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How to Format an Essay

Last Updated: August 26, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Carrie Adkins, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Carrie Adkins is the cofounder of NursingClio, an open access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog that connects historical scholarship to current issues in gender and medicine. She completed her PhD in American History at the University of Oregon in 2013. While completing her PhD, she earned numerous competitive research grants, teaching fellowships, and writing awards. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 84,455 times.

You’re opening your laptop to write an essay, knowing exactly what you want to write, but then it hits you—you don’t know how to format it! Using the correct format when writing an essay can help your paper look polished and professional while earning you full credit. There are 3 common essay formats—MLA, APA, and Chicago Style—and we’ll teach you the basics of properly formatting each in this article. So, before you shut your laptop in frustration, take a deep breath and keep reading because soon you’ll be formatting like a pro.

Setting Up Your Document

Step 1 Read over the assignment’s guidelines before you begin.

  • If you can’t find information on the style guide you should be following, talk to your instructor after class to discuss the assignment or send them a quick email with your questions.
  • If your instructor lets you pick the format of your essay, opt for the style that matches your course or degree best: MLA is best for English and humanities; APA is typically for education, psychology, and sciences; Chicago Style is common for business, history, and fine arts.

Step 2 Set your margins to 1 inch (2.5 cm) for all style guides.

  • Most word processors default to 1 inch (2.5 cm) margins.

Step 3 Use Times New Roman font.

  • Do not change the font size, style, or color throughout your essay.

Step 4 Change your font size to 12pt.

  • Change the spacing on Google Docs by clicking on Format , and then selecting “Line spacing.”
  • Click on Layout in Microsoft Word, and then click the arrow at the bottom left of the “paragraph” section.

Step 6 Put the page number and your last name in the top right header for all styles.

  • Using the page number function will create consecutive numbering.
  • When using Chicago Style, don’t include a page number on your title page. The first page after the title page should be numbered starting at 2. [4] X Research source
  • In APA format, a running heading may be required in the left-hand header. This is a maximum of 50 characters that’s the full or abbreviated version of your essay’s title. [5] X Research source

Step 7 Use a title page with APA or Chicago Style format.

  • For APA formatting, place the title in bold at the center of the page 3 to 4 lines down from the top. Insert one double-spaced line under the title and type your name. Under your name, in separate centered lines, type out the name of your school, course, instructor, and assignment due date. [6] X Research source
  • For Chicago Style, set your cursor ⅓ of the way down the page, then type your title. In the very center of your page, put your name. Move your cursor ⅔ down the page, then write your course number, followed by your instructor’s name and paper due date on separate, double-spaced lines. [7] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 8 Create a left-handed heading for MLA Style essays.

  • Double-space the heading like the rest of your paper.

Writing the Essay Body

Step 1 Center the title of your paper in all style formats.

  • Use standard capitalization rules for your title.
  • Do not underline, italicize, or put quotation marks around your title, unless you include other titles of referred texts.

Step 2 Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) for all styles.

  • A good hook might include a quote, statistic, or rhetorical question.
  • For example, you might write, “Every day in the United States, accidents caused by distracted drivers kill 9 people and injure more than 1,000 others.”

Step 4 Include a thesis statement at the end of your introduction.

  • "Action must be taken to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving, including enacting laws against texting while driving, educating the public about the risks, and giving strong punishments to offenders."
  • "Although passing and enforcing new laws can be challenging, the best way to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving is to enact a law against texting, educate the public about the new law, and levy strong penalties."

Step 5 Present each of your points in 1 or more paragraphs.

  • Use transitions between paragraphs so your paper flows well. For example, say, “In addition to,” “Similarly,” or “On the other hand.” [12] X Research source

Step 6 Complete your essay with a conclusion.

  • A statement of impact might be, "Every day that distracted driving goes unaddressed, another 9 families must plan a funeral."
  • A call to action might read, “Fewer distracted driving accidents are possible, but only if every driver keeps their focus on the road.”

Using References

Step 1 Create parenthetical citations...

  • In MLA format, citations should include the author’s last name and the page number where you found the information. If the author's name appears in the sentence, use just the page number. [14] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • For APA format, include the author’s last name and the publication year. If the author’s name appears in the sentence, use just the year. [15] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • If you don’t use parenthetical or internal citations, your instructor may accuse you of plagiarizing.

Step 2 Use footnotes for citations in Chicago Style.

  • At the bottom of the page, include the source’s information from your bibliography page next to the footnote number. [16] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • Each footnote should be numbered consecutively.

Step 3 Center the title of your reference page.

  • If you’re using MLA format , this page will be titled “Works Cited.”
  • In APA and Chicago Style, title the page “References.”

Step 4 List your sources on the references page by author’s last name in alphabetical order.

  • If you have more than one work from the same author, list alphabetically following the title name for MLA and by earliest to latest publication year for APA and Chicago Style.
  • Double-space the references page like the rest of your paper.
  • Use a hanging indent of 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) if your citations are longer than one line. Press Tab to indent any lines after the first. [17] X Research source
  • Citations should include (when applicable) the author(s)’s name(s), title of the work, publication date and/or year, and page numbers.
  • Sites like Grammarly , EasyBib , and MyBib can help generate citations if you get stuck.

Formatting Resources

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  • ↑ https://www.une.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/392149/WE_Formatting-your-essay.pdf
  • ↑ https://content.nroc.org/DevelopmentalEnglish/unit10/Foundations/formatting-a-college-essay-mla-style.html
  • ↑ https://camosun.libguides.com/Chicago-17thEd/titlePage
  • ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/page-header
  • ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/title-page
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html
  • ↑ https://www.uvu.edu/writingcenter/docs/handouts/writing_process/basicessayformat.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.deanza.edu/faculty/cruzmayra/basicessayformat.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://library.menloschool.org/chicago

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A Complete Essay Format Guide

25 June, 2020

11 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

So, you’ve crafted your essay. Congratulations! The hard part is truly over. Now comes the time to choose the proper essay format. It is no longer about your content, but rather about the way you arrange it. You do it to meet your school’s requirements.

Essay Format Guide

In this guide, we will focus on common formatting styles:

  • APA essay format;
  • MLA essay format;
  • Harvard format essay, and
  • Chicago essay format.

So, without further ado, let’s get right to business.

What is an Essay Format?

An essay format is the structure and the general guidelines of an essay that keep its content organized and well-structured.

The primary purpose of the college essay format is to help the readers follow main ideas behind the content without stumbling upon its structure. It is not a daunting task to deal with. It is a great way to organize your thoughts for the target audience to understand what you were trying to say in the first place.

Moreover, at least 10% of your grade depends on the proper essay format . Thus, it is in your best interests to stick to the guidelines and use correct essay format.

And it is also true in case you want to get into a college of your dream. Half of the success is in proper college application essay format. So, don’t miss your chance!

Educational institutions require different essay formats. Therefore, to get the highest grades, one must know the difference between types of essay formats and follow the guidelines when working on a piece.

In just a bit, you will find out the difference between the APA, Chicago, Harvard, and MLA format for essays.

Types of Essay Formats

Here are four most common types of essay formats, as we have mentioned above.

types of essay formats

They all have their specifics, and each school has its own requirements. However, MLA remains the top essay format. We don’t say that it’s the best essay writing format. However, it is the most popular one.

And unless you have clear instructions on what essay format to use in your paper, you’d rather opt for an MLA format essay.

The essay format style has nothing to do with the complexity of your paper. The argumentative essay format at your school depends on the preferences of your tutors, not on the academic level of the paper. So, don’t fall victim to this silly idea.

How to Format a College Essay

Set of requirements for essay formats

To get the highest grade, a student has to know how to format an essay in accordance with these requirements. Here’s an example of how essay formats might differ.

The Difference Between MLA and APA Essay Formats

We’ll give more details on each of these essay formats later in the guide, but for now, let’s see what differences one should know about when it comes to these two formats.

  • The list of works used in the paper is called differently in APA and MLA formats (“ References ” and “ Works cited ” respectively). And even though both of them list works used in the essay alphabetically, with MLA, the name of the author is written in full, while with the APA, only the first letter of his name is mentioned following the last name.
  • In general, APA essay format is mostly used in papers on social studies , while the MLA essay format is typically the top choice for other subjects .
  • Finally, in case you are adding citations inside the text and mention the author within the quote, MLA essay format requires you to add a number of the page you found the quote on at the end of the sentence while in case of the APA essay format you need to mention the year . Here is an APA format essay example with the quote: “Bill Gates (1985) stated that young people would have no problem finding a good job as long as they view computers as tools.”

These might seem like insignificant differences. Yet, when it comes to grading your paper, the tutor will look closely at each of these essay format requirements to see how well you did your homework.

Now that you understand the differences between MLA and APA essay formats let’s go into specifics of each one of them.

