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Essay Format: A Basic Guide With Examples

By Nova A.

6 mins read

Reviewed By Rylee W.

Essay Format

Writing essays is an important part of every student’s life. However, it is not just about to list down ideas in a linear manner. But essay writing also involves a well-structured outline and format to organize all the research in one place.

Many institutions require a standard format that a paper of any kind must follow such as MLA, APA, and Chicago. The purpose of each format is to present the information in a more structured way.

In this article, find out what is an essay format and the general guidelines in each format type. The application of these formats could range from high school essays to college essays.

Refer to this guide and follow the instructions for a perfectly formatted paper.

What is an Essay Format?

An essay format refers to a set of guidelines that decides how the elements of your paper should be arranged. The format guidelines cover the essay structure, title, citations, and the basic outline of the essay.

When formatting a paper, there are certain things that you need to pay attention to. These include the structure of an essay, title page, works cited page, and in-text citations.

The guidelines for the standard essay outline and format are as follows:

Basic Essay Outline

Each essay needs an introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion to include all the key information. The following outline shows the basic format for all types of essay and research papers.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body of your essay
  3. Conclusion

Here is a detailed description of each step for creating the basic essay outline.

Introduction

Start your essay by introducing your topic and provide some background information. Don’t forget to end this with a strong thesis statement that shows the main argument of the paper.

Body of the essay

In each body paragraph, write a topic sentence at the start and provide the main arguments to support the thesis.

Conclusion

In the last paragraph, provide a summary of the entire paper and restate the thesis statement. Provide a call to action or give the readers something to think about.

Learn how to write a conclusion and better wrap up the information by bringing together all of your key points.

Standard Essay Format Guidelines

Below are the standard essay format guidelines that you should follow for an organized piece of writing.

  • The one-inch margin on all sides of the page.
  • Line spacing (e.g single spacing or double spacing).
  • Specific font style and size like New Times Roman 12pt.
  • Page headers to contain information like the author’s last name or shortened title etc.
  • Heading and subheading (this structure usually differs in different formatting style requirements).
  • Pages numbers are usually included in the page headers.
  • The indentation should be half an inch.

Basic Essay Format Template

Below is an essay format template that you can refer to while crafting your essays or any other type of academic writing.

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Essay Format MLA Style Guidelines

MLA is the most commonly used format style used in the field of humanities. To craft an essay in MLA format, here are the basic guidelines that you are required to follow:

  • The font should be New Times Roman 12pt.
  • Double spacing throughout the paper and make sure there is no extra space between paragraphs.
  • One inch margin on all sides of the paper.
  • Last name and page numbers in the header of every page.
  • In the upper left-hand corner, write your name, instructor's name, class, and date.
  • An essay title should be centered.
  • For the indentation press tab.
  • List down the sources on the page entitled ‘Works Cited’.

To know more about this specific format, we have a detailed MLA format guide to help you understand the concept better.

MLA Format Essay Example

Writing a paper in MLA format can be a challenging task if you don’t know the basic guidelines to follow.

Here is a free MLA format example to help you better understand what to include in this specific format style.

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Essay Format APA Style Guideline

APA stands for American Psychological Association and is mostly used in scientific papers. Many behavioral and social science students make use of the APA format to structure their papers.

Here are the basic APA format guidelines for you if you don’t know how to write an essay in APA format.

  • Text style and size should be Times New Roman 12pt.
  • Double spacing.
  • One-inch margin.
  • Include a shortened title (at the top left) and page number (at the top right) in the header of every page.
  • The title page should include the name of the author and institution affiliation, date, and the name of the instructor.
  • Citations are listed on the references page.

Related: APA Format - Basic Rules & Sample Paper

APA Format Essay Example

Looking for an APA essay format pdf example? Here is a well-designed APA format essay example to help you nail your next essay formatting.

APA Format Essay Example

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Essay Format Chicago Style Guidelines

The Chicago style contains a set of comprehensive guidelines for formatting papers and essays. Precise citations and footnotes are key for a perfect and successful Chicago-style paper.

Here are the guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style.

  • One inch margin on all sides of the paper.
  • Double spacing everywhere.
  • Text style should be Times New Roman 12pt.
  • Include the last and page number in the header of every page.
  • Include the last and page number in the header of every page.
  • This format requires footnotes as well on the paraphrased or quoted passages.
  • The bibliography of the Chicago style format is quite similar to the MLA format. List the information in alphabetical order on the page entitled ‘Bibliography’.

Chicago Style Format Example

Here is an expert Chicago-style essay format example that you can go through and learn how to format an essay.

Hopefully, this short guide helps you in understanding the various elements of a well-formatted paper. Follow the above guidelines for crafting good essays that are coherent and easy to read throughout.

After formatting the paper, don’t forget to revise your paper to remove all the formatting mistakes. Make sure the paper complies with the correct format required by your institution.

Get Expert Help In Formatting Your Paper

Still, confused and looking for essay help to make sure your paper follows a correct format? Contact our customer service agents at MyPerfectWords.com and get help with your academic papers.

Following are the formats in which you can get help from us:

  • 5 paragraph essay format
  • MLA essay format
  • APA essay format
  • Chicago essay format
  • Argumentative essay format
  • College essay format
  • Graduate school essay format
  • Common app essay format
  • Narrative essay format
  • Compare and contrast essay format
  • Scholarship essay format
  • Persuasive essay format
  • Descriptive essay format
  • Expository essay format

Let our expert essay writer craft any type of paper in any format for you. Contact us today and let our expert writers take care of your academic needs!

Nova A.

Nova A.

Literature, Marketing

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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