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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.
- 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:
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:
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:
For more help making cover or title pages, visit our title page generator here.
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How to Make a Cover Page
Last Updated: January 12, 2024 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Amber Rosenberg, PCC . Amber Rosenberg is a Professional Life Coach, Career Coach, and Executive Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the owner of Pacific Life Coach, she has 20+ years of coaching experience and a background in corporations, tech companies, and nonprofits. Amber trained with the Coaches Training Institute and is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 141,993 times.
Many professional and academic documents will require a cover page, but the information required for a cover page varies depending on the nature of the document. Some cover pages, like those you would send with a resume, are actually letters. Others, like those used for academic essays, are actually title pages. For all cover letters, using a standard font such as Times New Roman, in at least a 12-point size, is recommended.
Formatting a Cover Page For Your Resume
- You should usually use standard 1-inch (2.5-cm) margins, but you can use margins as small as 0.7 inch (1.8 cm) as long as they are the same on all sides.
- If you have a fax number, you should include it below your phone number and above your e-mail address.
- Write out the full name of the month, rather than abbreviating by using a number. For example, rather than write 1/1/2001, you should write January 1, 2001.
- Leave a blank line above and below the date.
- Note that you do not need to include an e-mail address, phone number, or fax number for the company.
- If you do not know the name of a specific contact at the company, skip over that information.
- When you can determine the gender of the receiver, leave out his or her first name and address the receiver as "Mr." or "Ms." For example, "Dear Ms. Smith" or "Dear Mr. Johnson."
- If you do not know the gender of the receiver, skip the title and use his or her full name. For example, "Dear Pat Roberts."
- Leave a blank line before and after you address the receiver.
- If you are a student, state the university you attend and your major.
- Indicate what position you are applying for as well as how or where you heard about the position.
- You can also mention the name of a professional or academic contact you know who has a positive connection to the reader or company.
- List any special projects, awards, or accomplishments that have a clear connection to the skill set requested by the employer.
- You can include your phone number and e-mail address, as well, but it is not entirely necessary since this information is included in your header.
- Always use black ink to sign formal documents.
Making a Cover Page For a Fax
- Include your phone number and your fax number beneath your name and address.
- Leave at least two blank lines below this header and the rest of the document.
- It's a good idea to save your document as a template for future fax use, since the general format will remain the same.
- The most important quality to your fax cover sheet is that it be clear and easy to read.
- Label the date with "DATE," the receiver's name with "TO," your name with "FROM," and your phone number with "PHONE."
- In the United States, the date will be written in "Month, Day, Year," while in most other countries, it will be written "Day, Month, Year."
- Label the time with "TIME," the receiver's fax number with "FAX," your fax number with "FAX," and your e-mail address with "EMAIL."
- Note that the receiver's name and fax number should be placed on the same horizontal line. Likewise, your name and fax number should be placed on a shared horizontal line of their own.
- Note that this line does not need to be in all capital letters.
- If you had previous contact with the receiver concerning this fax, state that information.
- Introduce your message with the label "MESSAGE:"
- Below your message, ask the receiver to verify the receipt of the document by calling the phone number provided or using the e-mail address provided.
- Specific privacy guidelines for transmission of protected confidential information may vary. If you work for a health provider, you may need to follow additional guidelines to protect the privacy of your client.
Formatting a Cover Page For Your Manuscript
- Use your real name. If you are submitting the manuscript under a pen name, you can follow your real name with your pen name. Introduce a pen name with "A.K.A." or "(Pen name: John Doe)."
- If you're submitting your work to a context that will be judged anonymously, you'll include your contact information on the cover page, while omitting your name and contact information from the title page.
- You do not need to use an exact word count. For instance, if your manuscript is 63,472 words, round it off to 63,000 or 63,500.
- Introduce the word count with "Approximately ______ words."
- Typing the title in all capital letters is a fairly common practice, but it is not necessary.
- It's not necessary to underline, italicize, or bold the title.
- You don't have to include any indication of copyright protection, as your work is automatically protected.
- Never bind or connect the pages of your manuscript in any way. Your cover letter, like the other pages of your manuscript, should be unbound and placed in an envelope or box.
Using APA Style For Your Cover Page
- Introduce the running head with the words "Running head." Follow this label with a colon.
- The running head itself should be in all capital letters.
- The running head should be no longer than 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
- The page number and running head should be evenly aligned horizontally.
- Capitalize the first letter of all major words but not for minor words. For example: How to Make a Cover Page
- Do not italicize, bold, or underline the title.
- For example, if you are submitting the paper for a class taken at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, you should include this in the line beneath the author's name (i.e. your name, and the names of your co-authors.)
- Check with your professor for any additional guidelines.
