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What Is Standard Line Spacing for a Formal Document?

What Is Standard Line Spacing for a Formal Document?

3-minute read

  • 20th June 2022

When you’re writing an article, essay, report, or any other formal document, formatting elements like line spacing and font size can seem inconsequential. However, it’s important to make your writing as easy to read as possible; and clear, consistent formatting will help with this. Academic journals usually have very strict formatting rules to speed up the peer review process. Your article could be instantly rejected if you ignore these rules. Similarly, you could lose marks on your assignments if you fail to follow your university’s formatting guidelines.

To make it easier for you, we’ve summarized below the line spacing rules for the most common style guides. If your institution uses a different guide than the ones listed here, be sure to check what it says about line spacing.

Line Spacing in APA

APA style was created by the American Psychological Association for its own publications. Now in its 7th edition, APA is used by many universities, publishers, and scientific journals.

Any paper written in APA style should use double line spacing throughout. This includes the abstract, reference list, and block quotes, as well as the main body of text. However, this rule is flexible when it comes to information in tables, figures, and footnotes. Here, you may use single or one-and-a-half-line spacing if you prefer, as long as the data is presented effectively.

Line Spacing in MLA

The MLA Handbook is published by the Modern Languages Association. It’s used primarily within the human sciences (e.g., economics and geography).

Like APA, MLA style calls for double line spacing throughout the document, including the Works Cited list.

Line Spacing in Chicago Style

Published by the University of Chicago Press, the Chicago Manual of Style is widely used in the humanities.

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Chicago style calls for double line spacing for the main text. However, block quotes should be formatted with single line spacing. If your document includes a bibliography or reference list, this should also have single line spacing with a blank line between each entry.

Line Spacing in MHRA

The MHRA style guide, published by the Modern Humanities Research Association, is used mostly in the humanities, especially in the UK.

MHRA style requires double line spacing throughout documents, including footnotes, endnotes, and block quotes. You should not insert any extra spaces between paragraphs. Instead, indicate a new paragraph by indenting the first line by one tab character.

Summary: Line Spacing in Formal Documents

The choice of line spacing may seem irrelevant in academic and other formal writing, but it’s essential that you follow any formatting criteria set out by your university or institution. If you’re not required to follow a specific style guide, we recommend adopting one of the above styles that aligns with your field of study.

Comprehensive formatting is one of the services you can add when you upload a document to us for proofreading . If you’re confident that your writing is already error-free, and you’d just like us to format it to your exact specifications, contact us today for a quote.

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How to Format an Essay

Last Updated: April 11, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Carrie Adkins, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Carrie Adkins is the cofounder of NursingClio, an open access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog that connects historical scholarship to current issues in gender and medicine. She completed her PhD in American History at the University of Oregon in 2013. While completing her PhD, she earned numerous competitive research grants, teaching fellowships, and writing awards. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 90,533 times.

You’re opening your laptop to write an essay, knowing exactly what you want to write, but then it hits you—you don’t know how to format it! Using the correct format when writing an essay can help your paper look polished and professional while earning you full credit. There are 3 common essay formats—MLA, APA, and Chicago Style—and we’ll teach you the basics of properly formatting each in this article. So, before you shut your laptop in frustration, take a deep breath and keep reading because soon you’ll be formatting like a pro.

Setting Up Your Document

Step 1 Read over the assignment’s guidelines before you begin.

  • If you can’t find information on the style guide you should be following, talk to your instructor after class to discuss the assignment or send them a quick email with your questions.
  • If your instructor lets you pick the format of your essay, opt for the style that matches your course or degree best: MLA is best for English and humanities; APA is typically for education, psychology, and sciences; Chicago Style is common for business, history, and fine arts.

Step 2 Set your margins to 1 inch (2.5 cm) for all style guides.

  • Most word processors default to 1 inch (2.5 cm) margins.

Step 3 Use Times New Roman font.

  • Do not change the font size, style, or color throughout your essay.

Step 4 Change your font size to 12pt.

  • Change the spacing on Google Docs by clicking on Format , and then selecting “Line spacing.”
  • Click on Layout in Microsoft Word, and then click the arrow at the bottom left of the “paragraph” section.

Step 6 Put the page number and your last name in the top right header for all styles.

  • Using the page number function will create consecutive numbering.
  • When using Chicago Style, don’t include a page number on your title page. The first page after the title page should be numbered starting at 2. [4] X Research source
  • In APA format, a running heading may be required in the left-hand header. This is a maximum of 50 characters that’s the full or abbreviated version of your essay’s title. [5] X Research source

Step 7 Use a title page with APA or Chicago Style format.

  • For APA formatting, place the title in bold at the center of the page 3 to 4 lines down from the top. Insert one double-spaced line under the title and type your name. Under your name, in separate centered lines, type out the name of your school, course, instructor, and assignment due date. [6] X Research source
  • For Chicago Style, set your cursor ⅓ of the way down the page, then type your title. In the very center of your page, put your name. Move your cursor ⅔ down the page, then write your course number, followed by your instructor’s name and paper due date on separate, double-spaced lines. [7] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 8 Create a left-handed heading for MLA Style essays.

  • Double-space the heading like the rest of your paper.

Writing the Essay Body

Step 1 Center the title of your paper in all style formats.

  • Use standard capitalization rules for your title.
  • Do not underline, italicize, or put quotation marks around your title, unless you include other titles of referred texts.

Step 2 Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) for all styles.

  • A good hook might include a quote, statistic, or rhetorical question.
  • For example, you might write, “Every day in the United States, accidents caused by distracted drivers kill 9 people and injure more than 1,000 others.”

Step 4 Include a thesis statement at the end of your introduction.

  • "Action must be taken to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving, including enacting laws against texting while driving, educating the public about the risks, and giving strong punishments to offenders."
  • "Although passing and enforcing new laws can be challenging, the best way to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving is to enact a law against texting, educate the public about the new law, and levy strong penalties."

Step 5 Present each of your points in 1 or more paragraphs.

  • Use transitions between paragraphs so your paper flows well. For example, say, “In addition to,” “Similarly,” or “On the other hand.” [12] X Research source

Step 6 Complete your essay with a conclusion.

  • A statement of impact might be, "Every day that distracted driving goes unaddressed, another 9 families must plan a funeral."
  • A call to action might read, “Fewer distracted driving accidents are possible, but only if every driver keeps their focus on the road.”

Using References

Step 1 Create parenthetical citations...

  • In MLA format, citations should include the author’s last name and the page number where you found the information. If the author's name appears in the sentence, use just the page number. [14] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • For APA format, include the author’s last name and the publication year. If the author’s name appears in the sentence, use just the year. [15] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • If you don’t use parenthetical or internal citations, your instructor may accuse you of plagiarizing.

Step 2 Use footnotes for citations in Chicago Style.

  • At the bottom of the page, include the source’s information from your bibliography page next to the footnote number. [16] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • Each footnote should be numbered consecutively.

Step 3 Center the title of your reference page.

  • If you’re using MLA format, this page will be titled “Works Cited.”
  • In APA and Chicago Style, title the page “References.”

Step 4 List your sources on the references page by author’s last name in alphabetical order.

  • If you have more than one work from the same author, list alphabetically following the title name for MLA and by earliest to latest publication year for APA and Chicago Style.
  • Double-space the references page like the rest of your paper.
  • Use a hanging indent of 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) if your citations are longer than one line. Press Tab to indent any lines after the first. [17] X Research source
  • Citations should include (when applicable) the author(s)’s name(s), title of the work, publication date and/or year, and page numbers.
  • Sites like Grammarly , EasyBib , and MyBib can help generate citations if you get stuck.

Formatting Resources

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Write an Essay

  • ↑ https://www.une.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/392149/WE_Formatting-your-essay.pdf
  • ↑ https://content.nroc.org/DevelopmentalEnglish/unit10/Foundations/formatting-a-college-essay-mla-style.html
  • ↑ https://camosun.libguides.com/Chicago-17thEd/titlePage
  • ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/page-header
  • ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/title-page
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html
  • ↑ https://www.uvu.edu/writingcenter/docs/basicessayformat.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.deanza.edu/faculty/cruzmayra/basicessayformat.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://library.menloschool.org/chicago

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Essays are formal documents and should look professional Advice from the Skills Team

Whilst there are no hard rules about how you format essays, there are some conventions and common practices that are best to follow. If you use the settings on this page, you will produce an acceptably formatted essay.

Document layout

Visual display of the information on this page.

Margins - between 2 cm and 2.54 cm (1 inch) all around.

Line spacing - either 1.5 or double-line spacing.

Paragraph spacing - either 1 clear line between or at least 8 pt space after each paragraph (more if double-line spaced)

Alignment - left aligned (fully justified with a straight right-edge is not recommended as this reduces readability and accessibility). Some longer essays may require subheadings which should also be left-aligned.

Indents - no indents on first lines of paragraphs are needed.

It is also good practice to put your student number and module number in the header of the document and a page number at the bottom of the page.

Text formatting

Font - the default font that comes with MS Word (currently Calibri) is fine for academic work. You may see persistent advice in handbooks that suggests you should use Times New Roman or Arial. If you prefer these, you can change it - but this is no longer a requirement.

Font size - fonts should be 11 or 12 point.

Font style - headings and subheadings, if they are required (most essays will not use them), are usually formatted in bold and should be at least 2 point sizes larger than the standard text. Underlining should be avoided as this is seen as rather dated. Some text can be formatted in italics - see our page  Italics, when to use them , for guidance.

Shorter quotations in the text do not need to be italicised and should have double-quotations marks "like this" to indicate they are direct quotations. Longer quotations (what counts as this differs depending on your referencing style) should be created in their own paragraph, single spaced and indented by 1cm from both left and right margins:

For example:

Graduate attributes for employability are described as:

a set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. (Yorke, 2006)

The main change in this definition compared to the earlier definition of graduate attributes from Bowden (2000) is that that the attributes are no longer ...

UoH Harvard/APA

Your reference list should be in alphabetical order (by author surname) and single line spaced. There should be a clear line space (or at least 6 pt space) between each reference. All references should be left-aligned with no indentation. For information about how to format individual references, see the Harvard Hull Referencing Guide.

UoH Footnotes

Your reference list should be in alphabetical order (by first author surname) and single line spaced.  All references should be left-aligned and have a hanging indent (all but the first line are indented by approx. 1cm). For information about how to format individual references, see the  Footnotes Hull Referencing Guide.

