An author note; optional (professional papers only)
  • A student paper should also include course information
Note : APA 7 provides slightly different directions for formatting the title pages of professional papers (e.g., those intended for scholarly publication) and student papers (e.g., those turned in for credit in a high school or college course).

Professional paper APA title page

An example of an APA format reference page

Student paper APA title page

An example of an APA format reference page

Formatting an APA title page

Note : All text on the title page should be double-spaced and typed in either 12-point, Times New Roman font. In the 7th edition, APA increaded the flexibility regarding font options: which now include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, or Georgia 11. All words should be centered, and capitalize the first letter of important words.

Running Head

In the 7th edition of the APA style manual, running heads are only required for professional papers that are being submitted for publication (student papers do not require a running head, but still need a page number).

Your title page should contain a running head that is flush left at the top of the page and a page number that is flush right at the top of the page.

Place the running head in the page’s header:

  • The running head is the abbreviated title of the paper (IN UPPERCASE LETTERS) aligned left on the page header of all pages, including the title page. APA (7th edition) guidelines require that running heads be a maximum of 50 characters (spaces count as characters).
  • The “Running head:” label used in the APA sixth edition is no longer used.
  • Place the page number in this same header, but align right, beginning with page number 1 on the title page.
  • This header should be 1 inch from the top. Some instructors allow for 1/2 inch, too, but the default is 1 inch.

Paper Title

Position the title of the paper in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface, and important words should be capitalized.

The APA recommends that your title should be a maximum of 12 words and should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.

Author Name(s)

Institutional affiliation.

Position the school or university’s name below the author(s) name, centered.

A student paper should also include the course number and name, instructor name, and assignment due date.

Further Information

  • APA Student Title Page Guide
  • APA Referencing
  • How to Write a Lab Report
  • Essay Writing Guide for Psychology Students
  • APA Style Citations & References
  • Example of an APA Formatted Paper

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write an Essay Cover Page

How to Write an Essay Cover Page

What you include in your cover page depends slightly on which citation style you are using, but the rules are generally the same.

Guide Overview

  • APA cover pages
  • MLA cover pages

For APA cover pages:

Include the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note.

Here is an example of a cover page in APA:

APA Cover Page

For MLA cover pages:

Cover pages are not as frequently used in MLA format, as the inclusion of headers is preferred.

A header looks like this:

Header in MLA

Cover pages can include the name of your school, your paper title, your name, your course name, your teacher or professor’s name, and the due date of the paper. If you are unsure of what to include, check with your instructor.

Here is an example of a cover page in MLA format:

Cover page in MLA

For more help making cover or title pages, visit our title page generator   here.

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Creating a captivating research paper title page – ultimate guide with examples.

August 29, 2019

A reader can become engaged or irritated after seeing your research paper title page. Th at is why you need to put in the effort to make sure that it is done properly, and it compels the reader to continue reading the content. Creating the title page for research paper is sometimes more difficult for students than writing a research paper.


How To Make A Title Page For Research Paper

The first thing you need to know is that there are primarily three formats for your title page – APA, Chicago style, and MLA. Your instructor will most likely tell you which format is ideal for the paper. The title page has to contain some precise information about the research in a few words. So, what should be contained in a research paper title page?

The front page of your research paper should contain your full name as it is stated on all your educational certificates. That should be on the same page where you put the topic.

Title Of The Research Paper

Make sure you come up with a good title for research paper and put it on the cover page along with your name. Make sure that the title is interesting. Also, it should not be misleading in any way but should provide a glimpse into the entire content. Typically, the title of the research paper title is expected to be written in capital letters and bold fonts.

Supervisor’s Name

Another important detail to add is the full name of the research supervisor. If you go through the research paper title page examples, you’ll see that adding the supervisor’s name is a must.

Course Information

You need to provide some information about the course, including the course code, academic year, and semester.

Now you know what your research paper title page is expected to contain, it’s time to dive into how to make a title page like a professional. Below are some useful tips for creating the perfect paper title page:

Use The Right Format

As stated earlier, there are three main research paper formats. The one you use will depend on what you’ve been instructed to use. However, you need to make sure you stick to one format from the title to the conclusion.


If you’ve been instructed to use the Chicago format, you have to make sure all the content on the cover page is aligned to the center. Your paper title should be halfway into the page. After the page title, write your full name followed by the name of your instructor and then the course title. There is no need to number the cover page when you’re using the Chicago style.


When you’re instructed to use the APA style, you have to number the title page at the top right corner. Use Times New Roman as your page font and keep one-inch margins on every side of the cover page. You may not need to write everything in capital letters.


