What is an Essay Format - Definition & Examples

It is critical to adhere to a precise essay format when writing an essay. A short essay format outline includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

An essay is more than just writing down your thoughts; it is also about presenting all of the facts in a clear and orderly manner.

It is very important to follow a specific format for an essay or any other paper. The most common formats are APA, MLA, and Chicago.

In this article, we will discuss the guidelines for a standard essay format. You will also find an APA format essay, MLA format essay sample, and essay format template for your help.

Essay Format Definition

An essay format for college is basically a set of guidelines you follow to organize information in your paper.

Be it a high school or college essay, following a proper structure is very important. When formatting a paper, there are certain things that you need to pay attention to. You should concentrate on the title page, citations, capitalization, and works cited page.

The basic essay outline contains the following three sections.

  1. 1. Introduction

    This is the first paragraph in which you need to introduce your topic and provide some background information. End it with a strong thesis statement that sets the main focus of your essay.

  2. 2. Body Paragraphs

    There should be a minimum of three body paragraphs, but the number can be increased depending on the complexity of the topic. Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence and provide details to support the thesis.

  3. 3. Conclusion

    This is the last paragraph in which you need to iterate your thesis statement and provide a final perspective on the topic.

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How to Format an Essay?

When formatting your essay, you must have a title page, text capitalization, a proper structure, and in-text citations. Below you can find the standard guidelines for formatting an essay.

Standard Essay Format Guidelines

  • Add inch margin on all sides of the paper
  • Single or double spacing
  • Times New Roman size 12 pt is the appropriate font to use
  • Add some information like the author’s last name or shortened title in the page headers
  • Properly add headings and subheadings
  • Include page numbers in the page headers
  • Indent each the first line of each paragraph half an inch
  • Remove the extra spacing between paragraphs

Make sure these guidelines are properly followed for a well-structured piece of writing.

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What is an APA Format?

APA is the official style of the American Psychological Association. It is commonly used to cite sources in the fields of psychology, social sciences, and education.

An APA paper includes three parts:

  • Title page
  • Essay
  • Reference list

In some cases, the instructor may also ask to include an abstract which is a brief summary of your paper.

APA Essay Format Guidelines

Here you can find the basic guidelines for composing an essay following APA format.

  • Times New Roman is the appropriate font to use
  • The size of the font should be 12pt
  • One inch margin on all sides
  • Page numbers and shortened title in the page headers
  • Author’s name, affiliation, date, and instructor’s name on the title page
  • Citations on the reference page

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What is an MLA Format?

MLA is another commonly used format style. To write an essay in MLA format, refer to the following section for basic guidelines.

MLA Essay Format Guidelines

  • Times New Roman is the appropriate font to use
  • The size of the font should be 12pt
  • One inch margin on all sides
  • Page numbers and last name in the page headers
  • Your name, instructor’s name, date, and class should be written in the upper left corner
  • Write down all the sources on the Works cited page

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What is a Chicago Style Format?

The Chicago style contains a set of guidelines for citations, quotations, and text formatting. Below you can find the basic guidelines of Chicago style format.

Chicago Style Essay Format Guidelines

  • Times New Roman is the appropriate font to use
  • The size of the font should be 12pt
  • One inch margin on all sides
  • Last name and page numbers in the header
  • Add footnotes on quotes or paraphrased text
  • List down the citations in alphabetical order on the Bibliography page

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Essay Format Examples

Following a proper format is key to a successful essay. Must follow proper instructions for neat, organized, and plagiarism-free papers.

Below you can find some essay format examples that you can review for your better understanding.

APA Essay Format

Here is an APA format essay example that you can read to understand the basic APA formatting guidelines.

MLA Essay Format

The following is an MLA format essay example that contains all the guidelines that you can refer to for effective writing.

Chicago Style Essay Format

Below you can find a Chicago-style essay format for university that you can refer to before beginning the writing of your essay.

Hopefully, the above guide and essay structure examples help you understand the guidelines for properly structured essays and research papers.

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