What is the best format to write an essay?

Writing an essay is a complicated process which consists of some stages. One of the compulsory stages is formatting an essay. According to the statistics, approximately 68% of students pay attention to the format of the essay. As you have guessed, others fail to receive a good grade. Let us tell you more about the most common formats of essays to prevent you from the failure.

General provisions

Actually, it's not a big challenge to produce a good formatted essay. According to general terms, you should write an essay on A4 paper with at least 2 cm margins all around. The text of the essay has to be printed in a clear regular font, no smaller than 12 size, with a page number on each page. In addition, the text should be spaced at 1.5. It is a standard format for all types of essays. Speaking about the text paragraphs, you'd better separate them by a single line or by having the very first line indented. In case you use headings in your essay, make sure that they are identifiable for the reader.

One useful tip for you is the following: please check that you added your student name and ID number on your essay. It is always surprising how often students forget to do this.

Formatting styles

To make the proper research on the chosen topic, you should give credits to all sources you’ve added to your paper. Depending on the type of research you want to conduct, you need to use one of the common types of citation styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago (Turabian). What are the differences?

APA format

The APA citation style is mostly used in social science. It requires you to include three kinds of information in in-text citations. The last name of the author and the date of the author's publication has to appear in the quotation and should be added to the list of references. The page number, which is the third kind of information in APA citation style, must appear as a citation to the quotation.

Example: Andersen, 1849, 9-10

MLA format

The second citation style is MLA, which is widely used in humanities, especially in English literature and language. MLA citation style has its own rules on making citation in the text. There should be an alphabetical list of works cited which appears at the end of the work. When making a list of works cited, you have to follow the rules of MLA core elements. Please make sure that all the elements are written in a specific order, which is the following. The author, title of the source, title of the container, other contributors, version, number, publisher, publication date, location.

Example: Moyer, Melinda Wenner. “Instant Possibilities”, Popular Science, vol. 285, no. 2, Aug. 2014, pp. 60+

Chicago/Turabian format

Chicago is a documentation style, which incorporates grammar and punctuation rules set in American English. Basically, Chicago citation style has two common documentation systems: notes/bibliography and author-date. Depending on your subject and the nature of the sources cited, you should choose the one which suits better.

Example of note: Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006), 102–107.

Example of bibliography: Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Writing an essay in natural, physical or social science requires you to make citation in the form of the author-date. It means that you only indicate the author's last name and the date of publication of his/her work (which is the same as APA citation style). The only difference with the APA citation style is that you have to add full bibliographic information (bibliography page) at the end of your essay.

In addition, we would like to present you an automatic tool created by Masterra Writing Service. Now you can type your text in Free Citation Style Generator and wait for it to make proper in-text citations and the list of citations.

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