Basic Essay Format with Complete Guide

Basic Essay Format with Complete Guide

Being able to write an essay is a vital and essential part of every student’s education. However, it’s not just about directly listing the ideas. A lot of educational institutions will require a certain essay format that every student must follow, essay format examples include the APA, MLA, and the Chicago essay formats. This article will explain the differences between different essay writing formatslike the APA format, MLA format, and the Chicago format. The application of these essay formats could range from high school essays to college essays, and they stand as the customary of college essay formatting. Moreover, whenever students face any difficulty in essay writing format they definitely seek help from any company offering essay writing services.

What is an essay format and how to format it?

An essay format is a sequence of guidelines that regulates how your paper should be arranged and presented. It covers the basic essay structure, title page, essay outline, citations, and lastly your conclusions, etc. When formatting an essay paper, you must have a title page, text capitalization, proper essay structure, in-text and proper citations; you need to know how to make a hold for an essay and work cited page. A basic essay includes three main and important parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this format of essay writing will help you write and organize an essay. While keeping this basic essay writing format in mind, remember that flexibility is important.

Below I’ve mentioned a step-by-step guide on how make a proper essay format:

First of your page:

  • Before you begin writing your essay, you must structure the first page of your essay paper:
  • In the right-hand corner, half add the header an inch below the top edge of the essay paper. Make sure to do this for every page except the cited page.
  • Place the heading in the upper left-hand corner of your paper.
  • Insert the titles and center it an inch below the top edge of your paper.
  • Below the title, start writing the first paragraph of your title.


The introduction of your essay guides your reader into the paper by introducing your topic. It should begin with something that catches the reader’s attention and interest. This hook could be an analogy, a quote or a question, etc. Once you’re able to get the reader’s attention, the introduction should give little background information on the topic. The ideas mentioned in the introduction should be enough for the reader to gradually become more specific and understand the main claim of the essay


The body of the essay includes the main points presented in the thesis statement. Each point is given by one or more paragraphs and supported with some specific details. You can get these details from experiences and research, depending on the assignment. In addition to this, the discussion of the topic and author’s own analysis ties the ideas together and gives a conclusion that supports the thesis.


The conclusion brings together all of the main points and ideas of the essay. It refers back to the topic and leaves readers with a sense of closure and a final thought by resolving any ideas brought while reading the essay. It may also include the implications of the argument. In conclusion, new ideas or topics that were not developed in the paper before should not be introduced.

Read More:5 Steps To Write Reflective Essay


If your paper includes any research, make sure to give the credit to each source by using in-text citations and a Works Cited/ Bibliography/ References.  Refer to the APA Format, MLA Format or Turabian Format handout for any help with this.

Difference Between MLA, APA and Chicago format:

MLA format:

MLA essay format is usually used in humanities, which differs from other types of academic writing.

One must follow a basic set of instructions and guidelines to write an essay in MLA format:

  • Font size: Times New Roman 12pt.
  • Spacing: Double spaced everywhere but no extra spaces, especially between the paragraphs.
  • Heading: Example of the heading on the upper left corner of the first page of the essay.
  • Margins: One-inch margin on the top, left and right, and bottom.
  • Page Numbers: Last name and page number should be put on every page of the essay.
  • Title: Write the essay title, above the first line of the essay, centered and should be of the same size and font as the essay itself.
  • Indentation: Press the tab only half-inch just in case.
  • Align: Make sure to align evenly to the left-hand side.

Read More:How to Write a Persuasive Essay

APA format:

The APA format is one of the most common college essay formats, but its requirements are crucial. In an APA essay format structure, we can apply a similar list of guidelines as we did in the MLA format:

  • Font: Times New Roman 12pt
  • Spacing: Double spacing
  • Margins: One Inch margins on all of the sides.
  • Page Numbers: Insert a header at the top left of every page including a shortened title of the essay, below 50 characters. Slap a number in the top right corner too.
  • Title Page: Title of the essay, institutional affiliation, and author’s name.

Chicago format:

The usage of Chicago format is common in academic writing that focuses on the source of origin. This means that precise footnotes and citations are key to a successful essay paper.

The guidelines structure can be applied to the Chicago essay format:

  • Title Page: There should be a title down the page with a regular text. In the middle, center your full name. Down the page write the instructor’s name, course number, and the date in separate double spaced lines.
  • Margins: One-inch margins apart from the right side.
  • Spacing: Double spaced everywhere.
  • Font: Times New Roman 12pt
  • Page Numbers: Last name, the page number in the heading of each page on the top right but do not number the title page.
  • Footnotes: This format requires a footnote on quoted passages or paraphrased.
  • Bibliography: This format’s bibliography is very similar to MLA’s format. Collect the proper information and input it into a specialized citation site.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *