Writing essays is a crucial part of the educational process. Undeniably, such academic tasks may seem easy to do and challenging simultaneously, as every student possesses a certain writing skill level.
However, even if a college or university attendee can boast of perfect writing competence, they may not excel at accurately applying different essay formats. That is, they experience difficulties with the structure and coherence of their written language.
Indeed, learning how to format an essay properly requires time and faithful memory. Some students just give it a go, already prepared to make mistakes until they get it right. Nevertheless, such trial-and-error learning is not the most efficient way to master essay formats.
Luckily, you have great helpers in the form of our qualified essay writers and editors. They will assist you in boosting your educational performance, not least due to skillfully formatting your works. Bear in mind that if you want to succeed academically, it is of paramount importance for you to understand and memorize the nuances of various formatting styles.
What Is the Meaning of Essay Format?
Every A-level essay is excellent not only in terms of its content but also when it’s appropriately formatted. It implies that an artfully written paper adheres to the specific structure, which contains effective transitions. These words and phrases are crucial for a more exquisite and comprehensible layout of your work.
Since an essay is a product of one’s thought process and creativity, it should follow a particular essay format to become a textual material easily assimilated by readers. Transition words and word combinations help to present data coherently.
As for the basic essay format example, which can be applied to every writing style to a certain extent, it consists of the following parts:
- Introduction. The opening of an essay provides the audience with the main idea of this written work. Meaning, things, and facts that you plan to discuss in your paper are briefly presented in the introduction.
- Body. The central part of an essay includes an explanation of your point of view. It is also essential to indicate additional proof and make sure that your thesis statement and offered evidence do not contradict each other.
- Conclusion. In the final part of your work, you once again specify the suggested hypothesis. Besides, the ultimate result of your scientific research needs to be included here.
Now let’s take a closer look at the most popular variations of essay layout.
MLA Format: What You Need to Know
The MLA style owes its origin to the Modern Language Association, which developed a standard writing format for students and researchers in liberal arts and humanities. This writing style is regarded as the most widespread format of essays.
The current format requires the use of Times New Roman (TNR) or other easy-to-read fonts with 12 point size. At this, double space should be used throughout the work, including the cited page. The margins on all sides must be one inch, while the first word in each paragraph must be indented 1/2 inch. It is usually required to leave one space after all punctuation marks unless told otherwise.
The MLA essay format accepts specifying sources in parentheses on the cited page of the paper.
Key Differences Between APA & MLA Styles
Before proceeding to describe the next writing style, it is critical to talk about the two most popular format – namely, about their primary differences:
- Margin. APA is used in social sciences, while MLA is applied in humanities.
- According to the APA essay writing format, solely the chosen words (primarily, the 1st one in the title and proper nouns) start with capital letters, and the title is italicized. Following the MLA format, in the title, each word is written in capital letters, and the title is underlined.
- Cited page. In the APA style, it is titled “References,” and in the MLA style – “Works Cited Page.”
- The author’s name in the cited literature list. The writer’s/researcher’s last name is mentioned under the APA format, and their first name is reduced to initials. Under the MLA format, the author’s full name is used.
- Date of publication. According to the APA style, the publication date put in parentheses should be specified after the author’s name, while in MLA, the publication date follows the edition.
- APA uses the author’s last name and year of publication. Page numbers are added if available. At the same time, MLA uses the author’s name and page numbers for quotations in the text.
- Commas in quotations. For the APA format, commas are used in-text citation, while for the MLA style, commas are not used in-text citation.
Now let’s move on to the next paper writing format.
APA Format: What You Need to Know
This formatting style is frequently adopted in academic writings, so it is of utmost importance for students to be well aware of its peculiarities. The APA format is mostly applied for academic assignments on social sciences, and it consists of four parts (the cover page, abstract, the central part, and cited page).
A research paper formatted in the American Psychological Association style should be typed using Times New Roman font with 10 or 12 point size. At this, double spaces must be left throughout the text of an essay. As for margins in the APA essay layout, 1 inch on the top, bottom, and sides is required. The list of works cited represents the final page of the project.
Quick Introduction to Chicago Manual of Style
Yet another popular essay format is called the Chicago Manual of Style or simply Chicago Style.
It is widely used in American scientists’ written works, experts in history, and social sciences who prepare their research for publication in journals. The University of Chicago Press established such a writing format 115 years ago, and it is used until this day.
When it comes to basic instructions of the Chicago Style, they are as follows:
- Every essay written in this format should use an easy-to-read font, like Times New Roman or Courier.
- At this, the font size should be 12, although 10 point size is also accepted.
- In the Chicago format, double spacing is applied everywhere, except for block citations, figure captions, table headings, notes, and bibliographic list. It is also important not to put spaces between paragraphs.
- Margins used in an essay formatted, according to Chicago Style, should be no less than one inch.
- Page numbers must be placed in the upper right corner of all pages, except the cover page. It means that the main body’s opening page must have the number “1” at its top righthand corner.
- Footnotes and endnotes have to be linked to cited or rephrased excerpts upon applying the Notes and Bibliography (NB) method.
The proper essay format of the University of Chicago Press implicates that precise quotes and references are vital for creating the A-level paper.
How to Format Your Essay Easily
Certainly, the world of academic writing styles doesn’t confine to the formats mentioned above.
Yet, anytime you need to accurately organize your work following the allocated essay format, be sure to use these helpful tips:
- Keep in mind to use only one formatting style in your written work, regardless of what format you use. Do not switch styles in the course of your paper.
- It is highly advised to opt for the writing format that you have applied to your works before.
- Once you are assigned such a task, check out the examples of essays created in the format you want to use. It always comes in handy if you need to work with a previously unknown formatting style.
In case you are still unsure of how to use a proper essay format, entrust this task to our well-trained, certified authors and editors. They are ready to have your back in educational matters 24/7.