One of the many differences between high school and college is that college students are expected to follow specific rules and standards when they turn in a paper. During their secondary education, teachers are generally more forgiving when it comes to written work. But in college, an essay
or term paper
can account for one-quarter, even one-third of your grade. As a result, professors and instructors expect you to abide by certain criteria.
With nearly 140 thousand members, the American Psychological Association (APA) is the world's largest association of psychologists. Their members include students, educators, scientists, clinicians, and others who want to use psychology to improve people's lives, thereby advancing society as a whole. Oddly enough, the international organization is most famous for their APA Style, which is a set of rules that was developed to ensure clarity of communication in colleges and universities.
Why APA Works
The overwhelming majority of college students are undergraduates at liberal arts schools, which basically means they have the opportunity to study a wide range of academic subjects, from the sciences to the humanities. As you might expect, writing a paper
about economics is different from writing one about English literature, which is something most incoming freshman has experience with. In order to make things easier on their professors, organizations like the APA had developed style guides that students can use to assist reading comprehension at the undergraduate level.
When to Use It
The APA is most commonly utilized for subjects within the social sciences, including economics, history, linguistics, and the law. In other words, it is an umbrella term that encompasses subjects outside of the hard sciences. Most students who are new to these courses have experience with in-text citations like endnotes and footnotes, but they may not know how to pen and properly format a title page according to APA standards.
How to Write a Title Page
As simple as it may seem, your title page comprises one of the four major sections of every essay you will write during your college career. Although it should only take you a few minutes to complete, the title page is the first section your instructor will examine. If it is improperly formatted, it will almost assuredly affect your grade. Worse yet, some college professors get insulted when you turn in a paper without a proper title page. They take it as a sign of disrespect, or at the very least a lack of seriousness on the student's part.
According to APA standards, a title page should include the author's name and the college or university he/she attends. A page header must be placed at the top of the page on the left and a page number should be directly opposite it, at the top of the page on the right. Moving halfway down the page, the title of your paper should be typed in upper and lowercases letters in the upper half of the page, and it must be centered.
Although it is not a hard-and-fast rule, APA strongly suggests that your title be no longer than twelve words and that it should not include any abbreviations or superfluous words. It may take up one or two lines, but no more. As with all of the text in your paper, the lines on your title page should be double-spaced.
Beneath the title, type your name-first name, middle initial, and last name. You should not include any titles such as Dr. or PhD. It goes almost without saying, but you should not use an abbreviation of you name, but rather your full name. For example, don't write "Ted," but rather "Theodore."
Under your name, you should also include the location of the college or university where you conducted your research. So, if you attended or simply worked as a researcher at the University of Chicago, indicate that august institution of higher learning beneath you proper name.
Published by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) in 1985, the MLA Style Manual is widely used by postgraduate students in Canada, the United States, and in other countries. The academic style guide is utilized mainly by writers, scholars, professors, and graduate students who work in the humanities, especially in subjects that deal with language and literature or cultural studies. The MLA style is also used by over one thousand magazines, literary journals, and scholarly presses in the U.S.
The MLA Title Page
Unless specifically requested, it may not be necessary to write a traditional title page under MLA guidelines. Rather, the information that would appear on a title page can be included on the first page of your paper. In the upper left-hand corner of the page, write your name, your teacher's name, the course, and the full date. As with most academic essays
, make sure this information is double-spaced and leaves room for the title and the text below.
Chicago Manual of Style
Widely used in historical journals and some social science publications, the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) was first published in 1906, making it the oldest of the style manuals we have discussed today. But because it is used almost exclusively in the aforementioned subjects and mostly at the academic level, it is probably the least popular. Like the APA style, the CMS considers the title page to be a major section of any research paper
The CMS Format
Begin by writing the title of your paper about a third of the way down the page. The title should always be centered and should not be more than two lines long. For subtitles, always end the title line with a colon and put the subtitle below it. Next, you must include your full name and class information a few lines down. If you are writing a scholarly article for a journal or magazine, you can obviously skip this step. Lastly, all information should be double-spaced, just as it is in every other style format.