Many students do not take formatting seriously. However, it’s not something teachers and instructors invented to make your life more difficult. Formatting matters. It is an integral part of an academic essay, and it’s equally important to content.
That is why the referencing style has its unique, clear requirements concerning formatting. They are carefully reviewed and regularly updated by respective committees. These instructions are also the main guidance for research paper service who work on student essays 24/7. However, essay writers claim that essays often get undervalued for formatting mistakes.
So, if you are a student looking for advice concerning formatting, below you’ll find a few tips on improving your essay and making it look good and academically correct.
Dos and Don’ts of Academic Formatting
If you have written an essay that you think is strong enough to submit to a professor, here are a few things you need to do in advance.
A title page has its own formatting rules. They are often included in the referencing style guidebook, so all you need to do is to follow the instructions. Be attentive because the title page is the first thing a teacher sees when reading your document.
Do not try to put everything you believe is important on the title page. The amount of information you are allowed to put on the main page is strictly limited. Do not make up your own rules; simply follow the established ones.
Every referencing style is different from another, and page numbers, headers, and other details make the most of these differences. The number is usually placed in the top right corner. The numbering starts with the first page, including the title page. However, it may not be placed on it.
Do not try to add something extra to these numbers, and do not move them to the bottom of the page. Their location is not optional. You should follow academic referencing rules.
“Works Cited,” “References,” or “Bibliography” – whichever the title of the page is, it should be created following the requirements of academic referencing. Even a comma matters when you format this page. Be attentive or ask for help with referencing to ensure the formatting is correct.
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You need to guarantee that everybody who reads your paper understands that you had studied the problem in greater depth before you wrote about it. This effect is achieved by adding in-text references throughout the essay.
Do not just leave the quotes or ideas you borrow unsupported with citations. It is called plagiarism, and it is heavily punished by faculty and academic staff. So, don’t add another problem. Just learn how to format in-text citations and avoid plagiarism.
Margins are very important for formatting. Whether you print your essay or not, you cannot write from one side to another just to include more text. The gold standard for margins is one inch. It means you need to leave more than 2.5 cm blank from each side, including the bottom and the top.
Do not neglect or ignore the problem of margins. Corresponding rules are mentioned in every referencing style, so demonstrate exceptional attention to detail.
Font and Its Size
Academic assignments have clear instructions concerning the fonts that may be used. Usually, it’s Times New Roman or similar. The font size is usually from 10 to 12, but it may depend on the assignment.
You’d better refrain from mixing up fonts or font sizes. It all looks awful when an essay is printed. A professor also won’t be happy to see parts of the text that are inconsistent with the rest of the writing piece.
The standards of spacing are usually different. Sometimes, instructors specify what spacing they expect to see. However, the text should not look too dense or too loose. That is why it’s important to keep it within 1.15 to 1.5 limits.
If you fail to make spacing equal across the whole text, you may risk losing several points for the whole essay. This is not hard to do, but students often forget about it.
Usually, it’s not mandatory to justify a text. However, it’s still recommended because it makes the text look complete and finalized.
Professors don’t see the justification of a text as a key criterion for formatting. Nonetheless, consider this option if you want your paper to look nice.
Formatting is as important for a teacher reading your essay as the content. They see the entire picture, and they can’t enjoy it if they see serious mistakes in formatting.
Therefore, read the instructions for formatting that are usually published and amended along with the other rules and requirements for references. All you need is to follow them to the dot, and your problem with referencing will be solved.
However, if you have doubts concerning the quality and accuracy of your formatting, you can request some help from professional essay writers and editors.