For the MLA format, you need to start a third way into the paper, but it should not be as low as the Chicago style. You can add a subtitle to your original title. Just after that, add your name, the name of your school, the course title, your instructor’s name.

Writing A Research Paper – Quick Overview

After you’ve determined what you want your title page to look like, you need to find out how to start a research paper. It is important to note that each institution may have specific guidelines on how to write a research paper. So, make sure you read these guidelines thoroughly before you start. However, some general rules are as follows:

Don’t Joke With The Research

The research part of the research paper writing is crucial. Before you start writing anything, research the topic thoroughly, and get updated information about every fact you’re going to list. As soon as you understand the topic, you need to gather resources, formulate the idea, develop your thesis statement. Your research should be backed by empirical data. If possible, conduct first-hand research on the subject. Otherwise, look for reliable research on Google Scholar, government publications, encyclopedias, newspapers, and almanacs.

About Your Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement tells your reader what the main point of your essay is and what your supporting points are. It can be one or two sentences that prepare the minds of the readers for what is to come. Make sure that everything in the body of your paper is in line with the thesis statement, not opposite. Your thesis statement should appear at the end of your introduction and or should match the topic.

Work With An Outline

Your work would flow better if you use an outline from the beginning to the end. Your outline should be made up of all the points you intend to cover in the content. It can also include the research paper format. Make sure that you put down all the subheadings you intend to cover in the content as well as the details of the materials you want to use in each subheading.

Write A Draft First

To increase your chances of creating high-quality work, try writing a draft first. When you’ve completed the draft, you can start writing the content you will submit. Writing a draft first allows you to brainstorm ideas and find the perfect voice for the content.

Progress From Weakest To Strongest Point

For your content to have a logical flow, start with the weakest point, and slowly progress to the strongest. That doesn’t mean you need to start with a point that isn’t backed empirically. It just means the point you start with should not be your strongest. Each point should have a supporting argument as a backup. It makes your content better.

Restate Your Thesis Statement In Your Conclusion

When it’s time to conclude your paper after listing all the relevant points, you can restate your thesis statement as is common in research paper writing examples. That doesn’t mean you should copy and paste your thesis. Just find new words to say it and link all your points to it. Draw the reader’s attention to why all the points you’ve made support your thesis. That applies when you’re research is conclusive. If it is not, make sure you state that in the research is inconclusive.

Review Before Submission

So, you’ve completed your research paper successfully. That’s cool. However, you should not rush into submitting. Revise the work, make edits, and ask someone else to help you read it. Make sure that your work is as flawless as possible. There should be no inaccurate information, grammatical, or typographical errors. The last thing you want to do is submit a compelling research paper with bad grammar or typographical errors.

Let Our Writers Create Best Title Page For You

Writing a research paper, especially its title page, is like writing any other paper. However, it requires more precision and use of facts. Depending on the topic, make sure that everything you state is factual. These tips above will help when you’re creating a title page for your research paper and when you’re creating the paper. Also, should you feel stuck with crafting a research paper – feel free to hire our experts to help you get exciting results!

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  • A Research Guide
  • Research Paper Guide

How to Make a Cover Page for a Research Paper

  • Importance of title page
  • Elements of cover page
  • Title page formats
  • How to write

How to Make a Cover Page for a Research Paper

Only some people pay the necessary attention to the correct design of the title page, which increases the probability of getting a bad grade. This material will teach you to create your cover page per the university’s rules and correctly write your research paper title .

Why is the title page required?

A cover page looks like the cover of a book. It contains all the essential information about you and your research, shows which university or course it was created for, etc. Simply put, the title is a squeeze of your most important information.

The scientific paper title page consists of the following:

  • Research topics;
  • The name of the student who wrote it;
  • Information about the university and faculty;
  • Information about the type of paper (research paper, essay, etc.);
  • Delivery date.

As a rule, before writing research, your teacher tells you the format they want to see on the title page. Pay attention to this preference and do the cover page according to the standards.

What elements does the research paper cover page consist of?

The content of the title page may vary slightly depending on the citation format of the entire study. In general, the common elements remain unchanged. It’s the following:

  • Title of the research;
  • Full name of the author or student who conducted this study;
  • Information about the university for which the study was prepared;
  • The name of the faculty where the student is studying;
  • The degree that is being acquired (Bachelor, Master);
  • Date of application;
  • A summary of the research.

Additionally, when it’s time to write a cover page for a research paper, it is essential to adhere to the design standards: indents, fonts, selections, etc.

How to make a cover page for a research paper with different types of citing?

Now, let’s look at different research page design types and their specific requirements.

