How to Format Your Essay Properly: Tips & Examples
One thing to know about structuring and formatting essays for college or high school is that all scholastic essays follow a distinct format and structure. Let’s talk about how to achieve professionalism in all your papers and to both format and structure them properly.
Font, Spacing, and Margins
First, all teachers that have to grade papers insist upon double spacing—double—not 1.5 and not single. Sometimes, spacing will default or shift upon you, making your essay look unprofessional and uncared about. One simple way to fix this is to “select all” under the “edit” option in your word program and then select “format” and make sure your spacing is not only set at double spacing but also at 0 point in the drop down arrows to the left of that. This will eliminate any variations in spacing throughout the paper.
Also, most college professors insist upon the same, exact font—Times New Roman size 12. This has become standard throughout colleges across the nation and, even if you are not yet in college, what better way to impress your middle or high schools than to begin formatting your papers like a college student now?
Margins—one way that students typically try to cheat on papers is to increase their margins. Believe me, teachers know this trick – and it is one that students typically use to try to make less content fill the required pages. They just keep increasing and increasing their margins until three pages of content looks like four. Don’t do this. All teachers want one inch margins all around the paper—now, often, word programs will set your right margin at one and a quarter to one and a half inches, so you will want to change this under the formatting tab in your word program.
Structuring Your Essay
All essays follow the same specific structure. All essays should have four distinct things that are necessary to any paper. You should have, in every paper, an introductory paragraph, a thesis statement at the end of your introduction, body paragraphs full of evidence to prove your thesis and a concluding paragraph.
Introductions are where you capture the attention of your reader as you lead toward your thesis statement. Your thesis statement tells the reader what your essay is going to be about. Body paragraphs are where you prove your thesis and the conclusion is where you bring your essay to a close.