How to Write an Essay in MLA Format

The basic guidelines for the MLA essay format are the following:

  • Font : Times New Roman
  • Size of the font : 12pt
  • Margins : 1-inch margin on all the sides of the pape
  • Header : Each page should have a header that will contain the author’s last name and a page number
  • Alignment : To the left-hand side
  • Spacing : Double
  • Indentation : Yes, at the beginning of each paragraph
  • Title : The title comes on the first page at the same font size as the rest of the text, only aligned to the center of the page.
  • Footnotes : Not required

When explaining to you how to start an essay in MLA format, we have to mention that every piece begins with a heading. Place it in the upper right corner, and make sure to include the following facts into it:

  • Your first and last name;
  • Your tutor’s (or professor’s) name;
  • The course you’re taking;

Here is a good MLA essay format example of the headline:

“Mark Snow Jonathan Brown Psychology September 24, 2018.”

If you need more information on the MLA essay format , check our recent guide on this topic.

How to Write an Essay in APA Format

This essay format is also quite common. Its main requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Margins : 1-inch margin on all the sides of the paper
  • Header : Each page should have a header that will contain the title of the paper and a page number. Note that in this essay format the title cannot exceed 50 characters.
  • Title : The title comes on the first page at the same font size as the rest of the text. With it, according to this essay format guidelines, a student must mention his full name and the educational establishment he is currently studying at.

In this case, the APA essay format example of the cover page will look like this:

“Foreign Language Education: How to Teach English to Adults” Mark Snow Yale University”

To find more details on this essay format, please read our complete guide to APA essay format .

Chicago Style Essay Format

Requirements for this essay format include but are not limited to:

  • Font : Times New Roman (unless your tutor specified a different one)
  • Font size : 12pt
  • Margins : 1-inch margins on sides, top, and bottom;
  • Header : Each page should have a page number at the top right corner and your last name. Don’t put a number on the title page.
  • Indentation : 1/2″ indent for paragraph beginnings
  • Footnotes : Required

A title page in case of this essay format starts with a title of your paper placed ¼ page down from the top. Then ½ page down from top comes your full name followed by the course number, the name of the professor and due date at the bottom of the page. You should write each of these points in separate lines with double spacing.

Take a look at this essay format example of a cover page if you need brighter examples to clarify the subject.

Chicago format cover page

Harvard Format

Last but not least is the Harvard essay format . Here are the requirements for this essay writing format:

  • Font : Times New Roman or Arial
  • Header : Each page should have a short version of the paper’s title and a page number in the top right corner with exactly five spaces in between them.
  • Alignment : To the left-hand side.

The cover page in the Harvard essay format is very specific.

The title of your essay should be capitalized and written ½ page down. Then you have to go three lines down to place the author of the work (no capitalization here). From there, you have to go four more lines down to mention the class you are taking first and the tutor’s full name in the next line. Finally, this essay format requires you to specify the name of the educational establishment, its location, and the due date in the following lines.

It doesn’t matter what paper you are writing using this essay format. The structure stays the same.

Here is an example of the compare and contrast essay format. Feast your eyes on it:

Harvard format cover page

Essay Outline Format

Apart from sticking to the requirements of these essay formats, students should also pay close attention to following the essay writing guidelines when it comes to its outline.

Thus, the scholarship essay format, as well as the persuasive essay format, are only considered correct if the text contains all the essential components.

Any essay should have the following structure.

a-grade essay structure

Related Posts: Essay outline | Research Paper outline

Over to You

These are four common essay formats every student should know. Use this guide as a cheat sheet whenever needed.

And in case you don’t want to deal with essay formats, you can always trust us with this important task. Our Online Essay Writer service is your best choice when it comes to excellent essay writing services and perfect essay format.

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How to Write an Essay in APA Format

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

essay format at the top

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

essay format at the top

What Is APA Format?

Apa essay format basics.

  • Steps to Follow

Frequently Asked Questions

If your instructor has asked you to write an APA format essay, it might at first seem like a daunting task, especially if you are accustomed to using another style such as MLA or Chicago. But you can master the rules of APA essay format, too.

An essay is one type of paper that can be written in APA format; others include lab reports, experimental reports, and case studies. Before you begin, familiarize yourself with some of the basic guidelines for writing a paper in APA format. Of course, it will also be important to follow any other formatting instructions that are part of your assignment.

How do you write an essay in APA format? The basic elements you need to include are:

  • A title page
  • An abstract
  • An introduction, main body, and conclusion
  • A reference section
  • Proper APA formatting with regard to margins, layout, spacing, titles, and indentations

This article discusses how to write an essay in APA format, including the basic steps you should follow and tips for how to get started.

Whether you’re taking an introductory or graduate-level psychology class, chances are strong that you will have to write at least one paper during the course of the semester. In almost every case, you will need to write your paper in APA format, the official publication style of the American Psychological Association . It is also used for academic journals.

Such rules are generally the same whether you are writing a high school essay, college essay, or professional essay for publication.

APA format is used in a range of disciplines including psychology , education, and other social sciences. The format dictates presentation elements of your paper including spacing, margins, and how the content is structured.

Most instructors and publication editors have strict guidelines when it comes to how your format your writing. Not only does adhering to APA format allow readers to know what to expect from your paper, but it also means that your work will not lose critical points over minor formatting errors. 

While the formatting requirements for your paper might vary depending on your instructor's directions, writing APA essay format means you will most likely need to include a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference sections.

Your APA format essay should have a title page . This title page should include the title of your paper, your name, and your school affiliation. In some instances, your teacher might require additional information such as the course title, instructor name, and the date.

  • The title of your paper should be concise and clearly describe what your paper is about.
  • Your title can extend to two lines, but it should be no longer than 12 words.

An abstract is a brief summary of your paper that immediately follows the title page. It is not required for student papers, according to APA style. However, your instructor may request one.

If you include an abstract , it should be no more than 100 to 200 words, although this may vary depending upon the instructor requirements.

Your essay should also include a reference list with all of the sources that were cited in your essay,

  • The reference section is located at the end of your paper.
  • References should be listed alphabetically by the last name of the author.
  • References should be double-spaced.
  • Any source that is cited in your paper should be included in your reference section.

When writing in APA essay format, the text will include the actual essay itself: The introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • There should be uniform margins of at least one inch at the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your essay.
  • The text should be in Times New Roman size 12 font or another serif typeface that is easily readable.
  • Your paper should be double-spaced.
  • Every page should include a page number in the top right corner.
  • The first word of each paragraph in your paper should be indented one-half inch.

For professional papers (usually not student papers), every page of the essay also includes a running head at the top left. The running head is a shortened form of the title, often the first few words, and should be no more than 50 characters (including spaces).

Steps to a Successful APA Format Essay

In addition to ensuring that you cite your sources properly and present information according to the rules of APA style, there are a number of things you can do to make the writing process a little bit easier.

Choose a Topic

Start by choosing a good topic to write about. Ideally, you want to select a subject that is specific enough to let you fully research and explore the topic, but not so specific that you have a hard time finding sources of information.

If you choose something too specific, you may find yourself with not enough to write about. If you choose something too general, you might find yourself overwhelmed with information.

Research Your Topic

Start doing research as early as possible. Begin by looking at some basic books and articles on your topic to help develop it further. What is the question you are going to answer with your essay? What approach will you take to the topic?

Once you are more familiar with the subject, create a preliminary source list of potential books, articles, essays, and studies that you may end up using in your essay.

Remember, any source used in your essay must be included in your reference section. Conversely, any source listed in your references must be cited somewhere in the body of your paper.

Write Your Rough Draft

With research in hand, you are ready to begin. Some people like to create an outline to organize their argument prior to drafting. You may want to start with a very rough outline, and then add details.

Once you have a detailed outline, the next step is to translate it from notes to complete sentences and paragraphs. Remember, this is a first draft. It doesn't have to be perfect.

As you write your paper in APA essay format, be sure to keep careful track of the sources that you cite.

How do you start an APA paper? Your paper should begin with an introduction that includes a thesis statement that presents your main ideas, points, or arguments. Your introduction should start on the third page of your paper (after the title page and abstract). The title of your paper should be centered, bolded, and typed in title case at the top of the page.

Review and Revise

After you have prepared a rough draft of your essay, it's time to revise, review, and prepare your final draft. In addition to making sure that your writing is cohesive and supported by your sources, you should also check carefully for typos, grammar errors, and possible formatting mistakes.

When citing information or quotations taken from an interview, APA format requires that you cite the source, how the information was collected, and the date of the interview. They should not be included in the reference section, however, because they are not something that can be located by a reader in any published source or searchable database.

Instead, the information should be cited parenthetically in the main body of the text. For example: “There was an increase in the number of college students who screened positive for depression/anxiety” (R. Heathfield, personal communication, May 9, 2021).

If the essay is in a chapter of a book, edited collection, or anthology, APA format states that you should cite the last name, first name, title of essay, title of collection, publisher, year, and page range. For example: Smith, John, "The Light House," A Book of Poems , editing by Peter Roberts, Allworth Press, 2005, pp. 20-25.

According to APA format, a two-part essay is formatted the same as an essay, however, you'll need to create two title pages.

If you're including a short direct quote in your APA-format essay, you will need to cite the author, year of publication, and page number (p.) or page number span (pp.). Quotations longer than 40 words should omit the quotation marks and be put in the text using block quotation formatting, on its own line and indented 1/2 inch from the left margin.