Other referencing styles

Please see your individual departmental guidance.

We provide here a Microsoft Word template that can be used for your essays. It has the correct layout and formatting, including useful styles.

  • Essay template

Download this template to somewhere you can access easily. When you click to open it, it will open a new document based on the template , leaving the original intact.

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A step-by-step guide for creating and formatting APA Style student papers

The start of the semester is the perfect time to learn how to create and format APA Style student papers. This article walks through the formatting steps needed to create an APA Style student paper, starting with a basic setup that applies to the entire paper (margins, font, line spacing, paragraph alignment and indentation, and page headers). It then covers formatting for the major sections of a student paper: the title page, the text, tables and figures, and the reference list. Finally, it concludes by describing how to organize student papers and ways to improve their quality and presentation.

The guidelines for student paper setup are described and shown using annotated diagrams in the Student Paper Setup Guide (PDF, 3.40MB) and the A Step-by-Step Guide to APA Style Student Papers webinar . Chapter 1 of the Concise Guide to APA Style and Chapter 2 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association describe the elements, format, and organization for student papers. Tables and figures are covered in Chapter 7 of both books. Information on paper format and tables and figures and a full sample student paper are also available on the APA Style website.

Basic setup

The guidelines for basic setup apply to the entire paper. Perform these steps when you first open your document, and then you do not have to worry about them again while writing your paper. Because these are general aspects of paper formatting, they apply to all APA Style papers, student or professional. Students should always check with their assigning instructor or institution for specific guidelines for their papers, which may be different than or in addition to APA Style guidelines.

Seventh edition APA Style was designed with modern word-processing programs in mind. Most default settings in programs such as Academic Writer, Microsoft Word, and Google Docs already comply with APA Style. This means that, for most paper elements, you do not have to make any changes to the default settings of your word-processing program. However, you may need to make a few adjustments before you begin writing.

Use 1-in. margins on all sides of the page (top, bottom, left, and right). This is usually how papers are automatically set.

Use a legible font. The default font of your word-processing program is acceptable. Many sans serif and serif fonts can be used in APA Style, including 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 12-point Times New Roman, and 11-point Georgia. You can also use other fonts described on the font page of the website.

Line spacing

Double-space the entire paper including the title page, block quotations, and the reference list. This is something you usually must set using the paragraph function of your word-processing program. But once you do, you will not have to change the spacing for the entirety of your paper–just double-space everything. Do not add blank lines before or after headings. Do not add extra spacing between paragraphs. For paper sections with different line spacing, see the line spacing page.

Paragraph alignment and indentation

Align all paragraphs of text in the body of your paper to the left margin. Leave the right margin ragged. Do not use full justification. Indent the first line of every paragraph of text 0.5-in. using the tab key or the paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program. For paper sections with different alignment and indentation, see the paragraph alignment and indentation page.

Page numbers

Put a page number in the top right of every page header , including the title page, starting with page number 1. Use the automatic page-numbering function of your word-processing program to insert the page number in the top right corner; do not type the page numbers manually. The page number is the same font and font size as the text of your paper. Student papers do not require a running head on any page, unless specifically requested by the instructor.

Title page setup

Title page elements.

APA Style has two title page formats: student and professional (for details, see title page setup ). Unless instructed otherwise, students should use the student title page format and include the following elements, in the order listed, on the title page:

  • Paper title.
  • Name of each author (also known as the byline).
  • Affiliation for each author.
  • Course number and name.
  • Instructor name.
  • Assignment due date.
  • Page number 1 in the top right corner of the page header.

The format for the byline depends on whether the paper has one author, two authors, or three or more authors.

  • When the paper has one author, write the name on its own line (e.g., Jasmine C. Hernandez).
  • When the paper has two authors, write the names on the same line and separate them with the word “and” (e.g., Upton J. Wang and Natalia Dominguez).
  • When the paper has three or more authors, separate the names with commas and include “and” before the final author’s name (e.g., Malia Mohamed, Jaylen T. Brown, and Nia L. Ball).

Students have an academic affiliation, which identities where they studied when the paper was written. Because students working together on a paper are usually in the same class, they will have one shared affiliation. The affiliation consists of the name of the department and the name of the college or university, separated by a comma (e.g., Department of Psychology, George Mason University). The department is that of the course to which the paper is being submitted, which may be different than the department of the student’s major. Do not include the location unless it is part of the institution’s name.

Write the course number and name and the instructor name as shown on institutional materials (e.g., the syllabus). The course number and name are often separated by a colon (e.g., PST-4510: History and Systems Psychology). Write the assignment due date in the month, date, and year format used in your country (e.g., Sept. 10, 2020).

Title page line spacing

Double-space the whole title page. Place the paper title three or four lines down from the top of the page. Add an extra double-spaced blank like between the paper title and the byline. Then, list the other title page elements on separate lines, without extra lines in between.

Title page alignment

Center all title page elements (except the right-aligned page number in the header).

Title page font

Write the title page using the same font and font size as the rest of your paper. Bold the paper title. Use standard font (i.e., no bold, no italics) for all other title page elements.

Text elements

Repeat the paper title at the top of the first page of text. Begin the paper with an introduction to provide background on the topic, cite related studies, and contextualize the paper. Use descriptive headings to identify other sections as needed (e.g., Method, Results, Discussion for quantitative research papers). Sections and headings vary depending on the paper type and its complexity. Text can include tables and figures, block quotations, headings, and footnotes.

Text line spacing

Double-space all text, including headings and section labels, paragraphs of text, and block quotations.

Text alignment

Center the paper title on the first line of the text. Indent the first line of all paragraphs 0.5-in.

Left-align the text. Leave the right margin ragged.

Block quotation alignment

Indent the whole block quotation 0.5-in. from the left margin. Double-space the block quotation, the same as other body text. Find more information on the quotations page.

Use the same font throughout the entire paper. Write body text in standard (nonbold, nonitalic) font. Bold only headings and section labels. Use italics sparingly, for instance, to highlight a key term on first use (for more information, see the italics page).

Headings format

For detailed guidance on formatting headings, including headings in the introduction of a paper, see the headings page and the headings in sample papers .

  • Alignment: Center Level 1 headings. Left-align Level 2 and Level 3 headings. Indent Level 4 and Level 5 headings like a regular paragraph.
  • Font: Boldface all headings. Also italicize Level 3 and Level 5 headings. Create heading styles using your word-processing program (built into AcademicWriter, available for Word via the sample papers on the APA Style website).

Tables and figures setup

Tables and figures are only included in student papers if needed for the assignment. Tables and figures share the same elements and layout. See the website for sample tables and sample figures .

Table elements

Tables include the following four elements: 

  • Body (rows and columns)
  • Note (optional if needed to explain elements in the table)

Figure elements

Figures include the following four elements: 

  • Image (chart, graph, etc.)
  • Note (optional if needed to explain elements in the figure)

Table line spacing

Double-space the table number and title. Single-, 1.5-, or double-space the table body (adjust as needed for readability). Double-space the table note.

Figure line spacing

Double-space the figure number and title. The default settings for spacing in figure images is usually acceptable (but adjust the spacing as needed for readability). Double-space the figure note.

Table alignment

Left-align the table number and title. Center column headings. Left-align the table itself and left-align the leftmost (stub) column. Center data in the table body if it is short or left-align the data if it is long. Left-align the table note.

Figure alignment

Left-align the figure number and title. Left-align the whole figure image. The default alignment of the program in which you created your figure is usually acceptable for axis titles and data labels. Left-align the figure note.

Bold the table number. Italicize the table title. Use the same font and font size in the table body as the text of your paper. Italicize the word “Note” at the start of the table note. Write the note in the same font and font size as the text of your paper.

Figure font

Bold the figure number. Italicize the figure title. Use a sans serif font (e.g., Calibri, Arial) in the figure image in a size between 8 to 14 points. Italicize the word “Note” at the start of the figure note. Write the note in the same font and font size as the text of your paper.

Placement of tables and figures

There are two options for the placement of tables and figures in an APA Style paper. The first option is to place all tables and figures on separate pages after the reference list. The second option is to embed each table and figure within the text after its first callout. This guide describes options for the placement of tables and figures embedded in the text. If your instructor requires tables and figures to be placed at the end of the paper, see the table and figure guidelines and the sample professional paper .

Call out (mention) the table or figure in the text before embedding it (e.g., write “see Figure 1” or “Table 1 presents”). You can place the table or figure after the callout either at the bottom of the page, at the top of the next page, or by itself on the next page. Avoid placing tables and figures in the middle of the page.

Embedding at the bottom of the page

Include a callout to the table or figure in the text before that table or figure. Add a blank double-spaced line between the text and the table or figure at the bottom of the page.

Embedding at the top of the page

Include a callout to the table in the text on the previous page before that table or figure. The table or figure then appears at the top of the next page. Add a blank double-spaced line between the end of the table or figure and the text that follows.

Embedding on its own page

Embed long tables or large figures on their own page if needed. The text continues on the next page.

Reference list setup

Reference list elements.

The reference list consists of the “References” section label and the alphabetical list of references. View reference examples on the APA Style website. Consult Chapter 10 in both the Concise Guide and Publication Manual for even more examples.

Reference list line spacing

Start the reference list at the top of a new page after the text. Double-space the entire reference list (both within and between entries).

Reference list alignment

Center the “References” label. Apply a hanging indent of 0.5-in. to all reference list entries. Create the hanging indent using your word-processing program; do not manually hit the enter and tab keys.

Reference list font

Bold the “References” label at the top of the first page of references. Use italics within reference list entries on either the title (e.g., webpages, books, reports) or on the source (e.g., journal articles, edited book chapters).

Final checks

Check page order.

  • Start each section on a new page.
  • Arrange pages in the following order:
  • Title page (page 1).
  • Text (starts on page 2).
  • Reference list (starts on a new page after the text).

Check headings

  • Check that headings accurately reflect the content in each section.
  • Start each main section with a Level 1 heading.
  • Use Level 2 headings for subsections of the introduction.
  • Use the same level of heading for sections of equal importance.
  • Avoid having only one subsection within a section (have two or more, or none).

Check assignment instructions

  • Remember that instructors’ guidelines supersede APA Style.
  • Students should check their assignment guidelines or rubric for specific content to include in their papers and to make sure they are meeting assignment requirements.

