How to Make a Cover Page for an APA Paper

by Lily Medina, Demand Media

When writing a paper in APA format (the style established by the American Psychological Association), the cover page helps readers identify the paper and comprehend its purpose. By presenting information about the paper's publication, authorship and specific subject, the cover page helps introduce and label the paper in a way that keeps it organized.


Set the line spacing to double. The entire cover page (as well as the whole paper) should be double spaced. (However, do not add extra space between paragraphs or separate lines.)

Set the font to a serif typeface, preferably Times New Roman, and use plain text. Do not italicize, bold or underline anything on the cover page.

Select 12 for the font size. Do not write anything in larger text; even the title should be 12 points.

Create a running head. In the cover page's header, on the left, write the phrase "Running head" and then add a colon. Space once, and then write a short version of your title, in all caps. For example, for this article, the running head could look like this: "Running head: APA COVER PAGE."

Insert page numbers, using the automatic function. Place the page number in the header (in the top margin), aligned to the right. The number that appears on the cover page should be "1."

Center the text (rather than aligning the text to the left). You should center almost all the text on the cover page (excluding only the running head and author's note).

Press the "Enter" key a few times; you should begin about a fourth or a third of the way down the page.

Professional Papers (for Publication in Scholarly Journals)

Write the title of the paper. Capitalize each word's first letter, except for small words that are prepositions or articles. However, you should capitalize prepositions that are longer than three letters (such as "away," "within" or "among"). The title should be thorough enough to be descriptive and precise, but it should be concise (no longer than 12 words).

Press the “Enter” key. On the next line, write your full name.

Press “Enter” again. On this line, write your institutional affiliation (i.e., the university or organization that has allowed you to write this paper).

Write the current date on the next line.

Press "Enter" two or three times. Then, you may add an author's note, if desired. Write "Author's Note," centered, on the next line, write the note, using normal formatting (left-aligned text, paragraph beginnings indented 1/2 inch). The author's note can provide more detailed information about your departmental affiliation and can mention any monetary assistance you received to conduct your study (such as grants), any colleagues or assistants who helped you, any possible author bias, any necessary disclaimer and your contact information (email and mailing addresses).

Academic Papers (for School Assignments)

Write the title of the paper, capitalizing all major words and any prepositions or articles that are more than three letters long. Be specific but concise.

Write, on the next line, your full name.

Write the name of your professor or teacher on the next line.

Note the title of your class, the number of your course or both on the next line. (For example, "English Literature C1387").

Write the current date on the next line.


  • Some schools have special formatting or content requirements for the cover page; you may want to ask your professor whether you should follow standard APA rules.


About the Author

As a professional copywriter since 2004, Lily Medina researches to expand her expertise in technology, parenting, education, health, fitness and writing. She has also taught high school and worked as a copy editor. Medina majored in political theory at Patrick Henry College.

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