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It is trivial, but people do judge a book (or a research paper!) by its cover and the cover of a research paper is its title page. It is the first thing to be noticed so it is horrendous if there are any mistakes on the title page of research paper. The title page can be done in either APA or MLA formats, either of which is easy and not at all time-consuming. Any shoddy work will be frowned upon so it’s mandatory to have an impeccable title page for a research paper.


APA is an approved standard for designing the title page but it is advised to cross-check with the respective universities since many institutions have their own prescribed standards to suit their needs.

1) Title for Research Paper

The most important part of a research paper is its title. Titles for research papers should be informative about the thesis or paper, catchy and preferably within 7-8 characters. It should be aligned at the centre of the page. Any subtitles should be just below the title for additional information. It is wise if one refrains from framing the title as a question or leaves it incomplete.

2) Personal Information

The name of the author, institution and the date of submission, which is usually the month and year, are to be placed at the bottom centre of the page. Departmental recommendations should be checked if any other information is required to be included in this part.

3) The Running Head

The running head is a shortened version of the title and it is a header to be placed at the top left of every page for quick viewing by anyone else. It should be no more than 20 characters long for then the page becomes cluttered and clumsy.

4) Page Numbers

Page numbers are mostly aligned to the right and are separated from the running head by 10 spaces. They must be present throughout the thesis on every page so as not to confuse any reader or the author himself. Page numbers can be automatically inserted from the header option in word processing papers.


The Modern Language Association (MLA) does not require a cover or title page but some institutions may make it compulsory. Moreover, having a title page for research papers makes it look professional and a good title page impresses people to a great extent.

  • The page should be double-spaced and all text should be placed at the centre.
  • Firstly, the name of the institution should appear.
  • About one-third of the page from the top, there should be the title. Subtitles, if any, should be placed immediately below the title in a comparatively smaller font size.
  • Several lines further down the page should contain the name of the author, the course, the name of the professor or instructor and the date of submission.

The research paper title page should not contain any colours or designs. Such decorations are not really needed if the title, format and the thesis are excellent. One should be able to attract the attention of the readers by a unique title, an informative subtitle and a wonderfully written, well-researched paper. Herein lays the credibility of the author. It is also advisable not to italicize the title or the subtitle. Either maybe in bold or underlined as it seems suitable by the author.

The title page may be created in either of the above formats or as instructed by the department. Everybody wishes their paper to be approved and the first step for that is to create a neat title page. Once done, one can be sure that it shall reflect favourably upon all the hard work and effort that has been put in the paper.