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Main Rules Of Composing A Cover Letter For An APA Research Paper


Once you have completed your APA research paper, you are still not complete. Each research project requires a few additional pieces before they are officially finished. While it might not seem like the most important piece of the paper, your project does need to have a cover letter, also known as a cover page. This page does not include much information; it is the formatting of the page that is important.

  • Rule Number One
  • The first rule of the APA cover page is that it has its own paper. You do not add the cover to the top of your actual research assignment. You need to have a blank sheet of paper so you can properly introduce your project.

  • Get a Sample Page
  • It can be helpful to have a sample page so you can see what the finished project should actually look like. At the top of the page, you will have a “Running Head” title, followed by a colon and the actual title of your research paper. The words “Running Head” will only have the first letters capitalized, but the title of your paper will be written in all caps. This running header will be on the top line of the page and aligned to the left. On the right will be the actual page number and the cover page is technically page number one, with the number written as a numeral.

  • Rules for Titles
  • When you create a title for your paper, the APA organization recommends that it be no longer than 12 words. This should be easy to remember since your paper and the cover page be written in a size-12 font. The actual title of your paper should only have necessary words and be completely free of abbreviations. Remember that this title will appear at the top of all of your pages and it should reflect the topic of the paper.

  • Centering and Placement
  • The next part of the cover page is centered and added to the top third of the paper. This section should always be centered. The words should have the first letter capitalized, with the exception of articles like an, a, and the - unless they are the first words of the title. The title can take up to two lines. If you use a colon in your title, the words after the colon should be placed on the second line.

  • Don’t Forget to Capitalize
  • Underneath the title lines are the identifying lines. First, you type your full name, capitalizing the first letters. Then, on the next line, you type the name of your school, again, remembering the rules of capitalization for proper nouns.

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Writing Advice

Make sure you always follow the specific finalizing instructions from your teacher, because they will be marking your research paper and looking for those things.

Don’t rely completely on your word processor’s spell check, because it won’t catch everything. Print your research paper if you can, and give it a good old fashioned proofread.

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