The cover page or "title page" in APA essay format should always include the title of your paper, your name, and school affiliation as well as the course title, instructor name, and date, if requested by your teacher.

Nagda S.  How to write a scientific abstract.   J Indian Prosthodont Soc.  2013;13(3):382-383. doi:10.1007/s13191-013-0299-x

American Psychological Association.  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  (7th ed.). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association; 2019.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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How to Format and Structure Your College Essay

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College essays are an entirely new type of writing for high school seniors. For that reason, many students are confused about proper formatting and essay structure. Should you double-space or single-space? Do you need a title? What kind of narrative style is best-suited for your topic?

In this post, we’ll be going over proper college essay format, traditional and unconventional essay structures (plus sample essays!), and which structure might work best for you. 

General College Essay Formatting Guidelines

How you format your essay will depend on whether you’re submitting in a text box, or attaching a document. We’ll go over the different best practices for both, but regardless of how you’re submitting, here are some general formatting tips:

  • There’s no need for a title; it takes up unnecessary space and eats into your word count
  • Stay within the word count as much as possible (+/- 10% of the upper limit). For further discussion on college essay length, see our post How Long Should Your College Essay Be?
  • Indent or double space to separate paragraphs clearly

If you’re submitting in a text box:

  • Avoid italics and bold, since formatting often doesn’t transfer over in text boxes
  • Be careful with essays meant to be a certain shape (like a balloon); text boxes will likely not respect that formatting. Beyond that, this technique can also seem gimmicky, so proceed with caution
  • Make sure that paragraphs are clearly separated, as text boxes can also undo indents and double spacing

If you’re attaching a document:

  • Use a standard font and size like Times New Roman, 12 point
  • Make your lines 1.5-spaced or double-spaced
  • Use 1-inch margins
  • Save as a PDF since it can’t be edited. This also prevents any formatting issues that come with Microsoft Word, since older versions are sometimes incompatible with the newer formatting
  • Number each page with your last name in the header or footer (like “Smith 1”)
  • Pay extra attention to any word limits, as you won’t be cut off automatically, unlike with most text boxes

Conventional College Essay Structures

Now that we’ve gone over the logistical aspects of your essay, let’s talk about how you should structure your writing. There are three traditional college essay structures. They are:

  • In-the-moment narrative
  • Narrative told over an extended period of time
  • Series of anecdotes, or montage

Let’s go over what each one is exactly, and take a look at some real essays using these structures.

1. In-the-moment narrative

This is where you tell the story one moment at a time, sharing the events as they occur. In the moment narrative is a powerful essay format, as your reader experiences the events, your thoughts, and your emotions with you . This structure is ideal for a specific experience involving extensive internal dialogue, emotions, and reflections.

Here’s an example:

The morning of the Model United Nation conference, I walked into Committee feeling confident about my research. We were simulating the Nuremberg Trials – a series of post-World War II proceedings for war crimes – and my portfolio was of the Soviet Judge Major General Iona Nikitchenko. Until that day, the infamous Nazi regime had only been a chapter in my history textbook; however, the conference’s unveiling of each defendant’s crimes brought those horrors to life. The previous night, I had organized my research, proofread my position paper and gone over Judge Nikitchenko’s pertinent statements. I aimed to find the perfect balance between his stance and my own.

As I walked into committee anticipating a battle of wits, my director abruptly called out to me. “I’m afraid we’ve received a late confirmation from another delegate who will be representing Judge Nikitchenko. You, on the other hand, are now the defense attorney, Otto Stahmer.” Everyone around me buzzed around the room in excitement, coordinating with their allies and developing strategies against their enemies, oblivious to the bomb that had just dropped on me. I felt frozen in my tracks, and it seemed that only rage against the careless delegate who had confirmed her presence so late could pull me out of my trance. After having spent a month painstakingly crafting my verdicts and gathering evidence against the Nazis, I now needed to reverse my stance only three hours before the first session.

Gradually, anger gave way to utter panic. My research was fundamental to my performance, and without it, I knew I could add little to the Trials. But confident in my ability, my director optimistically recommended constructing an impromptu defense. Nervously, I began my research anew. Despite feeling hopeless, as I read through the prosecution’s arguments, I uncovered substantial loopholes. I noticed a lack of conclusive evidence against the defendants and certain inconsistencies in testimonies. My discovery energized me, inspiring me to revisit the historical overview in my conference “Background Guide” and to search the web for other relevant articles. Some Nazi prisoners had been treated as “guilty” before their court dates. While I had brushed this information under the carpet while developing my position as a judge, it now became the focus of my defense. I began scratching out a new argument, centered on the premise that the allied countries had violated the fundamental rule that, a defendant was “not guilty” until proven otherwise.

At the end of the three hours, I felt better prepared. The first session began, and with bravado, I raised my placard to speak. Microphone in hand, I turned to face my audience. “Greetings delegates. I, Otto Stahmer would like to…….” I suddenly blanked. Utter dread permeated my body as I tried to recall my thoughts in vain. “Defence Attorney, Stahmer we’ll come back to you,” my Committee Director broke the silence as I tottered back to my seat, flushed with embarrassment. Despite my shame, I was undeterred. I needed to vindicate my director’s faith in me. I pulled out my notes, refocused, and began outlining my arguments in a more clear and direct manner. Thereafter, I spoke articulately, confidently putting forth my points. I was overjoyed when Secretariat members congratulated me on my fine performance.

Going into the conference, I believed that preparation was the key to success. I wouldn’t say I disagree with that statement now, but I believe adaptability is equally important. My ability to problem-solve in the face of an unforeseen challenge proved advantageous in the art of diplomacy. Not only did this experience transform me into a confident and eloquent delegate at that conference, but it also helped me become a more flexible and creative thinker in a variety of other capacities. Now that I know I can adapt under pressure, I look forward to engaging in activities that will push me to be even quicker on my feet.

This essay is an excellent example of in-the-moment narration. The student openly shares their internal state with us — we feel their anger and panic upon the reversal of roles. We empathize with their emotions of “utter dread” and embarrassment when they’re unable to speak. 

For in-the-moment essays, overloading on descriptions is a common mistake students make. This writer provides just the right amount of background and details to help us understand the situation, however, and balances out the actual event with reflection on the significance of this experience. 

One main area of improvement is that the writer sometimes makes explicit statements that could be better illustrated through their thoughts, actions, and feelings. For instance, they say they “spoke articulately” after recovering from their initial inability to speak, and they also claim that adaptability has helped them in other situations. This is not as engaging as actual examples that convey the same meaning. Still, this essay overall is a strong example of in-the-moment narration, and gives us a relatable look into the writer’s life and personality.

2. Narrative told over an extended period of time

In this essay structure, you share a story that takes place across several different experiences. This narrative style is well-suited for any story arc with multiple parts. If you want to highlight your development over time, you might consider this structure. 

When I was younger, I was adamant that no two foods on my plate touch. As a result, I often used a second plate to prevent such an atrocity. In many ways, I learned to separate different things this way from my older brothers, Nate and Rob. Growing up, I idolized both of them. Nate was a performer, and I insisted on arriving early to his shows to secure front row seats, refusing to budge during intermission for fear of missing anything. Rob was a three-sport athlete, and I attended his games religiously, waving worn-out foam cougar paws and cheering until my voice was hoarse. My brothers were my role models. However, while each was talented, neither was interested in the other’s passion. To me, they represented two contrasting ideals of what I could become: artist or athlete. I believed I had to choose.

And for a long time, I chose athlete. I played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse and viewed myself exclusively as an athlete, believing the arts were not for me. I conveniently overlooked that since the age of five, I had been composing stories for my family for Christmas, gifts that were as much for me as them, as I loved writing. So when in tenth grade, I had the option of taking a creative writing class, I was faced with a question: could I be an athlete and a writer? After much debate, I enrolled in the class, feeling both apprehensive and excited. When I arrived on the first day of school, my teacher, Ms. Jenkins, asked us to write down our expectations for the class. After a few minutes, eraser shavings stubbornly sunbathing on my now-smudged paper, I finally wrote, “I do not expect to become a published writer from this class. I just want this to be a place where I can write freely.”

Although the purpose of the class never changed for me, on the third “submission day,” – our time to submit writing to upcoming contests and literary magazines – I faced a predicament. For the first two submission days, I had passed the time editing earlier pieces, eventually (pretty quickly) resorting to screen snake when hopelessness made the words look like hieroglyphics. I must not have been as subtle as I thought, as on the third of these days, Ms. Jenkins approached me. After shifting from excuse to excuse as to why I did not submit my writing, I finally recognized the real reason I had withheld my work: I was scared. I did not want to be different, and I did not want to challenge not only others’ perceptions of me, but also my own. I yielded to Ms. Jenkin’s pleas and sent one of my pieces to an upcoming contest.

By the time the letter came, I had already forgotten about the contest. When the flimsy white envelope arrived in the mail, I was shocked and ecstatic to learn that I had received 2nd place in a nationwide writing competition. The next morning, however, I discovered Ms. Jenkins would make an announcement to the whole school exposing me as a poet. I decided to own this identity and embrace my friends’ jokes and playful digs, and over time, they have learned to accept and respect this part of me. I have since seen more boys at my school identifying themselves as writers or artists.

