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Writing a title page

Writing a title page: structure tips with a good example

Dec 28, 2012
When writing according to a specific styling guide there are several odds and ends that need to be addressed. One of them is the structure and format of the title page of a paper. Though small in scale (as compared to other aspects of a work) the title page is itself a very important statement; it is often one of the very first things a reviewer will see. If not properly formatted or in accordance with specific guidelines, a sloppy title page alone may hint to a reviewer that the rest of the paper will not be up to par.
Remember that publishers as well as academic institutions have standards of paper formatting that need to be met when submitting a paper, article, manuscript, or other piece of writing. Even though these small nuances appear to be unnecessary at times, careful adherence to them as well as other formatting regulations will provide your writing with the finishing touches it needs to stand out from other papers.
Most students and authors are required to follow a set styling code for referencing, citing, and overall formatting; which includes the title page of a work. Some of these formats, or styling guides, are detailed below.

APA (American Psychological Association): Title Page

For the APA styling guide there are five key components that need to be included in the title page.

Running Head

The running head that will appear on all pages of the document will also need to be placed at the top of the title page. It should be in the left-hand corner, all caps, and have the actual words 'running head:' before it to specifically identify what it is. The running head that is used is actually just a shorter version of the main title.
For example; if the title of the paper is The effects of bullying on adolescent males in urban New Haven. Then the running head would be BULLYING AND ADOLESCENT MALES


The title of the paper should be simply place in the center of the upper half of the page. Nothing special is required with lettering, as the words are typed in traditional manner with key terms being capitalized. For example;
The Effects of Bullying on Adolescent Males in Urban New Haven.

Author & Institute Affiliation

The author's name should be typed only two lines below the title of the page and centered as well. In presentation there really should be no visual difference between the two (that is the author's name and title page). Following the author's name (directly under it) would be the university or other affiliation spaced by two lines as well.
*An author's note may also be listed in some circumstances and would be located about five or six spaces below the institute affiliation. The information that is included in the author's note is ideal for professionals with works to be published-though a student may also be required to provide an author's note. Only a few things need be included in the author's note, and they are as follows;
  1. any specific information about the author's particular department
  2. acknowledgments of financial support for the research endeavor (if applicable)
  3. acknowledgments of other types of support (whether it be advice, guidance etc.)
  4. and the author's contact information.
Sample APA Title Page
The Effects of Bullying on Adolescent Males in Urban New Haven
John Doe
Thomas Edison State College
Author's note
Alexander Waltman, Department of Criminal Justice, Thomas Edison State College;
Judith Bingham, Department of Psychology, Thomas Edison State College.
Correspondence for this article can be sent to John Doe, Thomas Edison State College, 100 State Street, Trenton, NJ 00000.

MLA (Modern Language Association): First page

When using the MLA styling guide a title page is not traditionally accompanied with the body of the work (though one can be attached if necessary). Since there is no title page, instead, all of the identifiable information is placed in the upper left hand corner of the first page of the paper.
Therefore on the same page as the introductory paragraph for instance, you will find all the information that is typically located on a title page. This information includes:
  1. student's name
  2. instructor's name
  3. course title
  4. date
Likewise, all of this information should be double-spaced using the traditional Times New Roman size 12 font. In addition to this, the first page of the work should also include a running header with the student's last name, a space, and the corresponding page number. *Since MLA does not require a title page there really is no exact explanation of how it should be formatted (if you would like to include one). The best course of action would be to consult the teacher or department that requested the title page from you or follow similar standards of title page formatting such as APA or Chicago styles.

Chicago Manual of Style: Title Page

The Chicago styling guide does require a title page which is very simple and easy to create. All of the information should be double-spaced and written using a plain format, without underlying, caps, or bolding of text. What needs to be included on the title page as well its positioning is as follows:
  1. title of the work: about a quarter from the top of the page
  2. student's name: halfway down the page
  3. course title and number, instructor, and date: about two-thirds down the page

Other formatting tips

In addition to the title page formatting tips provided its also crucial to consult a styling guide for other key issues such as; creating a work cited and reference page, using in-text citations, and footnotes and endnotes. Proper implementation of all formatting codes are essential to the success and proficiency of your overall paper or publication.
*Note: Some publications may reject papers that do not meet particular formatting standards. For instructors this is generally the more extreme case, but in most situations the least they will do is give the paper a point reduction for not adhering to the requested formatting guidelines.
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