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MLA Title Page | When You Need One & How to Format It
Published on July 12, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 2, 2021.
In MLA style , a title page is usually not required for your paper. Instead, MLA recommends including a header on your first page listing your name, your instructor’s name, the course name and number, and the submission date, followed by the title of your paper.
However, you should include a separate title page instead in these cases:
- Your instructor requires it
- The paper is a group project (i.e. you need to list multiple authors)
The formats for a separate title page and a first-page header are shown below. You can also use our templates in Word or Google Docs.
Word template Google Docs template
Table of contents
Mla title page format, creating an mla header, frequently asked questions about mla format.
To create an MLA format title page, list the following on separate lines, left-aligned at the top of the page:
- Your co-authors’ names, each on its own line, if it’s a group project
- Your instructor’s name
- The course name and number
- The submission date
Then leave a few blank lines and list the title of the paper, centered and in title case, halfway down the page. All text should be double-spaced and in the same font as the rest of the paper.
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Most MLA papers will instead list this information in a header , which appears on the same page as your opening paragraphs instead of on a separate page before them. In the header, left-aligned, list
Then on the next line, write the title of your paper, centered and in title case. On the line after that, start your first paragraph. The header and title should be double-spaced, like the rest of the paper.
Usually, no title page is needed in an MLA paper . A header is generally included at the top of the first page instead. The exceptions are when:
- Your instructor requires one, or
- Your paper is a group project
In those cases, you should use a title page instead of a header, listing the same information but on a separate page.
If you’re working on a group project and therefore need to list multiple authors for your paper , MLA recommends against including a normal header . Instead, create a separate title page .
On the title page, list each author on a separate line, followed by the other usual information from the header: Instructor, course name and number, and submission date. Then write the title halfway down the page, centered, and start the text of the paper itself on the next page.
MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman , since it’s easy to read and installed on every computer. Other standard fonts such as Arial or Georgia are also acceptable. If in doubt, check with your supervisor which font you should be using.
MLA Style is the second most used citation style (after APA ). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format / Creating an MLA title page
Creating an MLA title page
If you are writing a research paper in MLA style 9th edition for a class, then you may need to include an MLA format title page. An MLA title page is the cover of your paper, and they aren’t always required. So, how do you make a title page that adheres to the MLA formatting guidelines, and how do you know when you need one?
This page contains all the information you need to know to make the perfect MLA title page, so that you can prove that you are an expert researcher and get the best possible grade. This MLA sample paper will show you how the rest of your paper should be formatted.
Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:
Title page vs. MLA heading on first page
Title page / cover page, first page: mla heading (no title page), troubleshooting.
The current edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA) handbook does not require a title page , but your teacher, professor, or other reader may require one. In this case, you will need to know the differences between a title page and an MLA heading, and which one to use depending on your reader’s preferences. Other citation styles look slightly different, like this APA title page .
A title page, or a cover page, is a single page that comes before your MLA abstract (if required) and the content of your paper. It introduces your paper and quickly shows a reader the following information about your paper:
- author name (your name, since you wrote the paper)
- course information (if applicable)
It does not include any of the research paper itself.
First page with MLA heading
MLA format recommends adding an MLA heading to the first page of your paper. This contains the same information as a title page, but the information is formatted differently and is on the same page on which your actual research paper begins.
Unless otherwise specified by your instructor or teacher, this should be how you format your first page.
Before you start typing your MLA research paper title page, you will need to gather some information.
What you will need
If you are creating an MLA heading on the first page of your essay instead of a title page, you will need most of the same information, but you will format it differently.
To create a title page, you need to include:
- The name of your high school, college, or university (if applicable)
- The title of your paper
- The subtitle of your paper (if you have one)
- Your first and last name
- Your teacher or professor’s name (if applicable)
- The class name or course number (if applicable)
- The date the paper is due (in “day month year” format)
Follow these formatting guidelines when typing your MLA title page:
- Times New Roman font
- Size 12 font
- The first letter of each word should be capitalized, with the exception of very short words such as the, and, of, or, a, an, for, in , etc. However, the first word should always be capitalized.
- Do not include a page number heading on your title page
Here are the steps you need to take to create the perfect MLA title page:
- At the top of the page, type the name of your high school, college, or university (if applicable).
- Skip down approximately one-third of the page and type the title of your research paper using title case.
- If you have a subtitle, type it on the line following the paper title.
- Skip down to the bottom third of the page and type your first and last name.
- On the following line, type the course name and number (if applicable).
- On the following line, type your instructor’s name (if applicable).
- On the following and final line, type the due date of your paper in “day month year” format.
Although it’s important to know how to create an MLA essay title page in case your instructor requires it, in most cases you will use an MLA heading on the first page of your paper instead.
Remember, you should only create a title page if your instructor requests it .
Otherwise, use these guidelines to create an MLA heading. If you create a title page, then you usually won’t need an MLA heading on your first page, but you should ask your instructor for their specific requirements.
