College essays are written according to a designated and standard structure. Additionally, this structure allows the reader to easily comprehend the content, while enabling the writer to be able to both organize the thoughts and ideas as well as structure them in a flowing and comprehensive manner. One of the most important aspects of the college essay is the header. Usually present at the top of the paper, above where normal texts are placed, the header serves as a guide to the reader, reminding one of the content and acting as a way of quickly finding the information the person is looking for.
The header of a college essay is usually found in the same part as the page number of the document. However, even though the structure of all headers is usually the same, the formatting of the header differs with regards to the particular formatting structure the student or writer prefers. Some of the most commonly known formats include the American Psychological Association (APA) format and the Modern Languages Association (MLA) format. In the American Psychological Association (APA) format, the header for the cover page is usually different from the headers of the rest of the other pages. In the cover page, the header is in upper caps, it is preceded by the words “running head”, and it is left indent. The rest of the pages contain the left-indented header in upper caps, while the word “running head” are no longer used. In all pages, the page number is in Arabic numerals and indented in relation to the right margin. On the other hand, the Modern Languages Association (MLA) format has a single recurring header for all pages. In the MLA format, the header consists of the page number and the surname of the writer, all indented right. Additionally, the headers, regardless of which format the writer or student decides to use are formatted using one-inch margins throughout the paper.