Using MLA Style For Your Cover Page
- Be aware that cover pages are not standard in MLA format, but some professors do request them.
- Do not bold, italicize, or underline either the title or the subtitle.
- Your name should be written using the same font and size as the other words on your title page.
- Don't try to use a cute or clever font for any part of your cover page, as professors don't care for this.
- Introduce your instructor as "Dr." when appropriate. If you cannot use this title to address your instructor, at least introduce him or her as "Professor." For example, "Dr. John Doe" or "Professor John Doe."
- Include both the course name and number.
Using Chicago Style For Your Cover Page
- In Chicago style, cover page and title page refer to the same thing.
- Your professor may have other requirements. Make sure you use the preferred formatting for your course.
- Capitalize the first letter of each major word in your title, but not those belonging to minor words. For example: How to Make a Cover Page
- Alternatively, some style guides suggest that the title be presented in ALL CAPS.
- Do not underline, italicize, or bold the title.
- If you have a subtitle, place a colon following your title and write the subtitle on the following line.
- Your name should be typed about three quarters of the way down the page.
- Use the same font and size that you've used throughout the cover page.
- Include both the name and course number of the subject.
- Write your professor's full name and title. Use "Dr." only when appropriate. For example: "Dr. John Doe" or "Professor John Doe."
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://careercenter.georgetown.edu/major-career-guides/resumes-cover-letters/resume-formatting-tips/
- ↑ Amber Rosenberg, PCC. Pacific Life Coach. Expert Interview. 8 March 2022.
- ↑ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/549/01/
- ↑ http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/create-edit-fax-cover-page#1TC=windows-7
- ↑ https://winningwriters.com/resources/manuscript-tips
- ↑ http://academictips.org/mla-format/mla-format-cover-page/
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/02/
About This Article
To make a cover page using MLA format, start by setting your margins to 1 inch on all sides and keeping the alignment centered. Next, choose 12 point Times New Roman for your font and place your title roughly one-third of the way down, capitalizing the first letter of every major word in your title. Then, skip several lines below the title and write your full name, as well as any other collaborators. Finally, list the name of your instructor, the name of the class, and the date, making sure to separate each element with a double-spaced line. To learn more, like how to make a cover page using APA or Chicago Style, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Essay Cover Page - MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and APA Format Cover Sheet
Picture this, you have completed your daily duties and now settling in to complete an essay. What is the worst that would happen? Well, the majority of high school, college, university, and graduate students undervalue the need to format an essay cover page properly. In return, most of them end up with either great essays with a poorly done cover page or a poorly done essay with a poorly formatted cover page.
I don’t know which of the above categories, but mine was worse. It is a great mistake to care less about the proper formatting of a title page for any essay. Sometimes the content in the entire class can be great, and the cover page becomes what separates a good grade from a poor grade. You do not have to leave anything to chance when working to maintain a good GPA, do you?
Why master how to make an essay Cover Sheet?
Your title page informs the reader or the professor what to anticipate in your essay. Sometimes, if they are in a hurry, a catchy topic can entice them to read your essay from introduction to conclusion.
The cover page has your name, title of the essay, institution, instructor, and date. A well-formatted title page is enough a getaway to a strict professor’s marks or grade fountain.
And when you are almost giving up on your cover page, we give you a reason to smile. In this article, we will teach you how to make a cover page for an essay, MLA cover page format, Chicago cover page format, APA cover page format, and Harvard cover page format, with examples.
Why should you learn How to Make a Cover Page for an essay?
Sometimes professors and instructors assume the basic things like formatting a college essay. In the end, students end up losing marks over flimsy mistakes. A common question students ask is “how do you make a cover page for an essay?” or “what is to be included on a title page?”
If you have had these questions or related ones, you are in the right place at the right time. We will take you through cover page essay essentials. But before then, why do we have an essay cover page. Or simply, what is an essay cover page?
An essay cover page is the opening page, sometimes called the title page, and offers a comprehensive description of the essay title, identifies the student, and sometimes bears the date and the instructors’ names.
You will notice that the cover pages for essays differ depending on the specific format you are using. For instance, when creating the MLA essay cover page format, you should only do so if the essay prompt requires you to. If not asked for one, there is never any need to include one. The same applies to Harvard, Chicago, and APA cover page formats.
MLA Essay Cover Page Format with Template/Example
Also known as the Modern Language Association, MLA is a unique essay writing and citation format. It is important to mention that most MLA essays do not require an essay cover page. Nevertheless, some instructors insist on you having a cover page for your MLA paper.
