How to Format Essays

Once your revisions are complete, it's time to format your essay -- or arrange the way it is presented.

The first rule with formatting is simple: ask your professor.  He or she may prefer a special format.

If they say "Use MLA" or "Use APA," follow the instructions below.

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MLA Format

Title page: usually no -- check with professor
Margins: 1 inch all around
Font: usually Times Roman, 11 to 12 point
Heading: Yes -- follow illustration below
Page number: Yes -- upper left hand, with last name.

Instructions on automatically setting up this information using Microsoft Word

First, second and Works Cited page of MLA formatted essay.
Images from Diana Hacker's web site on citing sources.


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

APA Format

Title page: usually yes -- check with professor
Margins: 1 inch all around
Font: usually Times Roman, 11 to 12 point
Heading: Yes -- follow illustration below
Page number: Yes -- upper left hand, with last name.

Instructions on automatically setting up this information using Microsoft Word

First, second and Works Cited page of APA formatted essay.
Images from Diana Hacker's web site on citing sources.


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


Direct comments or suggestions to David Bordelon at dbordelon@ocean.edu
Last modified August 30, 2009