What is essay format? This is one of the most frequent questions among students. No wonder, while you cope with tons of assignments and writing ones, they are not the easiest to complete. It is crucial to follow the guidelines of your professor and stick to the required format.
Essay formats help keep your paper in order, fluent, and organized. For that reason, maintaining the right structure of your essay is necessary if you want to succeed and get a good grade.
What Is the Format of an Essay?
Before starting to work on your essay, understand that there is a set of guidelines that arrange your paper. They are called essay format and concern the title page, outline, citations, conclusions, etc.
Tips on How to Format an Essay
Now, as you know what is an essay format, you should be aware of how to format your paper. Formatting supposes creating your title page, creating a particular structure, cite the sources properly, and do everything else.
Formatting means paying attention to the smallest details, so your essay is flawless and well-ordered. Below, you will find out how to complete all the above-mentioned steps and write your text properly.
How to Create a Title Page
Having a title page is a must, and it is the first thing your professor pays attention to. If it is not written properly, it will influence the overall impression and, as a result, your grade. Knowing how to create a title page is essential, so here you go:
- Use double-space only;
- Times New Roman 12 font;
- The name of the university/college;
- The paper title has to be written at one-third below the name of your school;
- Your name, the name and number of the course, the tutor’s name, and the due date have to be written towards the bottom of the page.
There is nothing difficult to create a decent title page, but it should be done properly, so make sure to pay enough attention to it. For a better understanding, you can use an essay format example.
The First Page
Once the title page is complete, you should start typing your first page, and it also has its nuances:
- The right corner part of it contains the header. Each page of the essay contains it half an inch below the top edge, except for the citation page;
- The heading is located in the upper left corner;
- The title is an inch below the top edge;
- The first paragraph starts right below the title.
Essay Format Example
For a much better understanding, check out this example of how the first page of your essay has to be structured:
- Header-Footer. Your last name and the page number;
- Your name: Martin Johnson;
- Tutor’s name: Dr. Lawrence Morten;
- Course name: Pythagorean Numerology;
- Due Date: 15 May 2020.
No matter what type of your essay is, it has a standard structure:
- Main body;
Regardless of the topic, you should think of five paragraphs for your paper. As a student, you should know what exactly you write in each of the parts. If not, let’s recall it.
We recommend using Times New Roman 12 font for your overall text. An introduction has to grab the readers’ attention from the very first line. You can start it with whatever you wish —an anecdote, statistics, quote, rhetoric question, etc. Just make sure it is a hook sentence.
The audience has to be intrigued right in the first sentence. Provide the main statement here and define the core idea of the paper. Remember that the overall text has to be coherent, so the connections between each part of it are to be logical.
This part consists of three separate paragraphs which have to be connected with each other. Here you support your ideas and cite evidence you found in the process of research. Move smoothly from one paragraph to another.
Remember that all evidence you provide has to be taken from credible sources only. Do not use doubtful or out-of-date materials to support your thoughts.
It’s important not to lose your reader in the conclusion. Here you should combine all the main ideas and summarize them. If you addressed certain problems in the introduction, it would be great to offer your solutions here.
Do not forget to provide a summary of your paper. A conclusion should be as strong as the introduction, so make sure your audience remembers it. Leave a trace in their minds. By no means add any new thoughts or statements in the last part of your essay. It will only confuse your reader.
How to Cite Properly
Students are often afraid of in-text citations in their papers. Citing your sources is a must if you do not want to be accused of plagiarism. Moreover, people who contributed to particular research have to be credited.
As a rule, students are required to use APA or MLA citation formats. Both of them are good and helpful. According to your professor’s guidelines, you should choose one of them or choose the one according to the discipline.
Apart from citing the sources throughout the text, you should also create works cited page. Each source used in the process of your research will be stated here. The page also has its requirements:
- Alphabetical order for your sources;
- The second line of the text has to be indented to the right by one inch if the reference takes more than two lines;
- Different types of sources have to be formatted differently (book, website, lecture, etc.);
- The first name of the author has to follow the last name.
Nowadays, multiple types of referencing exist according to the type of source, so make sure to choose the right one for each particular source.
Is There a Standard Format?
Yes, there is a standard format for essays, and here are its requirements:
- Certain margins of the pages;
- Line spacing and paragraph spacing;
- Headers for pages;
- Headings and subheadings are usually written in different font size or maybe even formatting style;
- Page numbers and indentations.
They use a 1-inch margin, double spacing, and Times New Roman 12 Size as a rule.
Some Helpful Writing Tips
Writing assignments are not easy, and even professional writers sometimes struggle with them. Unfortunately, such tasks are very frequent, and handling them is impossible at times. These tips will help you cope with your writing assignment on your own:
- Conduct thorough research on the topic. Writing something valuable on an absolutely unknown topic is impossible. So if you were assigned such a theme, conduct your research, study it as much as possible, and investigate materials. Just do not forget to cite sources used throughout your paper and at the end of it.
- Create a good outline. Neglecting this stage is not wise. When you brainstorm the ideas for your paper, you cannot remember all the brilliant ones. Writing everything down in the process is very helpful. After you have a short outline or notes of all your ideas, you can easily eliminate all you don’t need anymore and focus on the best ones.
- Never procrastinate. You have to start working on your paper at the earliest possible. Waiting until the last moment is useless because you will never get the necessary result. If a poor grade is not your goal, start writing as early as possible and work on it step by step — at least one-two hours daily. Procrastination is your enemy when it comes to writing assignments.
- Proofread your work. Proofreading and editing your paper is as important as writing itself. Put your paper aside for a while (you didn’t procrastinate, did you? so you have plenty of time). Then get back to it and read again. We bet you will find many shortcomings, typos, and mistakes. Improve it. Eliminate all the sentences that do not have any logical meaning. Check the style. See whether all the sentences are connected logically with each other.
- Ask someone to read your essay. Your friends or family members can be quite helpful. Ask them to read your work and tell their opinion. Do not be offended if they criticize something. Take it into account and improve.
How to Write a Good Essay?
You already know that sticking to a proper structure is necessary. Formatting isn’t all yet. Remember that all the sentences have to be written smoothly one after another and have a logical connection; otherwise, your reader (professor) will be simply confused and reduce the grade.
It is extremely important to stick to a particular style throughout the paper. You have chosen it from the very first line. For example, if you were writing about some funny story from your or someone else’s life, you cannot use an official and formal language. Your vocabulary has to be simple and witty.
Introducing the thesis at the very beginning is crucial — it is the basis of your paper. Each paragraph of the main body has to start with a sentence that supports or mentions that thesis. Show why the topic is really important and why people should pay attention to it.
Writing an essay means using your writing, analytical, research, and critical thinking skills. It is not always easy, and not everyone possesses such a vast number of abilities. If you feel like you lack some of them or simply lack the time, you can always apply for professional help and get the best essay possible.
Conducting experiments with your grades is not the best idea, so entrusting such a responsible assignment to an expert would be the best decision.