How to Head a College Paper

College is a new experience for students in many ways. From the freedom of scheduling classes at your convenience to finding your way around a new campus, the changes are evident immediately. Even the way you head your research papers may be different from what you have used in high school. There are a few simple rules to follow when heading a college paper. Once you get the format down, it will become second nature and you'll find yourself doing it automatically.

Paper Style

You can use MLA style for most papers you turn including homework assignments. When using this style on a written paper, do not skip lines in between the four lines of the initial heading. Your heading on subsequent pages should consist of your last name followed by the page number in a right justified format. Other paper formats you might use in college can include American Psychological Association (APA) and Chicago Style.

Heading and Margins

Place your heading in the upper left-hand corner of the page. To make sure your typed paper is easy to read on a visual level, use a 12-point font and recognizable font style. While the Times New Roman font is often chosen, Arial, Modern, Lucina and Palermo are also acceptable because they are not script-style fonts. This follows Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting which is the accepted standard for college papers.

First and Last Name

Place your first and last names on the first line. Double space each line of the heading. All lines of the heading are left justified at the left margin.

Professor's Name

Place your professor's name on the next line. Use his first and last name preceded by Professor. For example, "Professor John Doe" goes on this line.

Course Name

Place the name of your course on the next line. For example, you could use "English 101."

Date

Place the date on the final line. To follow MLA formatting, the date should appear as the day in numeral format, the month in written format and the year. For example, "5 January 2011" is appropriate.

Title of Paper

Double space after the last line of your heading, and center the title of your paper on the next line. Use Title Case style to type the title. For example, "A History of Life During the Tudor Period."

First Paragraph

Double space after the heading and begin your paper using a 1-inch indent to begin the first paragraph.