131 Essay Format

Essay format has nothing to do with the actual content of the essay, it is how you organize and present it. Essay format gives the physical look of your essay as the eye scans the pages without reading the words.


MLA Essay Format with Example

APA Essay Format with Example

Chicago Essay Format


Why Is Formatting Important?

It is estimated that essay formatting can account for at least ten percent of your overall grade. This can be the difference between getting an "A" or a "D." Thus, paying close attention to your formatting is a relatively easy way to improve your grade.

Since formatting is often done after all the research and writing is accomplished, many students are too tired to give formatting the proper attention. They may also be rushed for time since this is the last task they do. For these reasons, you may want to start your essay assignment early enough that you can do your formatting on a different day than you actually research and write your essay. You can also enlist professional services like ours to help you format your essay perfectly and perhaps proofread your final draft as well.

Privatewriting is your one stop shop for all the writing services, from background research, to writing and formatting your paper. Ordering your essay at Privatewriting.com means you will get all the formatting job done for you at no cost. In addition, you will also receive a free bibliography page as well as an anti-plagiarism check. Order your custom paper today and we will start working on it immediately!

What Formatting Styles Are There?

Most common formatting styles are MLA, APA, Harvard & Chicago. MLA is the most typical one, and if you are unsure how your essay should be formatted, use MLA as the default formatting style.

The essay formatting rules depend only on the formatting standards, as prescribed by MLA, APA or Chicago style guides. Many styles erroneously think that academic (or complexity) level of your paper will influence the overall essay format. This is obviously a myth: if you need to write an MLA style essay, it will look same for high-school, college or university level. The Same statement is also true for APA & Chicago formatting styles.

What Are the Differences in Formatting Styles? 

Each formatting style sets its own requirements towards a number of things, including:

  • Title pages
  • Spacing between lines
  • Paragraphs
  • Page numbering
  • Margins
  • Font size
  • Indentation
  • Binding
  • Proofreading etc. 

Every formatting style has its respective formatting guide that can be easily purchased as a soft copy or a hard copy. There is, however, a great deal of information on each of these styles that is available online. Here are some useful links: 

Numbering Pages and Paragraphs

Always number every page of your essay in consecutive order. Put the number for each page in the upper right-hand corner half an inch from the top and flush with the right margin. It is a good practice to include your last name before each number in case the pages get jumbled up with other essays. An example would be: Smith, 2.

Keep your numbers very simple. Do not put periods after page numbers and do not underline them. Do not put quotations marks around them. Do not use a fancy font or embellish them with graphics of any kind. Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) instead of Roman numerals (I, II, III).

The Importance of Double Spacing and Leaving Wide Margins

Part of the purpose in writing an essay in an academic environment is to obtain constructive feedback from your teacher or professor. This allows you to improve with each re-write and with each subsequent essay you write.

In order to leave enough room for your teacher or professor to leave his or her comments, be sure to double space between each line of text. Be sure to also leave a one-inch wide margin on all sides of the paper.

Spacing Between Words and Sentences

Always leave a single space between each word in a sentence. You should also leave a single space after each comma, semicolon, and colon. Never leave a space in front of the punctuation at the end of a sentence. It is traditional to leave two spaces between sentences. However, it is has become increasingly acceptable to include only one space between sentences. If in doubt, ask your teacher or professor for his or her preference.

Indentation of Paragraphs and Quotes

Traditionally, the first line of a new paragraph was always indented. However, many teachers and professors now prefer that students start new paragraphs flush with the left margin of the paper. For this reason, if your instructor does not offer guidance on this when they give an essay assignment, you may want to ask them what they prefer. Whether you indent or not, be sure to be consistent throughout your entire essay.

If you do indent paragraphs, it is traditional to indent seven spaces or half an inch from the left margin. For quotes, it is traditional to indent ten spaces, or a full inch from the left margin, to set them apart more distinctly than paragraphs.

Spacing Between Paragraphs

Since you are double spacing between lines, it is best to insert four spaces between paragraphs so the eye can more readily distinguish between paragraphs.

How to Handle Titles in Your Essay Format

There should be a formatting distinction made between longer full-length works and shorter works such. Longer works should be underlined. These include books and plays. Shorter works should be placed inside quotation marks. These include newspaper articles, magazine articles, book chapters, essays, and blog posts. When in doubt, use quotation marks or consult the MLA Handbook.

The first letter of each word in a title should be capitalized with three exceptions. First, do not capitalize articles ("a", "an", "the"). Second, do not capitalize prepositions ("on", "of", "in", "over", "under"). Third, do not capitalize conjunctions ("and", "because", "but").

Never Write in All Capitalizations

Capitalization should be used sparingly or it will tend to irritate the reader and detract from your overall points. Although you may be tempted to capitalize every letter in an important headline, resist this temptation and add your emphasis in the words you choose.

