How to Choose the Best Essay Format
Knowing how to choose the best essay format is very important because essays form an important part of your overall academics. To write good essays, you need creativity, imagination and have a good structure of your thoughts. Format refers to the way something is set out or arranged-follow the link oxforddictionaries.com for details. An essay format therefore refers to how a composition or essay is set out or arranged.
The basic format for essays considers essays as five-paragraph compositions or projects. Although this format is not the only one that is used in writing essays, it is useful as a model that should be kept in mind especially while starting to write essays- ckick here for more information.
Knowing how to choose the best essay format enables you to organize information properly
When writing an essay, it is important to ensure that every aspect of the essay is of the highest quality. You should ensure that the structure or format and style of your essay are correct to guarantee excellence and quality for your essay. By following the right format while writing your essay, you will be able to organize the information that you want to pass to the readers according to its importance or relevance.
When you follow the right essay format, you start your essay with an introduction that grabs the attention of the reader, introduce your thesis or the main point and elaborate the supporting points before wrapping up the message in a well-written conclusion. The right format also enables you to reference your information sources in a professional manner.
How to choose the best essay format and stick to it
The best essay format is the one that your teacher or lecturer assigns in the essay writing assignment.
To choose the best format for writing your essay:
- Read over the instructions of your essay writing assignment to find out if there is any information that specifies the essay format to use.
- Go through your course syllabus searching for information that might be indicating the right format for the essays written for that particular course.
- Ask your lecturer or teacher which format you should use in writing your essay.
In addition to the basic essay format, there are other formats like the APA format, MLA format, Harvard format and Chicago format. You can easily find websites that provide guidelines for using each of these formats online. Therefore, if your teacher or lecturer has not taught you how to use the specified format, use the internet to learn more about it.
Get your essay format right before you start writing your essay
Before you start drafting your essay, start by understanding how to use the best essay format. This is because if your essay fails to depict all aspects of the assigned essay format, the examiner will consider your essay as poorly written and therefore he/she will not even bother to read it keenly. Failing to follow essay formatting guidelines or instructions tells the examiner that you are incapable of following simple instructions. Thus, your examiner will judge your essay formatting ability and the content instantly. Therefore, pay close attention to the simple guidelines for formatting your essay before you start writing the essay and while writing it. After writing the essay, go through it carefully to ensure that you have adhered to all instructions of the format that you choose for your essay.
How to choose the best essay format on the basis of your essay type
Teachers and lecturers usually specify the kind of the essay that they want students to write. If your teacher or lecturer does not specify the format that you should use, choose a format for your essay on the basis of the kind of the essay that the assignment requires you to write. Be careful to ensure that the format that you choose is the best for your essay type. To do this, consider the target audience and purpose of the essay. Also understand the subject of your essay.
For instance, you cannot write an argumentative essay for a topic that states universal facts. It is also impossible to write a persuasive essay that tries to convince readers on something that already exists as an accepted fact. On the same note, a compare and contrast essay should have two things that have differences and similarities. Therefore, choose the format of your essay on the basis of the type of an essay that you are required to write, its purpose and topic. Traditionally, essays follow narrative writing, argumentative essays, cause and effect essays as well as compare and contrast essay formats.
Commonly used essay formats
APA and MLA are the most common essay formats. With APA essay format, essays ought to be typed and double-spaced on a standard-size paper. All sides should have 1inch margins. The used font should be clear and highly readable. 12 points, Times New Roman is the recommended font. A page header or running head should be included at the top of the pages. Page numbers should be flushed to the right while creating the running head which is the shortened essay title’s version. It should not be more than 50 characters inclusive of punctuation and spacing- follow the link for more information.
With MLA format, essays should be typed using 12 points Times New Roman as the font. They should be double-spaced without extra spacing between paragraphs. The upper corner of the essay on the left side should have a heading which should be your name, name of the instructor, your class and date. An essay written in MLA format should have margins of one-inch at the bottom, top, right and left. In every page, there should be a page number and last name of the author at the upper corner on the right side. The essay should have a centered title under the information on the header. First line of every paragraph ought to be indented for half an inch or five spaces. The text of the essay should be aligned left- follow the link ivcc.edu for more information.
The basic essay format
Most guides on how to choose the best essay format emphasize the importance of having the basic essay format in mind while writing an essay. With the basic essay format, your essay should have the following sections:
- The introductory paragraph
This is the first paragraph in an essay and it should capture the attention of your readers and get them involved in the essay. It should introduce the essay topic and include a thesis statement which tells readers what your essay is all about. The introduction should have general ideas to enhance comprehension of the topic or main claim by the readers before becoming specific in the thesis statement- follow the link uvu.edu for more information.
- Thesis statement
Thesis statement should be included in the introduction and it should state the main argument or idea of your essay, set the limit of your topic and indicate essay organization. It should work as the road map for your entire essay.
The main points or point presented by the thesis statement should be supported in the body. Each major point is developed in the body using one or even more paragraphs which provide more details. The provided details can be experiences, research findings and examples depending on the requirements of your essay writing assignment. Each paragraph of the body should have a topic sentence at the beginning, supporting details and the concluding sentence.
These are words or sentences that connect paragraphs in an essay. They maintain the smooth flow of the information of an essay. They can be two or one word such as “next”, “first” and “in addition”.
The conclusion section of an essay brings the main points together. It should refer readers back to the stated thesis statement. After reading the conclusion, readers should be left with something to think of and a sense of logical closure of the essay. The conclusion should show readers that the ideas that the essay brought up have been resolved. It can also address the argument’s implications.
If the essay includes research, credit should be given to the used sources using a references, works cited or bibliography page and in-text citations. How the used sources are given credit depends on the chosen overall format. Therefore, refer to the guidelines of MLA format, Chicago format, Turban format or APA format to know how to cite the sources that you use in writing your essay depending on your chosen format.
When you know how to choose the best essay format, the essays that you write will have coherence and unity. Sticking to the best format enhances the understanding of the reader because it makes your essay easy to read and ideas easy to follow.
We can help you with essay formatting
If you have difficulties in formatting your essay, talk to us for assistance. You can also visit the homepage of our website for more information regarding our writing services. Alternatively, continue reading for more guidelines on how to choose the best essay format and sample essays on our blog.