Basic Essay Format Elements
It is needless to say that sometimes essay format is the same importance to the instructor as the paper contents. That’s why the same attention should be paid to formatting research paper or an essay. If your professor has not provided you with specific guidelines as to essay format, you have keep in mind the basic structure of any paper.
The basic essay format includes the following elements:
• title page where usually your name, professor’s name, due date and the name of the course are indicated;
• outline and description (sometimes required);
• introduction where one introduces the problem to be discussed and a thesis statement is presented;
• body of the paper where thesis statement is developed. In this part one expands the horizons of the problem vision, introduces ideas, explores their relevance or finds support for ideas to draw a certain conclusion;
• concluding part contains the sum up of your arguments in the form of coherent statement, presenting findings of your research;
• works cited or reference page where you note all authors and their works used in your research.
As the body of an essay is the largest part and is actually the research itself, it is worth of enlarging on the point. As it has been already mentioned the body is explanation or development of a thesis statement. Any essay format contains the body as it is where one explains the point, finds supporting evidence and relates it to the thesis. In the body of the essay one persuades the reader of the relevance of the thesis statement and proves it with the help of the arguments.
There is nothing difficult in the conclusion part as we all used to come to certain conclusions in our life. However, it is important to remember that conclusion should be based on the evidence presented in the body part. If the conclusion contradicts the arguments and evidences of the body, the value of the research is zero.
Works cited page documenting all sources used in the paper gives credit to all the authors who have previously worked on the same or related problem. When writing a research paper, one is going to investigate other studies or borrow information like statistics or summaries which is not a part of personal knowledge.
Works cited is organized as a list of all authors mentioned in the research. Besides, one indicates name of an author and the year of publication as well as page numbers in the body of the paper in the form of in-text citations or footnotes or endnotes. The style of the citation and works cited may vary depending on the citation styles required by this or that University. The most common citation styles are APA, MLA, Chicago, etc used in different types of essays. They define the peculiarities of how to cite a paper.
The outline of the basic essay format is easy to follow. However its role is very important as it structures your paper for readability and completeness and concision of the argumentation. Structuring an essay or research paper this way not only helps the reader but also much benefits one’s own understanding if arguments are complete and in place.