A title page is often the first page a reader will see when looking at your research paper, essay, or other academic work. In MLA style formatting, which is used for many humanities and liberal arts subjects, the title page includes important information to identify the paper.

Creating a proper MLA format title page is simple once you know what elements to include. This guide will cover everything you need to make a title page that meets MLA guidelines. Let’s get started!

When to Use an MLA Title Page

The Modern Language Association provides flexible guidelines when it comes to title pages. An MLA title page is not required for most student papers. So when should you create one?

Use a separate MLA format title page in these situations:

  • Your instructor explicitly asks you to include a title page – Always follow your teacher’s specific requirements for an assignment. If they request a title page, you need to include it.
  • You are writing a lengthy, formal research paper – Title pages are strongly recommended for papers of 10+ pages that involve extensive research and citation.
  • Your paper includes many references or source types – The title page establishes you as the authoritative author and distinguishes your unique ideas from the works cited page material.
  • You are collaborating on a group project – The title page makes it clear who created the content when there are multiple student authors.
  • Your work is being submitted for publication– Title pages are standard practice for manuscript submissions to journals, conferences, publishers, etc.

For most basic student essays and papers up to 10 pages, MLA states a title page is not strictly necessary. However, your instructor may still request one, even for shorter papers.

For nursing students, you will likely need to create title pages for lengthy research papers analyzing topics like nursing practices, medical procedures, patient case studies, and dissertations. Establishing your authorship is crucial for scholarly nursing papers.

What Goes in an MLA Format Title Page

A proper MLA paper title page should include the following core elements:

  • Title of the paper
  • Your full name
  • Name of your school/institution
  • Due date of the assignment

Additionally, you may be asked to include:

  • Instructor name
  • Course name and number
  • Any other info the instructor requires

Here are the key facts about what each item on your title page should look like and where it should be positioned:

Title of the Paper

  • Centered horizontally and vertically about 1/3 down the page
  • Written in title case capitalization (major words capitalized)
  • Does NOT use bold, italics, underlining, or quotation marks

Your Name

  • On the next line below the title, centered
  • Your full name without titles like Ms., Mrs., Dr., etc.

Name of School/Institution

  • On the line after your name, centered
  • The full official name of your university, college, high school, etc.

Due Date

  • On the line following the school name, right aligned or right justified
  • Written in this format: Month, Day, Year (e.g., March 14, 2023)

Instructor Name, Course Info, or Other Details

  • Centered below the school name
  • Include any extra info your instructor requires on the title page

For a nursing student, this might look like:

Improving Medication Administration Safety in Nursing Practice

Mary Watson

University of Michigan School of Nursing

April 30, 2023

NURS 365: Nursing Research Professor Angela Green

This title page includes the core 4 elements plus the extra course details per the instructor’s guidelines.

MLA Title Page Formatting Guidelines

To ensure your title page meets MLA standards, follow these important formatting guidelines:

  • 1-inch margins all around the page
  • 12 pt. Times New Roman font for all text
  • Double-spaced text throughout the page
  • The first letter of major words capitalized in the title
  • Page number 1 in the top right corner of the page
  • Header with your last name and page number on all pages after page 1

Setting 1-inch margins and the Times New Roman 12-point font is essential for MLA compliance. Double spacing every line creates consistent readability.

Capitalizing the first letter of important words in the title is standard title case format. And numbering the title page gives readers context right away that this is the first page of your project.

Finally, including the header with your last name and page number on all pages following the title establishes you as the paper’s author in MLA style.

Title Page vs. MLA Heading on the First Page of Your Paper

Instead of making a completely separate title page, MLA also allows writers to include a heading with title page elements at the very top of page 1.

This first-page heading contains the same information that would appear on a title page, but it’s included above the opening paragraph instead of on its own page.