The APA Citation Standards contain strict guidelines for a student’s research design. If your university uses this style and requires you to follow it, you should add a “running heading” to all research pages and number the pages.

The title page of the research should contain the author’s name and the university where he studies. If an organization wrote the research, then the organization’s full name. Next, there should be information about the faculty, course number, and the teacher’s name. Finally, if the research is not student but professional, there must be notes by the author.

The name of the study must be placed in the center of the page, in bold type. It should take a maximum of 2 lines and be concise. All other information is located below in the center.

If you have used the MLA citation style when writing, you will not need a title page in most cases. When using this design, all information is placed above the paper’s main text. You need to write information about yourself in the following order:

  • The name of the professor who is evaluating the study;
  • Faculty and course name;
  • Delivery date;
  • Paper title.

If you are writing a group study or your professor asks for a research paper title page, move all of the information above to a separate page and do not include it on the first page of your paper.

The design of the cover page for college paper in this style may vary, so check with your professor before creating it.

If no special instructions are given, place the name of the study in the center of the page, with your name immediately below it. The research paper title page should be in the first third of the second half of the page. Next, place the professor’s name, the course title, and the due date. You do not need to number and include the research paper front page in the overall numbering.

This design style contains more information about the research authors than the previous ones. Consequently, you need to indicate the study name in the page center. The author’s name, the university’s name, and the number of words in the research go right below.

The lower part contains the author’s name, email, thanks, and grant information.

According to the AMA standards, you must place crucial information about studying all the listed styles to write a title page. Thus, when designing the research paper title page, you need to indicate the paper title page at the top in the center. Then, immediately below it, place the author’s and university’s names. The author’s name, without academic degrees, should be indicated through the surname and initials.

Next, you need to place an annotation where to describe the purpose of the research, by what method it was carried out, and what main results were obtained. It is also worth writing a few main keywords used in the paper: from 3 to 10.

So, how to write a proper title page?

Before writing the cover page, stick to the following algorithm:

  • Ask your professor how to style and write the research paper title page.
  • Check out the requirements for this citation style.
  • Find some research paper title page examples.
  • Write a research paper title that captures the research essence but remains concise.
  • Provide all the necessary information about yourself, your professor, and your university.
  • If necessary, write an abstract detailing all the most important details of your research. Stay brief.
  • After creating the cover page, check the font, indents, and all the information you provided.

Bonus tips for making a great research paper title page

  • Don’t try to be creative. Use different fonts, underlines, and highlights. Adhere strictly to standards.
  • Stay concise. Keep the title short and specific, and keep all other information in the correct format.
  • Check the indentation and all citation standards after creating the research paper title page.

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  • Writing a Research Paper
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  • Research Paper Format
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  • MLA Style Research Paper
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  • Research Paper Structure
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How to Make a Title Page for a Research Paper

  • Post category: Uncategorized
  • Reading time: 22 mins read

Imagine your research paper is a book in a vast library. Amidst thousands of others, what makes someone pick it up? The answer lies in the title page. This seemingly simple page announces the content and character of your research. Crafting a title page is about creating a compelling entrance to your scholarly journey.

In this guide, we’ll navigate through designing a research paper title page that meets academic standards and captures the purpose of your work, ensuring your research doesn’t just blend into the academic landscape but stands out, inviting, and informative.

What is a Research Paper Title?

The title page of a research paper serves as its initial page, prominently displaying the paper’s title or topic. This page previews the content of the research paper, setting the stage for the reader.

Adherence to specific citation and formatting style guidelines is crucial in structuring the title page. For instance, the title page must align with APA guidelines if you use APA format. This principle also applies to other styles, such as MLA, Harvard, and Chicago.

Key elements of the title page include the running head , research paper topic , page number, author’s name and number , and institutional affiliation . While there are several standard formatting styles like MLA, APA, and Chicago, the specific style to be used is typically dictated by the research paper’s instructions or rubric.

Creating a title page is straightforward, but attention to detail is important to ensure it is properly formatted, structured, and edited. Guidelines are often helpful for ensuring accuracy and adherence to the required academic standards.

Format and Features of a Title Page

The title page of a research paper serves as the face of your work and follows specific formatting guidelines that vary depending on the academic style guide (such as APA, MLA, or Chicago) being used. However, there are common elements and a general format that most title pages share. These include:

  • Title of the Paper: Placed prominently at the top, the title should clearly and concisely reflect the paper’s content. It is usually typed in a larger font size than the rest of the text on the page.
  • Author’s Name: This should appear below the title, indicating the paper’s authorship. In cases of multiple authors, their names are listed following the contribution or alphabetical order, depending on the guidelines followed.
  • Affiliation: This refers to the institution or organization with which the author is associated. In academic papers, this usually includes the name of the university or college.
  • Course Name and Number: Particularly relevant for academic assignments, this information helps in identifying the course for which the paper is written.
  • Instructor’s Name: Including the name of the instructor or professor for whom the paper is being submitted is a common practice in academic papers.
  • Submission Date: The paper is submission date is typically placed at the bottom of the title page.
  • Running Head and Page Number: In certain styles, like APA, a running head (a shortened version of the title) and a page number are included in the title page’s header.
  • Additional Information: Depending on the requirements, additional details like a student ID number, department, or university logo might be included.