Tips for better writing

  • Ask for feedback on your paper from a classmate, writing center tutor, or instructor.
  • Budget time to implement suggestions.
  • Use spell-check and grammar-check to identify potential errors, and then manually check those flagged.
  • Proofread the paper by reading it slowly and carefully aloud to yourself.
  • Consult your university writing center if you need extra help.

About the author

formal essay spacing

Undergraduate student resources

Learn the Standard Essay Format: MLA, APA, Chicago Styles

With modern technologies, students have a lot of tools that can assist them in meeting academic writing requirements. A student may entrust their assignment to an essay writing service and get a professional writer who will complete a customized paper for them or use free online tools like citation generators or an AI checker essay . These can help the student meet certain needs, like creating citations, a reference list for a college paper, and checking a paper for plagiarism and AI-generated content.

In this article, we will cover one of the trickiest issues every student faces in college: What is an essay format? How to use formatting styles, and what are their requirements?

Essay formats and their particularities: APA, MLA, Chicago

There are three frequently used formatting styles that you may need to follow when working on your academic paper. These are APA, MLA, and Chicago. Let’s take a look at each format essay and figure out how to apply every alternative in your papers. 

APA essay format

APA style is a standard essay format for social sciences such as psychology, education, and sociology. It provides clarity, precision, and the importance of data and research. If you need a detailed guide on how to write an essay in APA format , the “Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association” is what you need. It provides comprehensive rules for formatting college papers, citing sources, and structuring your content.

Here are the key requirements for the APA essay format that you have to follow in your writing:

  • Font : 12-point Times New Roman
  • Spacing : Double-spaced
  • Margins : 1 inch on all sides
  • Header : Title with a page number on the right
  • Title page : Topic of the paper, author’s name, institution affiliation, course number and name, instructor’s name, due date
  • Abstract : A brief summary (about 150-250 words)
  • Main body : Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion
  • In-text citations : Author’s last name, year, p. page number . Example : Johnson, 2018, p. 111
  • References page : The “References” title centered at the top of the page, with entries in alphabetical order by author’s last name, double-spaced, with a hanging indent

MLA (Modern Language Association) essay format

MLA essay formatting is usually used in the humanities. Students are mostly assigned to use this formatting style when working on papers in language disciplines or literature. The MLA style provides the authorship of sources, facilitating clarity and consistency in citation and documentation. The MLA style is perfectly detailed in the MLA Handbook. There, you can find guidelines on how to format papers, cite sources properly, and omit any sign of plagiarism.

If you are searching for guidelines on how to write a diagnostic essay or any other college paper in the MLA formatting style, here are the instructions to follow:

  • Header : Last name and page number in the top right corner
  • Title : Centered, standard capitalization, NOT bolded or underlined
  • Title Page : Not typically required
  • The first page : Student’s name, instructor’s name, course, date
  • In-Text Citations : (Author’s Last Name Page Number) Example : (Smith 123)
  • References page : The “Works Cited” title centered at the top of the page, with entries in alphabetical order by author’s last name, double-spaced, with a hanging indent

Chicago essay format

Chicago formatting is widely used for college papers in various disciplines, like history, the arts, sciences, etc. Consult The Chicago Manual of Style if you need detailed instructions on how to use this formatting style in writing. The Chicago formatting style offers two central documentation systems. The first one is Notes and Bibliography, which is commonly used in the humanities. The second one is Author-Date, which is preferred in the sciences and social sciences. The Notes and Bibliography system is well-known for its detailed footnotes or endnotes and comprehensive bibliography.

If you have no idea how to write an argumentative essay using the Chicago formatting style, here are the guidelines to follow:

  • Header : Page number in the top right corner
  • Title page : Topic of the paper, author’s name, course information, date
  • Main body : Typically divided into sections as needed
  • Footnotes/Endnotes : Superscript number in the text, with corresponding note at the bottom of the page or end of the paper. Example : Smith argues that this was not the case.¹ Corresponding footnote : ¹ John Smith, Title of Book (Publisher, Year), page number.
  • Bibliography page : The “Bibliography” title centered at the top of the page, with entries in alphabetical order by author’s last name, single-spaced within entries, double-spaced between entries, with a hanging indent.

The checklist to make sure you have met all essay format requirements

When your paper is complete, it is very important to make sure you have done everything properly. Grab this checklist and make sure you have formatted your essay correctly and haven’t missed anything important.

Margins and spacing
Does your paper have 1-inch margins on all sides?Is the entire paper double-spaced?
Font
Is the paper written in Times New Roman, a 12-point font for the entire text?
Headers and page numbers
: Are there your last name and page number in the top right corner of each page of your paper? : Are there the title of your paper and the page number on the right? : Is there a page number in the top right corner of each page of your paper?
Title page
: Are your name, instructor’s name, course, and date on the first page? Is the topic of your paper centered? : Does your title page include the title of the paper, your name, institution affiliation, course number and name, instructor’s name, and due date? : Does your title page include the title of the paper, your name, course information, and the date?
In-text citations
: Are there the author’s last name and page number in parentheses after quotations or paraphrased text (e.g., (Miller 111))? : Are there the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number in parentheses after quotations or paraphrased text (e.g., (Miller, 2000, p. 111))? : Are there superscript numbers in the text and corresponding footnotes or endnotes with citations?
References page
: Is your references page titled “Works Cited,” centered at the top of a new page, with entries in alphabetical order, double-spaced, and with a hanging indent? : Is your references page titled “References,” centered at the top of a new page, with entries in alphabetical order, double-spaced, and with a hanging indent? : Is your references page titled “Bibliography,” centered at the top of a new page, with entries in alphabetical order, single-spaced within entries, double-spaced between entries, and with a hanging indent?
Quotations and paraphrasing
Have you correctly formatted quotations, using quotation marks for direct quotes and proper in-text citations for both direct quotes and paraphrased information?
Accuracy
Do all citations in the text correspond to entries in your Works Cited/References/Bibliography page? Are all the entries appropriately formatted?
Section headings (if applicable)
: Have you used proper headings and subheadings to organize your paper according to APA guidelines (centered, bolded headings for main sections)? : If using subheadings, are they consistent and properly formatted?

The last step is, of course, to proofread your essay and ensure that it meets all your instructor’s requirements. If you have checked it thoroughly, then you are ready to hand it in. 

Format essay: Other formatting styles you may have to follow in academic writing

Of course, there are other formatting styles than APA, MLA, and Chicago. Let’s take a quick look at other essay formats you can face when working on a college paper. 

  • Harvard . This is a basic essay format for social sciences. It uses an author-date citation system similar to APA but has some formatting differences.
  • Turabian . This is a simplified version of the Chicago style. It is well-known for being required for writing academic papers, theses, and dissertations.
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). This particular formatting style is used predominantly in technical fields like engineering and computer science. This formatting style uses a numerical citation system. 
  • AMA (American Medical Association). This formatting style is often used in medical and health-related fields. It uses a numerical citation system with superscript numbers.
  • Vancouver . This formatting style is usually used in biomedical and physical sciences. It includes a numerical citation system with citations in parentheses.
  • CSE (Council of Science Editors). This formatting style can often be met in natural sciences. It offers three systems: Citation-Sequence, Name-Year, and Citation-Name.
  • ASA (American Sociological Association). ASA formatting style is primarily used in sociology. It has a lot of similarities with the APA formatting style but has specific differences for sociological research. 
  • APSA (American Political Science Association). As can be comprehended from the name of the formatting style, it is often used in political science papers. This formatting style is based on the Chicago style but has some specific guidelines for political science.

Students face many issues on their way to getting a degree, and writing college papers takes a great deal of effort and time. Some learners have no idea how to write a narrative essay , spending hours searching for reliable information to help them handle the task. Others do not have enough experience in different formatting styles and seek assistance from various sources. And, of course, every college learner wants to research the topic to the fullest in order to get a good mark. 

We hope this article will come in handy when you need to write a college essay using a specific formatting style, and you will succeed.

Being a student, you have to handle a lot of writing assignments, follow various academic writing standards, and hand in your papers on time. Of course, writing assignments takes a lot of time and effort. On the one hand, students have to research topics profoundly and compose their papers on a research basis. On the other hand, students have to pay close attention to instructors’ requirements and academic standards.

TFor some students, it is no problem to research different issues because they usually choose the ones that interest them, but it could be a real trouble to meet all the formatting requirements. They often question how to write a book title in an essay , cite sources correctly, and write an essay in a particular formatting style.

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APA 7 Style: Formatting Guidelines

Common guidelines for apa-format papers.

APA 7 (2020) has introduced new guidelines for student papers that differ from the guidelines for professional papers being submitted for publication. Make sure to check with your professor or teaching assistant on whether they prefer that you use the student or professional format for your work.

Common Guidelines for All APA-Format Papers

Line Spacing

Paragraph alignment and indentation, page numbers.

  • Figures and Tables

References Page

Guidelines Specific to Student Papers

Guidelines Specific to Professional Papers Being Submitted for Publication

  • Headers with Running Head and Page Numbers

Guidelines for All APA-Format Papers

APA 7 (2020) accepts the use of a wider range of fonts than previous editions. Use a consistent font throughout the paper. While the size of the font in the text of the paper should confirm to one of the options below, figures may include a smaller or larger font size as needed.

Font options include:

  • Times New Roman (12-point)
  • Calibri (11-point)
  • Arial (11-point)
  • Lucinda (10-point)
  • Sans Unicode (10-point)
  • Georgia (11-point)
  • Computer Modern (10-point)

The entire paper, including the title page, body of the paper, references and appendices, should be double-spaced. The bodies of figures and tables are excluded from this rule. Do not add extra line spaces between paragraphs or after a heading. 

Use 2.54 CM (1 inch) margins on all sides of the paper.

All paragraphs should be left-aligned (do not full-justify text). For each new paragraph indent five spaces or ½ inch.  Use the tab key to indent paragraphs.

All papers should have a page number in the top right corner of the header. Page numbers should be on every page of the paper, with the title page being page 1.

APA 7 (2020) recommends the use of headings in order to clarify the organization of papers. Note that a heading for the introduction is not needed or recommended. The number and level of headings required depend on the length and complexity of the paper.

