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The Essay Format You can Use for All Your Academic Papers

March 11, 2019

If you read several academic papers, you will see that they generally follow some sort of essay format. Of course, this format can differ from paper to paper and from topic to topic. However, there are not as many changes as you might think. The reality is that there is one main essay format that you can learn and that you can adapt and use for any kind of academic paper. We know that most students are having a difficult time structuring their essays correctly. There are so many so-called “experts” on the Internet and every one of them seems to have different ideas when it comes to the format of an academic paper. So, what is the proper essay format? Does it even exist? In this blog post, we will show you what a format is, why it is important, and what we consider to be the best universal format for papers.

essay format

What Is the Preferred Essay Format?

Most students tend to believe that there is some kind of magic essay format that they need to discover. They try to figure out what the professor expects of them. Will you get penalized if you insert another body paragraph? Probably not. Why? Because there is no format set in stone. On the contrary, you need to adapt the format of your paper to the topic and to the subject. Because there is no preferred essay writing format, students should not concern themselves about it too much. It is far more important what you write in your paper than how many paragraphs it contains. Of course, there are several elements that are mandatory.

Mandatory Elements of the Proper Essay Format

The proper essay format should have three elements: the introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you will provide a bit of background information on the topic so that your readers will get an idea what the paper will be about and what they can expect to learn from your research. Also, the introduction contains your thesis statement (what you aim to demonstrate throughout the paper). The body paragraphs discuss all your most important ideas or talking points. It is advised that each body paragraph cover only one major idea and provide all the necessary information to support it. The best body paragraphs are simple and to the point, while providing all the relevant information in an easy to understand manner. The conclusion is there to sum everything up and present your readers with a short recapitulation of the main ideas. Also, the conclusion frequently contains a strong call to action (what action you want your readers to take after they read your paper).

Why Use the Five Paragraph Essay Format?

Now that you understand what is essay format and what it should contain, let’s talk about the universal format that you can use for almost any type of essay on almost any topic you can imagine. Structuring an academic paper should come naturally, so you should learn how to format an essay quick and simple. The format we are talking about is the five paragraph essay format. This format is easy to use and can be adapted quickly. Here is what this academic paper structure looks like in real life:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

As you can see from the basic essay format example above, you have all three elements of a proper academic paper format. Perhaps you thought that learning how to format an essay would take you hours. It is simply not the case. As we stated previously, it is far more important to stick to the topic and to write in proper academic style than it is to count the number of paragraphs. And keep in mind that you can have as many body paragraphs as you need (you are not restricted to a maximum of 3, like in the example above). Also keep in mind that you can get some quick assistance online if you require it. An academic writer can help you structure your essay properly if you have any issues with this.

A Quick Five Paragraph Essay Format Example

To make things even more clear, here is a longer example (you can also find more essay format examples online, of course):

  1. Introduction – here you provide basic information about the topic and about your approach, while also inserting your thesis statement.
  2. First Body Paragraph – you discuss the most important idea.
  3. Second Body Paragraph – you discuss the next most important idea
  4. Third Body Paragraph – have another interesting idea to discuss? It goes here!
  5. Fourth Body Paragraph – you probably already get the idea.
  6. Conclusion – this is where you sum everything up and remind your readers about the results of your research. You usually end this paragraph with a call to action sentence.

What you need to keep in mind is that you should use transition words and sentences between paragraphs. These elements will help your writing to flow well and sound a lot better. And remember, if you need help with your essay, you can surely get it online – quite quickly actually.