When requested to have an opening or cover page for MLA papers, these are some of the details to include:
- Author’s Name
- Instructor’s Name
- The Due Date
Here is a sample MLA cover page template
Note that the format for MLA research paper cover page is slightly different. It will contain:
- Name of university
- Title of the Research Paper
- The subtitle of the research paper
- Your Name (Author’s Name)
- Course Name and Number
- Instructor/Professor’s Name
Below is a sample MLA research paper cover sheet
Some professors or instructors will advise you to use the research paper MLA format title page for your essay.
How do you format an MLA Cover Page?
Formatting an MLA title page is easy!
- It should be double-spaced.
- The preferable font is Times New Roman size 12 or a legible font.
- All the letters must be in Title Case.
- It should have 1-inch margins throughout the paper.
- Ensure that the title page is double spaced.
- Remove any spaces between paragraphs from your Microsoft Word settings page.
See the details in the sample MLA format cover page provided above. Notice the difference between the two and always read the instructor’s essay prompt before deciding on which one to settle for.
APA Cover Page Format with Example/Template
Students have been asking this for a while, and we felt like addressing it would save many of you out there. “How do I make an APA cover sheet?” Well, just like MLA, an APA essay cover page is easy to make.
To begin with, the APA style title page should include:
- Running head (Left aligned in the header section).
- Page Number (Right aligned).
- Title and subtitle of the essay/paper (centered)
- Name of the author (centered).
- Institutional Affiliation (centered).
- Author’s Note (for long research papers, thesis, and dissertations).
An important note, in APA the title should not exceed 50 characters and should be in capital letters. Times New Roman font size 12 is always preferred as well.
For more details, see the example APA title page provided below.
Note that there are changes to APA 6. In APA 7, there is no "Running head" instead, you will only need a page number situated to the top left of the paper. Here is a sample APA 7 Cover page.
Chicago Cover Page Format with Example/Template
Even though less common in academic essay writing, understanding the Chicago essay title page is necessary. It can save you some trouble when writing a Chicago style paper, which is the case with most literature and humanities subjects such as history. Thus, after reading this, you should understand how to format a Chicago essay title cover page correctly.
Here are tips when making Chicago format opening page:
- Chicago title page has no page number or running head in the header section.
- Using Times New Roman or any legible font of size 12 is preferred.
- All the text on the cover page is centered.
- The cover page is double spaced with no spaces between paragraphs
You see, a Chicago style paper opening page is relatively simple to make. A caution, though, when making any type of cover page, your professor’s guidelines are your rule book. Therefore, everything you need to format an essay cover page is always in the prompt.
Chicago style papers are the easiest to handle. However, despite the ease of inserting a title page, it remains a challenge to most students. Sometimes, seeking professional help can be the only option. Our experts can help you craft your Chicago format essays and research papers, talk to us!
Here is a Chicago style format essay cover page.
Harvard Cover Page Format with Example/Template
Harvard formatting has a specific and well-organized cover page.
- The shortened version of the title of the paper comes in the header section (aligned to the right) and is preceded by the page number).
- The full title, written in all capital letters , appears halfway through the page.
- The author’s name (three lines from the title).
- Then four lines down you will have class name and code, name of the professor, City and State the university is located, and the due date.
Here is an example of the Harvard format Cover Sheet Page.
A cover page for an essay is a critical aspect when undertaking your academic writing tasks. Even though it might seem boring and unnecessary, it can be the only aspect left to differentiate who passes a course and who fails.
When writing an APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago format paper, produce an essay cover page that fits each formatting and citation style. I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to do the cover page as the last part of the essay after writing and proofreading. Yet some in our team prefer setting the cover page for their essays first before they outline the essays . As a ritual, it is my last part to shake hands with the mighty Microsoft Word or Google Document applications.
Check out our article on indenting paragraphs and how to title an article when writing an essay.
Sometimes, you can ask the instructor or professor how to make a cover page for your essay. We believe no teacher will reprimand you. These are essential basics to keep with you as they will help you understand how to make a cover page for an essay. If you need help writing an essay, our professional writers can always come in handy. Until then, have a happy academic writing session!
How to Make a Cover Page for an Essay?
The essay writing always involves making a cover page, and this is usually the first thing that your readers see. Therefore, you should use this opportunity to make a good impression and make sure that your readers will understand what your essay or research paper is about, and why it can be interesting to them. In this quick guide, we will consider cover pages in more detail and share some tips on how to make a cover page for an essay when dealing with different citation styles.
What an Essay Cover Page (Title Page) Is
A cover page is the very first page of an essay, research paper, or another academic paper. The cover page, which can also be called the title page, provides basic information about the author and the paper. The title page also features information on the author’s institution, and the publication date. The format of the title page and its content depends on what citation format you should use. For instance, some citation formats require you to include a running head.
