When writing a serious academic essay, a title written in cartoon bubble writing obviously just won't do. Before you hand in your essay, it is important to ensure that you have presented it in an appropriate manner. Each school or college is likely to have different guidelines on essay presentation. However, some elements are generally the same across the board. It might feel like an unnecessarily arduous task to ensure that your essay is correctly presented, but ultimately the purpose of presenting an essay well is to make it clear and easy to read.
The Appearance of Your EssayMany school or college essay style guides will require you to double space your essay in order to make the text more readable. Make use of the formatting applications on your word processing package or, if you are writing your essay by hand, leave a blank line in between each written line.
The font you use is also important. Choose a standard, readable font that does not detract from the content of your essay. Whilst creative fonts are fun and might be perfect for an imaginative presentation or assignment, they are not appropriate when writing a homework essay. Ensure too that you have used a font size that is large enough. A size twelve is usually the best one to opt for.
Remember to check that you have left sizeable margins around your work. This will ease the task of the reader, as well as offering them space in which to add comments, corrections and suggestions.
Your Footnotes and BibliographyIf you have directly quoted from, or drawn on ideas from, secondary texts within your essay, it is vital that these are referenced properly. Check your school or college essay style guide to see which style of citation they favour. In most cases, you will need to use a series of numbered footnotes in order to show which source a particular quote or idea came from. Generally, you will need to provide the reader with details of the book or essay title, the authors name, the date of publication, the place of publication and the publisher. There are also specific ways to cite Internet based resources, electronic journals and other research materials. Your essay style guide will provide you with more details on this.
Your essay style guide might also require you to compose a full bibliography. This is a document which lists all of the books and sources of which you have made use whilst researching your essay. This too will include details such as the author and publisher of the texts. In this way, your reader will be able to note the depth and variety of research material you have covered. Referencing correctly will also help you to ensure that you are not accused of plagiarism; copying the ideas of others.
Don't worry if this all seems new to you. It will only be necessary to reference your work and include a bibliography with your essay if your teacher has mentioned that you must do so. Check with them if you are unsure.
Those Extra DetailsIt might seem obvious, but there are a few extra things that you must remember to add to your essay. Ensure that you have printed the title at the top of the first page. Also check that all pages are numbered correctly. Ensure that you have written your name clearly at the top of your work and that details such as the date, your class or form and your teacher's name are also there if needs be.
Presenting your essay well will help your reader enormously. They will be pleased that you have taken the time to set your work out appropriately and a good first impression will be made. Of course, it is the content of your essay that really counts but good presentation skills will play an important role in allowing the points you make to shine through.