How to Add Headers in an Essay

An essay is a typical form of a written task in high schools, colleges, and universities. At the same time, this type of assignment may cause a lot of stress for someone who is taking up this endeavor for the first time in their life. Do not get too frustrated though. A good online professional essay writing service professional essay writing service can lend its helping hand in a variety of ways. It offers a myriad of useful tips on any aspect of the writing process, provides its friendly support for students, and can even write any kind of paper for you.

Indeed, writing essays requires a considerable set of skills. Unquestionably, a student needs to be apt in putting the ideas into the right words and producing meaningful piece of text, which is the actual writing ability. Apart from that, they must possess decent research and analytical skills to develop the right topic in the right direction. Besides, a good essay of high quality needs to be well-organized and structured, which requires deep understanding of the structural standards. Moreover, proper formatting of the entire document is the aspect that is equally evaluated by the instructors and influences the final grade for the assignment.

Formatting an Essay

If you have never written essays before, the issue of the proper format may come as a surprise. The thing is that every paper should be properly arranged, which entails appropriate page size, margins, font style, size, and color, spacing, intervals, headers, headings, etc. So, before typing your paper, clarify the formatting style to be applied with the instructor.

Yes, you got it right: there exist several formatting styles, and each of them has its own particular requirements. The most widely applied formats are Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA). Other possible formatting styles include Harvard and Chicago/Turabian. Still more, there are others, less frequently applied, in addition to the ones that may be established and required in a specific educational institution. In any case, you must specify and clarify this aspect beforehand.

Main Formatting Issues

Like it has already been mentioned, format is about the general arrangement of the document. Every formatting style sets its particular requirements as for the page size, fonts, margins, spacing, in-text citations, and organization of specific constituents like cover page, appendices, tables, figures, and a list of references. One of the issues that require attention is a header.

What is a Header

A header, or a running head, is a kind of an identifier that should be present on every page of an essay. Sadly, it is often neglected by the students, which may result in the deduction of points from the final score. On the other hand, its absence may somewhat distort the reader’s journey through your paper.

A running head makes every page labeled, providing some important details about the paper, specifically a page number. However, different formatting styles have different requirements as for the elements to be included into it. Here are the standards of the most widely-applied formatting styles:

· APA. The title of the paper flush-left typed in all caps and page number flush-right.

· MLA. Your surname and a page number separated with a space in the upper right corner.

· Harvard. A shortened title of the paper and a page number separated with five spaces in the upper right corner.

· Chicago/Turabian. Only a page number in the upper right corner.

The page number is always flush right. The rest of the elements appear before it only separated with one or several (like in Harvard style) spaces in most of the cases. Only in APA style, the title should be flush-left. The header with all its elements must be added on every page, including the cover page. Only in Chicago/Turabian style, title page is not numbered; the numbering starts on the first page of the paper. In APA papers, the words “Running head:” should appear before the title only on the cover page.

How to Add Headers

Adding running heads in MS Word is not difficult at all. You only need to follow a few simple steps. So, after opening your document:

1. Click “Insert” tab

2. Click “Page Number” icon

3. Select “Top of Page” from the drop-down list

4. Select “Plain Number 3”

After the page number appears on your page, type the needed information before it. Apply the needed alignment and font style and size (they should be the same as in the paper – most often Times New Roman, 12 point). If the header should be different on the cover page (like in APA style, for example), check the “Different First Page” box and type the needed information there.

As you can see, adding headers to your essays is not difficult at all. Generally, formatting your papers in accordance with a specific formatting style is not a big deal as long as you know what format to apply and are familiar with its standards. Just make an effort and ask a specialist to help you if you still face any difficulties.


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