Sample Cover Sheet For Term Paper

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How to write a term paper cover sheet in various formatting styles

Term papers are not very fun to write for most students. If you’re struggling with it, you should finish reading this page for some tips on how to make things easier. There are multiple styles you can use when formatting a cover page, and it’s hard to choose if your teacher didn’t specify which one. If you’ve finished your term paper and are sick of working on it, it’s hard to do one more thing and finish your cover page, too. Here are the two major styles you’ll be using for any given term paper.

Choose which one you want to use based on the subject matter of your paper, what your teacher has wanted for past assignments, and which one feels more professional to you. Both of these are regularly used at high level universities, so even if you’re in high school, college or a top university, you don’t have to worry about using either of these. Make sure that your teacher didn’t tell you which one to use before you pick at random; teachers can be very picky about what formatting they want.

APA Cover Page Styles

This starts with an 8.5” by 11” piece of paper and 1” margins on every side of the document. Always use Times New Roman font, 12 point. On the title or cover page, the running head should have a shortened version of the title of your paper, and a page number on the left side. Then put the full title of your paper, centered, your name, and the name of your college or university.

MLA Cover Page Styles

This style requires similar rules. You also need to have an 8.5” by 11” piece of paper and 1” margins on each side. Double space everything and use a legible 12 point font. Make sure the italics look different enough from the regular font to show that they are italic. Most term papers in MLA style actually prefer to have no cover or title page. If you still want to do one in this style, then in the upper left hand corner put your name, your teacher’s name, the date, and your class name. Center the name of your paper, and then begin your paper on the same page. You should also put your last name right next to the page number on the right top corner.

MLA Format in Detail

This page contains general guidelines on how to properly format the headings on a paper using MLA format.

Without a Cover Page:

This is the most common way to begin an MLA essay because MLA does not require a cover page. Some instructors, however, may require one (see instructions and example below).

1. The Opening Page:
On the opening page or the first page, a comprehensive identification (sometimes referred to as the main heading) and essay title should appear. The identification includes the following information:

  • Student/Author Name
  • Instructor’s Name
  • Class Name/Information
  • Your Paper’s Due Date


  • Font: choose an easy to read font such as Times New Roman
  • Font Size: set the font size to be 12 throughout the paper, including the paper’s title. Never set the font size larger than 12.
  • Margins: 1-inch for top/bottom/right/left throughout the paper
  • Double-space: double-space throughout he paper. Don’t add extra spaces (besides the already used double-spacing) between headings, title and/ paragraphs.  Important Note: In the newest Microsoft Word settings, adding extra spaces between paragraphs is a default setting and must be disabled by the writer; otherwise, extra spaces will be automatically created. 

Sample of the opening page:

With a Cover Page:

The Modern Language Association (MLA) does not require a cover page, but some instructors may require it. In certain situations or assignments, a paper with a cover page can look more professional.

Instructors who require the paper to have a cover page usually provide specific instructions on what should be included. Here is the general MLA Format cover page. This page should include your school or university’s name (i.e. Aims Community College), a paper title, author name, class name, professor name and paper due date.
Here is how to format an MLA cover page:

  • This page is double-spaced and the letters are centered.
  • Type the name of your university or college.
  • Skip to about one-third of the page and type the research paper title, including subtitle if there is one.
  • Skip several lines and type student/author name, course name and number, instructor name and paper due date.

Sample MLA Format Cover Page:

Sample MLA Format Cover Page

Alternate First Page:

If an instructor requires a cover page, the identification heading on the first page should be omitted. Below is an example of the first page if a cover page is used. Last name and page number should appear on all pages, and the title should appear at the top of the first page only.

Sample MLA Format First Page with Cover Page

2. The Inner Pages:
For the pages that follow the first page, set the heading like this: instead of the whole heading, use the header feature in the word-processing program to include author last name and page number.

Inner Page Example:

Example of the heading for inner pages.

3. The Works Cited Page:
Every research paper must include a works cited page(s).

  • The works cited list is placed at the end of the paper, beginning on a new page.
  • The header for the works cited page(s) should be similar to the header for the inner pages, which includes author name and the page number at the top.
  • Enter the title as “Works Cited” and place this title 1-inch from the top of the page, see more details in the example illustration below.

Example of the works cited page:

Example of the works cited page.

For moreiInformation on MLA works cited pages, including in-depth instructions for citing various sources, view MLA Works Cited Page.


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