Paper Writing Hints: Proper Essay Format
The essay format you use may vary depending on recommendations made by your instructor or professor. You may be required to follow a certain formatting style such as MLA (Modern Language Association). The format for your essay may include having five paragraphs that include the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The following points may detail a few elements that may be required for your essay assignment.
- Use the correct font. Pay attention to the font recommended for your paper. Certain fonts are easier to read than others. You may also need to review size. Your guidelines may provide recommendations for font and size. If not, consider basic fonts that are commonly used such as Times Roman and font sizes 11 or 12.
- Make sure spacing and margins are set correctly. Many word programs have margins already set or you can change the size based on qualifications given. With spacing, you may be required to double space between paragraphs or have a space between subheadings. Seek tutorials online that provide step by step details on how to set margins and create the right amount of space between sentences and paragraphs.
- Where should the title of your essay appear? This may vary depending on guidelines given for the assignment. In many cases it appears at the beginning of the page centered. Review details for your title such as spelling and capitalization. Some projects may require a title to be a certain length or have a set number of characters.
- Paragraphs should be indented unless otherwise. This helps create uniform paragraphs throughout the page. This also shows where a paragraph begins. In some cases you may not be required to indent (or press tab at the beginning of a new paragraph). Instead, you may be required to double space between paragraphs. When you indent you may need to set tabs a half an inch to an inch from the left of where your paragraph begins.
- Text should be aligned to the left of the page. Most essays have written text flush on the left side of the page. Meaning, you do not need to center or justify the content to make it appear differently on the page. For longer assignments such as a report you may be required to center your subheadings, but for essays you are aiming for a clean presentation with content uniform from start to finish.