How To Create A Cover Page For A High School Research Paper

The research paper assignment involves several learning goals. One is to discover the joy of learning about a controversial topic. Another is to understand the concept of following precise instructions. One of the most precise sections of any writing project is the cover page. Even though it usually only consumes a small percentage of the grade, it is important to do it correctly. Here are some tips:

  1. Know your formatting. All research papers need to be written with a specific format. At the high school level, the most common styles are APA and MLA. The APA or American Psychological Association style is used in social sciences. The MLA or Modern Language Association style is used in language arts courses. The two styles do have some similarities, but it is the subtle differences that cause students to make mistakes.
  2. Craft a powerful title. Your title can sink or sell your project. A good title should have several words in it. The title should reveal the main idea of the paper as well as something catchy, ironic, or alliterative to get the reader’s attention. It should be placed in the correct spot on the page. It is usually centered and is followed by a few other items. Think of the title like a journal title and if you can work a colon into it, your instructor will be impressed.
  3. Use the correct font. You should follow the instructions for font style and size when you create the title page. Do not try to impress your instructor by using a fancy font in a large size. Your instructor wants to see you follow instructions, not get creative with your font selections. Save the creativity for the words in your title and the argument in your paper.
  4. Stick with white paper. Along with fancy fonts, students enjoy using colorful paper when they make cover pages. It is important to know this is a research paper, not a novel. The cover needs to look professionally plain.
  5. Spell your instructor’s name correctly. Most high school students only have six teachers, so they should learn how to spell each one of their names. Misspelling an instructor’s name shows laziness and sloppiness. It is a sure-fire way to lose points on the project.
  6. Do not forget the date. This will be useful to you when you look back on the work you did when you get older.

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