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 but 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. 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. 

1.1 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. 

1.1.1 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 center 
  • The essay title should be in the center 
  • For page numbers, insert the header and add a shortened title at the top left 

1.1.2 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 center and above the first line fo your essay 
  • Last name and page number on the top left of the page

1.1.3 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 

1.2 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 center 
  • Start writing the first paragraph of your essay right after the title 

1.3 Essay Outline

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

1.3.1 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.

1.3.2 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. 

1.3.3 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. 

1.4 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

1.5 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. 

1.6 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)

Get Help

Still confused about the essay format? 

If you think you need more assistance than this short guide, it is advisable to seek professional assistance. The experts at FreeEssayWriters are proficient enough to draft any type of essay according to different formatting styles. Just reach out to them and get an A grade worthy paper within your specified timeline.


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