How to Format an Essay Correctly

How to Format an Essay Correctly
Table of Contents
  1. How to Format an Essay Correctly
  2. Why Is It Important to Make a Good Essay Structure?
  3. Introduction and conclusion
  4. Thesis statement
  5. Topic sentences
  6. Other sentences in your body paragraphs
  7. APA Format: The Main Requirements for Essay
  8. MLA Format: The Main Requirements for Essay
  9. Chicago Format: The Main Requirements for Essay
  10. Get Help in Choosing the Right Essay Format
  11. College Essay Example with Good Structure

Students are often required to write various essays but their task here isn't just to put all the ideas and thoughts in the document. It's also quite important to format the manuscript following specific rules. Usually, teachers recommend choosing MLA, APA, or Chicago format for college essays. Not every student knows the main requirements of every style and how to format the paper properly. In our detailed guide, we're going to provide you with the most effective and easy tips on formatting your essay successfully (literary analysis essay, scholarship essay etc). Choose the right essay format and create a perfect document without stress!

Why Is It Important to Make a Good Essay Structure?

When you're working on an essay, it's quite important to structure this document even before you start writing. We suggest creating a well-structured outline for your future manuscript and follow it during the writing process. This will help you to make a perfect paper to fit the teacher's requirements. 

For example, here is a proper outline format for a 3-5-paragraph essay:

  • Introduction - a paragraph where you write in general about a subject you will highlight in your paper. The main idea of your writing should be introduced here.
  • A body part - this is the biggest part of your essay where you need to include several paragraphs. Remember that every paragraph must be connected with the main idea of your document.
  • Conclusion - it's the last part of your paper where you make a logical ending of your essay and provide your readers with some things to think about later.

Introduction and conclusion

In the model of an essay demonstrated here, the introduction and conclusion do similar things. They briefly introduce / summarise the topic and explain how the question or issue will be answered/has been answered. This is done through a sentence (known as the ‘thesis statement’) that directly addresses or answers the essay topic.

Thesis statement

A thesis statement is the main point of an essay. It summarises the main aim of the essay and tells the reader what to expect in terms of an answer to the essay question (if it is given as a question) or to outline the main point being made. 

Example: This essay outlines the most commonly proposed initiatives for addressing climate change and argues that to address this issue both practical and political solutions must be found.

Topic sentences

A topic sentence is the main idea for a paragraph. (This idea is sometimes referred to as an ‘argument’). You should be able to identify one clear topic sentence for each paragraph. It is usually (but not always) the first sentence. It tells the reader what to expect to read about in that paragraph. The idea expressed by the topic sentence should relate to the overall main aim of the essay (the thesis statement).

Example: One of the most frequently cited initiatives for addressing climate change is the development of education programs for consumers that explain how to identify products that are more environmentally sustainable.

If you show just your topic sentences to your tutor or lecturer, she/he should be able to get a good idea of what your essay is about. Checking the topic sentences for each of your paragraphs is a good way to see if your ideas are clear, and that you are not repeating the same point. If you find your paragraph contains additional information that doesn’t relate to your topic sentence, you might need to move this extra information to another paragraph or create a new paragraph with a new topic sentence.

Other sentences in your body paragraphs

The remainder of the ideas in the paragraph should elaborate on the topic sentence by providing more detailed description and explanation, or by providing examples. These ideas make up the evidence that backs up the idea or argument expressed by your topic sentence. Using references As part of the evidence you provide for each of your topic sentences, you draw on ideas from a range of sources (e.g. the set readings for the unit or other readings you have located yourself through your research into the topic. These include materials from journals, books, reports and other sources, both hard copy materials as well as those available digitally via the internet).

When you're going to start making an essay, check out what format is suggested. Usually, teachers make their requirements and you can easily read all the needed things in instructions. Be attentive and don't omit even the smallest requirements because they can be very important for your future paper. 

Below, we will provide you with the main requirements for three formats: Chicago style, MLA, and APA. These are the most popular formats for essay writing. Of course, you can find format instructions online if you need more detailed information. We have chosen the most important characteristics to explain how to create a good essay in a particular format.

APA Format: The Main Requirements for Essay

APA style is a common format for many college essays. Discover its main requirements to create your future document properly:

  • Use a readable font (for example, Times New Roman), 12 pt
  • Double-space your paper
  • Use 1-inch margins on all sides of your paper
  • Every page should include a header at the top left and a page number at the top right
  • Your title page must include the title and information about the author. Include information about your teacher and course.

