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6 Essay Formatting Styles and Things to Remember About Them

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Writing an essay may be the hardest part of the task, but your paper is never complete until it is properly formatted. And that is a tedious task on its own.

However, it often seems more intimidating than it actually is. It is true that failing to adhere to the rules of a certain formatting style can (and will) result in a lower grade. So, get to know the details of and differences between various formats beforehand.

So, What Are Formatting Styles?

A formatting style defines what an academic paper should look like. Basically, it is a list of requirements concerning things like spacing, alignment, citations, and other similar aspects. Adhering to the specific requirements is very important for students because failing to do that usually results in lower grades. Surely, the quickest tip is to turn to a reliable student help website like EssayHub essay service. There, you will find an abundance of blog articles on essay formatting or simply buy an essay edited and arranged according to your requirements. Yet, you can as well save that option until later and keep reading to get our brief overview of the most common essay formatting styles right now.

3 Most Common Formatting Styles for Essays and What You Should Know About Them

The most commonly used formatting styles in academic writing are APA, MLA, and CMS. Each of them has plenty of requirements, and it’s always best to use a specific guide to ensure your essay is arranged correctly.

If you’re thinking of ordering an essay from a service, check it by a simple search request like essayservice.com reviews Reddit to find out if the writers can handle this part of the task as well as everything else. Also, read the descriptions below to get a general idea about each of the most common styles.

APA (American Psychological Association)

APA is typically used to cite sources in papers on behavioral and social sciences such as:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • History and more

It can also be used in other fields of study, such as education or even engineering. It is also one of the most common for college essays. Its requirements include:

  • Double spaces between sentences;
  • One-inch margins on all sides;
  • Header on the top of each page;
  • Page numbers in the top right corner of each page;
  • Abstract (for each research paper, dissertation, or similar works);
  • An alphabetically organized reference page.

MLA (Modern Language Association)

Another widely used format is MLA. It is particularly common in liberal arts and humanities. The MLA is in many ways similar to APA but also has its own minor distinctive features. These include the name of the reference page – here, it’s called “Works Cited”, – and the way that the names of the sources are represented.

CMS (Chicago Manual of Style)

Though the CMS is somewhat less common in college writing, it is still used in humanities – particularly, history, literature, and arts. In this system, precise citations and footnotes play a crucial role.

The CMS requirements include double spacing, one-inch margins on all sides except on the right one, headings and footnotes, and a Bibliography section (the analog of Works Cited and References in MLA and APA respectively). Each bibliography entry should be single-spaced internally and contain a 1-line spacing before the next entry.

3 Other Commonly Used Styles

There are also three other popular styles that are often used for academic writing. However, they are much less common than the three listed above. Anyway, it’s important to be aware of their existence in case you’ll need to use them, after all.

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

The IEEE is commonly used for research papers in technical fields such as:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Telecommunications

Requirements for this one include numbered in-text citations with numbers in square brackets alongside the citation, and a list of references at the end of the paper. The paper itself should be arranged in columns.

AMA (American Medical Association)

The AMA (or JAMA) is primarily used for medical academic papers. Requirements include a “Reference List” at the end of the paper with citations in numerical order. The style doesn’t require any in-text references apart from numbers referring to the reference list.

ASA (American Sociological Association)

The ASA is also used mostly in social sciences. It is rather similar to APA but is less commonly used. Specific requirements for papers done in ASA include double spaces, one-inch margins on all sides, footnotes, and references.

How Do I Choose a Fitting Style?

In most cases, you won’t have to choose the one yourself. Most probably, it will be specified in your assignment description as well as in your school’s style guide preferences. All you need to do is be careful and check the details to avoid confusion.

If your teacher doesn’t specify the requirements and you don’t know where to find this information, don’t hesitate to ask for the details you need instantly. Don’t wait until the last minute!

How to Make Essay Formatting Easier

Essay formatting can be rather tricky, but not if you’re a tech-savvy student in 2021. These days, there are plenty of online tools offering quick and simple formatting at the click of a mouse:

  • Recite Works
  • Citation Machine
  • Databases and search engines like Google Scholar

Basically, all you need to know is the exact style you need to adhere to.

You can also find a professional essay writing and/or editing service and hire a writer to help you with this task. If you don’t have extra time to spare for pure formalities, this is probably the best option.

Wrapping Up

Formatting is an essential part of academic writing. It defines what the paper will look like and ensures consistency and adherence to the standards.

You can choose to work on your paper manually, use an online tool, or even delegate essay editing and formatting to a hired writer. Anyway, remember to check whether your finished work is arranged according to your chosen style requirements.


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