The title page should have a clean, professional layout with centered text. Margins are usually set at 1 inch on all sides, and the title page is not adorned with images, decorative fonts, or colors unless specifically required by the guidelines or the nature of the paper warrants it. The goal is to present a clear, formal, and easily navigable title page that professionally represents the paper and its author.

Guide on How to Develop a Research Paper Title Page

Creating a title page for your research paper is a crucial step in presenting your academic work. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you develop a well-structured and properly formatted title page:

Answer Key Questions About Your Research Paper

Begin by reflecting on the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of your research. What is the main topic or problem you are addressing? Why is this research important or necessary? How did you approach the research? Understanding these elements is vital for formulating a title that accurately represents your study.

Identify Research Study Keywords

Keywords are the core terms that define your topic and are critical for making your paper searchable and accessible. These are the terms that a reader might use to find your work in databases and search engines. Think about the main concepts, theories, and methods involved in your research and list them as potential keywords.

Research Title Writing Using Keywords

Use the identified keywords to construct your title. A good title integrates these keywords in a way that is coherent and reflective of the paper’s content. This makes the title informative and ensures that your paper is easily discoverable in academic searches.

Create a Working Research Paper Title

Start with a draft title early in your research process. This initial title should capture the essence of your study. As your research progresses, revisit and refine this title. The evolution of your research might bring new insights that can lead to a more precise and effective title.

Remove Nonessential Words and Phrases

Review your title and eliminate unnecessary words or phrases. The goal is to keep the title concise without losing its intended meaning. Avoid jargon, acronyms, or any ambiguous terms unless they are well-known in your field and crucial to the title’s clarity.

Rules on Making the Best Research Paper Title

Creating an effective research paper title is an art that combines clarity, precision, and engagement. Here are some key rules to follow for crafting a title that stands out:

  • Clarity is Key: Your title should clearly reflect your research’s main topic and scope. Avoid ambiguity and ensure that even non-experts in your field can understand the focus of your paper.
  • Be Concise: A good title is brief yet informative. Aim to capture the essence of your research without unnecessary words. A concise title is easier to read and more impactful.
  • Incorporate Relevant Keywords: Use specific keywords that define your research area. This improves the searchability of your paper in academic databases and makes it more accessible to the target audience.
  • Avoid Jargon and Technical Terms: Unless necessary, steer clear of jargon and highly technical terms. These can alienate readers who are not specialists in your field.
  • Make It Interesting: While maintaining academic professionalism, try to make your title engaging. A compelling title can spark interest and encourage more readers to delve into your paper.
  • Reflect the Tone of Your Research: Ensure that your title correctly mirrors the nature of your research. For example, a serious, rigorous study should not have a frivolous title.
  • No False Promises: Your title should accurately represent the content of your paper. Avoid misleading readers with a sensational or overpromising title your paper does not fulfill.
  • Adhere to Formatting Guidelines: Follow the specific formatting rules of the style guide (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) required by your institution or publisher. This includes aspects like capitalization, punctuation, and font.
  • Consider the Audience: Tailor your title to your intended audience’s expectations and knowledge level. A title for a specialized academic audience can be different from one intended for a general audience.
  • Seek Feedback: Before finalizing, get feedback on your title from peers or mentors. They can provide insights on clarity, interest, and appropriateness.

APA Research Paper Cover Page Guide

When you’re preparing a research paper in APA format, the title page is an essential element that needs to be formatted correctly. Here’s a guide to help you set up your APA title page:

You need to include these four essential elements in the title page of your APA-style paper:

  • Paper Title: Position your title in the center of the page. It should succinctly reflect the subject of your paper, including key variables or theoretical issues related to the topic. Aim for a title length of about 10-12 words.
  • Author’s Name and Institutional Affiliation: Directly below the title, center your name and the name of the institution where the research was conducted. The institutional affiliation typically refers to the college or university associated with the research.
  • Running Head: This is a shortened version of your title, limited to 50 characters (including spaces and punctuation). It appears at the top of each page of the paper, aligned to the left, followed by the page number.
  • Page Number: The page number should be in the title page’s upper right-hand corner, following the running head. All subsequent pages of the paper should also have consecutive page numbering in the same location.

