Essay Formatting Service

APA, MLA, Chicago—with all the different essay formats and general best practices to keep in mind, formatting your essay the right way can be a big challenge that can stop your writing in its tracks.

To help you out, UnemployedProfessors has created this complete guide on how to format an essay. But if you’re short on time, we can do the job for you! Read on to find out more.

The Basics: What Is an Essay?

If you’re in higher education, you most likely already know what an essay is. But here’s a refresher, just in case. Essays are one of the most common forms of writing in English, often written in a discursive style to string together ideas, evidence, and arguments. Coming from the French word "essayer," which means "to attempt," the essay is a written piece designed to propose an argument, present an idea, express emotion, or, as its root means, attempt to convince you of something.

Essays come in many shapes and sizes, spanning from 500 words to as much as 5,000 words depending on the depth and subject matter of your topic. That being said, most undergraduate-level papers fall anywhere between the 1,000 and 3,000-word count, as this range provides writers with enough space to lay down their ideas and arguments about a particular issue without going overboard.

The Academic Essay

Each essay must have its purpose or motive, and in the case of an academic paper, it's to help students present their ideas and what they've learned effectively. It also serves to persuade via reasoned discourse, as well as advance various concepts and notions. For that, academic essays must be concise, and focused, with an idea backed by evidence.

Academic essays are a must for any student and are often used to test what they've learned about a particular topic or subject and demonstrate their knowledge and creativity. Essays are also helpful in helping students develop their ideas to communicate a message effectively. That being said, essays can be a daunting assignment that takes a lot of time, research, and concentration. For that reason, many may not be aware of proper essay formatting.

What Is an Essay Format?

So, what is essay formatting, and why is it so important? When it comes to writing an essay, proper form and flow are essential, as this will determine how well you will be able to communicate your ideas. This is why it's critical to have a format, or a specific set of guidelines that decides how the elements of your essay are to be arranged. In essence, a proper essay format holds the line between writing a jumbled mess of thoughts and writing a properly researched and formatted paper.

When formatting your essay, there are a few select things to pay attention to. These should include your essay's structure, your title page, your page for any works you've cited, and in-text citations if you have any. Of course, a basic essay outline must have an introduction, body, and conclusion, as all of these hold critical information.

How to Format an Essay

Before you start writing your essay, it's necessary to choose which format to use, namely:

  • APA Style, which is often used in disciplines like science, psychology, and education
  • MLA Style, which is primarily used in writing for humanities
  • Chicago Style, which is used for business, fine arts, and history papers

Note that APA and MLA share many basic similarities, such as double-spacing, Times New Roman in 12-point font, and 1” margins. However, citations, title pages running headers, bibliography pages, and quotations are different for all of them. For our purposes, we’ll only go over APA and MLA since that’s usually what class papers are working with.

APA Style

  • Create a title page with the title of your paper, your full name, and the name of your school.
  • Running headers on each page will include the title of your paper flush left and page number flush right.
  • Parenthetical citations will have the author’s last name and the year of publication, followed by a direct quotation or paraphrased idea. Alternatively, you can reference the author’s name within your paraphrased statement and only include the year of publication in parentheses.
  • Create a bibliography titled “References,” and list each reference in alphabetical order by last name, followed by their first and middle initials, the year of publication in parentheses, and the location.

MLA Style

  • In most cases, MLA does not require a title page unless your university does. Instead, you will have a header on the first page and a centered title at the beginning of your essay.
  • Running headers on every page include your last name and the page number flush right.
  • Parenthetical in-text citations include the author’s last name and the page number, or just the page number if the author’s name was referenced within the text already.
  • Your bibliography will be titled “Works Cited” and references are listed alphabetically by last name, followed by the first initial and middle name, title of the work, publication location, year, and medium.

Your Essay’s Introduction, Body, and Conclusion

As you get into the introduction and body of your essay, it's essential to follow a structure while presenting your ideas. Suppose your paper follows the typical five-paragraph format. In that case, it's a good idea to use the first and last paragraph for the introduction and conclusion, alternatively, with the remaining three reserved for your body. However, you can also go beyond three sections, as needed. Furthermore, make sure that you have already done your due diligence in researching your topic before you start writing. Look for compelling arguments, counterpoints, trivia, facts, etc. When it comes to gathering the information you need, remember that the sky's the limit.

Once you start writing, make sure you support your ideas logically and coherently, and make sure to cite any factual evidence you use on your paper. Be sure to transition smoothly from paragraph to paragraph, and make sure you wrap up any insight before you move on to the next.

After writing the body, wrap up your paper by bringing all of your main talking points into a conclusion. Alternatively, you can also use the conclusion to resolve any problems you mentioned in your essay and address any implications you made in your arguments. However, make sure you don't introduce any new topic or idea in the conclusion, as your main goal is to wrap up the paper and let it come to a close naturally.

When you’re done with this, it’s also a good idea to go over what you wrote and make revisions and changes as you see necessary. Look for any grammatical mistakes as well, as not only will this help you save time, but it's also an excellent habit to develop, especially as you encounter more essays and writing assignments.

Writing the References/Works Cited Page

The Works Cited or References page is where you will find all of the sources you used in your paper. Follow these general guidelines for both MLA and APA

  • Make sure all of your sources are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
  • If the resource you used takes up two lines of text, indent the second line by an inch to the right. Any additional line after this should also follow and be indented.
  • If you’re quoting from books, write the authors' last names followed by their first names (or initials for APA). Then place the title and then the publishing information.
  • If you're writing in MLA format and have used content from online sources, include a location to show your readers where you found it. If you can, use a DOI (digital object identifier). Otherwise, use a URL and be sure to delete "HTTP://" from URLs.
  • All works cited entries must end with a period.

Additional Writing Tips

Before writing, make sure you do as much reading as you can on the topic. When planning to cite the works of others as a source, immediately write down their name and publishing information as well.

Additionally, it's also good to start brainstorming ideas and to create an outline. This helps the essay flow more naturally and will stop you from getting stuck. Do not procrastinate and wait until the last minute to write your essay, as rushed work often leads to glaring mistakes.

Lastly, check your work. Check your grammar, spelling, and styling, as this will help avoid further revisions. It's also a good habit to build.

Custom-Written Essays and Papers

Inevitably, there will be times when you either don't have the time to write the essay or need the help of a professional writer. In such cases, let our team at UnemployedProfessors do all of the work.

Specializing in custom-written essays, research, and term papers for students of every level, we provide high-quality writing at low rates, along with incredible customer service. We only make use of top custom essay-writing talent to make sure we meet all of your demands. This means that all of our writers hold advanced graduate degrees from respected universities, meaning the person writing your essay will have the same qualifications as the professor who assigned it in the first place.

We also pride ourselves on researching, sourcing, and writing each of our essays to your specifications. This means you no longer have to worry about copying and pasting text just to get flagged by plagiarism checkers or risking a low grade from your professor.

Alternatively, we provide the best deals around for academic textbooks because we believe that education should not be expensive. You can also buy, sell, or trade textbooks through our convenient platform.

Should you need an essay or research paper written today, don’t hesitate to contact us at UnemployedProfessors.com.


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