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Essay Format

When a student is assigned the task of writing an essay, he/she usually has to follow a specific format style. This is especially true if the instructor gives explicit guidelines. If he does not, there are several different options to choose. Firstly, the title should appear at the top of the very first page, approximately one third of the way down. This page is called the title page. The students name, class name, professor and date are either left-aligned or centered and placed half a page below the title. The margins for an essay are almost always set at 1 inch at the top and bottom and 1.25 inches on the left and right. Most essays are double spaced and left justified in alignment. Although different fonts are offered, the standard for writing essays is Times New Roman font 12 pt. Everyone is normally required to use paper of standard size (8.5 x 11 inches) and only one side will be used. Different instructors ask for different indentions but the standard is 5 spaces at the beginning of each paragraph. Some require a space between paragraphs and some do not want it at all. The same is true for numbering pages. If the instructor requires the pages to be numbered, they are generally centered on the bottom of the page. People often choose to place the page number in the upper right hand corner. The title page is never part of the number sequence so begin numbering on the actual first page of the essay. Some instructors want students to use an abbreviation such as p.2 for page 2. Other instructors ask students to number the pages by indicating which page it is, such as page 2 of 7. As a rule, the instructor merely asks students to use different types of formats such as Chicago, APA, MLA, or Turabian. They all require a bit of research in order to learn specific rules and regulations and follow them. The most important thing to do is to be certain to follow the instructions and guidelines of the teacher or instructor. Quite often this holds more importance than the essay itself. Secondary to following instructions is that following an essay format leads to better organization of the paper and so it will ultimately make it easier for the reader to follow.

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