Research Paper APA Title Page Example

Here’s an example of how a title page for a research paper in APA format might look:

Research Paper APA Title Page Example

Research Paper Title Page MLA

In MLA (Modern Language Association) format, a separate title page is not typically required unless specifically requested by your instructor. Instead, the necessary information is included at the top of the document’s first page. Here’s how you would format it:

  • University Name: At the top of the page, write the name of your university.
  • Paper Title: Skip about one-third of the page down from the university name to place the title. The title should adhere to title capitalization standards: the first word and all major words are capitalized. Avoid underlining, italicizing, or placing quotation marks around the title. However, any in-text citations within the title should follow proper punctuation rules.
  • Your Name: Skip a couple of lines after the title and write your full name (first and last names).
  • Class, Professor’s Name, and Due Date: Skip another couple of lines and then write, on separate lines, the name of your class, your professor’s full name (including the appropriate title), and the due date. Names should be written accurately, and the date should be in European format: day, month, and year.
  • Formatting of the Title Page: Double-space the title page and center-align all text. Ensure uniform formatting for each line and avoid using special formatting like underlining or highlighting.
  • Formatting of the First Page (If a Separate Title Page is Not Required): If a separate title page is not used, the first page of your paper should include the title and your name. Remember to include your last name and page number in the header of each page.

The Correct MLA Format Title Page Example

While MLA style does not require a separate title page and instead includes necessary information on the first page of the document, if your instructor requests a separate title page, it would look like this:

Research Paper MLA Title Page Example

Adding a Research Paper Subtitle

Subtitles in research papers can provide additional context, clarify the scope, or highlight specific aspects of the study. A subtitle is used to give more detail or a specific focus that complements the main title. It can narrow the topic, indicate a specific methodology or geographic region, or provide more clarity.

The subtitle should be placed directly below the main title. It’s typically separated from the title by a colon. Regarding formatting, the subtitle should be in the same font and size as the main title. While the main title is often capitalized (headline style), the subtitle can be in sentence case (only the first word and proper nouns capitalized), depending on your style guide.

Like the main title, the subtitle should be concise and clear. It should enhance the reader’s understanding of the paper’s content without being overly lengthy or complex. The subtitle should be directly aligned with the main title, both conceptually and visually. It should look like an integral part of the title, not an afterthought.

Adding a subtitle to a research paper should provide additional clarity or specific focus to the main title. Here’s how it might look:

Main Title: “Enhancing Patient Safety: Strategies for Reducing Medication Errors”

Subtitle: “A Comparative Analysis of Electronic versus Manual Prescription Methods”

Combined: “Enhancing Patient Safety: Strategies for Reducing Medication Errors: A Comparative Analysis of Electronic versus Manual Prescription Methods”

In this example:

  • The main title, “Enhancing Patient Safety: Strategies for Reducing Medication Errors,” introduces the paper’s general topic, focusing on patient safety and medication errors.
  • The subtitle, “A Comparative Analysis of Electronic versus Manual Prescription Methods,” provides specific details about the approach and scope of the research, indicating that the paper will compare electronic and manual prescription methods.
  • Together, the title and subtitle give a comprehensive overview of the paper’s focus, guiding the reader’s expectations about the study’s content and methodological approach.

Research Paper Title Examples

Crafting the right title for a research paper is crucial, as it is the first point of engagement with the reader and sets the tone for the content. The following examples demonstrate how effective titles can convey the research’s scope, focus, and methodology, making them both informative and appealing.

  • “Bridging the Gap: Innovative Approaches to Dementia Care in Geriatric Nursing”
  • “The Impact of Telehealth Services on Chronic Disease Management in Rural Communities”
  • “Exploring the Role of Nurse Practitioners in Primary Care: Patient Outcomes and Healthcare Efficiency”
  • “Pediatric Pain Management: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Non-Pharmacological Interventions”
  • “Maternal Health Disparities: Analyzing the Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Prenatal Care”
  • “Infection Control in ICU: Strategies for Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections”
  • “Mental Health Nursing: Addressing the Challenges of Care in Adolescent Populations”
  • “Advancing Palliative Care: The Role of Nursing in End-of-Life Decision Making”
  • “The Efficacy of Continuing Education Programs in Nursing: A Comparative Study”
  • “Technology in Nursing: The Impact of Electronic Health Records on Patient Safety and Care Quality”

Tips on Formulating a Good Research Paper Title

Here are essential tips and strategies to help you craft an effective and engaging title that accurately reflects the content and significance of your research.