  • Level One headings are centred and bolded and use title case capitalization (all key words capitalized). The text of the paper begins on the next line as a new paragraph.
  • Level 2 Headings are left-aligned and bolded and use title case capitalization (all key words capitalized). The text of the paper begins on the next line as a new paragraph.
  • Level 3 Headings are left-aligned, bolded, and italicized . They use title case capitalization (all key words capitalized). The text of the paper begins on the next line as a new paragraph.
  • Level 4 Headings are indented, bolded and use title case capitalization (all key words capitalized). There is a period at the end of a level 4 heading, and the text of the paragraph begins immediately after the period.
  • Level 5 Headings are indented, bolded, and italicized . They use title case capitalization (all key words capitalized). There is a period at the end of a level 5 heading, and the text of the paragraph begins immediately after the period.

Sample Paper with Different Levels of Headers  

Tables and Figures

Label both tables and figures, numbering them consecutively in the order that they are discussed in the text. 

Tables include a numbered label, such as “Table 1”, and this bolded label is placed above the title. Below the label, insert a table title in italics; this title should briefly identify the data in the table that follows the label.

Figures can include maps, graphs, charts or other images. Place a label, such as "Figure 1", above the figure; this label is in bold. Below the label, insert a figure title using title case and italics. Below the image, place a caption to offer more detailed information on the figure.

Refer to all tables and figures in the text of your paper by their label: “In Table 1, it is clear that . . .” or “. . . area is separated into five geographically distinct sections (see Figure 2).

APA 7 (2020) offers two options for the placement of tables and figures. They can either be integrated into the text of the paper soon after it is first mentioned in the text. Or, tables and figures can be included after the references. If you choose to position tables and figures after the references page, each table should be positioned on a separate page followed by each figure positioned on a separate page.

More advice on figures and tables from the APA Style website

  • APA (2020) recommends that you ask your professor or the editor to which you are submitting a manuscript for publication whether they have a preference as to whether figures and tables be integrated into the text or included on separate pages after the references.

All sources cited in the paper (except for personal communications) should be included in a references list. Begin the references page on a separate page, following the conclusion on the text of the paper. On the top line of the references page, the word References should be centred and bolded. The first reference begins on the next line of the reference page.

For further information on how to format the references page, see APA 7 Style: References . 

Sample References Page

Appendices 

An appendix includes relevant, supplementary information to the paper. Appendices should be placed after the references page and tables and figures (if relevant).

  • Each appendix should begin on a separate page and should have a label and title.
  • The appendix label and title should be centred and bolded. Write the label on one line and then the title on the next line.
  • If you have only one appendix, label it Appendix.
  • If you have more than one appendix, label them Appendix A, Appendix B, or Appendix C etc. in the order that it is discussed in the text of the paper.
  • You must refer to all appendices in the text of your paper by their label (see Appendix) or (see Appendix A).

Sample Appendix 

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HOW TO – Format papers in standard academic format (using Microsoft Word)

This guide explains how to format your documents in Microsoft Word so that they follow the standard rules for formatting academic papers as described in most MLA and APA style books for undergraduate writing. These rules apply to most of the papers you will submit in your college classes, but in some cases your professors will want you to follow specific guidelines that may differ from those below. Always clarify with your professor which set of guidelines he or she wants you to follow before you submit a paper.

Using standard formatting for academic papers shows that you understand the customs of the university community and therefore helps to boost your own credibility. Using unusual or highly distinctive formatting, on the other hand, suggests that your previous schooling did not adequately prepare you for university work. Consider the impact of unusual formatting: not only does it call attention to your paper in a way that might not be positive, professors might also see it as a sign that you’re trying to artificially inflate page length.

Note: These instructions apply to all versions of Word for Mac and for the 2003 version of Word for Windows. I haven’t yet updated them to include instructions for the 2007 version of Word for Windows, but the tools should nevertheless be easy to find if you look around on the toolbar at the top.

  • 2 DOCUMENT MARGINS
  • 3 INDENTATION
  • 5 ALIGNMENT
  • 6.1 Heading
  • 6.3 Sample First Page
  • 7 PAGE NUMBERS
  • 8.1 Document Spacing
  • 8.2 Paragraph Spacing
  • 9 CREATE NEW PAGE
  • 10 BLOCKED QUOTATIONS
  • 11 RESOURCES

DOCUMENT MARGINS

Rule : Papers submitted for review or grading should have 1” margins all around. This should be the default for Word, but if your default setting is to have left and right margins of 1.25”, change your default. Page length requirements are based on 1” margins.

Instructions : Go to the Format menu, drag down to Document, change the margins, and the click on the Default button and accept the change to the Normal template. Make sure you leave the gutter set to 0” or you’ll mess up your document formatting.

INDENTATION

Rule : The first line of each paragraph should be automatically indented.

Instructions : This should be the default for Word, but if not, you might want to change your Normal style, as described above. To change the indentation format for a document, choose Select All from the Edit menu. Then go to the Format menu, drag down to Paragraph, look under the “Special” drop-down menu in the Indentation section, and select “First Line.” This setting automatically indents the first line of a new paragraph so that you don’t have to do it manually.

Rule : College papers should be in a standard academic font: either Times New Roman or Cambria, in 12pt size. (If you submit a paper in another font, I will change it on the file I download.)

Instructions : Times New Roman or Cambria 12pt should be the default for Word, but if yours is different then change your default. Go to the Format menu, drag down to Style, make sure “Normal” is selected from the list of styles, and click “modify.” Choose the correct font and size from the Formatting menu. Click “OK” to make the change to your default settings.

Rule : The text of your paper should be left aligned, NOT justified, as justified text is hard to read if it hasn’t been professionally typeset. The default in Word is left alignment, so don’t change it.

FIRST PAGE FORMAT

Rule : In the upper left corner of the first page of your document, type your name, the date, the course number and section (or topic), and the version of the paper (such as Paper 1 Second Draft), each on a separate line. Be sure to change the date and paper version when you submit revisions and final versions. See the sample below.

DO NOT use the “headers” feature from the header/footer menu to create this full heading as that will make it appear on every page, which is not customary in academic writing. Also do NOT use a title page unless the assignment specifically asks for one.

Rule : Skip a line after the heading and center an original title that conveys the topic of your paper. Do not use underlining or italics in the heading (unless you’re referring to the title of a book or periodical). Do not use bold text or ALL CAPS.

Sample First Page

Page numbers.

Rule : All papers should have automatically inserted page numbers that show in the upper right corner on all pages except the first. Do not insert these page numbers by hand. Instead, use Word’s Header/Footer tool.

For documents following MLA format, put your last name and page number in the upper right corner. For documents following APA format, put a short version of your title (instead of your last name) and the page number in the upper right corner.

Instructions : Go to the View menu and choose “Header and Footer.” You’ll see a header box appear at the top and a footer box at the bottom. Click in the header box, type your last name (or title), make it align to the right, and then select Page Numbers from the Insert menu.

When you’re finished, click on the “Close” tab under the Header view. Each page of your document should now display a page number at the upper right that updates automatically when you make changes to the document. It will appear as grayed out text unless you active the Header and Footer tool to make changes.

To change the setting so that page numbers do not display on the first page, go to the Format men, drag down to Document, and click on the Layout button. Then check the box next to “Different First Page.” Click OK. If necessary, remove the header that appears on the first page and insert a header on the second page, which will automatically appear on all subsequent pages as well.

Document Spacing

Rule : The entire paper should be double-spaced, including the heading and bibliography.

Instructions : Choose “Select All” from the Edit menu, go to the Format menu and drag down to Paragraph, and choose “double” from the “line spacing” menu in the Spacing section. Or you can use these keyboard shortcuts. On a Mac, use Cmd-A to select all and Cmd-2 to double-space. On a PC, use Ctrl-A to select all and Ctrl-2 to double space.

Paragraph Spacing

Rule : Papers should have no extra spacing after paragraphs. This should be the default for Word, but if your default setting is to have 10pt spacing after paragraphs, change your default.

Instructions : Go to the Format menu, drag down to Style, make sure “Normal” is selected from the list of styles, and click “modify.” In the lower left corner, select the dropdown menu that starts with “Format” and drag down to Paragraph. In the paragraph settings menu that pops up, change the settings for Spacing After to 0pt.

CREATE NEW PAGE

Instead of using a lot of returns before starting your bibliography, create a new page for it following these instructions.

Go to the Insert menu, drag down to Break, and then drag over to Page Break.

BLOCKED QUOTATIONS

Rule : If a quotation will exceed four lines within a paragraph, you should separate it out by blocking and indenting it. As with any quotation, a blocked quotation should be clearly introduced by the sentence that leads up to it and it should also be properly cited, but the rules for blocked quotations are somewhat different. The blocking take the place of quotation marks, and unlike in a regular in-paragraph quotation, the parenthetical citation goes outside of the final period instead of inside of it (given that the blocked quote might contain several sentences.)

Instructions : Type the quotation in its own paragraph, without quotation marks, and remove the indent from the first line. Type the source in parentheses after the last period of the last sentence. With your cursor, select the quotation, from the first word to the end of the parenthetical citation, and click the Increase Indent button from the Paragraph Formatting menu.

  • MLA Formatting Guidelines for College Papers
  • APA Formatting Guidelines for College Papers
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MLA Style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and citing research in writing. MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. 

Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material produced by other writers. 

If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the  MLA Handbook  (9th edition). Publishing scholars and graduate students should also consult the  MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing  (3rd edition). The  MLA Handbook  is available in most writing centers and reference libraries. It is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this page for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA Style.

Paper Format

The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA Style is covered in part four of the  MLA Style Manual . Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in  MLA Style :

General Guidelines

  • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another. The font size should be 12 pt.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor).
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends that you use the “Tab” key as opposed to pushing the space bar five times.
  • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.)
  • Use italics throughout your essay to indicate the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, provide emphasis.
  • If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).

Formatting the First Page of Your Paper

  • Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested or the paper is assigned as a group project. In the case of a group project, list all names of the contributors, giving each name its own line in the header, followed by the remaining MLA header requirements as described below. Format the remainder of the page as requested by the instructor.
  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
  • Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks. Write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
  • Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text. For example:  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  as Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
  • Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
  • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number. Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit the last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)

Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style:

This image shows the first page of an MLA paper.

The First Page of an MLA Paper

Section Headings

Writers sometimes use section headings to improve a document’s readability. These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.

MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.

MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books (for more information on headings, please see page 146 in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition). If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases (and not, for example, full sentences). Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the document.

If you employ multiple levels of headings (some of your sections have sections within sections), you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your instructor or editor.

Sample Section Headings

The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document.