To create an MLA heading on your first page, you will need to include some of the same information you would use for a title page, including:
- Left-justified text for MLA header
- Centered text for title
- Right-justified text for page number header
- In the top left corner of the first page of your essay, type your first and last name.
- On the following line, type the due date of your paper in “day month year” format.
- On the following line, switch from left-justified text to centered text and type the title (and the subtitle on the same line, if you have one) of your paper in title case. Do not italicize, underline, or place your essay title in quotation marks. Do not use quotation marks unless you are referring to other works in your title and need to enclose the referenced works in quotation marks.
- Your research paper should begin on the following double-spaced line.
- Create a right-justified text header one-half inch from the top of your paper that includes your last name and the page number.
- All pages of your paper should be numbered with your last name and the numerical page number. The page including your MLA header, title, and the beginning of your essay is page one (1).
- Your instructor may specify not to include a last name and page number header on your first page. Always follow your instructor’s guidelines.
Solution #1: What should I do if my paper is a group project?
If you have written a collaborative paper with multiple authors, list each author on your MLA title page or in your MLA heading in alphabetical order, with line breaks between each.
If your paper has multiple authors, omit the name from your page numbers in the upper-right corner of your MLA-format paper.
Example MLA heading for a group paper:
Example MLA title page for a group paper:
Solution #2: What should I do if my paper isn’t for a specific class?
If your paper is a thesis project for your degree, for example, or not for a specific class, you can omit that information from your MLA title page or MLA header.
Solution #3: Does my paper need a subtitle if I use a full MLA title page?
While an MLA title page allows for a subtitle beneath the title of your paper, it is NOT required to have a subtitle or make one up for your MLA title page.
If you didn’t intend to have a subtitle for your paper, there is no need to add a subtitle. Just leave that area of your MLA title page blank.
Solution #4: Will my MLA title page be part of my final page count?
A title page is not typically included in a paper’s final word count. Check with the teacher or professor assigning the paper to be sure, but it is highly unlikely a title page will count as a full page of your final paper.
Published October 25, 2020. Updated June 4, 2021
Written by Grace Turney , freelance writer and artist. Grace is a former librarian and has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology.
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The title page in MLA style gives basic information such as the name, the instructor’s name, the course name and number, the title of the paper, and the submission date. MLA style does not recommend using a title page unless specifically requested by your instructor; instead, it suggests creating a header.
The difference between a title page and a header in MLA style is that a title page appears as a page on its own before the main paper copy. A header, on the other hand, appears on the same page where paper copy begins.
Include the following elements on a title page. Follow the order as given below.
The university name
The title and subtitle of the paper
The course name and number
The instructor’s name
The submission/due date
If you are not required to create a title page, and only need a header, the following elements should be included in the header, in the order as listed:
While MLA does not generally recommend the use of a title page, some courses or professors may require it. The title page should include the university name, title of the paper, your name, the instructor’s name, the course name, and the submission or due date.
Formatting title page
MLA style does not have any specific guidelines for formatting a title page. However, you can use the below suggestions to format your title page if you are required to create one for your paper.
All margins (top, bottom, left, and right) should be set at 1 inch.
The font should be clear and easy to read. A good option is Times New Roman font in size 12 pt.
Text on the title page should be double-spaced.
Elements of a title page
Include the following elements on the title page. Follow the order as given below.
Add a few blank lines before and after the title of the work. The title should be in title case and centered.
Beginning on the title page, the paper should also include a running head. The running head includes the your last name and the page number. This should be placed in the “header” area of the paper so that it is present on each page. Use the page number feature in your word processor so that the page number is generated automatically.
Example title page
Relationship Between Students and Their Teachers
Professor John Smith
21 September 2021
MLA Citation Examples
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MLA General Format
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MLA Style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and citing research in writing. MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages.
Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material produced by other writers.
If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the MLA Handbook (9th edition). Publishing scholars and graduate students should also consult the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition). The MLA Handbook is available in most writing centers and reference libraries. It is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this page for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA Style.
The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA Style is covered in part four of the MLA Style Manual . Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA Style :
- Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
- Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another. The font size should be 12 pt.
- Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor).
- Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
- Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends that you use the “Tab” key as opposed to pushing the space bar five times.
- Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.)
- Use italics throughout your essay to indicate the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, provide emphasis.
- If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).
Formatting the First Page of Your Paper
- Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested or the paper is assigned as a group project. In the case of a group project, list all names of the contributors, giving each name its own line in the header, followed by the remaining MLA header requirements as described below. Format the remainder of the page as requested by the instructor.
- In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
- Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks. Write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
- Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text. For example: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
- Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
- Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number. Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit the last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)
Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style:
The First Page of an MLA Paper
Writers sometimes use section headings to improve a document’s readability. These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.
MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.
MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books (for more information on headings, please see page 146 in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition). If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases (and not, for example, full sentences). Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the document.
If you employ multiple levels of headings (some of your sections have sections within sections), you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your instructor or editor.
Sample Section Headings
The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document.
Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left
Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left
Level 3 Heading: centered, bold
Level 4 Heading: centered, italics
Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left