  • Ensure your title accurately represents the core idea or findings of your research. It should give a clear indication of what the reader can expect.
  • Avoid overly complex or lengthy titles. Aim for a title that is to the point yet informative enough to convey the key aspects of your research.
  • Incorporate relevant keywords that highlight the main topics or methods of your research. This aids in searchability and helps readers quickly understand the focus of your paper.
  • Use language that is accessible to a broad audience. Technical terms and acronyms might confuse readers not specialized in your field.
  • While maintaining academic appropriateness, choose an engaging title that catches the reader’s attention.
  • A title that is too vague can be misleading or unhelpful. Including specific details like the study’s geographical location, time frame, or specific methodology can be beneficial.
  • Ensure the tone of the title matches the tone of the paper. A serious study, for instance, demands a title that reflects its scholarly rigor.
  • If you need to add more context or specify the focus of your research, consider using a subtitle. This can be especially useful for multidisciplinary studies.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask colleagues, mentors, or peers for their opinions on your title. Sometimes, external perspectives can help refine and improve it.
  • Your title might evolve as your research progresses. Be open to revising it as you gain more insights into your topic.

Writing a title page for your research paper with precision and adherence to academic guidelines is a skill that enhances the professionalism of your work. Applying these straightforward yet effective tips ensures that your research paper makes a strong, scholarly first impression, setting the stage for the valuable insights that follow. Remember, a well-composed title page is your first step towards presenting your research like a pro.

As a college or university student, you can apply these valuable tips to create an impressive and professional title page for your research paper. If time constraints or other commitments make it challenging to complete your research paper, our custom writing service is available to assist you.

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  • MLA Format 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 it.

If your instructor requires your paper to have a cover page, here is how to make it (very easy). This cover page should include: your school name, your research paper title, your name, your class, your professor name and your paper due date.

How to Format Your MLA Cover Page:

  • This page is double spaced and the letters are centered.
  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12
  • The first letter of each word should be capitalized with the exception of very short words such as: the, and, of, or, a, an, in, to, for. Note: the first letter of the first word should be capitalized, regardless of what kind of word it is.
  • 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:

research paper cover pages

Sample MLA Format Cover Page

Alternate First Page:

If your instructor requires a cover page, you would 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 page.

research paper cover pages

Sample MLA Format First Page with Cover Page

research paper cover pages

Sample MLA Paper:

Visit here for a sample paper with the cover page. The cover page can vary slightly. This paper also has the outline page for your sample.

If you find this website useful, please share with a friend:

How do I get the header on the second page on down? I tried editing it but then it takes the header away from all the pages.

In word select the header then go to: Header & Footer>Page Number>Format Page Numbers>Page Numbering>Start at page>Set to 0

How do I get the header on the second page on down? I tried editing it but then it takes the header away from all the pages. I am using windows. Also, the page numbers are not working for me either. Please help me.

How should I start the page after my cover page?

Thank you so much Stephen !!! Helped a lot in my written assignments 🙂

Great site ! Thank you so much. Just returned to school to complete my bachelors and needed a little refreshing. Has all the information I needed !

Thanks so much for all of the great information! I have not used MLA before and was a little panic stricken. I have found all of my answers here. This is now saved to my favorites so I can use it regularly. Thanks again!

Should the lines on the cover page be double spaced?

Thanks so much for the picture of the cover page it has helped a lot. But, I was wondering do I still need to put my Title at the top of every page after the header?

Hello Lydia. You do not.

After your cover page, your next page’s heading should look like the “Alternate First Page” above.

After the “Alternate First Page” => your next pages should have “The Inner Pages” heading:

Sample paper:

hey Lydia you don’t need to but if you want to you can

Thank you so so much. I love the simplicity of the website, very easy to understand. I finally have a cover page for my paper!!

I love this website!! It helped so many times with all my essays. I’m working on a college one and this was very useful. Thank you soo much. And thanks for the examples im a visual person I needed that 🙂

Hi Kaylin, I am glad you find this site useful. Take care!

By the way (sorry i forgot!) for the coverpage, would the text font be 12 times new roman???

You can set everything 12, Times New Roman. Or you can set the Title a little larger than 12, that should work too.

In the example above, I have the title larger than 12.

Here is an example with everything set at 12.

Thank you so much for your help on this useful website! I found it very organized and I’m very glad that I came across this particular article. Thanks!!!!!!!:)

I have a question regarding the cover page and the following pages. If I have a cover page as the example provided, do I still need the heading on the next page? And should the pages after that contain my last name on the top left as the header does on the on the previous pages? or do I not need the header at all if I have the cover page and just my name?

