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Essay formats

If you want to work on your academic assignments, you must understand the rules of various essay formats. When you are assigned the task, your professor might specify the format that you have to follow, or they might give you an option of selecting the right format according to your own choice. There are many formats available to choose from, and it is very important to follow their guidelines and instructions while using a particular format.

But you can stick to the right essay formats only if you know their rules

And because different essay formats have different rules, if you have been given a choice to select a format on your own, select the one that you have used previously. Before you select just any format to begin your assignment, bear in mind that there are certain subjects that restrict the essay formats that can be used with them.

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For instance, the MLA format by the Modern Language Association is employed for liberal arts and humanities assignments. The APA format, given by the American Psychological Association is used for psychological or social science related subjects. And then there is the Harvard format that is different from the previous two. Let's see what common essay formats are used by students for their academic assignments.

Before we discuss them, you should know that the style indicates quality of the assignment. As you must probably know, essay format is very important as it gives structure to the essay and makes it attractive and readable.


These essay formats are for academic papers, and especially for essays. You can use any type of resources to formulate the content and it does not depend upon the format or the topic. You can use newspapers, books, journals, websites, CDs or video tapes- anything that helps you is most welcome. To keep it simple, let us not go into too many details and just discuss the writing methods for their citation styles.

Here are some basic essay formats:

  • Harvard

One major point to remember in this essay style is that you require the name of the author along with the publication title and publication year. It also needs the place of publication, if available. Generally the city is taken as the last part when you write the bibliography. This is a pretty simple format.

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

This style differs in one key aspect, which is the way of writing the paper. The essay title is taken as the header, which is followed by the page number. It also requires details for the bibliography entries- quite like Harvard. As mentioned earlier, it is used to write science based assignments.

  • Modern Language Association (MLA)

This essay style has the exact same needs of entries in the bibliography section as Harvard and APA styles. Nonetheless, the heading of this style is made of the last name of the writer followed by current page number. Plus, there should be minimum four spaces before the title. These spaces would hold your full name, subject, professor's name and date.

You can take online help to know how that is done. Essay formats are quite easy to understand and there are many resources to help you out.

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