Which type of essay writing formats do you know? Do you know the meaning of an essay format? Why is the essay format important, especially in the academic field? In this article, we will answer all these questions for you.
An essay format is a set of instructions you follow to outline your report. The basic structure of an essay mainly consists of an introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion.
However, there are other necessary parts of a paper. These sections vary in essay formats and include a title page, in-text citations, works cited, and an appendix. In this article, we will discuss some of these sections in detail and still inform you of various essay formats.
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Imagine if you work in an admissions office team, and you have to read thousands of college essay applications. It's tedious work that requires total concentration. If students fail to follow the provided essay format, it will be hectic for them to read the essays. You can't even decide how to analyze the work or reward marks.
The same case applies to researchers; the professors reviewing research essays can have difficulty analyzing the reports without a standard format. That's why essay formats are necessary for all fields. Formatting also makes your work organized and improves its quality. Again, the formatting makes your work presentable; anyone worldwide can read and understand your content.
Which are the Common Essay Formatting Styles Used?
There are several formatting styles available in various fields. However, the most commonly used include;
MLA- Modern Language of Association, mostly used in college essays
Harvard – it's the most popular in academic papers. It applies to humanities, philosophy, and behavioral sciences
APA - American Physiological Association used mainly in research papers like psychology and social sciences
Chicago( Turabian Style) or CMS Chicago Manual of Style - students rarely use this formatting style. Chicago Press University developed the method, and it's applied to historical subjects.
These are the most common formatting styles in essays. I am sure you have heard some of them or even used them. So let's discuss each one in detail so you learn more about the guidelines under each.
MLA Formatting Style
We will discuss the MLA 9 format in various sections of an essay. You should include the following under the title page in an orderly manner;
College or university name
The original title of the paper
Your first and last name
Class or course name
Date of the paper's deadline ( Day, month, year of formatting)
The title uses follows these instructions;
Double-spaced and centered lines
Times New Roman font
Font size 12
Capitalize the first letter of the title’s major words
Don't include the page number
If the title page isn't a requirement, then follow this format;
Write your name, instructor's name, course, and due date in the upper left-hand corner, and double-space the text.
Create another header in the upper right-hand corner with your last name, space, and page number. For instance, "Cain, 1".
The body format is as follows;
Apply Times New Roman and font size 12
The 1-inch margin on all sides
Ident the first line of a paragraph using the TAB key (0.5 left margins for each paragraph)
In-text citation for all your evidence uses the author(s) name with the work cited page number in brackets. For examples;
One author (Jayson 9)
Two authors- Claire and Joy 20)
Three or more authors –( Jaylene et a 35)
List all your references alphabetically
Indent every line after the first one
Use the recommended style for all the works you have cited. For illustration, if you are citing a journal, use this format. Author's last name, first name, title, the title of the journal in italics, vol#, no.#, publication date, pp. 20-23
APA 7th Edition
The style is more similar to MLA except for a few sections we will highlight here. Your paper should include a title page, abstract, main body, and references.
Include the details listed below;
Original papers title
Authors name, name of affiliation
University course number, relevant name of the paper, instructor's name, assignment due date, and the page number
The affiliation part should include the instructor's department and the name in full. In addition, the affiliation indicates the location where the author conducted research.
For students' papers, include the course number and name, instructor name, and assignment due date. The title name should have both upper and lower case centered in the upper half of the page.
Use these guidelines for the title page;
Place essay title three of four lines from the top. Capitalize major words of the title, bold and centered.
Capitalize major words
If two authors use "and."
The page number should start from 1 or zero and appear at the top right corner.
NB: If it's a professional document, it features a running head and an author note. You should include the name" running head," while the author's note should be centered and aligned left.
It should be on a new page and include the page header.
On the first line, indicate the word abstract
In your summary of the research, don't indent the paragraph.
Apply the Times New Roman, size 12
Double- space your work
5 left margin for indenting the paragraphs
One margin on all sides of the page
Insert page numbers on the top left corner of the page. Indicate only the page number and usually starts from zero.
Author-date citation with parenthesis – author name, year, pp. 35-37
Narrative style- for example, Dr. John observes……"……." ( year,p.58)
This page is slightly different from MLA in APA; we refer to it as references. Therefore, you should name it, center the name, and in bold.
Arrange the references alphabetically
Indent sources the second and following lines of the source if it's longer
Use times new roman and font size 12
Chicago or Turabian
One key thing in Chicago styles is using footnotes or endnotes instead of in-text or parenthetical citations. While inserting footnotes, place the superscript number at the end of the sentence or the end of the page for end notes. Finally, have an abbreviated source at the page's bottom.
Center the information as instructed below.
Press "Enter" seven times to start typing at one-third of the page
Capitalize essay title
Press Enter 8 times, then type your full name and press Enter.
Type course name and press Enter
Type the date
Use Times, Times New Roman, or Palatino font and font size of 10
Use a margin of 1-1.5 inches on all sides
Use words for numbers
Paragraphs should have a ½-inch indentation
Direct quotes of 100 words or more should be in block format.
Footnotes are necessary for all the information you quote or paraphrase. Include footnotes at the end of the page which contains the referenced source. In addition, insert a superscript number corresponding to a specific note and bibliographic information at the end of a sentence or clause.
Place endnotes at the end of the paper.
A section that contains a list of all cited sources in alphabetical order, starting with the last author's name. If there is no author, start with the title or a descriptive phrase.
NB: This section may not be necessary if your essay provides bibliographic information in the notes.
What to include:
Author's names, start with the last, first name
This formatting style has the following rules;
Use a 1-inch margin on all sides
Times new roman font – size 12 and double space
Align the texts to the left
Align the first line of a sentence by 0.5
Capitalize the title of your paper. Center the title and place it one-third way of the page.
Center your name and place it halfway through the page.
Write the name and course number, center, placed at 2/3 of the page
Next line, the professor's name
Harvard uses parenthetical citation, which includes the author's surname and year of publication. However, you can still include a page number, e.g., Kin and Jayson 2018,p.50).
Different guidelines apply depending on the number of authors.
One author - (Anderson 2015)
Two authors - (Jane & Schola 2016)
Three authors – ( Peach, Jude & Cozy 2013)
Four authors and more put et al. ( Kennedy et al.2017)
Arrange the references alphabetically according to the first author's surname's first letter.
Start the entries in a new line. Don't indent or align the entries.
Use the double-spacing format
Capitalize the first letter of titles of books, journals, articles
Comparison of APA, MLA, and Chicago
Find a quick comparison of the three formatting methods in the video link below by Wentworth Institute of Technology.
We have informed you of the most common essay formats used. As a student, you should know how to use them and in which subjects. Always be keen on citations and works cited, and don't mix the formats. If you have difficulty referencing, there are great tools you can use online. Again, you hire essay writing services from essay bot for correct format and quality work.
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