The writing career has grown increasingly popular in the past few years as more people write essays, composing creative and well-organized texts. Nevertheless, challenges still arise in the academic writing of essays, and research papers. The primary cause of the challenge is that knowing how to write is inadequate when you cannot format an essay. You have to know essay formatting as well as formats of essays to enable you to present a rewarding work.

Notably, a proper format of an essay may be in MLA, APA, or Chicago styles. The essay formatting styles are used based on the type of paper or field of study. For example, the academic papers within the humanities and liberal arts are usually set to the MLA (Modern Language Association) format and style, while social science papers often use the APA (American Psychological Association) format.

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What is an Essay Format?

A format is any generally accepted outline, design, or pattern that is used in writing. So an essay format is a generally accepted style of writing essays and is often used with an academic style of writing with strict requirements. Each essay formatting style uses a standard essay structure, which also differs in separate forms of essays.

The standard essay structure;

  • Title Page
  • Abstract: A nearly 300 words summary that comprises the research question, thesis, and outline of the essay’s importance; key resources, scope and limits of research; conclusion.
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography/References (Works Cited)

When writing a research essay with a proper essay format, the above structure for an extended essay is a great example to follow. So, the above example of essay structure could be applied when writing in different essay formatting styles like MLA, APA, and Chicago. Thus, let us now explore the essay format examples

How to Write an Essay in MLA Format?

When writing an essay in MLA format, follow the basic guideline below. You can also get straight help here

Font 12pt Times New Roman
Spacing Double spaced No extra spaces
Heading MLA heading starts with writer details (upper left corner) Student name (John Smith)
Instructor’s/Teacher’s /
Professor’s name
Course Number
Margins One-inch margin on the top, bottom, left and right
Page Numbers Last name and page number on every page header
Title Write a proper essay title below the Date. Center the title and use same font
Indentation 0.5” (Press Tab)
Align Align to the left-hand side

Uses of MLA format

In essay formatting, the MLA style is often used in humanities. Although, MLA also applies for English and Literature essays and also a proper essay format for an essay in creative writing. Since AccessEssay cares about you, here is a sample essay in MLA format.

Essay in MLA Format Example

essay format

Differences and Similarities of MLA vs. APA

In most essay writing assignments, people are most accurate in using the format style instructed. So, when the professor has not clarified the proper essay formatting style to use, you should know the essay format to use.

Similarities (MLA and APA formats)Differences (MLA and APA formats)
Have similar spacing, citation, indentationMLA style is mostly used in humanities, while APA style on social sciences
All of the information used in intext citation must be in the works cited (MLA) and references (APA)MLA uses works cited while APA uses reference list
Use the parenthetical citations within the body of the paperMLA citations use surname and page number (for example, Doe 29).  APA uses surname and date (Doe, 2020).
Citations are listed alphabetically on both works cited and reference pageIn MLA in-text citation the author’s name is listed within the sentence and page number found at the end. “Doe believes 2020 is better than 2019 (26).” In APA in-text citation requires that a year is to be inserted: “According to Doe (2020), 2020 is better than 2019.”  

How to Write an Essay in APA Format?

APA is the most common essay formatting style used in college. In college, the APA style is a proper format for an essay since it is easy to use and fits most courses or fields of study. Whenever you find a problem with how to format an essay, it is crucial to seek help from professional tutors at AccessEssay. Asking for help at an affordable price is better than struggling only to get a failing grade for poor essay formatting.

Font12pt Times New Roman
SpacingDouble spaced No extra spaces
Title PageAPA title page is separate first page. Additional information may be required, such as course title, instructor name and date. It contains
Essay Title
Student’s/ author’s name
Institutional Affiliation  
MarginsOne-inch margin on the top, bottom, left and right
Page NumbersInsert a header at the top left of every page that includes a shortened title of your essay, below 50 characters including punctuation. Slap a number in there too (top right corner).  
TitleWrite a proper essay title on the first page. Center the title and use same font
Indentation0.5” (Press Tab)
AlignAlign to the left-hand side

Essay in APA Format Example

essay format

How to Write an Essay in Chicago Style?

In the academic writing, the usage of Chicago style focuses on the source of origin. This means that precise citations and footnotes are key to a successful paper.

Chicago Style Essay Format

Title PageChicago style title page is all about spacing. On front page should be the title, with regular text. If longer than one line, double-spaced. Next, in the very middle, center your full name. Down the page – course number, instructor’s name and the date in separate double-spaced lines.
SpacingDouble spaced
No extra spaces
HeadingMLA heading starts with writer details (upper left corner) Student name (John Smith)
Instructor’s/Teacher’s /
Professor’s name
Course Number
MarginsUse one-inch margins apart from the right side
Page NumbersLast name, page number in the heading of every page on the top right Do not number the title page. The first page of the text should start with a 2
FontTimes New Roman is the best choice (12pt)
Indentation0.5” (Press Tab)
AlignAlign to the left-hand side
FootnotesThe Chicago format requires footnotes on paraphrased or quoted passages
BibliographyThe bibliography is very similar to that of MLA. Gather the proper information and input it into a specialized citation site
essay format

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