Here’s an overview of the key differences between the two approaches:

Title PageFirst Page Heading
Appears alone on a dedicated page before page 1Appears at the very top of page 1 above the first paragraph
Includes ONLY the title, author name, organization, and due dateIncludes title, name, organization, date, course name, instructor name, etc.

Unless your professor requests a title page, using a heading on page 1 is the preferred method. It’s simpler for papers that don’t need a standalone title page.

To create an MLA-style first-page heading:

  • Center the title on line 1 and apply title case capitalization
  • On line 2, center your full name
  • On line 3, center your school/organization
  • On line 4, right align the due date
  • Include any other required info like course, instructor, etc., centered under the organization name

How to Create an MLA Title Page on MS Word

Making a properly formatted title page only takes a few minutes. Follow these steps:

  1. Open a new blank Word document and set 1-inch page margins
  2. Click the “Insert” tab and go to Page Number > Top of Page > Plain Number 1
  3. Hit enter 8-12 times to move the cursor down about 1/3 of the page
  4. Type the title centered in bold and title case. Hit enter twice.
  5. Type your name centered. Hit enter twice again.
  6. Type your school/organization centered. Hit enter once.
  7. In the bottom right corner, insert the due date right aligned.
  8. Make all text double-spaced. Click after the due date and insert a page break.

This will create a correctly formatted MLA title page like this nursing example:

Reducing Medication Errors Through Barcode Scanning

Jane Lee

Seton Hall University

May 5, 2023

The title is about one-third down, the name and organization are centered, and the due date is right aligned – all with proper spacing and fonts per MLA.

You can quickly customize this for other information your instructor requires. It takes just minutes but makes a huge difference in presenting your paper professionally.

MLA Header and Title Page Examples

Seeing properly formatted sample title pages is helpful for visualizing how all the elements come together.

Here are two examples of MLA title pages made correctly in Word:

Example 1: Title Page with Just Core Elements

Preventing Childhood Obesity Through Nutrition Education

Samantha Jones

Forest Hills High School

September 16, 2023

This title page contains just the required four elements – original title, author name, affiliated school, and due date. The student did not need to include any extra information.

Example 2: Title Page with Instructor Details

The Importance of Vaccinations for Public Health

Jane Anderson

Duke University School of Medicine

Nursing 682: Healthcare Policy & Ethics Professor Taylor

October 28, 2023

For this title page, the nursing student needed to add the specific course name, number, and professor per the instructor’s guidelines. This additional info is centered below the school name.

Once your cover page is complete, simply start page 2 with the proper MLA header and dive into the body of your paper.

How to Create an MLA Title Page on Google Docs

Making an MLA cover page is just as simple on Google Docs as Word. Follow these steps:

  1. Open a new Google Doc and set 1-inch margins under File > Page setup
  2. Click Insert > Page numbers > Top of the page and select 1
  3. Press enter 8-12 times to move the cursor down the page
  4. Type the title centered and in the title case. Bold it. Hit enter twice.
  5. Type your name centered. Hit enter twice again.
  6. Type your school/organization centered. Hit enter once.
  7. In the bottom right corner, insert the due date right aligned.
  8. Double-space all text. Insert a page break after the due date.

This will generate a correctly formatted title page. You can adjust it easily for any additional details. Then start page 2 with the proper MLA header using Insert > Header.

Should I include a title in an MLA format paper?

Yes, MLA papers require a title, even if you don’t use a separate title page. Simply place the title centered at the top of page 1 above the opening paragraph.

Should the MLA title page be double-spaced?

Double-space all text on your MLA title page – the title, your name, organization, due date, and any other info should be double-spaced.

Should the MLA Style title page be numbered?

Yes, number the title page as page 1 per official MLA guidelines. Place the page number in the top right corner.

Where should the MLA cover page be placed within the paper?

The title page should be the very first page of your paper. After the title page, include your last name and page number 2 in the header, then begin the introduction.

What goes in the MLA title page?

The title, your name, school/organization, and due date are required. You may need to add your course name, instructor name, or other details requested.