Excellence question, Stella! I have updated this article with information on the first page if a cover page is used. Please see “Alternate First Page” above.

You can omit the main heading but you still need your last name and page number on the first page and all subsequent pages. Take care!

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What’s Included: Research Paper Template

If you’re preparing to write an academic research paper, our free research paper template is the perfect starting point. In the template, we cover every section step by step, with clear, straightforward explanations and examples .

The template’s structure is based on the tried and trusted best-practice format for formal academic research papers. The template structure reflects the overall research process, ensuring your paper will have a smooth, logical flow from chapter to chapter.

The research paper template covers the following core sections:

  • The title page/cover page
  • Abstract (sometimes also called the executive summary)
  • Section 1: Introduction 
  • Section 2: Literature review 
  • Section 3: Methodology
  • Section 4: Findings /results
  • Section 5: Discussion
  • Section 6: Conclusion
  • Reference list

Each section is explained in plain, straightforward language , followed by an overview of the key elements that you need to cover within each section. We’ve also included links to free resources to help you understand how to write each section.

The cleanly formatted Google Doc can be downloaded as a fully editable MS Word Document (DOCX format), so you can use it as-is or convert it to LaTeX.

FAQs: Research Paper Template

What format is the template (doc, pdf, ppt, etc.).

The research paper template is provided as a Google Doc. You can download it in MS Word format or make a copy to your Google Drive. You’re also welcome to convert it to whatever format works best for you, such as LaTeX or PDF.

What types of research papers can this template be used for?

The template follows the standard best-practice structure for formal academic research papers, so it is suitable for the vast majority of degrees, particularly those within the sciences.

Some universities may have some additional requirements, but these are typically minor, with the core structure remaining the same. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check your university’s requirements before you finalise your structure.

Is this template for an undergrad, Masters or PhD-level research paper?

This template can be used for a research paper at any level of study. It may be slight overkill for an undergraduate-level study, but it certainly won’t be missing anything.

How long should my research paper be?

This depends entirely on your university’s specific requirements, so it’s best to check with them. We include generic word count ranges for each section within the template, but these are purely indicative. 

What about the research proposal?

If you’re still working on your research proposal, we’ve got a template for that here .

We’ve also got loads of proposal-related guides and videos over on the Grad Coach blog .

How do I write a literature review?

We have a wealth of free resources on the Grad Coach Blog that unpack how to write a literature review from scratch. You can check out the literature review section of the blog here.

How do I create a research methodology?

We have a wealth of free resources on the Grad Coach Blog that unpack research methodology, both qualitative and quantitative. You can check out the methodology section of the blog here.

Can I share this research paper template with my friends/colleagues?

Yes, you’re welcome to share this template. If you want to post about it on your blog or social media, all we ask is that you reference this page as your source.

Can Grad Coach help me with my research paper?

Within the template, you’ll find plain-language explanations of each section, which should give you a fair amount of guidance. However, you’re also welcome to consider our private coaching services .

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  • 15 April 2024

Revealed: the ten research papers that policy documents cite most

  • Dalmeet Singh Chawla 0

Dalmeet Singh Chawla is a freelance science journalist based in London.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

G7 leaders gather for a photo at the Itsukushima Shrine during the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan in 2023

Policymakers often work behind closed doors — but the documents they produce offer clues about the research that influences them. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/Getty

When David Autor co-wrote a paper on how computerization affects job skill demands more than 20 years ago, a journal took 18 months to consider it — only to reject it after review. He went on to submit it to The Quarterly Journal of Economics , which eventually published the work 1 in November 2003.

Autor’s paper is now the third most cited in policy documents worldwide, according to an analysis of data provided exclusively to Nature . It has accumulated around 1,100 citations in policy documents, show figures from the London-based firm Overton (see ‘The most-cited papers in policy’), which maintains a database of more than 12 million policy documents, think-tank papers, white papers and guidelines.

“I thought it was destined to be quite an obscure paper,” recalls Autor, a public-policy scholar and economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “I’m excited that a lot of people are citing it.”

The most-cited papers in policy

Economics papers dominate the top ten papers that policy documents reference most.

Data from Sage Policy Profiles as of 15 April 2024

The top ten most cited papers in policy documents are dominated by economics research; the number one most referenced study has around 1,300 citations. When economics studies are excluded, a 1997 Nature paper 2 about Earth’s ecosystem services and natural capital is second on the list, with more than 900 policy citations. The paper has also garnered more than 32,000 references from other studies, according to Google Scholar. Other highly cited non-economics studies include works on planetary boundaries, sustainable foods and the future of employment (see ‘Most-cited papers — excluding economics research’).

