How to Format an Essay-

How to Format an Essay-

So your teacher has just told you to format your essay in APA or MLA style and you have no idea what those acronyms mean. If that is you, then all you need to do is hand us your essay by clicking here and you do not have to think about it anymore.

MLA and APA are the most common essay formatting methods you will encounter in school. The formats may have bewildering acronyms but they do help make your essay presentable. If you are wondering how to format your essay using APA or MLA format, EssayTank professionals will guide you through each essay formatting method.

MLA Referencing Style and Format

These are some of the most important rules for the MLA standard:

·      Times New Roman Font

·      12 pt font size

·      One inch page margins

·      Double line spacing

MLA Title page and Header

One of the unique things about MLA format is that it does not have a title page. Instead of a title page, students indicate the following details on the top left part of the page:

·      Student name

·      Teacher Name

·      Name of the course

·      Date

The details should be in the same order indicated above and have double line spacing. These four details will also appear before your introductory paragraph. After you have put the four details, you then write the name of your assignment as a heading and center it. The font of the heading should be the same as that of the rest of the essay.

MLA Headings

When you are writing an MLA essay, you will likely have to include some headings and subheadings. MLA does not have overly specific rules on how your headings and subheadings should look like. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

·      The style you choose for headings should be consistent all through the paper.

·      MLA headings do not have a period.

·      The font size of the headings should be the same as the rest of the essay.

Essaytank recommends that when writing headings, choose a bold font for headings as it helps the headings stand out and makes your essay appear neater. You can use bold font for major headings then use a normal font for sub-headings.

MLA Page Numbers and Running Head 

Running head refers to the heading located at the very top of the page. The running head sits on the same line as the page number. These are the conditions for formatting an MLA running head and page number:

·      The running head should only include the student’s last name and the page number.

·      The running head and page number should be at the top left corner.

·      There should be one inch of space between the right margin and the running head.

MLA Margins and Paragraphs

Your MLA essay should have one-inch margins on the top, bottom, left and right. The only thing within the one-inch margin is the running head, which should be half an inch from the top of the paper.

MLA paragraphs have double spacing. You set the spacing by right clicking inside your word document and selecting paragraph. The first word in the paragraph should begin half an inch from the margin.

In text citation

When you reference information from another paper, you have to include an in-text citation. In MLA, the in-text citation should be enclosed inside brackets and include the name of the author and the page number where the information is from.

APA Referencing Style and Format

The other common essay-formatting standard in American schools is APA format. Like MLA, APA exists to make your paper more presentable. These are some of the requirements when using the APA format.

·      A title page

·      Double spaced text

·      One inch margins all around the paper

·      Times new roman font

·      12pt font size

·      Three main sections, an introduction, body and conclusion

APA Cover Page

The cover page is the initial page in your essay. In APA format, the cover page begins with a running head at the very top left of the essay. Other details that should be in the cover page include:

·      Title of the essay

·      Name of the student

·      School and course name

·      Date of submission

The details should appear in the same order presented here. The details should also be centered and have double spacing.

APA Headings

APA specifies different rules for different levels of headings. The first set of headings is first level headings, these headings should be in bold and centered. First level headings are for the major sections in your essay such as the introduction, body and conclusion.

Level two headings in APA are in bold and aligned with the left margin. The text that follows a level two heading is a new paragraph. Level one and two headings do not end with a period.

APA Margins and Paragraphs

APA essays should have one-inch margins all around the paper and paragraphs should be in times new roman and double-spaced. The first line of the paragraph should have half an inch indent from the left margin.

APA Reference List and Citation

If your teacher has insisted you use APA format then he has probably also insisted that you include a reference list. A reference list outlines all the works that you have used to research your essay. The list enables anyone to find the sources that you have cited in your paper and confirm that the information is true. The reference list comes at the very end of the paper after your concluding paragraph.

Each item in the reference list should have an accompanying citation somewhere in the paper. In APA format, the citation is enclosed in brackets and includes the name of the author and the date that the book or article was published.

The following are the rules for the reference list:

·      All line entries after the first line should have a half an inch indent from the left margin.

·      The last name of the author comes first with the first name as an initial.

·      Names of books and journals are italicized.

·      If a book or journal has more than six authors, the first six authors are listed and “et al” is written after the first six to indicate that there are more authors.

Differences Between MLA and APA Styles

It is important to know the differences of MLA and APA styles so that you do not confuse the two:

·      The reference list in APA is called references while the reference list in MLA is called works cited.

·      In APA, names in the reference list only indicates the last name with the first name as an acronym. In MLA format, names in the reference list indicate the last name and the first name in full.

·      In-text citations in APA include the name of the author and the year of publication. In text citations in MLA include the name of the author and the page number where information was sourced from.

Making sure your essay is properly formatted can get a little bit tricky. If you use this guide, you should have no problem with APA or MLA format.

If you need help with your APA or MLA format essay, contact the experts at Essaytank who are experts in essays and will get you’re the best grade for your paper.


Published on: 1 Mar 2020

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