Formatted, unnumbered:

Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left

Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left

Level 3 Heading: centered, bold

Level 4 Heading: centered, italics

Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left

Pasco-Hernando State College

  • MLA Page Format
  • Finding and Evaluating Sources (Critical Analysis)
  • Synthesizing Information from Sources
  • MLA In-Text Citations
  • MLA Works Cited
  • APA Documentation
  • Writing a Research Paper
  • Sample Essay - Modern Technology

Important note: Unless your instructor gives you a template, don't use an MLA template or tool as there can be common errors.

  • Times New Roman 12 black font
  • Header in upper right with name and page number: Jones 1
  • Line Spacing – double throughout
  • Tab in the first line of a paragraph ½” or .5
  • Heading in upper left
  • Title centered after heading
  • Works Cited, if any, on a new page
  • 1” margins – top, bottom, left, right.  Some defaults are 1.25″ left and right.
  • Margins are not set in the Paragraph box. In Word or Works, margins are set in "Page Layout" or in "File/Page Setup/Margins."
  • Times New Roman 12 black font.
  • Do not use bold or underlining.
  • Do not use all caps except for an abbreviations such as NATO, AIDS.
  • Do not use italics unless there is a rule that says to use italics.
  • Check default and reset default if necessary. Your instructor may accept a different font style: however, Times New Roman 12 Black is a standard setting in school and business.
  • Left align – this is the usual default setting.
  • Do not block or justify where the right margin is even.
  • Alignment can be set in the Paragraph box if the icon is not visible.

See Related Documents on right sidebar for an image of alignment settings.

Line Spacing

  • Double space – and only double space throughout, even after the heading and around the title, if any.
  • Check default settings in the Paragraph box and reset per instructions under Paragraph Settings below.

Paragraph Settings

Some programs such have defaults in the Paragraph box which interfere with proper double spacing.

The settings in the Paragraph dialogue box should be as follows to have proper double spacing:

  • Indentation (on top) should be set at 0 left and 0 right.
  • Spacing (on the lower left) should be set to 0 Before and 0 After.
  • Line Spacing (on the lower right) should be set to double.
  • Check the box that says “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same  style .”
  • Click Default (at the bottom) and select  Yes  to change defaults.

In Google docs, you can change Paragraph settings under Spacing to 0 next to Before and 0 next to After by going into the double spacing tool and clicking Custom Settings. You will have to select (highlight) the entire paper including the heading in the upper left before making the change once the paper is typed.

In Pages, you can change the Paragraph settings by clicking on Format on the top navigation bar and then Paragraph. Remember that you have to highlight (select) the entire paper including the heading in the upper left before making change in Paragraph once the paper is typed.

First Line of a Paragraph

  • Tab in the first line of a paragraph 1/2″ or .5 from the left margin.
  • The Tab default is usually at this setting. If not, reset defaults.

Spacing after a period or other end punctuation

Unless your instructor advises otherwise, you may use one or two spaces after a period as long as the use is consistent.

  • If the instructor asks for a title page, prepare the title page as per the assignment instructions.
  • Do not use a heading on the first page if a title page is required.

Create a header in the upper right corner using the Header tool with your last name and page number.

  • In Word 2007 or higher, click Insert/Header/Blank. Do not choose any option with lines, boxes, or other font or color.
  • Delete Type text
  • Click Home and align right. Your cursor should be on the right side.
  • Type in your last name only. Then hit the space bar once. This will put a space between your last name and page number.
  • After you hit the space bar, hit Insert/Page # to insert pages. Do not manually type in the page number.
  • Do not use the word page or any abbreviation of the word such a pg. or p. between your last name and the actual page number: Jones 2.
  • While MLA format calls for the header to appear on the first page, some instructors may ask that there be no header on the first page since your name is already there. To remove the header from the first page, check Different first page in the Header tool.
  • These instructions may work for higher versions of Works.
  • For lower versions of Word or Works, click View/Header and Footer to get into the Header tool.
  • If you are unable to follow on your computer, your program should have a Help button to give directions on how to insert a header.

Instructions for Creating Header in Office 365

  • Click Insert/Header.
  • Tab over to the third box on the right.
  • Under Home, click the align right button so that your cursor is all the way on the right side.
  • Hit the space bar and then click Insert Page # and click the box with the number in the upper right.
  • Click on the body of the paper to get out of the Header box.
  • You will not see your header in the default view which is the edit view.
  • You can click View and then Reading View on the left.
  • Type a heading in the upper left corner of the first page unless your instructor asks for a title page. Do not use the Header tool to create a heading.
  • Type the heading as follows: your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date (in military style – day month year – no commas) double spaced on separate lines.
  • Do not use commas in the date.  Months should be abbreviated if longer than four letters: Sept., Oct., and so on. Here is an example: 14 Oct. 2009
  • Do not indent the heading.
  • Your instructor may request different information to be typed into the heading.
  • After the heading, center the title of the paper or name of assignment.
  • Do not use bold, underlining, or a different font style or size for the title.
  • Do not use quotation marks or italics unless the title of the paper includes the title of a published work since short, published works must be in quotation marks, and long, published works must be in italics.
  • Remember that in MLA format, the requirement is to double space and only double space throughout.
  • There should not be any more than a double space before or after the title or name of assignment.

Works Cited

If a Works Cited page is required for your assignment, at the end of the body of the paper, click Insert/Page Break or Insert/Break/Page Break – however your computer gives options – to get to the top of a new page to do the Works Cited.

  • Do not use the Enter key to get to the next page.
  • Use the same settings including double spacing throughout except that the first line of each source must start at the left margin and the second and any subsequent lines must be indented 1/2”.
  • This is called a hanging indent.
  • To create a hanging indent, make sure to type your sources one under the other hitting Enter at the end of each source.
  • Then, highlight the Works Cited list and go into the Paragraph dialogue box.
  • Under Special, select Hanging from the drop-down menu. Once selected, the default under By should be .5″.
  • Remember that your list has to be alphabetized and the page must have the words Works Cited centered on top.

Troubleshooting Common Page Setup Problems

  • There is an error in settings in the Indentation Box in Paragraph. Highlight paper and change to 0 in both Left and Right under Indentation in the Paragraph dialogue box.
  • You’ve accidentally hidden your white space. Position your cursor at the top of the page until you see a double line. Then, double click.
  • You have typed in a page number instead of using Insert Page Number.
  • Click to Home, position your cursor at the beginning of your last name, then click the align right button.
  • You have not reset the setting in Paragraph under Spacing on lower left to 0 before Before and 0 before After.  You have to highlight the whole page before changing settings for them to take place on the page.
  • You have not checked the box that states “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style. You have to highlight the whole page before changing settings for them to take place on the page.

Other Resources for Your Setup Problems

  • Help tool in your program. Generally, there’s a tool or a link to a tool. Just search your problem.
  • Online at website of your program. Word and other programs have help pages on their site.
  • The PHSC Technical Support link: See Resource Links on the right side page for Technical Support or call 727-816-3732 .
  • Just Google? Maybe. However, just searching around on the Internet open files and here and there is one way to pick up a virus, and you don’t know how reliable the source is. You are better of getting help with the first listed methods. Never download a help program.
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How to Write a Formal Essay: Format, Rules, & Example

If you’re a student, you’ve heard about a formal essay: a factual, research-based paper written in 3rd person. Most students have to produce dozens of them during their educational career. 

Writing a formal essay may not be the easiest task. But fear not: our custom-writing team is here to guide you through the process. This article will:

  • explain what a formal essay is;
  • show how to write it step by step;
  • provide you with an essay sample. 

👔 Formal Essay Definition

  • ✅ How to Write
  • ✍️ Writing Rules
  • 🖥️ Essay Format
  • 📑 Sample Paper

🔍 References

A formal essay is a well-structured piece of writing with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. This type of essay often includes cited research, uses an academic tone, and is written in 3rd person. While writing a formal essay, it’s necessary to back up your arguments with factual evidence.

What Is an Informal Essay vs. Formal Essay?

Essays come in two formats: formal and informal (also known as personal .) They differ in terms of style and context. You can choose one of the formats depending on the situation and the type of paper you need to write.

Don’t know how to tell the difference between them? Well, here are some key characteristics of these essay types:

Characteristics Informal essay Formal essay
Usually, the purpose of an informal essay is to share opinions or to entertain the reader. A formal essay aims to critically analyze facts, details, and ideas to prove a point. 
Addresses the reader directly and uses 1st-person pronouns. Uses 3rd-person pronouns and doesn’t address the reader.
Expresses the writer’s thoughts and opinions and tends to be more subjective. Strives to be objective and uses arguments to support its ideas.
Doesn’t have to be as structured as a formal essay. Should be well-structured and logical.
The thesis may be stated in any part of the work or not explicitly stated at all. The thesis is clearly stated and located in the essay’s first paragraph.
Uses everyday language, slang, 1st- and 2nd-person pronouns such as “I,” “you,” and “me.” Uses jargon and avoids using slang and 1st- or 2nd-person pronouns.

As you can see, these types of writing are almost total opposites. Informal essays are only reserved for creative assignments, which means that most of the papers you write need to be formal.

Our article on creative essays can help you write an informal paper. But how do you craft a perfect formal essay? Keep reading to find out.

✅ How to Write a Formal Essay

Traditionally, a formal essay it’s composed of 3 sections: an introduction, 3 or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Let’s examine each part in detail.

Formal Essay Introduction

The introduction is what your essay starts with. Its primary goal is to catch the reader’s attention with a hook, briefly introduce the topic, and lead toward the thesis statement located at the end of the first paragraph.

Here is what you might want to keep in mind while writing the introduction:

✔️ It should be related to the topic and give the reader an overall idea of the paper.
✔️ It’s good to start your introduction with a quotation, an interesting fact, or a statistic.
Try not to make the introduction too far-fetched or in-your-face.
Avoid using questions in an introduction of a formal essay.

If you want some more inspiration for your introduction, check out our article on hooks in writing .

Now on to the thesis statement : the key idea of your essay. When working on it, keep in mind that it should answer the central question in your topic and reflect your essay’s overall structure. your essay’s overall structure.

Suppose your topic is related to the teaching methods involving poetry. In that case, the thesis statement can be like this:

Teaching methods that involve reading and writing poetry in elementary school are beneficial for children as they enhance their capacity for empathy, develop creativity, and help with self-realization.

Formal Essay Body

The next part of an essay is the main body paragraphs. They support the thesis statement with well-developed arguments and explore the topic in-depth. Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence stating its main point. The length of a paragraph can vary, but the best option is to have between 4 and 7 sentences.