Table of Contents Guidelines

Essays are much shorter than books. Therefore, most do not require a table of contents. However, if your essay is lengthy, or your instructor suggests it, you may want to include one.

For most essays, you'll want to include the following sections in your table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited

You can also provide subsections for the body since this is the lengthiest part of your essay. Beside each section and subsection, include a page number, in a simple format, for easy reference.

How to End Your Essay

Many students feel it necessary to embellish the end of their essay with a fancy graphic. This is not necessary and may even annoy your teacher or professor. Simply end your essay with the last period of your last sentence and leave it at that. Similarly, you do not need to write "The End."

Be Sure to Bind Your Essay

You should always bind together all the sheets of paper in your essay because it is quite easy for loose sheets to become scrambled or even lost. If you use a stapler, be sure to staple the upper left corner so the page numbers on the upper right corner still show. The same is true if you use a paper clip. You may also want to take your essay to a business center and have the left edges bound.

Summary

Writing a good essay takes practice and patience. Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't get an "A" on your first few attempts. If you are not satisfied with your grades, schedule an appointment with your teacher or professor and politely ask them for suggestions on how you can improve. Be sure to ask them about essay format as well as the content of your writing.

If you need more help, or you simply have limited time, contact us for professional help. We have a talented team of experienced writers who can help you with any aspect of your essay(s), including essay format. Our prices are so reasonable, they are affordable on almost any budget.

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Harvard Style Paper Guidelines

Harvard Style Cover Page

Harvard essay format is very specific and organized. It requires a very particular title page with the following instructions:

  • The title of the paper is placed halfway down the page and written in capital letters.
  • After the title, three lines down write the name of the author in small letters.
  • Move four lines down and place the name of the class.
  • Move one line down put the name of the professor.
  • The next line entails the name of the school.
  • Then move to the next and write the city and state located and the final line should have the date.
  • The cover page of the Harvard essay format gives you all the information one needs to know about the author in question.

There are several key components to note when using the Harvard format. The title in a Harvard essay format is right justified. A partial title expresses the main idea in the essay between it, and the page number is exactly five spaces. The Harvard essay format cover sheet would like roughly like this:

The Harvard Essay Template

  • by (Name of the author)
  • Name of the Class (Course)
  • Professor
  • Name of University
  • City and State where university is located
  • Date


Here are other essay formatting styles:

APA ESSAY FORMAT

MLA ESSAY FORMAT


Paragraphs in a Harvard Format Essay

The Harvard essay format paragraphs are highly structured. The first section of the article is supposed to be captivating and entertaining. The article may begin with a lively quotation or an interesting fact and information that sheds light on the essay in question.

The introduction should smoothly lead to the thesis statement. The thesis statement refers to the main idea of the sentence and a summary of what the article body entails.

The first sentence in the body paragraph should tell the reader what the paragraph is discussing. The topic sentence is followed by supporting facts that relate to it. The details in the supporting sentences can be facts, quotations or analysis.

The paragraph then concludes with a sentence that summarizes what the paragraph is about and leads into the next section smoothly. Subheadings can also be used to introduce new subtopics and are italicized. 

Transition between the Paragraphs

Writing an article using the Harvard format one should show the transition from one paragraph to the next and these paragraphs should be interconnected.

The topic should gradually grow from one point to the next. A paragraph in Harvard format has three parts:

- The topic sentence

- Supporting details 

- Closing sentence form

Citations in a Harvard Style Paper

One can use in-text citations. With the Harvard style, a quote uses the author's name and first initial, year of publication and page number where the information appears. Citation for each fact is provided, if not it is considered plagiarism which is a serious offense. In-text citations for example from J. K. Rowling book published in 2004 page 45 would look like (Rowling J.K,2004,45).These quotes make the Harvard format essay easy to understand and comprehend as one read.

Harvard style uses a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial at size 12. Fancy fonts are not allowed because the Harvard format is used in writing outstanding academic and research essays. The essay should be double-spaced with smooth left margins. In the Harvard format titles of journals, newspapers or books or websites are italicized in in-text citations while that of poems and short stories is written in "quotation marks". This helps readers know what they are referring to read quickly through an essay written in the Harvard format.

Conclusion

The conclusion of a Harvard format essay is vital and should be written with high accuracy understanding and mastery. The first sentence of the conclusion is used to put emphasis on the thesis statement and remind the reader what the essay has proved showed or theorized. After the first sentence provides brief information of the main points that were discussed throughout the whole piece to encourage remembrance of the most important points that were discussed. It mainly involves a summary of the main points of the article in other words. The essay should then finish with an outstanding powerful message that leaves the reader still thinking minutes or hours after they have finished reading the article.

The conclusion is followed by the reference page which consists of the reference list and is placed in its page known as the reference page.

The general format of a Harvard essay referencing is referenced as follows:

  • Book Author's Last Name, First Initial
  • Year of publication
  • The title of book (capitalized)
  • City of Publication: Publisher

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