The main purpose of a cover page is to help your readers immediately understand what your essay is, what it’s about, what its purpose is, and who wrote it. A proper cover page also makes your essay look more professional and formal. Quite often, a cover page isn’t a mandatory part of an academic paper. However, it’s usually included in papers formatted according to the APA style. Professors usually provide students with instructions regarding the cover page so if you’re not sure whether or not you need to write it for your essay, we recommend that you talk to your instructor.
Generally, it’s better to include the cover page because, even if your instructor doesn’t ask for it, nobody will deduct your points for providing it. The main thing is to know the required formatting because cover pages written in different styles may look completely differently. Let’s take a closer look at the common types of cover pages.
MLA format cover is one of the most common ones. Usually, papers written according to the MLA format don’t feature a cover page. If you need to include information about you, your course, professor, and date of writing, you can do it in the top left corner above the essay titlefname. However, sometimes professors ask students to make a title page for their MLA essays, and in this case, you should know what an MLA title page looks like.
The name of your university should be centered and written at the top of the page. In the middle of the cover page, include the title of the paper. You may also add the necessary subtitles and a running head with your last name and the page number. Author's name, course name and number, the date of writing, and your professor’s name should be written at the bottom of the page. You should also add 1 inch margins on all sides and use the 12 pt Times New Roman font size.
MLA Cover Page Format
Image source: https://www.chegg.com/writing/guides/style-guides/mla-format/mla-title-page-format-example/
As we’ve already mentioned above, cover pages are common in APA papers. When creating an APA cover page, you should include your name, the essay title, and the name of your institution (institutional affiliation). You should also add a running head to the top of your page. The running head should include the page number, and it may also feature the shortened title of your paper written in all caps. You may even include the words “running head” before the paper title, but on the first page only.
Just like all the other pages of your essay, the title page should have one-inch margins on all sides. Make your document double-spaced and use Times New Roman font size 12 or Arial font. Make sure that the entire title page is double-spaced and don’t include any additional spaces. Here's the cover page template that you can use as an example.
APA Cover Page Format
Image source: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/title-page
When dealing with the Chicago format, your cover page should look similar to an MLA cover page. At the same time, these two formatting styles also have some differences. For instance, Chicago style requires you to include the title of your essay in the top half of the page. At the bottom, you should provide name of the author, name of the course, and the date. The Chicago cover page format doesn’t require you to provide the name of your university.
Chicago Cover Page Format
Image source: https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org
Although making a cover page for an essay isn’t always required, it’s better to know what a title page should look like depending on the format. Adding a title page to your essay is always a good decision because it will make your essay look more professional. Cover pages are necessary elements of formal writing, and if you need to write a well-formatted cover page, our tips will help you.
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How to Write an Essay in APA Format
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.
What Is APA Format?
Apa essay format basics.
- Steps to Follow
Frequently Asked Questions
If your instructor has asked you to write an APA format essay, it might at first seem like a daunting task, especially if you are accustomed to using another style such as MLA or Chicago. But you can master the rules of APA essay format, too.
An essay is one type of paper that can be written in APA format; others include lab reports, experimental reports, and case studies. Before you begin, familiarize yourself with some of the basic guidelines for writing a paper in APA format. Of course, it will also be important to follow any other formatting instructions that are part of your assignment.
How do you write an essay in APA format? The basic elements you need to include are:
- A title page
- An abstract
- An introduction, main body, and conclusion
- A reference section
- Proper APA formatting with regard to margins, layout, spacing, titles, and indentations
This article discusses how to write an essay in APA format, including the basic steps you should follow and tips for how to get started.
Whether you’re taking an introductory or graduate-level psychology class, chances are strong that you will have to write at least one paper during the course of the semester. In almost every case, you will need to write your paper in APA format, the official publication style of the American Psychological Association . It is also used for academic journals.
Such rules are generally the same whether you are writing a high school essay, college essay, or professional essay for publication.
APA format is used in a range of disciplines including psychology , education, and other social sciences. The format dictates presentation elements of your paper including spacing, margins, and how the content is structured.
Most instructors and publication editors have strict guidelines when it comes to how your format your writing. Not only does adhering to APA format allow readers to know what to expect from your paper, but it also means that your work will not lose critical points over minor formatting errors.
While the formatting requirements for your paper might vary depending on your instructor's directions, writing APA essay format means you will most likely need to include a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference sections.
Your APA format essay should have a title page . This title page should include the title of your paper, your name, and your school affiliation. In some instances, your teacher might require additional information such as the course title, instructor name, and the date.
- The title of your paper should be concise and clearly describe what your paper is about.
- Your title can extend to two lines, but it should be no longer than 12 words.
An abstract is a brief summary of your paper that immediately follows the title page. It is not required for student papers, according to APA style. However, your instructor may request one.
If you include an abstract , it should be no more than 100 to 200 words, although this may vary depending upon the instructor requirements.
