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What is the Most Appropriate Academic Essay Format?


Knowing the proper academic essay format is crucial to know not just for now, but for your entire academic career. Whether you are writing an essay, report, or even something as big as a dissertation, this will definitely get you started and help you to understand the basics of essay formatting.


  1. Essay Topic
    • If this has already been chosen for you, then your job is much easier. Simply make sure that you are following the guidelines that you were given from your instructor.
    • When picking your essay topic, make sure you factor in whether or not it is an easy subject to research and find information on. If it is one that you are unable to find resources for, you may need to choose another topic.

  2. Thesis Statement
    • This is very important because it defines your entire essay‚Äôs subject matter and purpose.
    • The thesis is typically written in the last couple of sentences of the introduction and guides you into the bulk of your paper.

  3. Outline your Essay
    • This is an outlined list of topics/points that you will be going over in your essay.
    • Creating an outline allows you to stay organized, focused, and on topic.

  4. First Draft
    • Do not panic! This will not be the finalized version that you hand over. This is simply a rough draft.
    • Use your outline as a guide to prepare you.
    • Do not focus on whether or not this meets the length requirements given to you by your instructor. Again, it is just a rough draft.

  5. Create Paragraphs
    • Go back and look at your outline. Make sure the paragraph structure matches with the points on your outline.
    • Paragraphs are typically 3-5 sentences in length and stand alone.

  6. Point/Proof/Result
    • Make sure your point is clearly stated, you have evidence to back it up, and provide the ending result or conclusion.
    • Use your references as a tool to guide you
    • Think about what impact it had.

  7. Second Draft
    • This is your opportunity to bulk up the paragraphs. Anything in the rough draft that needed editing, some extra facts, or points, this is the time to do that.
    • Make sure you use transitional phrases, these will help the reader be able to flow from one paragraph to the next.

  8. Final Draft
    • Be sure to use spell check on your computer.
    • Having a peer proofread it is a good idea to help with grammar and spelling mistakes or sentence structure issues.

You are ready to write your paper. This guide should guide you through everything you need to get started.

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