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Why Format of the Essay Is Such a Big Deal

There are many components to writing a successful essay. You need to follow your topic, present convincing arguments and reference your work properly. However, one of the most crucial aspects of composing an essay is following the essay format. Are you struggling with writing or formatting an essay? Just ask us: “do my essay for me” and our help won’t keep you waiting!

Why exactly is it so important to follow the guidelines for formats? First of all, an essay is a type of academic writing, and proper structure and unformed writing is a number one requirement for penning a good essay. That is why following an essay format is not really a subject for discussion. Find out more about each American formatting guide right now! Curious what is an expository essay? Find out in just one click!

Most Common Essay Formats You Can Face

There are dozens of modern formatting styles for essays, but some of them are so rarely used that you’re unlikely to encounter them in your life as a student. That is why today we will focus on four most popular formatting styles. Need to write a narrative essay using one of the format styles? Here they are:

  1. APA format.
  2. MLA format.
  3. Harvard style.
  4. Chicago style.

How to Write an Essay in APA format

The APA essay format is one of the most commonly used styles in American colleges. The name of APA style comes from the American Psychological Association, who were the first ones to design specific guidelines for this format. This format is mainly used to cite sources from the social studies field, although you can also encounter it in other disciplines.

Your APA essay should be written in a clear, easily readable font – most sources recommend using 12pt. Times New Roman. The text should be double-spaced and there should be 1” margins on all sides.

A very important rule is to add a page header, also known as the running head, on top of every page. To the right you need to put the page number, and to the left from the number there has to be the title of your paper written in all caps. The title of the paper should be under 50 characters, which includes spaces and punctuation.

The title page of your APA essay needs to include the author’s name, the title of the paper, and the name of the institution. Note that the running head should start at the title page; the only difference is that the title page header should look like this:

Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER,

whereas the header on the rest of the essay should look like this:


Next comes the abstract of your paper. The page should begin with the running head, and in the center of the next line you need to put the word “Abstract”. Starting from the next line, present a short version of your research. It can include the research topic and questions, methods and participants, data and analysis, as well as a conclusion. You can also list the keywords of your work here. This part is optional, but it makes it easier for other scholars to find your work in the databases.

There are distinctive guidelines for citing the sources in APA style. Here is an example of what your cited sources should look like:

Contributors’ names (Last edited date). Title of resource. Retrieved from (URL).

Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from (URL).

You can check out the APA format essay example for reference on our website!

How to write an Essay in MLA format

The MLA in MLA format essays stands from the Modern Language Association, which first presented the guidelines for this format in 1985. The MLA essay format is commonly used in works dealing with liberal arts and human studies, and the essay MLA format serves a variety of purposes.

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The most important skill you need to learn for successfully working with the essay format MLA is citing your sources the correct way. Generally, every element of your citation should follow the same format:

  1. Author;
  2. Title of source;
  3. Title of container;
  4. Other contributors;
  5. Version;
  6. Number;
  7. Publisher;
  8. Publication date;
  9. Location.

Note that in this case the punctuation you use in the citation matters a lot. The Author and Title of source sections of the citation should be followed by a period, while the rest of them should end with a coma. The period also follows the Location.

The MLA format also has specific requirements for in-text citations. Whether you’re using direct quotations or paraphrase the sources, make sure to include in-text citations in each case. Include the name of the author and the page of the source you’re citing, and don’t forget to list the source in the citation page at the end of the essay. The format of in text citation: “Title of Source.” Title of Container, other contributors, version, numbers, publisher, publication date, location.

If you are going to text citation a website you should use other formed – the author name(s), page title, website title, sponsoring institution/publisher, date published, and the URL.


Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Individual Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, Date, URL. You can find an MLA format essay example on our website!

How to Write an Essay in Harvard style

As it’s clear from the name, the Harvard formatting style originated in Harvard. Today it is widely used in hundreds of universities, which means you have a pretty big chance of encountering this style in your studies.

For this style, you’re expected to type the paper in 12pt. Times New Roman font and double space the text. Each page should have 1” margins and a title of the paper and page number indicated on top of every page. The running head doesn’t need to be the full name of your work – you can shorten it to 2-3 words.

The title page needs to include the title of the paper in all caps. Three lines down you need to put your name. Four lines down is the class name; the next line is the professor’s name. Next put the schools name, and then the city and state/country. The final line of the title page is the date.

In-text citations are a vital part of the Harvard format and should follow this pattern: Author’s Last Name Year of publication, Page Number(s). Don’t forget to include an outline to your essay, which should follow this pattern: Introduction, Thesis, Body, which consists of Main Points, Conclusion, and Bibliography.

The bibliography format in Harvard style has dozens of different requirements for different sources, but books and other common sources should be cited as:

Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. Edition. The city published: Publisher, Page(s).

How to Write an Essay in Chicago Style

The Chicago style, or The Chicago Manual of Style, which is its definition in the scientific circles, has been around since the early 20th century. It is used in scientific publications of all kinds, including student written assignments. This style extensively deals with citations, which are in this case called Notes and Bibliography.

To follow the Chicago style of citations, you need to include a footnote or endnote every time you refer to a source, whether by a direct quote or by paraphrasing. If you’re including a bibliography into your work, there is no need to put the full publication details in the notes.

Each source should be cited using the same format: Author, Title, and Publication Information. The sections of the citations should be separated by periods.

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