How to Format Your Essay Properly

Essay formatting is fairly consistent across the board. The main sectors of essay formatting are the introduction, the body and the conclusion. In addition, there are some specifics with regard to fonts, margins, spacing, headings, resource documents and placement that are important to proper formatting of an essay.


Your introduction consists of short and concise sentences that offer the reader a summation of your claim or argument. The introduction is typically one paragraph in length and its main objective outside of summarizing the main topic is to quickly capture the attention of the reader. You don’t want to offer too much data in the introduction since too much content in the beginning can cause the reader to lose interest or become bored.


The body of an essay is usually about three paragraphs long and is the main part of the essay nestled between the introduction and the conclusion. Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence and is followed by a brief explanation of the topic sentence providing the reader with helpful insight to your claim or argument. The use of connecting words and phrases as well as bridge sentences assists in the content writing of the body and provides a smooth flow for reading which again helps to maintain the attention of the reader. The content in the body focuses on the main point or topic of the essay and is critical to the overall claim or argument.


The conclusion, like the introduction, should be a single paragraph of concise and short sentences. Many times it is helpful to compare the conclusion back to the introduction which serves to balance out the essay and, if written properly, wins over the reader or leaves the reader with a lasting impression which you, as the writer, set out to do. A conclusion almost typically repeats the introduction but backwards.

Style Formatting

When writing an essay the simple format to follow is the use of Times New Roman font, 12 pitch; double space all content; one inch paged margins; text is left aligned and on the first page you would create a header with the author’s name, the professor’s name, course name, and date of submission. The list of resources consulted would be listed separately on the last page. Always use standard white paper and only print content on one side not double sided.