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How to Headline a College Essay


College essays often are written according to a specific set of guidelines in order to clearly outline what the professor expects from each student on each assignment. Style guides cover the formatting of every part of an essay, from the way sources are cited to the appearance of title headlines at the top of the essay. The two most common style guides used by college professors are the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) style guides.

MLA Style

Use double-spacing for the entire essay, including the title headline.

Write your name on the top line of the essay, with left adjustment on.

Enter the name of your professor on the next line.

Write the name of the class on the next line.

Enter the date on the next line.

Center align the next line and write the title of your essay.

Indent the first line of your essay, and the first line of all paragraphs, 1/2 inch.

Place your last name and the page number in the upper right margin of every page after the first page.

APA Style

Use double-spacing for the entire essay, including the title headline.

Enter the title of the paper with center alignment in the top half of the first page.

Write your name on the line below the title.

Enter the name of your college on the third line.

Title the next page with "Abstract" with center alignment on the top line of the page. The abstract is a brief paragraph covering the core points of the essay.

Title the third page with the title of your essay, using center alignment, then begin writing your essay as normal below the title.

Place the page number of every page in the upper right margin of the page.

Write the title of your essay, in capital letters, in the upper left margin of each page. For the title page, write "Running head: " before the title.

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