Formatting an essay (MLA. APA, Chicago)

What is an essay format: Structure

It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an informative, academic or specific extended article-structure. An example of this is the extended essay from IB. This extended essay requires that you follow a specific academic style (most notably MLA or APA):

  • Title Page
  • Abstract: 3 paragraphs with around 300 words. Each paragraph contains 100 words.

Paragraph 1 should include a research question, thesis, outline, and a description of the essay’s importance.

Get Your Custom Essay Written From Scratch
Are You Overwhelmed With Writing Assignments?
Give yourself a break and turn to our top writers. They’ll follow all the requirements to compose a premium-quality piece for you.
Order Now

Paragraph 2 Key resources, scope and limits for research, etc.

Paragraph 3. Conclusions that you have already reached in the essay.

Table of contents (with page numbers).

  • Research question
  • Thesis
  • Introduction
  • Arguments
  • Sub-headings
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
  • Works cited (bibliography)


  • You must ask the right question



Bibliography (Works Cited)

This outline format format for an extended essay can be used as a guideline when writing a research paper. It is crucial to note that students must keep track and manage their resources in order to complete each step. All academic assignments must include correct citations. There are many citation styles. Professors prefer MLA and APA.

These two styles of formatting have distinct differences. Students who fail to follow certain guidelines when writing academic papers can get a poor grade. Additionally, rules change often, so a learner who wants perfect essays must be able to tell the difference between APA and MLA.

Plagiarism, in which a scholar fails to fully understand APA vs MLA, and does not follow the current citation rules, can cause poor performance. Recent research indicates that most undergraduate students struggle to grasp the skills required to properly cite and reference in-text. Inconsistency in citing references is another problem. But what is APA, and how does it differ from MLA? Also, how can you determine if MLA should be used or APA. This informative, yet easy-to-understand article will help you understand all that.

What is MLA?

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. APA stands for American Psychological Association. Both formats can be used to format academic papers. Both styles give credit to the source cited in writing. Also, is MLA and APA easier than APA? It depends on the speed at which a student has understood all the guidelines. Many people think that APA can only be applied to sciences because it’s more technical. One student’s experience may be easier than another. Understanding MLA vs APA is important to present your content in the best way possible.

Who Uses APA vs MLA

A common question college students have is “Should my paper be MLA or APA?” It depends on the discipline and professor. MLA is the preferred format for humanities. APA is the preferred format for science courses. To be sure you know what style to use, consult with your professor. Besides, if the format is familiar, it will be easy to follow regardless of what style you choose.

What are the differences between APA & MLA?

While bot formatting style requires both a list and in-text citation, the first major difference between APA and MLA is that MLA is currently in its 7th edition. Below are major differences in APA vs. MLA citation.

Intext Citation

APA uses a comma in direct quotations to separate author’s name, page number, and year. MLA doesn’t require you to include the year and no comma is used to separate the page number from the name.

  • APA: See, for example, (Davis, 2019m p.225).
  • MLA: (Davis 225)

It is not necessary to include page numbers in indirect intext quotations in APA format. However, MLA requires that you include page numbers in parenthesis. If the indirect quote that you want to use comes from a secondary source within the in-text citation, you will need to cite the name and include qtd.

Aron uses a quote by Davis to illustrate his book. According to MLA rules you must mention Aron in both works cited and in-text. Davis says that 30 percent of doctors won’t perform euthanasia. in Aron 21).

Two or Several Authors

For two authors, the symbol & can be used in APA to separate their names. However, MLA uses “and” for the same purpose. For three or more authors, the term etal. This is used in both citation styles. Examples:

  • APA 2 authors: (Davis & Aron 2016 p. 73).
  • Three or more authors: (Davis et al., 2016, p. 73)
  • MLA 2 authors: (Davis, Aron 73)
  • Three or more authors: (Davis et al. 73)

Sources At the End Of the Paper

Both formats require all sources mentioned within the essay to be listed separately for APA. MLA uses the word references while MLA uses it’s Work Cited. In APA, the order of citation is chronological for works and alphabetic to authors. MLA’s order of citations is alphabetic for both authors and works.