I no longer see myself as an athlete and a poet independently, but rather I see these two aspects forming a single inseparable identity – me. Despite their apparent differences, these two disciplines are quite similar, as each requires creativity and devotion. I am still a poet when I am lacing up my cleats for soccer practice and still an athlete when I am building metaphors in the back of my mind – and I have realized ice cream and gummy bears taste pretty good together.

The timeline of this essay spans from the writer’s childhood all the way to sophomore year, but we only see key moments along this journey. First, we get context for why the writer thought he had to choose one identity: his older brothers had very distinct interests. Then, we learn about the student’s 10th grade creative writing class, writing contest, and results of the contest. Finally, the essay covers the writers’ embarrassment of his identity as a poet, to gradual acceptance and pride in that identity. 

This essay is a great example of a narrative told over an extended period of time. It’s highly personal and reflective, as the piece shares the writer’s conflicting feelings, and takes care to get to the root of those feelings. Furthermore, the overarching story is that of a personal transformation and development, so it’s well-suited to this essay structure.

3. Series of anecdotes, or montage

This essay structure allows you to focus on the most important experiences of a single storyline, or it lets you feature multiple (not necessarily related) stories that highlight your personality. Montage is a structure where you piece together separate scenes to form a whole story. This technique is most commonly associated with film. Just envision your favorite movie—it likely is a montage of various scenes that may not even be chronological. 

Night had robbed the academy of its daytime colors, yet there was comfort in the dim lights that cast shadows of our advances against the bare studio walls. Silhouettes of roundhouse kicks, spin crescent kicks, uppercuts and the occasional butterfly kick danced while we sparred. She approached me, eyes narrowed with the trace of a smirk challenging me. “Ready spar!” Her arm began an upward trajectory targeting my shoulder, a common first move. I sidestepped — only to almost collide with another flying fist. Pivoting my right foot, I snapped my left leg, aiming my heel at her midsection. The center judge raised one finger. 

There was no time to celebrate, not in the traditional sense at least. Master Pollard gave a brief command greeted with a unanimous “Yes, sir” and the thud of 20 hands dropping-down-and-giving-him-30, while the “winners” celebrated their victory with laps as usual. 

Three years ago, seven-thirty in the evening meant I was a warrior. It meant standing up straighter, pushing a little harder, “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am”, celebrating birthdays by breaking boards, never pointing your toes, and familiarity. Three years later, seven-thirty in the morning meant I was nervous. 

The room is uncomfortably large. The sprung floor soaks up the checkerboard of sunlight piercing through the colonial windows. The mirrored walls further illuminate the studio and I feel the light scrutinizing my sorry attempts at a pas de bourrée , while capturing the organic fluidity of the dancers around me. “ Chassé en croix, grand battement, pique, pirouette.” I follow the graceful limbs of the woman in front of me, her legs floating ribbons, as she executes what seems to be a perfect ronds de jambes. Each movement remains a negotiation. With admirable patience, Ms. Tan casts me a sympathetic glance.   

There is no time to wallow in the misery that is my right foot. Taekwondo calls for dorsiflexion; pointed toes are synonymous with broken toes. My thoughts drag me into a flashback of the usual response to this painful mistake: “You might as well grab a tutu and head to the ballet studio next door.” Well, here I am Master Pollard, unfortunately still following your orders to never point my toes, but no longer feeling the satisfaction that comes with being a third degree black belt with 5 years of experience quite literally under her belt. It’s like being a white belt again — just in a leotard and ballet slippers. 

But the appetite for new beginnings that brought me here doesn’t falter. It is only reinforced by the classical rendition of “Dancing Queen” that floods the room and the ghost of familiarity that reassures me that this new beginning does not and will not erase the past. After years spent at the top, it’s hard to start over. But surrendering what you are only leads you to what you may become. In Taekwondo, we started each class reciting the tenets: honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, courage, humility, and knowledge, and I have never felt that I embodied those traits more so than when I started ballet. 

The thing about change is that it eventually stops making things so different. After nine different schools, four different countries, three different continents, fluency in Tamil, Norwegian, and English, there are more blurred lines than there are clear fragments. My life has not been a tactfully executed, gold medal-worthy Taekwondo form with each movement defined, nor has it been a series of frappés performed by a prima ballerina with each extension identical and precise, but thankfully it has been like the dynamics of a spinning back kick, fluid, and like my chances of landing a pirouette, unpredictable. 

This essay takes a few different anecdotes and weaves them into a coherent narrative about the writer’s penchant for novel experiences. We’re plunged into her universe, in the middle of her Taekwondo spar, three years before the present day. She then transitions into a scene in a ballet studio, present day. By switching from past tense to present tense, the writer clearly demarcates this shift in time. 

The parallel use of the spoken phrase “Point” in the essay ties these two experiences together. The writer also employs a flashback to Master Pollard’s remark about “grabbing a tutu” and her habit of dorsiflexing her toes, which further cements the connection between these anecdotes. 

While some of the descriptions are a little wordy, the piece is well-executed overall, and is a stellar example of the montage structure. The two anecdotes are seamlessly intertwined, and they both clearly illustrate the student’s determination, dedication, reflectiveness, and adaptability. The writer also concludes the essay with a larger reflection on her life, many moves, and multiple languages. 

Unconventional College Essay Structures

Unconventional essay structures are any that don’t fit into the categories above. These tend to be higher risk, as it’s easier to turn off the admissions officer, but they’re also higher reward if executed correctly. 

There are endless possibilities for unconventional structures, but most fall under one of two categories:

1. Playing with essay format

Instead of choosing a traditional narrative format, you might take a more creative route to showcase your interests, writing your essay:

  • As a movie script
  • With a creative visual format (such as creating a visual pattern with the spaces between your sentences forming a picture)
  • As a two-sided Lincoln-Douglas debate
  • As a legal brief
  • Using song lyrics

2. Linguistic techniques

You could also play with the actual language and sentence structure of your essay, writing it:

  • In iambic pentameter
  • Partially in your mother tongue
  • In code or a programming language

These linguistic techniques are often hybrid, where you write some of the essay with the linguistic variation, then write more of an explanation in English.

Under no circumstances should you feel pressured to use an unconventional structure. Trying to force something unconventional will only hurt your chances. That being said, if a creative structure comes naturally to you, suits your personality, and works with the content of your essay — go for that structure!

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Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

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Table of contents

Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​doi.org/10.1001/​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​eandt.theiet.org/​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​doi.org/10.1016/​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
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  • False cause fallacy
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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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How to Format an Essay: Different Styles and Examples

format an essay

Samuel Gorbold

Crafting essays is a big part of school, and it's not just about putting ideas in order. Schools often want essays in a certain way, like using MLA, APA, or Chicago styles. Each essay format has its own way of doing things, like how you set up your title page, the spacing you use, and even how you write your name. It might seem like a lot, but it's just about making your essay look neat and organized.

You might use these formats from high school all the way to college, so getting the hang of them early on is a good idea. They're kind of like the toolkit you need for presenting your ideas in a way that everyone can understand. But don't worry; in this article, our expert essay writers will break down every detail for you!

essay format at the top

What is an Essay Format?

An essay format is the blueprint that shapes the presentation of your ideas. While it provides a framework, creativity and individual style can still shine through in your piece. When stuck with wondering how to write an academic essay , it is a tool to organize your thoughts effectively and ensure your message is conveyed with clarity and impact. Here's a breakdown of essential elements in different formats of writing:

Title page:

  • Includes the title of your paper, your name, the name of your institution, and the date.
  • Follow any specific formatting guidelines provided by your instructor or institution.
  • A concise summary of your essay.
  • Highlights the main objectives, methods, results, and conclusions of your study.
  • Usually, it's a brief overview, typically around 150 to 250 words.

Table of contents:

  • An organized list of the main sections and subsections in your essay.
  • Includes page numbers for quick reference.
  • Helps readers navigate through the document easily.

Introduction:

  • Provides background information on the topic.
  • States the research question or thesis.
  • Outlines the scope and purpose of the study.

Literature review:

  • Surveys existing study and scholarly articles relevant to your topic.
  • Demonstrates your understanding of the current state of knowledge in the field.
  • Identifies gaps or areas where your research contributes.

Methodology:

  • Describes the study design, methods, and procedures used in your study.
  • Allows others to replicate your research.
  • Clarifies the rationale behind your chosen methods.

Research question or hypothesis:

  • Clearly states the question or hypothesis your research aims to address.
  • Guides the reader in understanding the purpose of your study.
  • Presents the findings of your study.
  • Often includes data, statistics, graphs, or tables.
  • Focuses on objective reporting without interpretation.

Discussion:

  • Analyzes and interprets the results in the context of the research question.
  • Discusses the implications and significance of the findings.
  • Compares results with existing literature.

Conclusion:

  • Summarizes the key points of your study.
  • Restates the thesis and its significance.
  • Offers suggestions for future study.