Your essay should also include a reference list with all of the sources that were cited in your essay,
- The reference section is located at the end of your paper.
- References should be listed alphabetically by the last name of the author.
- References should be double-spaced.
- Any source that is cited in your paper should be included in your reference section.
When writing in APA essay format, the text will include the actual essay itself: The introduction, body, and conclusion.
- There should be uniform margins of at least one inch at the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your essay.
- The text should be in Times New Roman size 12 font or another serif typeface that is easily readable.
- Your paper should be double-spaced.
- Every page should include a page number in the top right corner.
- The first word of each paragraph in your paper should be indented one-half inch.
For professional papers (usually not student papers), every page of the essay also includes a running head at the top left. The running head is a shortened form of the title, often the first few words, and should be no more than 50 characters (including spaces).
Steps to a Successful APA Format Essay
In addition to ensuring that you cite your sources properly and present information according to the rules of APA style, there are a number of things you can do to make the writing process a little bit easier.
Choose a Topic
Start by choosing a good topic to write about. Ideally, you want to select a subject that is specific enough to let you fully research and explore the topic, but not so specific that you have a hard time finding sources of information.
If you choose something too specific, you may find yourself with not enough to write about. If you choose something too general, you might find yourself overwhelmed with information.
Research Your Topic
Start doing research as early as possible. Begin by looking at some basic books and articles on your topic to help develop it further. What is the question you are going to answer with your essay? What approach will you take to the topic?
Once you are more familiar with the subject, create a preliminary source list of potential books, articles, essays, and studies that you may end up using in your essay.
Remember, any source used in your essay must be included in your reference section. Conversely, any source listed in your references must be cited somewhere in the body of your paper.
Write Your Rough Draft
With research in hand, you are ready to begin. Some people like to create an outline to organize their argument prior to drafting. You may want to start with a very rough outline, and then add details.
Once you have a detailed outline, the next step is to translate it from notes to complete sentences and paragraphs. Remember, this is a first draft. It doesn't have to be perfect.
As you write your paper in APA essay format, be sure to keep careful track of the sources that you cite.
How do you start an APA paper? Your paper should begin with an introduction that includes a thesis statement that presents your main ideas, points, or arguments. Your introduction should start on the third page of your paper (after the title page and abstract). The title of your paper should be centered, bolded, and typed in title case at the top of the page.
Review and Revise
After you have prepared a rough draft of your essay, it's time to revise, review, and prepare your final draft. In addition to making sure that your writing is cohesive and supported by your sources, you should also check carefully for typos, grammar errors, and possible formatting mistakes.
When citing information or quotations taken from an interview, APA format requires that you cite the source, how the information was collected, and the date of the interview. They should not be included in the reference section, however, because they are not something that can be located by a reader in any published source or searchable database.
Instead, the information should be cited parenthetically in the main body of the text. For example: “There was an increase in the number of college students who screened positive for depression/anxiety” (R. Heathfield, personal communication, May 9, 2021).
If the essay is in a chapter of a book, edited collection, or anthology, APA format states that you should cite the last name, first name, title of essay, title of collection, publisher, year, and page range. For example: Smith, John, "The Light House," A Book of Poems , editing by Peter Roberts, Allworth Press, 2005, pp. 20-25.
According to APA format, a two-part essay is formatted the same as an essay, however, you'll need to create two title pages.
If you're including a short direct quote in your APA-format essay, you will need to cite the author, year of publication, and page number (p.) or page number span (pp.). Quotations longer than 40 words should omit the quotation marks and be put in the text using block quotation formatting, on its own line and indented 1/2 inch from the left margin.
The cover page or "title page" in APA essay format should always include the title of your paper, your name, and school affiliation as well as the course title, instructor name, and date, if requested by your teacher.
Nagda S. How to write a scientific abstract. J Indian Prosthodont Soc. 2013;13(3):382-383. doi:10.1007/s13191-013-0299-x
American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association; 2019.
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
APA Title Page (Cover Page) Format, Example, & Templates
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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
Student paper APA title 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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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- Academic essay overview
- The writing process
- Structuring academic essays
- Types of academic essays
- Academic writing overview
- Sentence structure
- Academic writing process
- Improving your academic writing
- Titles and headings
- APA style overview
- APA citation & referencing
- APA structure & sections
- Citation & referencing
- Structure and sections
- APA examples overview
- Commonly used citations
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- British English vs. American English
- Chicago style overview
- Chicago citation & referencing
- Chicago structure & sections
- Chicago style examples
- Citing sources overview
- Citation format
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- College essay overview
- How to write a college essay
- Types of college essays
- Commonly confused words
- Dissertation overview
- Dissertation structure & sections
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- Graduate school overview
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- Harvard referencing overview
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- Methodology overview
- Analyzing data
- Inductive vs. Deductive
- Qualitative vs. Quantitative
- Types of validity
- Types of reliability
- Sampling methods
- Theories & Concepts
- Types of research studies
- Types of variables
- MLA style overview
- MLA examples
- MLA citation & referencing
- MLA structure & sections
- Plagiarism overview
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The Perfect APA Cover Page
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- 1 Definition: APA Cover Page
- 3 What to Include?