To make the text flow easily, you may use transitional words. Here are some examples:

  • after all, 
  • for instance, 
  • on the one/other hand, 
  • initially, 
  • as a result.

How to Write a Formal Essay Conclusion

Lastly, every essay needs closure. A good conclusion summarizes the essay’s main ideas, includes a paraphrased thesis, and encourages the readers to think more about the topic.

The structure of a conclusion may change slightly depending on the subject. For instance, it can suggest some solutions to a problem, express an opinion, or give a recommendation. It’s important to remember that the conclusion is a part that emphasizes your essay’s most important points and doesn’t introduce new information.

If you’re curious about writing each essay part, check out our article on 5-paragraph essays .

✍️ Formal Writing Rules

Just like choosing the proper attire to wear to a formal event, we need to use the right words while writing a formal essay. Here are some suggestions that can help you maintain a formal tone in your paper:  

Dos of formal writing

  • Pay attention to your vocabulary. The words you will use in a formal essay will likely have a nuanced meaning. Make sure you know exactly what the terms mean, and do your best to sound precise.
  • Use punctuation correctly. Here are some of the things to watch out for: Avoid exclamation marks; Use dashes for insertions; Use colons with enumerations; If you’re unsure of whether to use a punctuation mark or not, rewrite the sentence in a way that doesn’t require it.
  • Use varied sentence structure. In formal writing, there is always a danger of sounding monotonous. Avoid repeating sentence structures to make your essay more readable.
  • Provide references. It’s essential to cite every idea that you borrow. Try to paraphrase quotations from your sources: it will help you avoid plagiarism.

Don’ts of formal writing

  • Avoid using pronouns.  With words such as “I,” “me,” “we,” or “us,” an essay becomes wordy. It also makes the author seem less sure of their ideas. If you want to use personal pronouns, try substituting them with words like “the reader,” “viewers,” or “one.”
  • Avoid using slang expressions and nonstandard diction. Slang words in a formal essay will make it less appealing to the readers. If you want to be taken seriously, it’s best to avoid those expressions and use proper Standard English.
  • Avoid informal tone.  When you write a formal essay, incorporate the language and the expressions you would use while delivering a speech, not the words you use when you casually talk to friends. A formal tone suggests that the author is serious about the topic and respects the audience.
  • Avoid passive voice. Passive verbs are hard to read, and they are wordy. Use active voice to sound more straightforward and concise.

Contractions in Formal Writing

A contraction is usually a combination of two words into one, such as “don’t,” “isn’t,” “can’t,” and “wouldn’t.” When you work on a formal essay, it’s essential to be careful about contractions. It’s inappropriate to use them in academic writing, so it’s best to stick to the full variant.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, when working with direct quotations, it’s essential to reproduce words exactly as they are used in the original. To learn more about it, be sure to check out the University of North Florida’s article on in-text citations .

What to Use Instead of “You” in an Essay

Another common mistake students make is using the “you” and “yours” pronouns to address the readers. This mistake can make the essay overly informal and lead to misinterpretations of the text.

How do you fix it? Our advice is to replace 2nd-person pronouns with the following words:

  • individuals,

You can find more formal writing tips in this informative video from Smrt English:

🖥️ Formal Essay Format

Now that we’ve discussed formal essay writing in detail, it’s time to look at the formatting. A formal essay is usually written in MLA or APA formats. If you’re asked to write a paper in one of these formats, you may find the guidelines below helpful:

MLA APA
Write your name, the instructor’s name, your class, and the date in the upper left corner of the 1st page. Make the title centered and place it after the heading information in the same font as the rest of your paper. Create a separate . Make your title centered and written in boldface. Add your name, instructor’s name, school affiliation, and date.
Write your last name and the number of each page in the upper right corner. Write the number of each page in the upper right corner.
Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
Make your essay double-spaced without extra spacing between the paragraphs.
Add a 1-inch margin on each side of the page.
Make the 1st line of each paragraph indented 1/5 inch.
Line up your text flush against the left margin. 

📑 Formal Essay Example

Here is an excellent sample of a formal essay that uses all the guidelines mentioned in this article. It will help you to produce a perfect paper of your own:

Title Adverse effects of sponsorship in the sports industry
Sponsorship plays a significant role in the sports industry these days. Many sports associations, football leagues, and clubs are entering partnerships with famous brands. However, it does not mean that all sponsorship has a good impact. This essay argues that a questionable sponsorship may undermine the image of a sport or a team and adversely influence the viewers.
Important sports events such as FIFA or The Olympic Games are sponsored by brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Cadbury’s, and Budweiser. These are also brands that promote unhealthy lifestyles and foods that lack nutritional value and have high levels of salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Such kind of sponsorship aims to obtain a favorable change in the attitude toward the brand itself by connecting it with sport and a healthy lifestyle.
While alcohol and junk food brands link themselves to sports bodies and active lifestyles, their main targets are children and sports fans. The growing popularity of products high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, including potato chips, sugary drinks, and confectionary, results in them being not simply a treat but a daily staple for many people. It creates various health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
Finally, an association with a widely criticized brand is likely to damage the reputation of a team or even a sport itself (Crompton, 2014). People tend to expect their favorite teams to partner with fair, responsible sponsors. If the partnership is questionable, the fans may think that the sports body compromised their virtue for profit.
To sum up, some kinds of sponsorship, such as alcohol or junk food, may use the sport’s image to attract more people and increase sales. It leads to the excessive consumption of sponsored products by children and teenagers and causes various health issues. It is also likely to affect the public image of a sports body.

For more information, check out Purdue OWL’s resources on various formatting styles .

Formal Essay Topics

  • Stress management techniques
  • The effects of coffee 
  • Negative effects of technology on children
  • Causes and outcomes of organizational conflicts in sports
  • Different types of friends
  • Same-sex marriages in the United States
  • Are early marriages harmful or beneficial?
  • How do nutrition and hydration improve athletes’ performance? 
  • Is polygamy morally acceptable?
  • Different features of sports business
  • What characterizes friendship in the age of media?
  • Positive and negative effects of tourism on environment in the Caribbean
  • How does society treat single parents?
  • How does the uninvolved parenting style affect child’s future well-being?
  • The role of family relationships in Odyssey
  • Financial concepts in sport finance
  • Main features of a strong marriage
  • The importance of media coverage for sport teams
  • Reasons why students choose to get internship
  • The role of stadiums in the sports industry
  • The multiracial family: the Carters case analysis
  • Characteristics of children’s sports
  • Crucial factors affecting health fitness 
  • How is technology used in hotel management?
  • Structure and operational context of Four Seasons
  • What are the main qualities of a true friend?
  • Different websites that promote rental properties
  • The imperative aspects of tourism
  • Importance of hotel training 
  • What factors determine adolescents’ adjustment after they experience parental divorce? 
  • How does tobacco use affect the human body?
  • The importance of language and world view for communication
  • What makes a combination of reinforcement and punishment in parenting efficient?
  • The scientific approach of sports economics
  • How does divorce affect children?
  • Living on-campus vs. living off-campus when attending university: a comparison
  • How does the New Moves program promote a healthy lifestyle? 
  • How to be an effective counselor
  • Various types of restaurants in Ireland
  • Carolina Dog’s characteristics
  • Comparison of Monzameon’s The Love Suicides at Amijima and Tartuffe by Moliere
  • Comparing homosexual and heterosexual families
  • How is family presented in Everyday Use by Alice Walker ?
  • In what ways can Anaerobic Threshold be assessed? 
  • Is bad parenting a healthcare problem? 
  • Why student-athletes should benefit from sports
  • Mind-body awareness and its health benefits
  • Can punishment boost academic performance?
  • Techniques to teach students swimming
  • Issues faced by the sports licensing field

Thanks for reading through this guide! We hope that you found it helpful and now have a better idea of how to write an excellent formal essay. Don’t hesitate to share our article with a friend who may need it. Good luck!

Further reading:

  • How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay: Examples & Outline
  • What Is a Discourse Analysis Essay: Example & Guide
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline: Template & Examples
  • How to Write a Précis: Definition, Guide, & Examples 

❓ Formal Essay FAQs

It’s best not to use pronouns such as “I,” “my,” “we,” “our,” etc., in a formal essay since it give the paper an informal tone and the text becomes wordy. It also makes the writer seem less sure about their ideas.

It’s better to avoid using parentheses and dashes in formal academic writing. If the information you want to include in the essay is important enough, it should be a part of the sentence. Otherwise, you can simply omit it.

The formal and informal essays differ in style and context. While a formal essay is a piece of well-structured writing that tries to convince the reader by providing arguments, an informal essay has no set structure. It reflects the author’s personal thoughts or opinions.

Starting your sentence with “because” in formal writing is not the best idea. The word “because” is a subordinate conjunction, which means it’s used to join the main clause to a subordinate clause, not to start a sentence.

It’s best to avoid using 1st- and 2nd-person pronouns, slang expressions, nonstandard diction, and contractions in a formal essay. They are primarily used in daily speech and are considered inappropriate in academic writing. 

  • Point of View in Academic Writing: St. Louis Community College
  • Components of a Good Essay: University of Evansville
  • Introductions & Conclusions: University of Arizona Global Campus
  • How to Improve Your Academic Writing: University of York
  • Nine Basic Ways to Improve Your Style in Academic Writing: University of California, Berkeley
  • Academic Writing Style: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: University of Southern California
  • Formal and Informal Style: Northern Illinois University
  • Formal Writing: Davenport University: LibGuides
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The next thing you’ll want to do is get your spacing right. Spacing refers to the amount of space there is between lines of text. You’ve likely noticed different sizes of spacing across different styles of writing you’ve read. For example, most books are published with very little space in between the lines of text:

This is an image of the first two paragraphs of the first chapter of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

This is because the formatting rules of novel-writing call for “single-spaced” text.

Academic writing, on the other hand, is different. The formatting rules for this style of writing calls for “double-spaced” text (as shown in the image below). To adjust the space settings on your own Word document, highlight the text and then follow these steps:

This is an image on how to format the body paragraphs of your paper on Microsoft Word. Step 1: Click on 'Home'. Step 2: Click on dropdown and select'2.0' for line spacing. This will make it double-spaced.

  • Step 1: Click on the “Home” tab at the top left of your screen
  • Step 2: Click on the “spacing” icon and select “2.0” from the dropdown menu

American Psychological Association

Paragraph Alignment and Indentation

APA Style includes guidelines for paragraph alignment and indentation to ensure that papers are formatted in a consistent and readable manner. All writers should follow these guidelines.

