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Essay Writing Format

The essay writing format you use to lay out your written piece may sometimes be as important as the content of the essay itself. For students, it is important to be familiar with the correct academic essay format and adhere to it in order to avoid any deductions in terms of the marks for a written essay assignment.

Students writing an essay should stick to the formatting rules and guidelines provided by the professor, if any were given; however, if no specific essay writing format was set, the student has several options for formatting the piece - it mostly depends now on the preference and on what is an appropriate essay writing format for the particular subject or field.

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In terms of the essay title, most of the time, the topic of the essay serves as the title as well; however, the section that contains the title may contain several other elements such as the student's name, the name of the professor, the subject and others. Students have the option of including a separate sheet or title page when handing in the essay.

As for the proper essay writing format for the text of the essay itself, there are several tips or guidelines that students may refer to:

  • Use the standard margins for the top, bottom and side margins.
  • The standard line spacing for essay text is double spaced. This allows the professor to indicate the errors as well as provide comments on the written text.
  • The text is almost always aligned to the left, unless specified otherwise.
  • Paragraphs are generally tabbed, using an indentation of 5 (five) spaces from the left.
  • Standard fonts and font size should be used for essay writing - this includes fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial. The standard font size is at 12 pt.
  • Printed text should appear on only one side of the paper, using the standard size of paper.


These are only some basic essay writing tips you can apply to format your essay. Always comply with the essay writing format specified by the professor. If there is a standard university format, you should familiarise yourself with that particular format as well.

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