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As students progress in their studies, they write different essays. As they progress, the writing gets more complex and demanding. This underscores the importance of learning how to comprehensively format these essays, communicate effectively, and accomplish the primary objective of the work. There is no proper way of writing any academic paper, but there I a leeway through some existing guidelines on how best to make the work have an excellent flow. The guidelines provide a standard Formats for essay that one ought to follow when writing a research paper, informative essay, descriptive essay, college application essay, and so on.

Choosing the topic

Regardless of the essay formatting that you are following, choosing a good topic is crucial. Many students have a problem in this area. With proper understanding, one can choose a topic that is specific enough and interesting first to themselves. Henceforth, they can explore it exhaustively and meet the basic requirement of the word count. A good and fascinating topic is not supposed to be too broad, such that you feel overwhelmed, nor is it supposed to be too narrow such that you lack sources on it. The topic ought to be reasonable, in that the sources you use are easy to find, compelling, and in light with your topic. You can consult your instructor for guidance on topic selection.

Research on the topic

If it is an academic paper, you have to research on the topic exhaustively. Ensure that you know what you are looking for in the sources that you gather. You have to gather every relevant and hard-hitting information on the topic. Do not feel limited by what you are searching for. Explore every possible avenue for your topic. This information is useful when arguing your points out. Formatting essays is easier when you have your reliable and credible sources, even though it comes later during the writing process. Remember, your sources must be specific and compelling.

Credible websites, scholarly journals, articles books, and so on ought to be in your list of sources so that you can cite them at the end of your essay.

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Outlining your essay

Outlining is a major way to map out your essay. It is the plan and is a crucial part of the writing process. Having an essay outline and specific goal of the world makes it easy to refer to it in case you get sick. It saves you a lot of time because you know where to put the information. You can enumerate keywords to boost the scope of your information. Essay formatting does not define your outline, which is why it is subject to change. If you have specific keywords for the subject and every section, it is easy to see the direction of the work and the information criteria to use.

Writing the first draft

Before you delve into the writing process, ensure that the outline is replete with information to support your argument. Feel free to le reasonable creativity into the paper. The standard five-paragraph structure is the best structure to start with. Remember that the draft is also subject to change.

Peer review

After finishing your draft, you can have your classmate a relative or anyone knowledgeable in essay writing to go through the work, comment or contribute. The feedback is important in shaping your argument

Writing the final copy

Before you can submit the final copy, go through it one last time through proofreading. Essay formatting must be as expected, and your argument must be in line with your primary goal.

Formatting your essay

Formatting an essay should follow she guidelines preferred by the instructor. Essay formatting refers to the structure that the paper is going to take. Structure is essential, and it applies to all essays and the guidelines provided, be it MLA, APA, Chicago or any other format, have to be followed to the letter. For instance, an outline for an extended essay would look like this:

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The above example of an extended Essay formatting is applicable when dealing with research, especially when using MLA format. Essay format examples are all over the internet, and you can check them out.

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Formatting an essay in MLA

The modern language association{MLA} is a standard format for essays and research papers in any academic setting. Formatting an essay in MLA requires you to:

  • Use a 12-point size (Times New Roman)
  • Double space everything, but leave no extra spaces between paragraphs
  • The heading ought to be on the upper left of the first page
  • Margins ought to be one-inch on top, bottom, left and right
  • The last name and page number must be put on every page of the paper as the header to avoid going in place of the text.
  • The title must follow MLA essay formatting in that it is centred and above the first line of the essay. It should be of the same font and size of the text.
  • Indentation has to be half an inch
  • The work has to be evenly aligned to the left.
  • A Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of the paper

Formatting an essay in APA

The American Psychological Association {APA} has four major sections, which are the Title page, Abstract, Main Body, and references. Format for essays demands the following:

  • The fonts ought to be 12-point Times New Roman
  • The essay must be double spaced
  • The margins have to be one inch on the top, bottom, right and left
  • The title page must contain the title of the paper, author’s name, institutional affiliation. Additionally, you can have the course title, name, and date included on this page.
  • The title of the paper has to be typed in upper and lower case letters, flushed to the centre in the upper half of the page and should be 12 words long without abbreviations or words with no purpose.
  • When typing the name, do not use titles. You start with the first name, middle initial and the last name.
  • The abstract should be a single paragraph of 150 to 250 words, and double-spaced. You can also list the keywords in the abstract to help researchers find your work in databases.

However, some professors may have slight changes to some of the APA characteristics like the ones above.

Formatting essays in Chicago Manual Style

In this format, the overall page layout is as follows:

  • One inch margins on all sides
  • 12-point Times New Roman
  • Double spaced text
  • The text should be flushed to the left
  • ½ inch indented paragraph beginnings, block quotes and hanging indents (bibliography)
  • Page numbers must include the last name, page number in the heading of every page on the top right. However, do not number the title page and the first page of the text should be numbered 2.
  • Footnotes come at the lowermost of the page where the reference happens
  • Endnotes appear on a separate page after the body of your essay. both footnotes and endnotes use the same essay formatting guidelines
  • The bibliography is similar to that of MLA and should appear on a new page after the work is done

Similarities between PA and MLA

similarities between PA and MLA writing style


The differences between the two formats for essays are what make them unique. They include:

differences between writing styles

Harvard style of essay formatting

The general guidelines here require you to have:

Harvard style of essay formatting

The essay format examples provide a great guide as to how you have to structure and format your paper. You have to follow the outline closely to avoid veering off the topic.

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