References or works cited:

  • Lists all sources cited in your essay.
  • Follows a specific citation format (e.g., APA, MLA).

Appendices:

  • Includes supplementary materials, such as raw data, surveys, or additional details.
  • Items that are too extensive for the main body but are essential for understanding your study.

How to Write an Essay in MLA Format?

The MLA format is commonly employed in humanities, setting it apart from other academic writing styles. When tackling an essay in MLA format, it's crucial to follow a set of clear guidelines:

  • Opt for 12pt Times New Roman for uniformity.
  • Maintain consistent double spacing throughout the essay.
  • Steer clear of additional spaces, particularly between paragraphs.
  • Position the heading in the upper left corner of the initial page.
  • Include essential details: your name (e.g., Leah Brown), the teacher's/professor's name (e.g., Josh Parker), the class (depending on the course/class), and the date (e.g., 14 May 2018).
  • Set one-inch margins on all sides—top, bottom, left, and right.

Page numbers:

  • Ensure your last name and page number appear as a header on every page.
  • Center the essay title above the essay's first line.
  • Keep it in the same font and size as the rest of the essay.

Indentation:

  • Utilize the tab key for consistent indentation (1/2 inch).
  • Align text to the left-hand side evenly for a neat appearance.

Essay in MLA Format Example

The Impact of Technology on Modern Society

The rapid advancement of technology has become a defining characteristic of the 21st century. This essay explores the profound impact of technology on various aspects of modern society, including communication, education, and the workplace (Smith 1).

Body Paragraphs:

Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate. With the rise of smartphones and social media platforms, individuals can connect instantly, transcending geographical boundaries. This ease of communication has both positive and negative implications, influencing the dynamics of personal relationships and societal interactions (Jones 45).

In the realm of education, technology has transformed traditional learning methods. Online courses and digital resources provide accessibility to a wealth of information. However, the digital divide remains a challenge, highlighting disparities in access to educational opportunities (Brown 112).

The integration of technology in the workplace has streamlined processes, enhancing efficiency. Remote work has become more prevalent, allowing for flexibility and global collaboration (Miller 78).

In conclusion, the adoption of technology has reshaped various facets of modern society. Understanding its implications on communication, education, and the workplace is crucial for navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital age (Smith 2).

Works Cited

Brown, A. "The Digital Divide in Education." Journal of Educational Technology , vol. 30, no. 2, 2019, pp. 112–130.

Jones, R. Social Media, and Society: An Analysis. Academic Press, 2020.

Miller, C. "Technology and Workplace Efficiency." Journal of Business Technology, vol. 45, no. 3, 2018, pp. 76–89.

Smith, J. "The Digital Revolution." Modern Tech Review , vol. 15, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1–15.

How to Write an Essay in APA Format?

Familiarizing yourself with the APA format is essential, as it is commonly used in college essays. The basic APA format includes guidelines similar to those of other essay formats:

  • Font: Use 12pt Times New Roman.
  • Spacing: Double-space the entire document.
  • Margins: Maintain one-inch margins on all sides.
  • Page Numbers: Insert a header at the top left of each page with a shortened name (below 50 characters) and a page number at the top right.
  • Title Page: Include the title, author's name, institutional affiliation, and additional details like course name, instructor name, and date.

Headings: Bold and title case for all headings. Different levels of headings have specific additional criteria.

Example of Essay in APA Format

The Impact of Social Media on Interpersonal Relationships

The ubiquitous presence of social media has fundamentally altered the landscape of interpersonal relationships in contemporary society. This essay delves into the multifaceted impact of social media on personal connections, exploring both positive and negative aspects.

Social media facilitates seamless communication and connection across geographical boundaries. Individuals can stay in touch, share experiences, and build relationships, fostering a sense of global community (Johnson, 2018).

However, the constant exposure to curated online personas may contribute to feelings of inadequacy and societal comparison (Smith & Davis, 2019). The pursuit of perfection, often portrayed on social media, can strain real-life relationships.

The abbreviated nature of online communication, characterized by emojis and short messages, has altered traditional communication styles. While it enhances efficiency, it may also lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations (Jones, 2020).

In conclusion, the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships is complex, with both positive and negative consequences. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for individuals navigating the evolving landscape of personal connections in the digital age.

References:

Johnson, A. (2018). The Global Village: Social Connectedness in the Digital Era. Journal of Communication, 42(3), 127-140.

Smith, R., & Davis, L. (2019). Social Media and Self-Esteem: A Comparative Analysis. Journal of Collective Psychology, 55(2), 201-215.

Jones, M. (2020). Shaping Communication: The Impact of Emojis on Online Interaction. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Collective Networking, 33(4), 432-445.

MLA vs. APA

Before delving into the nuances of the APA essay format, it's essential to distinguish between the two formatting styles. Let's first explore their similarities:

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  • Both APA and MLA formatting styles share commonalities in terms of spacing, citation, and indentation.
  • All information used within the essay must be properly represented in the works cited page (referred to as the reference page in APA).
  • Both styles make use of parenthetical citations within the body of the essay, typically to highlight specific quotes or calculations.
  • Citations are organized alphabetically on the works cited/reference page.

Now, let's briefly touch on the key differences:

  • MLA style is primarily used in humanities, while APA format is more geared towards the social sciences.
  • The list of sources assumes different names—MLA employs 'works cited,' while APA uses 'references.'
  • Works cited entries differ in how they display the name of the original content (MLA format: Last name, First name / APA format: Last name, First initial).

Regarding in-text citations where the author's name is integrated into the sentence, there's a distinction in how page numbers and years are handled:

  • In MLA format, the page number is placed at the end of the sentence, for instance: "Smith argues that 'Nature' is a profound work (25)."
  • In APA format, the publication year is included, as in: "According to Smith (2015), 'Nature' remains a timeless masterpiece."      

Chicago Style

Chicago format is a common way of writing in academics, especially when it comes to giving credit to your sources. This means being careful about citing your references and using footnotes. These details are vital for a good essay because they show where your information comes from and make your work more trustworthy.

In Chicago, using footnotes or endnotes is a special part of the writing. These notes give extra information or references, making your essay more informative.

Using the Chicago format might seem a bit detailed, but it shows that you take your study seriously. Whether you're a student or a researcher, getting the hang of this format makes your piece more accurate and respected in academic circles.

Chicago Style Essay Format

The Chicago essay format follows the following structure:

  • The title page focuses on spacing.
  • Place the title down the page in regular text, double-spaced if longer than one line.
  • Center your full name in the middle of the page.
  • List the course number, instructor's name, and date on separate double-spaced lines.
  • Maintain one-inch margins, except for the right side.
  • Double space throughout, avoiding extra spaces, especially between paragraphs.
  • Use Times New Roman font (12pt).
  • Include your last name and page number in the heading on the top right of every page.
  • Exclude numbering on the title page; the text begins numbering from page 2.
  • The Chicago format requires footnotes for paraphrased or quoted passages.

Bibliography:

  • Similar to MLA, the Chicago bibliography gathers proper information and is input into a specialized citation site.

Tips for Academic Paper Writing

Crafting an essay doesn't have a one-size-fits-all approach, but there are practical guidelines to ensure a smooth writing process. Whether you're tackling a college application essay, a research paper, or an informative piece, embracing a standard essay format is crucial. To simplify things, let's break down the following outline into manageable steps for your convenience.

tips for essay writing

Select an Engaging Topic

Selecting a topic while working on your essay writing format is your ticket to an engaging paper. Think about what genuinely interests you or sparks your curiosity. It could be a subject you've always wanted to explore or a current issue that caught your attention. The key is to pick something that makes you want to dive into the research.

Begin Research Early

Getting a head start on your study is like giving yourself a time advantage. Delve into books, articles, and credible online sources to gather information. By beginning early, you not only avoid the last-minute rush but also give yourself time to absorb and understand the material. Early research lays the foundation for a well-informed and well-structured essay.

Choose Relevant and Interesting Sources

Opt for sources that not only provide information but also captivate your interest. Look for articles, books, and studies that are reliable and directly related to your chosen topic. It's like assembling a team of experts to support your essay—each source should contribute valuable insights to make your work more robust.

Develop an Outline

An outline acts as the skeleton of your paper, providing a framework for your thoughts. So, how to make an outline for an essay , you may wonder. First of all, begin by jotting down the main points you want to cover and organizing them logically.

Then, break down your main points into subtopics, creating a hierarchy that reflects the flow of your ideas. This step-by-step format structure not only helps you maintain focus but also ensures that your paper unfolds in a clear and organized manner.

Consider each section of your outline as a building block, contributing to the overall strength of your paper. It's a tool that allows you to see the big picture while providing a roadmap for the detailed content you'll add in each section. This systematic approach makes the writing process more manageable and results in a well-organized and coherent final product.

Craft an Initial Draft

Don't aim for perfection on the first try; think of your initial draft as a rough sketch. Get your thoughts on paper without worrying too much about perfect sentences or flawless format. This is your chance to explore ideas freely and lay the foundation for your polished final draft.