Paragraph alignment

Align the text of an APA Style paper to the left margin. Leave the right margin uneven, or “ragged.” Do not use full justification for student papers or manuscripts being submitted for publication.

Do not insert hyphens (manual breaks) in words at the end of line. However, it is acceptable if your word-processing program automatically inserts breaks in long hyperlinks ( such as in a DOI or URL in a reference list entry ).

Paragraph indentation

Indent the first line of each paragraph of text 0.5 in. from the left margin. Use the tab key or the automatic paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program to achieve the indentation (the default setting is likely already 0.5 in.). Do not use the space bar to create indentation.

Exceptions to these paragraph-formatting requirements are as follows:

  • title page: For professional papers, the title (in bold), byline, and affiliations should be centered on the title page . For student papers, the title (in bold), byline, affiliations, course number and name, instructor, and assignment due date should be centered on the title page .
  • section labels: Section labels (e.g., “Abstract,” “References”) should be centered (and bold).
  • abstract: The first line of the abstract should be flush left (not indented).
  • block quotations: Indent a whole block quotation 0.5 in. from the left margin. If the block quotation spans more than one paragraph, the first line of the second and any subsequent paragraphs of the block quotation should be indented another 0.5 in., such that those first lines are indented a total of 1 in.
  • headings: Level 1 headings should be centered (and in bold), and Level 2 and 3 headings should be left-aligned (and in bold or bold italic, respectively). Level 4 and 5 headings are indented like regular paragraphs.
  • tables and figures: Table and figure numbers (in bold), titles (in italics), and notes should be flush left.
  • reference list: Reference list entries should have a hanging indent of 0.5 in.
  • appendices: Appendix labels and titles should be centered (and bold).

Paragraph alignment and indentation are covered in the seventh edition APA Style manuals in the Publication Manual Sections 2.23 and 2.24 and the Concise Guide Sections 1.22 and 1.23

formal essay spacing

Related handout

  • Student Paper Setup Guide (PDF, 3MB)

From the APA Style blog

formal essay spacing

APA Style student papers webinar

A new APA Style webinar, “A Step-by-Step Guide for APA Style Student Papers,” taking place on September 10, 2020, will provide detailed guidance on creating, formatting, and organizing APA Style student papers.

UCAS to replace personal statement essay with three questions to help disadvantaged people

UCAS surveyed potential applicants about to start their personal statement and found more than three-quarters prefer the new three-question format.

By Claire Gilbody Dickerson, news reporter

Thursday 18 July 2024 03:37, UK

formal essay spacing

Students applying for university through UCAS will be required to answer three questions under new plans to help support people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Under the current system, prospective students have been filling out a free-response essay for their personal statement, which can be up to 4,000 characters long.

But amid concerns the task helps advantaged people who can get support, the essay will, as of September 2025, be replaced with three mandatory questions.

The questions are:

• Why do you want to study this course or subject?

• How have your qualifications and studies helped you to prepare for this course or subject?

• What else have you done to prepare outside of education, and why are these experiences helpful?

More on Higher Education

formal essay spacing

Labour's Bridget Phillipson criticised for refusing to rule out tuition-fee hike

File photo dated 24/04/2018 of a general view of St Salvator's Hall at the University of St Andrews. The University of St Andrews has taken the top spot in a national league table, beating Oxford and Cambridge. St Andrews has been placed higher than the elite Oxbridge institutions for only the second time in the 30-year history of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. The rankings show that Oxford fell from first to second place with Cambridge remaining in third place. Issue date

Good University Guide: St Andrews comes out top, with Oxford bumped to second

Boulton Graduates

As A-level results return to normality, is going to university still worth it?

Related Topics:

  • higher education

Read more: Welsh is UK's most relaxing accent, study finds Graduate visa route should remain, report finds

Students seeking to start university in 2026 will be the first to experience the reformed application form, which will allow for the same amount of writing as the essay.

The move comes as UCAS data suggests the gap in university application rates between the most and least advantaged students has widened in the last year.

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Data shows the application rate from the most disadvantaged backgrounds has fallen slightly to 25.4% in England, while the application rate for the most advantaged has marginally increased to 60.7%.

UCAS surveyed potential applicants about to start their personal statement, and found more than three-quarters prefer the new three-question format.

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Install the Sky News app for free

formal essay spacing

Previous UCAS research found 79% of students felt that the process of writing the personal statement was difficult to complete without support.

Jo Saxton, chief executive at UCAS, said: "The changes to the personal statement, along with our recent fee waiver for students in receipt of free school meals, are all part of UCAS's contribution to the sector-wide effort to ensure more people from disadvantaged backgrounds can benefit from the life-changing opportunity of higher education."

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Generate accurate APA citations for free

  • Knowledge Base
  • APA Style 7th edition
  • APA headings and subheadings

APA Headings and Subheadings | With Sample Paper

Published on November 7, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on October 24, 2022.

Headings and subheadings provide structure to a document. They signal what each section is about and allow for easy navigation of the document.

APA headings have five possible levels. Each heading level is formatted differently.

APA headings (7th edition)

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Table of contents

Additional guidelines for apa headings, how many heading levels should you use, when to use which apa heading level, section labels vs headings, sample paper with apa headings, using heading styles in word or google docs.

As well as the heading styles, there are some other guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Double-space all text, including the headings.
  • Use the same font for headings and body text (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt.).
  • Don’t label headings with numbers or letters.
  • Don’t add extra “enters” above or below headings.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Depending on the length and complexity of your paper, you may not use all five heading levels. In fact, shorter student papers may have no headings at all.

It’s also perfectly fine for some sections in your paper to go as deep as five levels, where others use only heading level 1.

Heading level 1 is used for main sections like “ Methods ”, “ Results ”, and “ Discussion ”. There is no “ Introduction ” heading at the beginning of your paper because the first paragraphs are understood to be introductory.

Heading level 2 is used for subsections under level 1. For example, under “Methods” (level 1) you may have subsections for “Sampling Method” and “Data Analysis” (level 2). This continues all the way down to heading level 5.

Always use at least two subheadings or none at all. If there is just one subheading, the top-level heading is sufficient.

In addition to regular headings, APA works with “section labels” for specific parts of the paper. They’re similar to headings but are formatted differently. Section labels are placed on a separate line at the top of a new page in bold and centered.

Use section labels for the following sections in an APA formatted paper :

  • Author note
  • Paper title
  • Reference page

Are your APA in-text citations flawless?

The AI-powered APA Citation Checker points out every error, tells you exactly what’s wrong, and explains how to fix it. Say goodbye to losing marks on your assignment!

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formal essay spacing

Instead of formatting every heading individually, you can use the “Styles” feature in Word or Google Docs. This allows you to save the styling and apply it with just a click.

The first time you use APA Style, you need to update the default heading styles to reflect the APA heading guidelines. Click here for the instructions for Microsoft Word and Google Docs .

An added benefit of using the “Styles” feature is that you can automatically generate a table of contents .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Streefkerk, R. (2022, October 24). APA Headings and Subheadings | With Sample Paper. Scribbr. Retrieved July 16, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/apa-headings/

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People Close to Biden Say He Appears to Accept He May Have to Leave the Race

One person familiar with President Biden’s thinking cautioned that he had not yet made up his mind to leave the race, after three weeks of insisting that almost nothing would drive him out.

  • Share full article

formal essay spacing

By Michael D. Shear ,  Peter Baker and Katie Rogers

The reporters cover the White House.

  • July 18, 2024

Several people close to President Biden said on Thursday that they believe he has begun to accept the idea that he may not be able to win in November and may have to drop out of the race, bowing to the growing demands of many anxious members of his party.

One of the people close to him warned that the president had not yet made up his mind to leave the race after three weeks of insisting that almost nothing would drive him out. But another said that “reality is setting in,” and that it would not be a surprise if Mr. Biden made an announcement soon endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris as his replacement.

Some people in Mr. Biden’s camp have told Democratic allies that the president’s resolve to stay in the race has been most shaken by three developments: The decision by Representative Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker, to weigh in so strongly, new state polls showing that his path to an Electoral College victory has grown far more remote and the boycott of key party donors.

The discussions among Mr. Biden’s advisers have advanced to the point that they are talking about the best timing and other details for an announcement if the president decides to give up his bid for a second term, according to one of the people informed about the situation. While some were anticipating that an announcement could come as early as the next few days, the timing remained in flux in part because Mr. Biden is in isolation at his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., after a Covid diagnosis.

This account is based on interviews with five people close to the president, all of whom described the situation as extremely delicate and spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending the president.

Many other Democrats more distant from the White House said expectations were rising within the party that the president would soon relent, a shift from just days ago when many were in despair about changing his mind. But there was also caution about reading signs from a president with an exceedingly small circle of confidants.

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Gen Z data scientist says many majors in the field are interchangeable — so this is what to do if you want an AI job

  • While AI jobs are booming, many colleges don't have specific degrees in AI yet.
  • Allison Krinsky, a data scientist at JPMorgan, emphasizes hands-on experience over formal education.
  • Krinsky advises building your own AI projects, like a travel system or sentiment analysis model.

Insider Today

Careers in AI are hot right now. And while many schools are adapting their curriculum to incorporate classes on the topic, there's still a short list of schools that offer an AI major.

Allison Krinsky graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in informatics in 2022. She now works as a data scientist at JPMorgan and makes videos about tech careers in her free time. She told Business Insider that many majors are interchangeable and that several degrees, such as computer science, math, information sciences, and data science, can lead to jobs in the field.

But even though Krinsky studied a traditional curriculum to get a tech job, she said her work at a research lab advanced her career more than anything else. She said during her year at the lab, she did a "heap" of things including building models and managing databases.

Most AI-related jobs require a technical portion in the interview process and Krinsky said candidates need to be able to talk about the projects they've done.

"A lot of times my interviews would just be people asking me about what I had built and what I did and the problems that I faced," Krinsky said.

Krinsky said while Big Tech names may look flashy on your résumé , hands-on experience is crucial to actually landing the job. In the internships she had before the research lab, she said she was given small projects that didn't involve too many skills.

"The internship is great to say somebody hired me, and that's a little bit of credibility," Krinsky said. "But you're not out of the game if you haven't had a traditional internship."

As AI jobs grow more in demand, some companies are growing increasingly picky about what they're looking for. So if you have limited experience or if you want to enhance your résumé, it's not a bad idea to build your own project and skill up. Krinsky said there are a number of avenues you could go down depending on the kind of roles you're interested in.

