Essay Format – A Step by Step Guide To Follow

Getting the format right is one of the most challenging things in essay writing. An essay format is basically some general guidelines that an academic paper follows. The format has much to do with the presentation of the text to make it more legible and attractive.

Having an appropriate format will make sure that the reader will have an easy time accessing your ideas and by giving the impression that you are a serious writer.

Although there is no one way to structure an essay, there are some guidelines to follow for the consistent workflow throughout. ;

There are some general guidelines that every essay should follow and are discussed in the blog for your convenience.

1. What is an Essay Format?

Formatting your essay means to make your essay consistent with your essay’s formatting guidelines. It means to enhance the appearance of your essay and make it look more presentable and professional looking. The format or layout of your essay depends on the type of writing or reference you are using.

So, what is an essay format? An essay format includes everything like the title page, essay structure and outline and the way you have presented the paragraphs.

1.1 What are the Types of Writing Formats?

Writing formats are different than writing styles. Where writing styles include the kind of essays or writing, writing format includes different styles of citation. Different styles of writing format include:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • Turabian
  • IEEE

All of these styles are used in different kinds of academic work and all of them have different guidelines and requirements.

2. How To Format An Essay?

An essay format is a set of guidelines that decides how the elements of your paper should be arranged. It includes the title page, good essay structure, outline, and citations, etc. ;

Here is a step by step guide on how to format an essay. ;

2.1 How To Create A Title Page

Keep in mind the following guidelines for different formats such as MLA, APA, and Chicago when you are creating the title page for your essay. ;

2.1.1 APA Essay Format

APA is the most common format used in essay writing, so it is important to get familiar with its requirements. ;

  • New times roman 12pt font ;
  • Double spacing throughout the page ;
  • Institution name at the top and in centre
  • The essay title should be in the centre
  • For page numbers, insert the header and add a shortened title at the top left ;

2.1.2 MLA Essay Format

MLA is another important format, follow these guidelines to write an essay in MLA style. ;

  • New times roman 12pt font ;
  • Double spacing
  • One inch-margin on all sides of the page
  • The title should be in the centre and above the first line fo your essay ;
  • Last name and page number on the top left of the page

2.1.3 Chicago Style Essay Format

Chicago is also a frequently used essay format in academic writing that primarily focuses on the source of origin. ;

  • One inch margin on the right side
  • Double spacing everywhere
  • Times new roman 12pt font
  • Last name and page in the header of every page ;
  • It requires footnotes on quoted passages or paraphrased text ;

2.2 The First Page of Your Essay

It would be a great help if you make a structure for your essay before you start writing. ;

  • Include a header on the top right half-inch below the top edge of the page. This will be applied on every page of the paper except the Works Cited page. ;
  • Write the heading in the upper left corner ;
  • The title should be in the centre
  • Start writing the first paragraph of your essay right after the title ;

2.3 ;How to Write an Essay Outline ;

Every type of academic paper has three parts: introduction, the body of your essay, and conclusion. ;

2.3.1 Introduction

In the introductory paragraph, ensure the writing is clear and concise to create a good impression. A good strategy is to start the introductory paragraph with a good topic sentence, providing some background information and ending it with a strong thesis statement. Writing an essay introduction needs you to focus as you cannot add all the information at once and you cannot leave your readers guessing about the topic also.

2.3.2 Body Paragraphs

In the body paragraphs, include the arguments to support your thesis statement mentioned in the introductory paragraph. It could be three or more paragraphs depending upon the issue being discussed. ;

2.3.3 Conclusion

In conclusion, draw the key points by looking back at your thesis statement. It should provide some final thoughts on the arguments mentioned in the body paragraphs. ;

2.4 In-Text Citation

Whenever including the work that does not belong to you, use in-text citations to show the reader from where you found the information. There are different styles of citation. Make sure to use the one specified by your teacher. ;

For example, in-text citations in APA format is as follows: ;

Author/publisher name, date and page number

2.5 Works Cited Page

Once you have finished the writing, now it is time to create the Work cited page. Here you have to list down all the sources you have used in your essay. ;

  • List down the sources in an alphabetical order
  • If the reference takes two lines, indent the second line to right by one inch ;
  • Different forms of sources such as web, books, print, etc should be formatted differently. ;

Writing an essay is hard for many students as they could not understand how to format their essay and what to add in it. A complete guide on how to write an essay helps students in understanding the basics of good essay writing.

2.6 Essay Format Sample

For your better understanding, here is a basic academic essay format that you can have a look at to write and organize your essay in a proper way. ;

Essay Format Sample (PDF)

College Essay Format

Still, confused about the essay format? ;

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