Seek Peer Feedback for Your Essay

Don't be a lone explorer in the writing process. Share your draft with a peer or a friend who can offer fresh perspectives. They can provide valuable feedback on areas that may need improvement or clarification. It's like having a second set of eyes to ensure your ideas are clear and your essay resonates with your audience.

Polish and Complete the Final Draft

Now is the time to polish your work until it shines. Review your preliminary draft with a critical eye. Focus on refining your language, ensuring clarity, and checking for any overlooked errors. It's like putting the finishing touches on a masterpiece. Take the opportunity to make your final draft a polished and well-crafted representation of your ideas.

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College Essays

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When you're applying to college, even small decisions can feel high-stakes. This is especially true for the college essay, which often feels like the most personal part of the application. You may agonize over your college application essay format: the font, the margins, even the file format. Or maybe you're agonizing over how to organize your thoughts overall. Should you use a narrative structure? Five paragraphs?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll go over the ins and outs of how to format a college essay on both the micro and macro levels. We'll discuss minor formatting issues like headings and fonts, then discuss broad formatting concerns like whether or not to use a five-paragraph essay, and if you should use a college essay template.

How to Format a College Essay: Font, Margins, Etc.

Some of your formatting concerns will depend on whether you will be cutting and pasting your essay into a text box on an online application form or attaching a formatted document. If you aren't sure which you'll need to do, check the application instructions. Note that the Common Application does currently require you to copy and paste your essay into a text box.

Most schools also allow you to send in a paper application, which theoretically gives you increased control over your essay formatting. However, I generally don't advise sending in a paper application (unless you have no other option) for a couple of reasons:

Most schools state that they prefer to receive online applications. While it typically won't affect your chances of admission, it is wise to comply with institutional preferences in the college application process where possible. It tends to make the whole process go much more smoothly.

Paper applications can get lost in the mail. Certainly there can also be problems with online applications, but you'll be aware of the problem much sooner than if your paper application gets diverted somehow and then mailed back to you. By contrast, online applications let you be confident that your materials were received.

Regardless of how you will end up submitting your essay, you should draft it in a word processor. This will help you keep track of word count, let you use spell check, and so on.

Next, I'll go over some of the concerns you might have about the correct college essay application format, whether you're copying and pasting into a text box or attaching a document, plus a few tips that apply either way.

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Formatting Guidelines That Apply No Matter How You End Up Submitting the Essay:

Unless it's specifically requested, you don't need a title. It will just eat into your word count.

Avoid cutesy, overly colloquial formatting choices like ALL CAPS or ~unnecessary symbols~ or, heaven forbid, emoji and #hashtags. Your college essay should be professional, and anything too cutesy or casual will come off as immature.

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Mmm, delicious essay...I mean sandwich.

Why College Essay Templates Are a Bad Idea

You might see college essay templates online that offer guidelines on how to structure your essay and what to say in each paragraph. I strongly advise against using a template. It will make your essay sound canned and bland—two of the worst things a college essay can be. It's much better to think about what you want to say, and then talk through how to best structure it with someone else and/or make your own practice outlines before you sit down to write.

You can also find tons of successful sample essays online. Looking at these to get an idea of different styles and topics is fine, but again, I don't advise closely patterning your essay after a sample essay. You will do the best if your essay really reflects your own original voice and the experiences that are most meaningful to you.

College Application Essay Format: Key Takeaways

There are two levels of formatting you might be worried about: the micro (fonts, headings, margins, etc) and the macro (the overall structure of your essay).

Tips for the micro level of your college application essay format:

  • Always draft your essay in a word processing software, even if you'll be copy-and-pasting it over into a text box.
  • If you are copy-and-pasting it into a text box, make sure your formatting transfers properly, your paragraphs are clearly delineated, and your essay isn't cut off.
  • If you are attaching a document, make sure your font is easily readable, your margins are standard 1-inch, your essay is 1.5 or double-spaced, and your file format is compatible with the application specs.
  • There's no need for a title unless otherwise specified—it will just eat into your word count.

Tips for the macro level of your college application essay format :

  • There is no super-secret college essay format that will guarantee success.
  • In terms of structure, it's most important that you have an introduction that makes it clear where you're going and a conclusion that wraps up with a main point. For the middle of your essay, you have lots of freedom, just so long as it flows logically!
  • I advise against using an essay template, as it will make your essay sound stilted and unoriginal.

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Plus, if you use a college essay template, how will you get rid of these medieval weirdos?

What's Next?

Still feeling lost? Check out our total guide to the personal statement , or see our step-by-step guide to writing the perfect essay .

If you're not sure where to start, consider these tips for attention-grabbing first sentences to college essays!

And be sure to avoid these 10 college essay mistakes .

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

MLA General Format 

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

MLA Style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and citing research in writing. MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. 

Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material produced by other writers. 

If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the  MLA Handbook  (9th edition). Publishing scholars and graduate students should also consult the  MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing  (3rd edition). The  MLA Handbook  is available in most writing centers and reference libraries. It is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this page for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA Style.

Paper Format

The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA Style is covered in part four of the  MLA Style Manual . Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in  MLA Style :

General Guidelines

  • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another. The font size should be 12 pt.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor).
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends that you use the “Tab” key as opposed to pushing the space bar five times.
  • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.)
  • Use italics throughout your essay to indicate the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, provide emphasis.
  • If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).

Formatting the First Page of Your Paper

  • Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested or the paper is assigned as a group project. In the case of a group project, list all names of the contributors, giving each name its own line in the header, followed by the remaining MLA header requirements as described below. Format the remainder of the page as requested by the instructor.
  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
  • Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks. Write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
  • Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text. For example:  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  as Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
  • Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
  • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number. Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit the last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)

Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style:

This image shows the first page of an MLA paper.

The First Page of an MLA Paper

Section Headings

Writers sometimes use section headings to improve a document’s readability. These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.

MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.

MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books (for more information on headings, please see page 146 in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition). If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases (and not, for example, full sentences). Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the document.

If you employ multiple levels of headings (some of your sections have sections within sections), you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your instructor or editor.

Sample Section Headings

The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document.

Formatted, unnumbered:

Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left

Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left

Level 3 Heading: centered, bold

Level 4 Heading: centered, italics

Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left

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Academic Essay: From Basics to Practical Tips

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Has it ever occurred to you that over the span of a solitary academic term, a typical university student can produce sufficient words to compose an entire 500-page novel? To provide context, this equates to approximately 125,000 to 150,000 words, encompassing essays, research papers, and various written tasks. This content volume is truly remarkable, emphasizing the importance of honing the skill of crafting scholarly essays. Whether you're a seasoned academic or embarking on the initial stages of your educational expedition, grasping the nuances of constructing a meticulously organized and thoroughly researched essay is paramount.

Welcome to our guide on writing an academic essay! Whether you're a seasoned student or just starting your academic journey, the prospect of written homework can be exciting and overwhelming. In this guide, we'll break down the process step by step, offering tips, strategies, and examples to help you navigate the complexities of scholarly writing. By the end, you'll have the tools and confidence to tackle any essay assignment with ease. Let's dive in!

Types of Academic Writing

The process of writing an essay usually encompasses various types of papers, each serving distinct purposes and adhering to specific conventions. Here are some common types of academic writing:

types of academic writing

  • Essays: Essays are versatile expressions of ideas. Descriptive essays vividly portray subjects, narratives share personal stories, expository essays convey information, and persuasive essays aim to influence opinions.
  • Research Papers: Research papers are analytical powerhouses. Analytical papers dissect data or topics, while argumentative papers assert a stance backed by evidence and logical reasoning.
  • Reports: Reports serve as narratives in specialized fields. Technical reports document scientific or technical research, while business reports distill complex information into actionable insights for organizational decision-making.
  • Reviews: Literature reviews provide comprehensive summaries and evaluations of existing research, while critical analyses delve into the intricacies of books or movies, dissecting themes and artistic elements.
  • Dissertations and Theses: Dissertations represent extensive research endeavors, often at the doctoral level, exploring profound subjects. Theses, common in master's programs, showcase mastery over specific topics within defined scopes.
  • Summaries and Abstracts: Summaries and abstracts condense larger works. Abstracts provide concise overviews, offering glimpses into key points and findings.
  • Case Studies: Case studies immerse readers in detailed analyses of specific instances, bridging theoretical concepts with practical applications in real-world scenarios.
  • Reflective Journals: Reflective journals serve as personal platforms for articulating thoughts and insights based on one's academic journey, fostering self-expression and intellectual growth.
  • Academic Articles: Scholarly articles, published in academic journals, constitute the backbone of disseminating original research, contributing to the collective knowledge within specific fields.
  • Literary Analyses: Literary analyses unravel the complexities of written works, decoding themes, linguistic nuances, and artistic elements, fostering a deeper appreciation for literature.

Our essay writer service can cater to all types of academic writings that you might encounter on your educational path. Use it to gain the upper hand in school or college and save precious free time.

academic essay order

Essay Writing Process Explained

The process of how to write an academic essay involves a series of important steps. To start, you'll want to do some pre-writing, where you brainstorm essay topics , gather information, and get a good grasp of your topic. This lays the groundwork for your essay.