Formatting Rules

MLA does not require a title page. An academic paper in APA format does not need a running head. A running head is not required for an academic paper that must be formatted in APA. However, the professor may require a title of 50 characters or less.

Each page should include the words “Running head” followed with a colon. MLA requires that a header includes the last name. The page number should be aligned correctly for the right-aligned format. This page contains additional formatting rules that will help students to better understand the differences in MLA and APA citations.

  • MLA doesn’t require subheadings or headings. APA sections, on the other hand, do so to organize the paper.
  • MLA accepts long quotes up to 40 words, but they must be indented by one tab. If the quote exceeds four lines, it is best to block or indent two tabs when using APA.
  • In APA, the title page is the page that contains the title and name of the paper. The information should be center. The MLA format does not include a title page. However you will need to add your first and second names, class names, names of the professors, and dates in the upper left corner.

The MLA/APA formats are meant for you to avoid plagiarism. If you do, you could be expelled from your institution. If you still have questions or concerns about correctly citing and want to avoid any plagiarism at all, contact us. Our experts will write a high-quality paper that will allow you to quickly distinguish between MLA/APA.

APA Essay Format Basics

The formatting requirements of your paper will vary depending on your instructor. However, most likely your essay must include a title page, abstract and introduction.

Title Page

In APA format, your essay should include a title page. This page should include your name, school affiliation, the title of your paper and your name. Some teachers may need additional information, such a course title, instructor’s name, and the date.

  • Your title should be short and clear. It should also clearly state the purpose of your paper.
  • Your title may be up to two lines long, but should not exceed 12 words.


An abstract, or summary of your paper is the part that immediately follows the title. According to APA style it is not required in student papers. It may be requested by your instructor. Abstract : You should limit the content to 100 to 200 words. This may vary depending on instructor requirements. 1


You should also include a bibliography in your essay with all the sources you have cited.

  • The reference section is at the bottom of your paper.
  • All references should be listed alphabetically, starting with the last name of each author.
  • References should have double spacing


An APA essay will contain the entire essay: the introduction and body.

  • You should leave at least one inch between the top and bottom of your essay.
  • The font should be Times New Roman size 12,
  • Your paper should have double spacing
  • A page number should be included in the top-right corner of each page.
  • Your paper should be indented by one-half inch for the first paragraph.

Every page of professional papers has a running header at the top left. The running head is a short form of your title. It’s often found in the first few lines. It shouldn’t exceed 50 characters (including space)

How do you write an essay using MLA Format

An MLA format essay must be written following a set of basic guidelines. This guide will show you how to use our essay writing service:

font: 12pt times New Roman


  • Double spaced everywhere
  • Avoid extra spaces, especially between paragraphs

Heading An example of the heading for the first page of an essay (upper right corner)

  • Your name (John Smith).
  • Margot Robbie: Name of the Teacher/Professor
  • The class (Depends if course/class).
  • Date (20/04/2017)

Margins One-inch margins at the top, bottom left, right, and center.

Page Nos: As a “header”, last name and page no must appear on every page. It will be in place of text.

Title. The title must be in the proper format. It must be centered and above each line of the essay. It must also have the same font and the same size as the essay.


Align. Position the left-hand side and align it evenly.

Chicago Style

Chicago style is common in academic writing which emphasizes the source. To make a paper successful, you must use exact citations and footnotes.

Chicago Style Essay Format

The Chicago essay format uses the same bullet-point structure.

Title page

  • Chicago style title pages are all based on spacing.
  • Below the title, you should have regular text. Double-spacing is required for lines that are more than one.
  • Next, center the full name at the very top.
  • The page will show the course number, instructor’s information and the date.



  • Double spacing everywhere
  • You should not add spaces between paragraphs.

font: Times New Roman (12pts) is the best choice

Page Nos

  • Last name, page number on every page in the top-right
  • Don’t number the title pages. The title page should begin with a 2.