As you can see, there is nothing too complicated or unusual. You just have to follow the requirements and write all the needed data in the right place. Check out you have read all the requirements from your teacher because they may be a bit different from the main APA guides. 

MLA Format: The Main Requirements for Essay

If you're required to make an essay in MLA style, read the main characteristics of this format below:

  • Use a readable font (for example, Times New Roman), 12 pt
  • Double-space your paper everywhere
  • Use 1-inch margins on all sides of your paper
  • Every page should include the last name and a page number as a header. 
  • The heading on the first page should contain your and teacher's names, class, and date

Remember that if you need to create a document in MLA format, just re-read your teacher's instructions and follow them properly. If something isn't clear, you can find MLA guides online and search for the needed things there easily.

Chicago Format: The Main Requirements for Essay

When your teacher gave a task to create a paper in Chicago style, here are the main characteristics of this format you should follow:

  • Use a readable font (for example, Times New Roman), 12 pt
  • Double-space your paper everywhere
  • Use 1-inch margins on the right side of your paper
  • Every page should include the last name and a page number in a top right. A title page should stay without number. The next page should have a number 2.  
  • This style requires footnotes on quoted phrases.

In case if you have questions about how to format your document in Chicago style, it's easy to find the main instructions in the online guide and follow the needed requirements. 

Get Help in Choosing the Right Essay Format

Of course, for many students, it may be too difficult to format their essays properly. In this case, you can ask professionals to assist with your document. Our strong team works for many years with various papers and knows all the secrets for success. Choose our cooperation and we guarantee that every client will receive a proper document on time. We have the best specialists who know everything about essay formats. They will help you to create a perfect paper following the main requirements. If your goal is to get the highest grade, we can do it for you without paying a lot! 

More and more students choose online help to finish their papers successfully. There is nothing bad about asking qualified helpers to solve your problems. Instead, you can save your time and nerves. We guarantee great quality of every paper we create. With our experienced company, every student has a great chance to get a successful document on time. We work fast but every paper will be checked for uniqueness and plagiarism. Select our service and forget about college problems! We are here to complete a wonderful manuscript for your needs and provide you with the best specialists in essay formatting.


College Essay Example with Good Structure

My favorite book has no author. It has no chapters and little text. Some would say this book has no plot and no characters, but I know otherwise. This book actually reflects the physical and political history of our world, covering hundreds of nations, thousands of ethnic groups, and billions of people.

This book is the 1987 Rand McNally Universal World Atlas, a tall green volume with a worn cover and loose binding. I am enamored of almost all atlases and even individual maps, but what makes this particular atlas so special is the impact it had on me as a young child. I vividly remember discovering it for the first time on a bookshelf in our house. When I opened it, I discovered pages upon pages of maps - maps of every region and country in the world and every U.S. state and Canadian province. I was entranced. I spent hours pouring over the pages of the atlas that first day. I wanted to know more about where I fit in the world.

As my interest in geography grew, I amassed a collection of atlases and other books related to geography. My other favorite was a world factbook that had a small dossier on each country. I remember discovering, much to my surprise, that various country borders shown in the 1998 factbook were different from the ones in my 1987 atlas. Germany was no longer divided, Czechoslovakia no longer united, and a tiny country called Eritrea had popped up on what used to be Ethiopia’s coastline. My curiosity about these changes led me to begin reading history books, and I soon learned the two fields complemented each other well. When I read about the American Civil War, I often would open my atlas to the map of Virginia. And when our family visited Gettysburg, Antietam, and other Civil War battlefields, I intensely studied the maps of these battles.

I also began to notice how geography shaped current world events. Every four years, I tracked the presidential electoral votes on a map of my own, and every two years I made lists of the key congressional districts and Senate seats. I started following the progress of the American campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq in my atlas. To find out more about world events, I began to voraciously read The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Economist. My interest in geography also stimulated my interest in languages. After discovering that so many places had Spanish as their native tongue, I decided learning the language was a necessity. And when I read about the increasing economic and political power of China in The Economist, I realized that knowledge of Mandarin Chinese would be a valuable skill in our globalizing world, so I endeavored to learn Mandarin as well.

Ever since I was very young, I loved reading. I have read many powerful and influential books (fiction and nonfiction) that have helped shape the way I look at the world, but none had been more important than my first atlas. I still return to it regularly and imagine I always will.