One option Krinsky recommends is a travel recommendation system built with large language models. She said you could do this project with limited experience and in different ways, like by using prompt engineering, retrieval augmented generation, or fine-tuning.

Krinsky also suggested creating a sentiment classification system for reviews, using natural language processing. She said this involves extracting information from text data and sorting it into entities like positive or negative sentiments. Krinsky said this can be used for financial analysis or identifying investment opportunities or risks.

Related stories

Krinsky said you can also try an image recognition or computer vision project. This involves finding a set of pictures with labels and teaching a computer to identify what's in the images. She said it's a good way to learn about neural networks.

Krinsky said these projects can take between one and three months, depending on how much free time you have. Most projects start with scraping the web for data and then require building, training, and fine-tuning the model. Krinsky also recommended creating a report detailing the project process and results so that you have something to show for your work.

The projects don't have to be revolutionary, she said, but you should experiment with multiple data sets and be able to explain what's happening. She said anyone can recreate code from a tutorial so it's important to add a unique aspect.

"You have to get past 'I just wrote code and it didn't break,'" Krinsky said.

Watch: How marketers can use AI to demonstrate its value, according to Reckitt CMO Fabrice Beaulieu

formal essay spacing

  • Main content

English Composition 1

The proper format for essays.

Below are guidelines for the formatting of essays based on recommendations from the MLA (the Modern Language Association).

  • Fonts : Your essay should be word processed in 12-point Times New Roman fonts.
  • Double space : Your entire essay should be double spaced, with no single spacing anywhere and no extra spacing anywhere. There should not be extra spaces between paragraphs.
  • Heading : In the upper left corner of the first page of your essay, you should type your name, the instructor's name, your class, and the date, as follows: Your Name Mr. Rambo ENG 1001-100 18 January 2022
  • Margins : According to the MLA, your essay should have a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, left, and right.
  • Page Numbers : Your last name and the page number should appear in the upper right corner of each page of your essay, including the first page, as in Jones 3 . Insert your name and the page number as a "header." Do not type this information where the text of your essay should be.
  • Title : Your essay should include a title. The title should be centered and should appear under the heading information on the first page and above the first line of your essay. The title should be in the same fonts as the rest of your essay, with no quotation marks, no underlining, no italics, and no bold.
  • Indentation : The first line of each paragraph should be indented. According to the MLA, this indentation should be 1/2 inch or five spaces, but pressing [Tab] once should give you the correct indentation.

Putting all of the above together, you should have a first page that looks like the following:

Essay Format

Copyright Randy Rambo , 2022.

IMAGES

  1. How to Format an Essay

    formal essay spacing

  2. Spacing

    formal essay spacing

  3. How To Make An Essay Double Spaced

    formal essay spacing

  4. MLA Formatting Slides

    formal essay spacing

  5. Formal Essays

    formal essay spacing

  6. Formal Essays

    formal essay spacing

VIDEO

  1. Formal Essay of Literature and Society by: Salvador P. Lopez

  2. Why Dune is still Impossible to adapt // Dune Part 2 vs Book

  3. some formal alternatives for your essay #english #foryou #learnenglish #formal #informal

  4. Line spacing

  5. #what is formal essay? #english #ytshorts #viral #education#shorts #jyotigupta English teacher

  6. How to write a formal essay, part 1

COMMENTS

  1. APA format for academic papers and essays

    Throughout your paper, you need to apply the following APA format guidelines: Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides. Double-space all text, including headings. Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches. Use an accessible font (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.).

  2. What Is Standard Line Spacing for a Formal Document?

    Any paper written in APA style should use double line spacing throughout. This includes the abstract, reference list, and block quotes, as well as the main body of text. However, this rule is flexible when it comes to information in tables, figures, and footnotes. Here, you may use single or one-and-a-half-line spacing if you prefer, as long as ...

  3. PDF Student Paper Setup Guide, APA Style 7th Edition

    Indent the first line of every paragraph of text 0.5 in. using the tab key or the paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program. Page numbers: Put a page number in the top right corner of every page, including the title page or cover page, which is page 1. Student papers do not require a running head on any page.

  4. Line spacing

    Line Spacing. In general, double-space all parts of an APA Style paper, including the abstract; text; block quotations; table and figure numbers, titles, and notes; and reference list (including between and within entries). Do not add extra space before or after paragraphs. Exceptions to double line spacing are as follows:

  5. Proper Essay Format Guide (Updated for 2021)

    A scholarship essay should be tailored to the specific fund you are applying for, and it is best to avoid a generalized essay. The main components of the scholarship essay format are similar to those in a standard college essay: 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial) First line indent. Double-spacing. 1-inch margins.

  6. How to Format an Essay: MLA, APA, & Chicago Styles

    If your instructor lets you pick the format of your essay, opt for the style that matches your course or degree best: MLA is best for English and humanities; APA is typically for education, psychology, and sciences; Chicago Style is common for business, history, and fine arts. 2. Set your margins to 1 inch (2.5 cm) for all style guides.

  7. Formatting

    Typical layout for an essay is as shown here: Margins - between 2 cm and 2.54 cm (1 inch) all around. Line spacing - either 1.5 or double-line spacing. Paragraph spacing - either 1 clear line between or at least 8 pt space after each paragraph (more if double-line spaced) Alignment - left aligned (fully justified with a straight right-edge is ...

  8. A step-by-step guide for creating and formatting APA Style student papers

    Write the assignment due date in the month, date, and year format used in your country (e.g., Sept. 10, 2020). Title page line spacing. Double-space the whole title page. Place the paper title three or four lines down from the top of the page. Add an extra double-spaced blank like between the paper title and the byline.

  9. College Essay Format & Structure

    For example, a student might discuss trying out for a sports team as a middle schooler, high school freshman, and high school senior, using each of those instances to describe an aspect of their personality. A rough outline for that essay might look like this: Narrative structure. Intro/hook: Vivid description of me at age 7, trying out for my ...

  10. Paper format

    To format a paper in APA Style, writers can typically use the default settings and automatic formatting tools of their word-processing program or make only minor adjustments. The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create ...

  11. Learn the Standard Essay Format: MLA, APA, Chicago Styles

    Spacing: Double-spaced; Margins: 1 inch on all sides; Header: Title with a page number on the right; ... Format essay: Other formatting styles you may have to follow in academic writing. Of course, there are other formatting styles than APA, MLA, and Chicago. Let's take a quick look at other essay formats you can face when working on a ...

  12. APA 7 Style: Formatting Guidelines

    APA 7 (2020) accepts the use of a wider range of fonts than previous editions. Use a consistent font throughout the paper. While the size of the font in the text of the paper should confirm to one of the options below, figures may include a smaller or larger font size as needed. Font options include: Times New Roman (12-point) Calibri (11-point ...

  13. How to Format a College Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    Again, we'd recommend sticking with standard fonts and sizes—Times New Roman, 12-point is a standard workhorse. You can probably go with 1.5 or double spacing. Standard margins. Basically, show them you're ready to write in college by using the formatting you'll normally use in college.

  14. HOW TO

    Instructions: Go to the Format menu, drag down to Style, make sure "Normal" is selected from the list of styles, and click "modify.". In the lower left corner, select the dropdown menu that starts with "Format" and drag down to Paragraph. In the paragraph settings menu that pops up, change the settings for Spacing After to 0pt.

  15. General Format

    Format the remainder of the page as requested by the instructor. In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text. Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks.

  16. MLA Format

    Cite your MLA source. Start by applying these MLA format guidelines to your document: Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman. Set 1 inch page margins. Use double line spacing. Include a ½" indent for new paragraphs. Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page. Center the paper's title.

  17. ENG 1002 Online: The Proper Format for Essays

    The Proper Format for Essays. Below are guidelines for the formatting of essays based on recommendations from the MLA (the Modern Language Association). Fonts: Your essay should be word processed in 12-point Times New Roman fonts. Double space: Your entire essay should be double spaced, with no single spacing anywhere and no extra spacing ...

  18. MLA Page Format

    Click Insert/Header. Tab over to the third box on the right. Under Home, click the align right button so that your cursor is all the way on the right side. Hit the space bar and then click Insert Page # and click the box with the number in the upper right. Click on the body of the paper to get out of the Header box.

  19. How to Write a Formal Essay: Format, Rules, & Example

    Title. Write your name, the instructor's name, your class, and the date in the upper left corner of the 1st page. Make the title centered and place it after the heading information in the same font as the rest of your paper. Create a separate title page. Make your title centered and written in boldface.

  20. Spacing

    Formatting the Essay Spacing. The next thing you'll want to do is get your spacing right. Spacing refers to the amount of space there is between lines of text. You've likely noticed different sizes of spacing across different styles of writing you've read. For example, most books are published with very little space in between the lines ...

  21. Paragraph alignment and indentation

    Level 4 and 5 headings are indented like regular paragraphs. tables and figures: Table and figure numbers (in bold), titles (in italics), and notes should be flush left. appendices: Appendix labels and titles should be centered (and bold). APA Style includes guidelines for paragraph alignment and indentation to ensure that papers are formatted ...

  22. UCAS to replace personal statement essay with three questions to help

    Under the current system, prospective students have been filling out a free-response essay for their personal statement, which can be up to 4,000 characters long.

  23. APA Headings and Subheadings

    Headings and subheadings provide structure to a document. They signal what each section. is about and allow for easy navigation of the document. APA headings have five possible levels. Each heading level is formatted differently. Note: Title case simply means that you should capitalize the first word, words with four or more letters, and all ...

  24. People Close to Biden Say He Appears to Accept He May Have to Drop Out

    People Close to Biden Say He Appears to Accept He May Have to Leave the Race. One person familiar with President Biden's thinking cautioned that he had not yet made up his mind to leave the race ...

  25. Gen Z Data Scientist: Do This If You Want AI Job

    Allison Krinsky, a data scientist at JPMorgan, emphasizes hands-on experience over formal education. Krinsky advises building your own AI projects, like a travel system or sentiment analysis model.

  26. ENG 1001: The Proper Format for Essays

    The Proper Format for Essays. Below are guidelines for the formatting of essays based on recommendations from the MLA (the Modern Language Association). Fonts: Your essay should be word processed in 12-point Times New Roman fonts. Double space: Your entire essay should be double spaced, with no single spacing anywhere and no extra spacing ...