Once you have a clear understanding, it's time to draft your essay. Begin with an introduction that grabs the reader's attention, gives some context, and states your main argument or thesis. The body of your essay follows, where each paragraph focuses on a specific point supported by examples or evidence. Make sure your ideas flow smoothly from one paragraph to the next, creating a coherent and engaging narrative.

After the drafting phase, take time to revise and refine your essay. Check for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Ensure your ideas are well-organized and that your writing effectively communicates your message. Finally, wrap up your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

How to Prepare for Essay Writing 

Before you start writing an academic essay, there are a few things to sort out. First, make sure you totally get what the assignment is asking for. Break down the instructions and note any specific rules from your teacher. This sets the groundwork.

Then, do some good research. Check out books, articles, or trustworthy websites to gather solid info about your topic. Knowing your stuff makes your essay way stronger. Take a bit of time to brainstorm ideas and sketch out an outline. It helps you organize your thoughts and plan how your essay will flow. Think about the main points you want to get across.

Lastly, be super clear about your main argument or thesis. This is like the main point of your essay, so make it strong. Considering who's going to read your essay is also smart. Use language and tone that suits your academic audience. By ticking off these steps, you'll be in great shape to tackle your essay with confidence.

Academic Essay Example

In academic essays, examples act like guiding stars, showing the way to excellence. Let's check out some good examples to help you on your journey to doing well in your studies.

Academic Essay Format

The academic essay format typically follows a structured approach to convey ideas and arguments effectively. Here's an academic essay format example with a breakdown of the key elements:

academic essay format

Introduction

  • Hook: Begin with an attention-grabbing opening to engage the reader.
  • Background/Context: Provide the necessary background information to set the stage.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main argument or purpose of the essay.

Body Paragraphs

  • Topic Sentence: Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to the thesis.
  • Supporting Evidence: Include evidence, examples, or data to back up your points.
  • Analysis: Analyze and interpret the evidence, explaining its significance in relation to your argument.
  • Transition Sentences: Use these to guide the reader smoothly from one point to the next.

Counterargument (if applicable)

  • Address Counterpoints: Acknowledge opposing views or potential objections.
  • Rebuttal: Refute counterarguments and reinforce your position.

Conclusion:

  • Restate Thesis: Summarize the main argument without introducing new points.
  • Summary of Key Points: Recap the main supporting points made in the body.
  • Closing Statement: End with a strong concluding thought or call to action.

References/Bibliography

  • Cite Sources: Include proper citations for all external information used in the essay.
  • Follow Citation Style: Use the required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) specified by your instructor.
  • Font and Size: Use a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial) and size (12-point).
  • Margins and Spacing: Follow specified margin and spacing guidelines.
  • Page Numbers: Include page numbers if required.

Adhering to this structure helps create a well-organized and coherent academic essay that effectively communicates your ideas and arguments.

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How to Write an Academic Essay Step by Step

Start with an introduction.

The introduction of an essay serves as the reader's initial encounter with the topic, setting the tone for the entire piece. It aims to capture attention, generate interest, and establish a clear pathway for the reader to follow. A well-crafted introduction provides a brief overview of the subject matter, hinting at the forthcoming discussion, and compels the reader to delve further into the essay. Consult our detailed guide on how to write an essay introduction for extra details.

Captivate Your Reader

Engaging the reader within the introduction is crucial for sustaining interest throughout the essay. This involves incorporating an engaging hook, such as a thought-provoking question, a compelling anecdote, or a relevant quote. By presenting an intriguing opening, the writer can entice the reader to continue exploring the essay, fostering a sense of curiosity and investment in the upcoming content. To learn more about how to write a hook for an essay , please consult our guide,

Provide Context for a Chosen Topic

In essay writing, providing context for the chosen topic is essential to ensure that readers, regardless of their prior knowledge, can comprehend the subject matter. This involves offering background information, defining key terms, and establishing the broader context within which the essay unfolds. Contextualization sets the stage, enabling readers to grasp the significance of the topic and its relevance within a particular framework. If you buy a dissertation or essay, or any other type of academic writing, our writers will produce an introduction that follows all the mentioned quality criteria.

Make a Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central anchor of the essay, encapsulating its main argument or purpose. It typically appears towards the end of the introduction, providing a concise and clear declaration of the writer's stance on the chosen topic. A strong thesis guides the reader on what to expect, serving as a roadmap for the essay's subsequent development.

Outline the Structure of Your Essay

Clearly outlining the structure of the essay in the introduction provides readers with a roadmap for navigating the content. This involves briefly highlighting the main points or arguments that will be explored in the body paragraphs. By offering a structural overview, the writer enhances the essay's coherence, making it easier for the reader to follow the logical progression of ideas and supporting evidence throughout the text.

Continue with the Main Body

The main body is the most important aspect of how to write an academic essay where the in-depth exploration and development of the chosen topic occur. Each paragraph within this section should focus on a specific aspect of the argument or present supporting evidence. It is essential to maintain a logical flow between paragraphs, using clear transitions to guide the reader seamlessly from one point to the next. The main body is an opportunity to delve into the nuances of the topic, providing thorough analysis and interpretation to substantiate the thesis statement.

Choose the Right Length

Determining the appropriate length for an essay is a critical aspect of effective communication. The length should align with the depth and complexity of the chosen topic, ensuring that the essay adequately explores key points without unnecessary repetition or omission of essential information. Striking a balance is key – a well-developed essay neither overextends nor underrepresents the subject matter. Adhering to any specified word count or page limit set by the assignment guidelines is crucial to meet academic requirements while maintaining clarity and coherence.

Write Compelling Paragraphs

In academic essay writing, thought-provoking paragraphs form the backbone of the main body, each contributing to the overall argument or analysis. Each paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that encapsulates the main point, followed by supporting evidence or examples. Thoroughly analyzing the evidence and providing insightful commentary demonstrates the depth of understanding and contributes to the overall persuasiveness of the essay. Cohesion between paragraphs is crucial, achieved through effective transitions that ensure a smooth and logical progression of ideas, enhancing the overall readability and impact of the essay.

Finish by Writing a Conclusion

The conclusion serves as the essay's final impression, providing closure and reinforcing the key insights. It involves restating the thesis without introducing new information, summarizing the main points addressed in the body, and offering a compelling closing thought. The goal is to leave a lasting impact on the reader, emphasizing the significance of the discussed topic and the validity of the thesis statement. A well-crafted conclusion brings the essay full circle, leaving the reader with a sense of resolution and understanding. Have you already seen our collection of new persuasive essay topics ? If not, we suggest you do it right after finishing this article to boost your creativity!

Proofread and Edit the Document

After completing the essay, a critical step is meticulous proofreading and editing. This process involves reviewing the document for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and punctuation issues. Additionally, assess the overall coherence and flow of ideas, ensuring that each paragraph contributes effectively to the essay's purpose. Consider the clarity of expression, the appropriateness of language, and the overall organization of the content. Taking the time to proofread and edit enhances the overall quality of the essay, presenting a polished and professional piece of writing. It is advisable to seek feedback from peers or instructors to gain additional perspectives on the essay's strengths and areas for improvement. For more insightful tips, feel free to check out our guide on how to write a descriptive essay .

Alright, let's wrap it up. Knowing how to write academic essays is a big deal. It's not just about passing assignments – it's a skill that sets you up for effective communication and deep thinking. These essays teach us to explain our ideas clearly, build strong arguments, and be part of important conversations, both in school and out in the real world. Whether you're studying or working, being able to put your thoughts into words is super valuable. So, take the time to master this skill – it's a game-changer!

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How to format and structure a college essay: A definitive guide

Bonus Material: Download 30 essays that worked for Princeton

Are you a rising high school senior preparing for the admissions process and aiming for one of those coveted spots at selective universities? Are you looking for help figuring out how to structure your college admissions essay to maximize your chances of acceptance?

 We’ve guided countless students through the application process to acceptances at the country’s most selective colleges. In this blog post, we’ll share some of our proven advice on how to structure and format your college admissions essay to make the best impression on admissions officers.

We’ve also included a set of 30 successful college application essays that helped students get into Princeton. There are few better resources to help your brainstorming than essays that you know worked!

Download Thirty Essays that Worked for Princeton

Jump to section:

What makes a successful college essay Types of College Essay Formats The Narrative Essay Format and Example The Montage Essay Format and Example The “I am…” Essay Format and Example The Creative/Artistic Format and Example Next Steps

What makes a successful college essay?

You can think of a college essay’s effectiveness as being made up of two things: the content, and the narrative structure. In other words, you need to have a strong topic, but you also need to structure and format the way you write about that topic in a specific way. Without the right format, even the most unique and moving topic won’t wow the admission committee.

We’ve written extensively about our step-by-step process for ensuring that you have the right topic in our post on the Diamond Strategy here . It’s a proven method for topic selection, and we encourage everyone to read it and use it.

Your choice of topic is going to heavily influence what format will work best for your college essay. Below, we’ll go into several specific college essay formats (with successful college admissions essay examples!), and we’ll discuss when to use each one.