- 5 All Components
- 6 In a Nutshell
Definition: APA Cover Page
Also known as the title page, an APA cover page is the very front page of an essay. It entails crucial information of the work presented by the author as advised by the examiner. The core duty of the APA cover page is to let the reader identify different parts of your work without having to read the paper.
Also, it also ensures that your work looks professional and well presented. To the learners, the APA cover page helps them know the work that needs to be presented.
Students are mostly asked to write essays or complete their projects in APA Format. However, quite a number of them do not have a clear understanding of what APA format entails and how to use it for their projects. This piece tends to explore the details of an APA cover page to help learners.
This section aims at answering some of the common questions asked by students and scholars looking to have a deeper understanding of the APA Cover Page. Let’s take a look at the five common questions asked about APA Cover page.
What is the APA format?
APA formatting is a style that is mainly used for academic and scholarly journals and books. Mainly, the APA style is used in citing sources that fall within the field of social sciences and other related areas. A perfectly formatted APA thesis entails following the rules of the APA formatting method for APA citation , APA title pages and finally, using these rules for your cover page.
What is the importance of an APA cover page?
To the examiner, the APA cover page helps them get an idea of the academic work in a glance since it contains all of the necessary information about the author’s work. It also allows the writers to present their research paper in an orderly manner that appears more professional and presentable. The cover page is one of the first things a reader will see (after the title page of course).
What’s the difference between the APA cover page and other cover page styles?
Compared to other styles like MLA and Harvard , APA has more details presented on the center of the cover page and a running head that bears a section of the main title of the paper written in capital letters. This is the main difference that immediately becomes obvious when trying to distinguish APA formatting from the other styles.
What are the common mistakes made in the APA cover page?
Though most students and other writers tend to research styles before writing, they make different mistakes whilst trying to craft a perfect APA cover page. Some of the most common mistakes are the placing of the page number, while others do not put page numbers at all, some APA cover pages also lack the running head, or lack clear information. Note that all of the APA title page details must be clearly formatted as well, as this is the very first view that readers will have of your paper.
Do I still have to indicate the title in the actual paper after indicating it in the APA cover page?
Yes. The APA cover page will be one of the first pages of the essay, book, or any other academic writing work. The title should be on every page (due to the running header) as well as on the title page and cover page. The title should also appear once more on the first page of text, to remind the reader what they’re about to read.
What to Include?
If you are trying to write your piece in APA style, then you have to ensure that it entails a page number, a running head, the name of the author (your name), the title of the paper, and the institutional affiliation. These are the common components of a standard APA cover page, however, you can include more in case you are advised so by the examining body or even the editor if you are using one.
The above example of an APA Cover page depicts what a student or scholar would present in the final essay of a project. Note that what is indicated in the cover page might vary depending on what is requested by the examining body. Nevertheless, other than the details, that is what an APA cover page should look like.
Let’s take a close look at what the APA Cover page should contain.
The Running Head
Also known as the page header, a running head is a text that usually appears at the very top of the page and is always separated from the body text. It is identical in all pages when you are writing in APA Style. If it appears at the bottom of the page, it is called the page footer, but that is not recommended in APA style.
The Page Number
As mentioned above, the APA style helps the writers to make their work appears orderly. The page number helps them achieve this so that the readers can know how much of the work they have read. In APA, the page number should be made using 12 pt Times New Roman Font. The page number should appear on the top right corner of all pages.
The Title of the Page
Other than the running head, you need to clearly indicate the title of your work so that the readers know what you are writing about. The running head should only contain a section of the title of the entire piece. Make sure that the title is placed in the middle of the APA cover page.
Name of the Author (Your Name)
In APA Cover page, you must indicate your name as the name of the author. That way, the readers will know right away whose work they are reading. Normally, include your official name so that when the work is published, your name goes as the author of the piece. The name of the author usually appears beneath the title of the work.
If you are a student working on a project or essay, then the institutional affiliation is the name of your college. If you are working for an agency, then you will indicate the name of the organization in this section. It is crucial that you use an authentic institution so that you are recognized as a member, and that you worked on the project following their instructions.
Beneath the Institutional Affiliation, your work should have a date. The time is vital because it helps the examiners to know when the work was done. If it is a book you are writing, your readers will see when you have completed the work.
