How to Write an APA Title Page

apa title page

If you are writing a paper in APA format, then you may be wondering how to format your APA style title page.  An APA title page is simply a title page that is formatted according to the rules in the APA’s style manual.  The title page appears at the beginning of the document and may also be called the cover page.

What is APA?

If you have been asked to write a paper in APA style, you may have found yourself wondering what APA style is.  APA is an acronym for the American Psychological Association.  The APA publishes a style manual known as The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and referred to as the APA manual or APA style.  This book contains all of the current writing rules for articles, essays, and research papers to be published in APA publications.  In other words, if you are writing for an APA journal, you need to submit your work in APA style.

However, APA style is used by a wide variety of writers, not just those seeking publication in APA journals.  It is the writing style most commonly used in the “soft” sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and related fields.

The current APA manual is the Sixth Edition.    APA style refers to the current writing rules outlined in that publication, which is the Sixth Edition.

When do you use APA style?

If you have not been told what style to use in writing your paper, then use APA style when writing in the social and behavior sciences.  However, APA has become a very popular style.  Professors may tell you to use APA for all sorts of papers.  Some schools even specify that you use APA style in all of your writing.  If you do not know what style to use for a writing project, we advise you to ask your professor or your school’s writing lab, if it has one.  Choosing the wrong style can have a negative impact on your grade.

What is a Title Page?

An APA title page, also known as an APA cover page, is one of the information pages of your paper.  It lets the professor or other readers know critical information about the paper, including: the title of the paper, the author’s name, the institutional affiliation, the running head, and the page number.  Your title page may also include date information, but that it not required in APA format.

Running Head and Page Number

The first line of your title page is going to be your header.  The header will contain a left-justified running head.  The running head is a shortened version of your paper’s title, and it appears on every page in the paper.  The header also contains a right-justified page number.  The page number for your title page will be in sequence with pagination for the rest of your paper and not in special numerals.


The title is the name of your paper.  APA style has a preference for simple, short titles.  The title should not 12 words or shorter, should not contain any contractions or abbreviations, and should not contain any unnecessary words.

Your title is the first thing to appear in the body of the paper.  It should be centered on the page, both vertically and horizontally, so that is appears about half-way down the paper.

Although titles in APA references are not capitalized after the first word, titles on the title page appear in what APA refers to as title case, which means that most words in the title will be capitalized.

Authors’ Names

Authors names are listed First name Last name.  They do not include any degrees or honorifics.  For two authors use the word “and” between the authors’ names.  For three or more authors separate the authors’ names with commas and use an “and” between the names of the penultimate and last authors.


For the institution name, include the full name of the college or university where the paper was written.  In addition, if you are part of a separate college or program within the university, include a reference to that program.



The Smell of Happiness: How Disney Uses Scents in its Theme Parks

Donna Smith

Texas A&M University




Unless you are specifically instructed not to include a title page, then any paper you write in APA style should have a title page.  Hopefully the above instructions and example will help you write the perfect title page for your paper.  Of course, if you have any questions, we are happy to answer them.

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