These lists provide insight into the types of research that politicians pay attention to, but policy citations don’t necessarily imply impact or influence, and Overton’s database has a bias towards documents published in English.

Interdisciplinary impact

Overton usually charges a licence fee to access its citation data. But last year, the firm worked with the London-based publisher Sage to release a free web-based tool that allows any researcher to find out how many times policy documents have cited their papers or mention their names. Overton and Sage said they created the tool, called Sage Policy Profiles, to help researchers to demonstrate the impact or influence their work might be having on policy. This can be useful for researchers during promotion or tenure interviews and in grant applications.

Autor thinks his study stands out because his paper was different from what other economists were writing at the time. It suggested that ‘middle-skill’ work, typically done in offices or factories by people who haven’t attended university, was going to be largely automated, leaving workers with either highly skilled jobs or manual work. “It has stood the test of time,” he says, “and it got people to focus on what I think is the right problem.” That topic is just as relevant today, Autor says, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence.

Most-cited papers — excluding economics research

When economics studies are excluded, the research papers that policy documents most commonly reference cover topics including climate change and nutrition.

Walter Willett, an epidemiologist and food scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, thinks that interdisciplinary teams are most likely to gain a lot of policy citations. He co-authored a paper on the list of most cited non-economics studies: a 2019 work 3 that was part of a Lancet commission to investigate how to feed the global population a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet by 2050 and has accumulated more than 600 policy citations.

“I think it had an impact because it was clearly a multidisciplinary effort,” says Willett. The work was co-authored by 37 scientists from 17 countries. The team included researchers from disciplines including food science, health metrics, climate change, ecology and evolution and bioethics. “None of us could have done this on our own. It really did require working with people outside our fields.”

Sverker Sörlin, an environmental historian at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, agrees that papers with a diverse set of authors often attract more policy citations. “It’s the combined effect that is often the key to getting more influence,” he says.

research paper cover pages

Has your research influenced policy? Use this free tool to check

Sörlin co-authored two papers in the list of top ten non-economics papers. One of those is a 2015 Science paper 4 on planetary boundaries — a concept defining the environmental limits in which humanity can develop and thrive — which has attracted more than 750 policy citations. Sörlin thinks one reason it has been popular is that it’s a sequel to a 2009 Nature paper 5 he co-authored on the same topic, which has been cited by policy documents 575 times.

Although policy citations don’t necessarily imply influence, Willett has seen evidence that his paper is prompting changes in policy. He points to Denmark as an example, noting that the nation is reformatting its dietary guidelines in line with the study’s recommendations. “I certainly can’t say that this document is the only thing that’s changing their guidelines,” he says. But “this gave it the support and credibility that allowed them to go forward”.

Broad brush

Peter Gluckman, who was the chief science adviser to the prime minister of New Zealand between 2009 and 2018, is not surprised by the lists. He expects policymakers to refer to broad-brush papers rather than those reporting on incremental advances in a field.

Gluckman, a paediatrician and biomedical scientist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, notes that it’s important to consider the context in which papers are being cited, because studies reporting controversial findings sometimes attract many citations. He also warns that the list is probably not comprehensive: many policy papers are not easily accessible to tools such as Overton, which uses text mining to compile data, and so will not be included in the database.

research paper cover pages

The top 100 papers

“The thing that worries me most is the age of the papers that are involved,” Gluckman says. “Does that tell us something about just the way the analysis is done or that relatively few papers get heavily used in policymaking?”

Gluckman says it’s strange that some recent work on climate change, food security, social cohesion and similar areas hasn’t made it to the non-economics list. “Maybe it’s just because they’re not being referred to,” he says, or perhaps that work is cited, in turn, in the broad-scope papers that are most heavily referenced in policy documents.

As for Sage Policy Profiles, Gluckman says it’s always useful to get an idea of which studies are attracting attention from policymakers, but he notes that studies often take years to influence policy. “Yet the average academic is trying to make a claim here and now that their current work is having an impact,” he adds. “So there’s a disconnect there.”

Willett thinks policy citations are probably more important than scholarly citations in other papers. “In the end, we don’t want this to just sit on an academic shelf.”


Autor, D. H., Levy, F. & Murnane, R. J. Q. J. Econ. 118 , 1279–1333 (2003).

Article   Google Scholar  

Costanza, R. et al. Nature 387 , 253–260 (1997).

Willett, W. et al. Lancet 393 , 447–492 (2019).

Article   PubMed   Google Scholar  

Steffen, W. et al. Science 347 , 1259855 (2015).

Rockström, J. et al. Nature 461 , 472–475 (2009).

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