Importance of APA Cover page in Academic Writing
In academic writing , the APA cover page is essential in helping examiners identify your work easily. Being that it contains your name and the details of the work, they will have an easy time telling it from other files that they might have.
In a Nutshell
The APA style has many formats that can be used by learners and scholars to present their works. Therefore, before you get started, it is vital that to you do your homework well. Also, your institution will provide you with the latest APA cover page format that you need to use throughout your work.
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- Citation Styles
APA cover (title) page: format and templates
There are two types of title page required for APA style papers, a professional and a student version.
Student APA cover page
As long as students do not have any specific guidance from their instructors in regards to a cover page format, they should include the following elements on their cover page:
- Running head : only for APA 6th you write "Running head: TITLE" as a header. APA 7th does not require a running head.
- Title of the paper : three to four lines down from the top of the title page, centered and in bold for APA 7 (APA 6 does not have a title in bold).
- Name of author(s) : include a double-spaced blank line between the paper title and the author name(s).
- Affiliation for each author (the university attended, including department)
- Course number and name
- Name of instructor
- Due date of the assignment (date format used in your location)
- Page number (included on all pages), cover page is number 1.
- Times New Roman is the preferred font, 12-point .
- Double spacing
- 1 inch margins
We created a a student APA cover page template of both 6th & 7th edition, which you can download:
Professional APA cover page
A professional APA cover page should include the following elements:
- Name of each author : include a double-spaced blank line between the paper title and the author names.
- Affiliation for each author: give the name of the institution at which the research was carried out.
- Author note : see the specific instructions below.
- Running head (included on all pages): for APA 6th you write "Running head: TITLE" and for APA 7th only the title in caps is required (omitting the phrase running head).
- Page number (included on all pages): page 1 is the cover page.
- Times New Roman is the preferred font, 12 -point.
Since there are a few slight differences between the professional cover page in APA 6th and 7th edition, we created a template for each version, which you can download.
APA cover page: Author note format
An author note in a professional paper can be found at the bottom of the cover page. It is usually composed of four paragraphs.
- In the first paragraph : for APA 6, give the name of the author and their affiliation. For APA 7, give the authors' ORCID iDs. Omit this part if the authors don't have ORCID iDs.
- Second paragraph : Specify any changes of affiliation (for both APA 6 & 7). Use the following format: “[Author’s name] is now at [affiliation].” This paragraph may also clarify the death of an author.
- Third paragraph : give any confidentiality disclosures and/or acknowledgments.
- Fourth paragraph : give the contact information of the author(s).
Format : start this section in the bottom half of the title page, below the affiliations. Leave a minimum of one blank line between the affiliation and the author note title. Center the title “Author Note” in bold. The first line of each paragraph should be indented and all aligned to the left.
For more details not covered in this guide, take a look at the following sources:
📝 Student and Professional APA cover page (7th ed.)
🌐 APA 6th cover page tutorial
Frequently Asked Questions about APA cover (title) page
The title page of a student paper serves as a representation of the author. It is a mere formality, as it makes your paper appear more academic. As a student, the title page helps your instructor identify on a glance who wrote the paper, what the topic is, and for what course. In sum, a student should add a title page when indicated.
The title page of a professional paper serves as a representation of the author. For professionals, the function of a title page is to introduce the reader to the main facts of the paper, such as the author, the topic, the year of publication, and contact information. In sum, a professional should add a title page to comply with academic standards.
No. According to APA style, the title's font of a title page should not include any type of Word Art or "fun" fonts of any kind. APA style indicates titles should be written in the same font as the rest of the text, it should centered and in bold (for APA 7).
Yes, APA style's title page should be formated as page 1 of the paper, followed by the abstract page as page 2.
If you learn better by watching than by reading, here are two YouTube tutorials that will help you create a title page: APA Style 7th Edition: Student Paper Formatting and APA Style 7th Edition: Professional Paper Formatting by Samuel Forlenza, PhD.
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How to create custom cover pages in microsoft word.
A great cover page draws in readers.
How to add a ready-to-use cover page to your word document, how to create a custom cover page in microsoft word.
A great cover page draws in readers. If you use Microsoft Word, you're in luck, because Word has ready to use cover pages. But did you know that Word also lets you create custom cover pages? Here's how to use both.
Word includes some cover page templates you can insert and then customize a bit if you need a quick cover page for your document.
To find them, switch over to the "Insert" tab on Word's Ribbon and then click the "Cover Page" button. (If your window isn't maximized, you might see a "Pages" button instead. Click that to show the "Cover Page" button.)
On the drop-down menu, click the cover page you want to use.
You can now add your document title, subtitle, date, and other information, as well as change the design up a bit if you want.
