In the world of business there is an interesting debate on whether a cover page is necessary in a professional document. Initially, I will not be discussing the debate over the importance, but instead, explain how to develop an effective page that will help you portray your business message well. In regards to the debate over the importance and relevancy of a cover page, my basic remark is that the professionalism of a well-done cover page can never hurt your message, it can only add to the effectiveness.
Now, I would like to discuss how to produce a successful cover page. There are six parts to the cover page and they are all very basic but important to the process. The first step is to add a customary business trademark that can be put behind the text or anywhere on the page that seems suitable. The second aspect is to add a title to the document. The title helps the reader get involved and better understand what the report is all about. A title can also help a reader remember the report if the title is catchy. The next parts that can really help your title page are graphics. These graphics are aside from the business emblem but add to the attractiveness and sharpness of the report. You should use a program aside from clipart though because people are becoming very familiar with the images and they appear boring to some. Another thing that is very important is to name the author in the title page. This is something that readers will look for naturally and it is awkward when it cannot be found. The last two things to think about are the headers/footers section and of course the date. Headers and Footers are generally not required in a professional report but make sure of this before you complete your page. Lastly, the date, this is extremely important because the date of publication should always be noted on the first page. Once you have completed these steps you can check over your work to make sure that you had not made any ticky-tack errors that could hurt the value of the report.
With the six aspects of the cover page fulfilled you should have an effective cover page that will only add to effect of your report. When composing a business document, you want to find any way to differentiate yourself as a business or individual. I believe that adding the cover page helps to differentiate because it shows how much importance you have put on the report. It also shows that you took the time to make the document look professional. For these reasons, I believe there is no argument to why a cover page should not be added. Just remember to take any opportunity to differentiate yourself it really works!
Charlie Graves offers his input on the step by step construction of a title page. He is able to go into depth about the formatting details of a title page.
William Stylos is an Economics major at the University of South Florida. He is currently enrolled in Professional Writing (ENC3250)