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 sector (essays, 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. So, writing a college essay is good, but useless if you do not know how to format an essay according to different styles.

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Format an Essay

While academic writing resources like AccessEssay boast of having expert essay writers with outstanding essay formatting skills, most students still do not. The same goes for anyone seeking to improve their career opportunities in academic, essay writing. First, 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.

So for any wondering how to format an essay, this article is all you need. The article focuses on three examples of essay format; MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. Further, it explores the differences between the MLA, the APA, and the Chicago formats. These formats of essays are used in high school, college essays, and are the standard essay formatting styles. AccessEssay – custom essay

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 between 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

Tips for Writing an Academic Paper

There is a proper way of writing a paper using solid guidelines to sustain a consistent workflow. In essay writing, help a college application essay, a research paper, an informative essay, follow standard essay format. You can use the step by step essay writing tips or get help straight away.

1.Choose a Good Topic

Most students struggle on how to write a good topic for their essays. Do not worry anymore, you should do it last after writing the paper. It is advisable to use a draft title then create the final title after writing the essay. In academic writing, the topic you choose should be specific, and it should not be so broad. Get help with your essay writing here.

2.Do Proper Research

Before you even begin writing, make sure that you have conducted proper research and acquainted with the information that you are working with. Find compelling arguments and counterpoints, trivia, facts, data, and ideas, among others.

3.Pick out Specific, Compelling Resources

When you feel acquainted with the subject, you should be able to have a basic conversation on the matter. Pick out resources that have been bookmarked, saved, or are very informative and start extracting information. You will need all you can get to put into the citations at the end of your paper. Stash books, websites, articles and have them ready to cite. See if you can subtract or expand your scope of research.

Here are the best elements of a research paper:

The Introduction

Here you present the background and context for the rest of your article. Craft a strong opening sentence that will engage the reader. Just because you are writing an academic research paper does not mean you have to be dry and boring.

Here is a tip: See Step 4 in our guide to better content writing. Although it is about writing for the web, it is relevant here, too.

Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic. (Is this a factual report? An analysis? A persuasive piece?) Describe how you’ve organized your approach to the topic. Conclude the introductory paragraph with your thesis statement.

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three critical questions:

  • What is this?
  • Why am I reading it?
  • What do you want me to do?
  • You should answer these questions by doing the following:
  • Set the context – Provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support.
  • State why the main idea is essential – Tell the reader why he or she should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon.
  • State your thesis/claim – Compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).

The Body

Here your outline will come in handy. As you are writing, remember that your outline is not meant to be a prison—it is a guideline to keep you on track. Your paper may evolve, so keep it fluid, but do remember to stay focused on your thesis statement and proving your points. Do not let your sources organize your paper! Organize first and use your sources as they become relevant.

Consider the Rule of Three. Find supporting arguments for each point you make, and present a strong point first, followed by an even stronger one, and finish with your strongest point.


Now, it is time to wrap it up. Most research papers conclude with a restated thesis statement. Present your thesis again, but reword it. Briefly summarize the points you have made. Take a moment to explain why you believe those points support your case. If your research is inconclusive, take a moment to point out why you believe this topic bears further research.

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