Creating a cover page from a template is easy enough, but if you don't like any of the built-in designs, you can create your own. You can do this on an existing document, but it's easiest to start with a blank document. We're going to be saving the custom cover page so that you can quickly insert it into an existing document anyway.
You can create your cover page using pretty much any of Word's tools. You can add a background color, picture, or texture . You can also position those elements how you want and even apply Word's text wrapping tools to them. Make it look however you want.
When it comes to content, you have a couple of options. You can just type the text you want, but that wouldn't make it much of a template unless you want the same text on the cover page every time you use it.
Instead, you can use Word's Quick Parts feature to add document properties to the document. To do that, switch over to the "Insert" tab and then click the "Quick Parts" button.
On the drop-down menu, point to the "Document Property" submenu, and you'll see a bunch of different properties you can insert into your document: author, title, company, publish date, and so on. Go ahead and insert whichever properties you want to appear on your title page.
When you're done, you'll have several fields on your page. When you insert your cover page into a document later on, those fields are populated with the actual properties from the document (and you can also edit them on the fly if you want).
They're super plain to start with, but you can treat them like any other text in Word by applying styles and formatting, centering them on the page---whatever. Here, we've centered them on the page, applied the Title style to the title, shifted things down on the page a bit, and inserted a filigree illustration for a little flair. It's not the prettiest cover page around, but it's a good working example.
Now that we've got our cover page the way we want it, it's time to create a cover page template out of it.
First, select everything in the document (that's why we recommend starting this in a blank document) by pressing Ctrl+A. Next, head back to the "Insert" tab and then click that "Cover Page" button again.
This time, choose the "Save Selection to Cover Page Gallery" command from the drop-down menu.
In the window that opens, give your cover page a name and fill out a brief description if you want. Click "OK" when you're done.
Now when you open the "Cover Page" drop-down menu in the future, you'll see your new cover page template in the "General" section. Click to insert it just like you would one of Word's built-in cover pages.
And that's it. Creating custom cover pages for your document is pretty easy once you know where to look. While you're at it, learn a few more quick tips on putting together professional-looking documents in Word .
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MLA General Format
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MLA Style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and citing research in writing. MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages.
Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material produced by other writers.
If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the MLA Handbook (9th edition). Publishing scholars and graduate students should also consult the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition). The MLA Handbook is available in most writing centers and reference libraries. It is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this page for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA Style.
The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA Style is covered in part four of the MLA Style Manual . Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA Style :
- Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
- Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another. The font size should be 12 pt.
- Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor).
- Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
- Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends that you use the “Tab” key as opposed to pushing the space bar five times.
- Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.)
- Use italics throughout your essay to indicate the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, provide emphasis.
- If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).
Formatting the First Page of Your Paper
- Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested or the paper is assigned as a group project. In the case of a group project, list all names of the contributors, giving each name its own line in the header, followed by the remaining MLA header requirements as described below. Format the remainder of the page as requested by the instructor.
- In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
- Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks. Write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
- Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text. For example: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
- Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
- Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number. Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit the last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)
Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style:
The First Page of an MLA Paper
Writers sometimes use section headings to improve a document’s readability. These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.
MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.
MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books (for more information on headings, please see page 146 in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition). If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases (and not, for example, full sentences). Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the document.
If you employ multiple levels of headings (some of your sections have sections within sections), you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your instructor or editor.
Sample Section Headings
The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document.
Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left
Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left
Level 3 Heading: centered, bold
Level 4 Heading: centered, italics
Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left
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- Knowledge Base
The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.
There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.
The essay writing process consists of three main stages:
- Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
- Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
- Revision: Check your essay on the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.
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Table of contents
Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.
The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .
For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.
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Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:
- Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
- Define a topic: If you’re allowed to choose your own topic , try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
- Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You’ll use these as evidence for your points.
- Come up with a thesis: The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
- Create an outline: Map out the rough structure of your essay in an outline . This makes it easier to start writing and keeps you on track as you go.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.
The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.
1. Hook your reader
The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.
Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
2. Provide background on your topic
Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.
3. Present the thesis statement
Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:
As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.
4. Map the structure
In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.
The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Write your essay introduction
The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.
Length of the body text
The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.
To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
That idea is introduced in a topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.
After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.
Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.
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The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :
- Returns to your thesis
- Ties together your main points
- Shows why your argument matters
A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.
What not to include in a conclusion
To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:
- Including new arguments or evidence
- Undermining your arguments (e.g. “This is just one approach of many”)
- Using concluding phrases like “To sum up…” or “In conclusion…”
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
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My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).
My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.
My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.
I use paragraphs to structure the essay.
I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.
Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.
I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.
I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.
I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.
I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.
My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .
My essay has an interesting and informative title.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).
Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.
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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.
In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.
Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
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