Footnotes : Paraphrased or quoted passages must have footnotes in Chicago format.

Bibliography is very similar in format to MLA. You will need to gather the relevant information and submit it to a specialized website for citation.

Tips to Write an Academic Paper

There’s no single way to write an essay. However, there are solid guidelines that will guide you in a consistent writing style. Be it a college application essay, a research paper, informative essay, etc. It is best to follow a template for writing essays. You can find the outline below divided into steps.

Choose a topic that is good

Many students have trouble choosing a great topic for essays. Your topic should be clear enough that you can easily explore it and reach your word limit if there are any variables you have to worry about. That shouldn’t be a problem if the topic is good. But it shouldn’t be so broad that you have to squeeze more information into one piece of paper. Be specific enough to not run out of information. But don’t go too far or you may feel overwhelmed. Do not hesitate to ask your instructor for assistance in writing your essay.

Do your research as soon and as possible

Before you start writing, you should be familiar with the information. Find compelling arguments and counterpoints. Learn trivia facts. Information gathering is a never-ending task.

You can choose to focus on specific, valuable resources

If you are comfortable with the subject matter, you can have a conversation. Find resources that have been saved, bookmarked or very informative and start to search for information. The citations at your paper’s end will require all the information you have. Save books, articles, websites and other sources that you are able to cite. You might be able to subtract from or expand your scope of research.

An Outline is required

Always make a plan. This could be the most important step in the entire process. This is the most important phase of the process. If you have a strong, organized essay outline with a goal in mind, you’ll be able to refer to it whenever you get stuck. Your progress will be rapid because you have direct references to your research. A list with keywords (if any) will increase the informational scope. It is easier to identify the section’s direction and potential informational criteria with keywords specific to each section.


Before you begin writing any thoughts in the body part of your essay, be sure that the outline contains sufficient information to support whatever statement you choose. Don’t be afraid to express your creativity (within limits, of course) in your paper. Your content will emerge over time, if you begin with a five-paragraph structure.

Ask for a peer review of academic papers

The draft is completed before you know it and can be sent to peer review. Ask a friend, a relative, or even a specialist to provide feedback. Ask for as much feedback you can and get to work.

Final Draft

Be sure to read the draft again before you submit the final version. Focus on any small mistakes, such as punctuation or grammar. Be sure to follow the correct essay structure. Get help from our academic essay writing service.

Get instant help with any paper assignment

Education is a critical and important period in every person’s journey. However, it comes with immense pressure and unforeseen challenges that some students may struggle to deal with. There is no reason to feel exhausted and unable to complete another essay or research paper. Private Writing experts are here to help. We can assist with hundreds of academic tasks every single day and will handle any academic challenge.

External help can be a great option. Our experts are flexible and offer many benefits.

  • Topic selection and academic material research.
  • You can choose from academic publications or arguments that will form the backbone for your arguments.
  • An outline of the assignment will help you to navigate the writing process.
  • You can write the entire paper from scratch in order to cover all aspects of your academic needs.
  • You can edit your drafts before they are submitted to improve the quality of your content.

So, when you get help from us, you will receive excellent services and exceptional management of all your educational challenges by specialists with many years’ experience in the subject.

Your Subject Is On The List – Place an Order Now

Many customers call us the best paper writing service online, and they cite numerous reasons to support this claim. They highlight the broad subject coverage that includes dozens upon dozens academic areas and a team of highly-skilled professionals. So, regardless of whether you’re studying English or looking to get your Programming assignment done, we can do it. We can help you write well-written, professional-looking papers on any topic.

Questions? Let’s make them right away!

Once you feel overwhelmed and unable to do it all yourself, you may need to use an online paper writing service such as ours. Private Writing is sure to provide competent and skilled writers who can complete all your assignments with no delays. It shouldn’t be difficult to study and you’ll notice a difference when you begin working with experienced tutors.