6 Essay Formatting Style Aspects You Should Follow

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If you are struggling with the different essay formatting styles, you must stick to the guidelines rather than taking a look at various examples. Here, you will get to know the basic guidelines that you must abide by.

1. MLA

MLA is another widely used formatting style, and it is common in humanities and liberal arts. When you use this formatting style, you must pay heed to the following aspects:

  • Number your pages on normal 8.5 x 11 white paper.
  • Keep a one-inch margin (all sides)
  • Use font that is easy to read
  • Use double-spacing
  • Indent new paragraphs
  • Keep one space between sentences
  • In the Works Cited page, you list out all the sources you have cited in the essay
  • In the In-text citations, you include the author’s surname and page numbers in the parenthesis
  • Put the running head half an inch from the top margin and one inch from the right margin of the page.
  • When a section of your paper contains references to a number of different sources written by different authors, it is wise to use the footnote or endnote.

These are some of the aspects that you need to keep in mind when you format your essay as per the MLA format.

2. APA

In behavioral and social science articles, APA is commonly used to cite sources such as History, Psychology, Sociology, and other subjects

It can be applied to a variety of sectors, including education and engineering. It’s also one of the most popular styles for college papers. It has the following requirements:

  • Between sentences, use two spaces;
  • On all sides, keep one-inch margins;
  • Each page should have a header at the top;
  • Each page has a page number in the top right corner;
  • For each research paper, dissertation, or other related work, use an abstract;
  • Use a reference page ordered alphabetically.
  • When you create a bibliography list, use the word ‘Reference’ on the top of the page.
  • While inserting the references, use the hanging indent
  • In the case of APA in-text citation styles, you must use the author’s last name and the year of publication.

If you abide by the guidelines mentioned above, your formatting will be impressive. In case you need help with the essay conclusion, seek professional assistance.

3. CMS

Though it is less frequent in college writing, the CMS is still employed in the humanities, particularly in history, literature, and the arts. Exact citations and footnotes are critical in this approach.

Some of the formatting aspects that you need to keep in mind are:

  • Except for block quotations, notes, bibliography entries, table headers, and figure captions, all text should be double-spaced.
  • A five-line or more prose quotation, or one that has more than 100 words, should be blocked.
  • The first line of a blocked quotation must always be blank.
  • Page numbers begin with Arabic number 1 in the header of the first page of the text.
  • Subheadings should be utilized in case of longer papers
  • You must use the notes and bibliography style for humanities and author-date system for science and social science.
  • In-text citations in the CMS Notes and Bibliography Style take the form of notes that include a superscripted note number in the text
  • The reference will appear at the bottom of the page for footnotes, and it will appear at the end of the paper for endnotes.

Hopefully, the formatting style is easy to understand.


IEEE is a professional organization that publishes research papers in a variety of technical subjects. These include Engineering, Electronics, Telecommunications, Computer Science and Information Technology.

Formatting guidelines:

  • In-text citations do not necessarily require the author’s name, pages used, or publication date. Instead, use a number in a square bracket to refer to the source.
  • Include all the references in the ‘Reference List’.
  • The title of the document should be in 24-point type and centered at the top of the first page.
  • The body of the document should be written in 10-point type and divided into two columns.
  • IEEE papers start with a two-line drop cap, then all caps for the next 8-12 characters (or 1-2 words, whichever is suitable).
  • Figures, tables, and equations should all be numbered sequentially yet independently.

Always remember to divide the paper into clearly labelled headings.

5. ASA

The ASA is mostly utilized in the social sciences. It’s comparable to APA, but it’s less widely used. Double spaces, one-inch margins on all sides, footnotes, and references are all criteria for ASA papers.

  • Start a new page with the title at the top. After the introduction, use headers and subheadings.
  • You must write the abstract on a new page. Use brief and jargon-free paragraphs with (less than 200 words).
  • Use superscripted numerals to indicate footnotes and endnotes in the text.
  • Type notes at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or in a separate section called Endnotes or Notes.
  • Each note should begin with its superscript number.
  • List references alphabetically in a new section labelled ‘References.’
  • In case of multiple appendices, use Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.

We move on to AMA.

6. AMA

The AMA (or JAMA) is a medical journal that publishes academic publications. A “Reference List” with citations in numerical order is required at the end of the text. Apart from numbers pointing to the reference list, the style does not require any in-text references.

Further requirements are:

  • There should be a one-inch margin around the text
  • You should double-space the main text
  • You must place the document in the top left-hand corner of the page
  • Use the Times New Roman font with 12-point font
  • Rely on half-inch indents for new paragraphs
  • You must place page numbers in the top right-hand corners

Hopefully, you have some insight into the different essay formatting styles. If you abide by the conventions and format, you will secure exemplary grades.


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