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Home Blog An Ultimate Essay Writing Guide Essay Format: Tips and Steps By Experts

Essay Format: Tips and Steps By Experts

Essay Format: Tips and Steps By Experts

Academic essay writing is an inevitable part of a student’s life. Students dread it the most as they get overwhelmed with the thought of crafting several essays in a short amount of time.

What students don’t realize is that writing a good essay isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Academic essays are a product of grouping different ideas, arguments and presenting them logically with the help of a format.

However, there are some generalized guidelines that we will be discussing in this blog.

A standard essay format follows a linear approach where each idea is presented at a time to make it more reader friendly. If you learn how to structure an essay effectively half of the work will be taken care of.

The structure of an essay dictates the information presented to the reader and how it will be presented. Your professor defines the essay format that needs to be followed, as it is unique for different essay types.

A proper essay format defines a set of guidelines that will be used to create an overall structure and how the elements of your paper will be arranged.

Everything starting from the title page, outline, citation styles, etc.

1. Formatting an Essay

To format an essay properly, you must have a proper structure including introduction, thesis statement, body of your essay, conclusion. Also, a title page, works cited page, text capitalization, proper citations and in-text citations using MLA or APA format.

In this step by step guide we have covered all the above-mentioned elements in detail. Follow these steps and your essay will be good to go.

1.1 How to Format an Essay Title Page

When writing your title page, keep in mind the following guidelines for different formatting styles:

MLA Essay Format

  • Use double-spacing. Do not single-space your page
  • Use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman font style
  • Write your School/College name centered and top
  • Title of your essay, centered. Followed by a subtitle
  • Your name, course name and number, your instructor's name and the submission date

APA Essay Format

  • Running head - TITLE 1 (written in ALL CAPS)
  • 1” margins from all sides of the page
  • Times New Roman, 12 pt. size font
  • Title of your essay
  • Your name
  • Name of your institute

1.2 Formatting the First Page of an Essay

It is always a good idea to format the first page before starting to write.

Add the header to write your last name and the page number. The header goes on the right-hand corner of the page leaving half inch space from the top. This hold for all pages of the essay except for the works cited page.

In the upper left-hand corner state your name, instructor's name, followed by the course and the date.

Write the title in the center.

Use double space and start writing the essay.

1.3 Essay Outline

A typical essay is a five-paragraph essay with an introduction, body and conclusion. Where the body comprises three paragraphs that are hold the main argument, ideas and evidence of the topic and essay.

Once you get the hang of crafting such essays, writing longer complex essays will become simpler. A 5 paragraph essay format looks like:


Start your introduction by introducing your topic, provide some background information on it.

Use a linking sentence to connect it with the thesis.

Your thesis statement should provide a description of the paper and the main arguments/claims.

Keep the font size 12, Times New Roman.


In each body paragraph highlight and discuss a separate idea. Start with a topic sentence and provide supporting facts and evidence to support it logically. And indent the first line of every body paragraph.


In this section, you summarize the entire paper, restate the thesis statement. Avoid introducing new ideas at this stage of the essay. Instead, give the reader something to ponder over or a call to action.

Don't forget to add the header and the page numbers to every page.

Here is an in-depth blog on writing an essay outline to give you a better understanding.

1.4 How to Cite an Essay

It is necessary to cite different sources when you are using someone else's words in your own paper. It could be in the form of a direct quote, paraphrased or summarized text. In order to avoid plagiarism and to show the reader the authenticity of what you are talking about, you need must cite your sources.

There are different citation styles and rules. Make sure to use the one specified by your teacher.

Here we will discuss in-text citations in APA and MLA format. With in-text citations the sources are cited within the body paragraphs, here's how it is done:


Author or publisher's last name, followed by the date and paragraph number.

For example

List the author name or publisher, date and page number. Include a comma after the author name and date.

“Darwin's theory of evolution is false and inconsistent. (Taylor, 2018, p. 5).”


Mention the author's last name, followed by the page number.

“Darwin's theory of evolution is false and inconsistent. (Taylor, p. 5).”

To know more regarding the differences between these two citation format, we have a detailed guide on APA Vs. MLA that will help you clarify the concepts further.

1.5 How to Draft the Works Cited Page

Once you are done writing your essay, the last page is for the works cited. Here you enlist all the sources used to write the essay.

  • Arrange the sources in alphabetical order.
  • Use double spaces for the entire list.
  • Use hanging indention.

2. Essay Format Examples

To increase your understanding of the format required for different essays and what is essay format, we have added a few examples. Below are sample essays with the proper essay format that you can use

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College Essay Format (PDF)
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Argumentative Essay Format (PDF)
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Persuasive Essay Format (PDF)
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MLA Format Essay Example (PDF)
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Chicago Essay Format (PDF)

If you are still confused about the essay writing format, it is advisable to seek professional assistance. The expert essay writers are equipped to draft an essay according to different formatting styles. Just reach out to them and get an A grade worthy paper in no time.

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