How to Format an Essay

How to Format an Essay

Essentially, formatting an essay is equally as important as the content of the same essay not withstanding that most tutors pay much attention to how the essay is formatted. Whenever students are given any form of essay, they are supposed to follow specific guidelines that are provided for by their tutors. However, there are several instances where tutors do not set any particular guidelines with regards to how the paper will be formatted. This gives a student the liberty to format the essay as he/she wishes.

Essay Title

Although in most cases the topic of the paper is regarded as the title, there are various options attributed to just how the title should be formatted. The first option is to display the title of the essay at the top of the page. The other option is to display the title of the essay in a separate page called the title page.

When using a title page, depending on which formatting style you are using, the topic, name, the name of the course and your instructors name appear at the upper hand left corner of the page. The essay should then begin after skipping a few lines below the title page as illustrated in the example below

Chris Brown

Human Resource Management

Professor John Koops

December 11, 2010 How has the use of Technology Impacted Human Resource Management?

Tips for Formatting Essay Text

Always use standard margins 1 inch from top to bottom and left to right unless instructed otherwise.

Make sure that after you complete your essay, you double space the whole text. Double spacing is the basic recommended mode of writing academic papers. However, some instructors also request for single spacing or 1.5.

Unless otherwise instructed, always make sure that your text is aligned to the left and that all paragraphs are indented. An alternative to indenting a paragraph is by skipping a single line at the beginning of a new paragraph.

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Use standard front size 12 Times New Roman Font unless otherwise instructed.

Use the standard page size as recommended for academic papers (8.5*11)

Page Numbers

When an essay has a title page, the title page is excluded from numbering. However, subsequent pages are simultaneously numbered where the numbering is done in accordance to the writing style used. In some cases, the number is aligned left, right or center inside the page header. In other instances, the number is inserted right, left or center inside the footer. Either way, it is up to the student to decide which form of numbering best suits them.

Works Cited

The works cited or the reference page is done in a separate page called the reference page when in writing in APA format, Works Cited Page when writing in MLA style, Reference Page when writing in Harvard Style and Bibliography when writing in Chicago style. The appropriate method of listing your publications is also dependent on the respective source of the references eg books, journals, scholarly articles and web sources. Ultimately, any reference source should include the author, date of publication, place of publication, publisher and the source.