Types of College Essay Formats

In this post, we’ll talk about four kinds of structures or formats that have been proven to work again and again for successful college admission essays.

essay format at the top

  • The Narrative – best if you want to describe one key moment in your life.
  • The Montage – best if you have an eclectic mix of interests/experiences.
  • The “I am…” – best if you have an identity or belief that’s important to you.
  • The Creative/Artistic – Best if you have an unusual topic and like taking risks.

Remember: although each of these formats can be broken down into something like a template, it will always get its power from the specifics of your story and your experiences. Take a look at any of these successful college essays that worked and you’ll see that, no matter the format, the key to each is tons and tons of specific detail.

Also remember that these formats are not always interchangeable : if you want to write about what you learned from a pivotal moment in your life, you’ll probably want The Narrative and not, say, The Montage. 

The Narrative Essay Format and Example (best if you want to describe one key moment in your life).

The Narrative Essay format is one of the most popular and one of the most commonly seen on “Essays that Worked” blogs–and with good reason! This essay structure lets you tell a detailed story, keeping admissions counselors engaged while also conveying key insights about you as an applicant.

Here are the typical components of a Narrative Essay:

  • Start in the middle of the story
  • Show personal growth
  • Reflect on what’s changed

So what does it look like? Let’s take a look at an actual sample essay from our Thirty College Essays that Worked for Princeton and break it down.

1 – Start in the middle of the story (media res)

Drop the reader right into the middle of a crucial moment, describing it like a scene in a film or movie.

essay format at the top

To him, I was a stranger. He could not recall that I had fervently cared for him every day for the past five weeks. As I laughed at his trademark joke for the third time that day, he felt a familiar, but unidentifiable gratitude. When I mentioned a detail about his past, he blushed, realizing that I, a perceived stranger, knew him better than himself. The only recollection he had of me was of a girl with an unmatched dedication to his happiness. This man was one of the patients I encountered during my volunteer internship at Expressions, a hospital program for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Notice how this begins the story with no preamble. If your essay topic is about a major event in your life, one of the strongest ways to begin your college essay is by jumping right into it.

2 – Zoom out

Once you’ve hooked the reader with your story, zoom out and provide more context and background information. How did you get there? What brought you to that moment?

On the second day of the internship, I strode through the door, eager to delve into my new daily responsibilities. As I approached the patients, I anticipated, somewhat naively, a chorus of welcomes and friendly receptions. But instead, I was met with puzzled glances and polite, but reserved greetings. I realized that no one remembered who I was. For the next several minutes, I questioned my purpose in a program where I could not permanently impact the participants. What motivation did I have to go beyond mediocrity when, no matter the quality of my service, I would be forgotten? But it was that morning, as I poured each patient a cup of coffee, smiled, and reintroduced myself, that I constructed my personal motto: “Initiative requires no incentive.” Throughout the rest of the day, I found motivation through mundane, yet meaningful moments, like helping a patient complete a crossword or color a picture. It was in those moments that I learned that dedication is not derived from a desire to make memorable change, but from a will to contribute to your community no matter the reward.

You want to maintain a high level of detail and specificity, but you also want to zoom out enough to make sure your reader understands the background and context of your story. This essay does that perfectly by explaining the internship and the student’s initial involvement. More importantly, it shows us what the student was thinking at the beginning, which provides an opportunity for growth and learning.

3 – Show personal growth/development/change

The narrative works because it’s about how you, as a student, college applicant, and human, have changed and grown through the experience you describe. So the next part of your essay should describe some element of change as it develops through this story. Take a look below:

Over the next few weeks, I discovered that because the patients had no recollection of the past, they cherished the present moment. It was this principle of mindful existence that taught me to love the moments of doing, rather than linger in the memories of “I have done.” To fulfill this principle, I sought to paint each moment with cheer and consideration. Through all their bursts of frustration, shivers of discomfort, and tears of untraceable nostalgia, I strove to offer warmth and support. On several occasions, I brought in my tutu and pointe shoes and performed a ballet variation. As I taught the participants ballet steps, the room rang with laughter and amusement. Hoping to inspire the creativity I find so empowering, I also orchestrated events from poetry slams to watercolor classes to recipe exchanges. By incorporating my individuality into the program, I reinvented my role as a volunteer, a community member, and an individual.

This process of “discovery” is one of the keys to the Narrative Structure. This college essay format is designed to let you bring out the personal growth that accompanied this event. In the body paragraphs, the author shows how she developed and “reinvented” her role through this experience.

4 – Reflect on what’s changed

As you bring your essay to a close, you should actively reflect on what has changed throughout this narrative. The closing can be short and sweet, and often refers back to the original story you told in the first paragraph.

essay format at the top

On my last day at the program, I was leading a jewelry-making activity, when I noticed one of the participants becoming agitated. She was, among all the group members, the patient in the most advanced stage of memory loss and the patient I accompanied most often. I drew up a chair next to her and offered my help. Her head, previously hunched over scattered bracelet pieces, slowly lifted and her eyes turned to meet mine. As her eyes flickered across my face, I saw in her expression that she was searching for a thought, creeping to the forefront of her mind. Then, carefully she said, “Your name is Dana, right?” It had been nearly a year since she had remembered the last five minutes, yet she had remembered my name. As I smiled and nodded, she began to tear up, and we both silently rejoiced in the realization that she had momentarily overcome her disease. In that instant, my continuous acts of compassion, whether previously forgotten or anonymous, came to fruition. Service became more than the completion of routine tasks or the collection of volunteer hours; it became the responsibility to foster hope and prosperity within my community, the nation, and humanity.

This final paragraph beautifully brings the entire essay to a close: it recalls the opening paragraph, but now gives it a new and more positive spin. It also tells the admissions committee what this student has learned through this narrative. This student comes away from the experience with a new understanding of service.

This is one of the best examples of a successfully executed college essay in the Narrative style. It hooks the reader in from the beginning, making us want to figure out what’s going on. Then, it gives us the context we need to understand how the writer got to this point and who they are. Most importantly, it concludes the narrative by showing real, impressive personal growth in the student’s perspective on the world, ending with a reflection on what this writer values and brings to a college.

Yours will look different, of course. But if you want to understand why the narrative essay structure works, this impactful essay is a great place to start.

You can find more successful narrative essay examples in our Thirty College Essays that Worked for Princeton .

The Montage Essay Format and Example (best if you have an eclectic mix of interests/experiences)

The Narrative Structure is great if your essay topic can be conveyed through a single crucial moment or experience. But what if you want to show the admissions committee at your dream university some aspect(s) of your personality that can only be conveyed through multiple moments?

Here are the key elements of a Montage Essay:

  • Introduce your theme
  • Present a series of snapshots related to the theme
  • Tie the snapshots to the theme

That’s the kind of topic the Montage Essay Format is designed for. You won’t go into as much detail as you would in the Narrative Essay. Instead, you will present the admissions committee with a series of snapshots from your life, all connected by a common theme.

essay format at the top

These snapshots can be actual events, or they can be creatively selected items from your life that tell universities something about you–you might create a montage of what’s on your bookshelf or what kind of bumper stickers are on your car, for example.

1 – Start with the unifying thread or theme

Give us a bit of context for whatever unites the montage by setting it up. Alternatively, you can just jump right into one of the montage moments (like in the Narrative Format). The best option here will depend on your specific essay.

We can see an example from our collection of thirty actual sample essays below:

“You know nothing, Jon Snow” Being an avid Game of Thrones fanatic, I fancy every character, scene, and line. However,Ygritte’s famous line proves to be just slightly more relatable than the incest, corruption, and sorcery that characterizes Westeros. Numerous theories explore the true meaning of these five words, but I prefer to think they criticize seventeen-year-old Jon’s lack of life experience. Growing up in a lord’s castle, he has seen little about the real world; thus, he struggles to see the bigger picture until he evaluates all angles. Being in a relatively privileged community myself, I can affirm the lack of diverse perspectives —and even more, the scarcity of real-world problems. Instead, my life has been horrifically plagued by first world problems.

This introductory paragraph opens with something creative and catchy, then explains the purpose. It also sets up the montage that will follow: “the first world problems.”

2 – Present the montage!

Naturally, this is the biggest part of the Montage Format. The pieces of your montage can be short (as in the below example) or fairly long. The most important thing is that they are detailed, unique, and come together to tell the university admissions officers something about you.

essay format at the top

I’ve written a eulogy and held a funeral for my phone charger. I’ve thrown tantrums when my knitted sweaters shrunk in the dryer. And yes, I actually have cried over spilled (organic) milk. Well, shouldn’t I be happy with the trivial “problems” I’ve faced? Shouldn’t I appreciate the opportunities and the people around me? Past the “feminism v. menimism” and “memes” of the internet, are heartbreaking stories and photos of life outside my metaphorical “Bethpage Bubble.” How can I be content when I am utterly oblivious to the perspectives of others? Like Jon Snow, I’ve never lived a day in another person’s shoes. Fewer than three meals a day. No extra blanket during record-breaking winter cold. No clean water. I may be parched after an intense practice, but I know nothing of poverty. Losing a loved one overseas. Being forced to leave your home. Coups d’état and dictatorial governments. I battle with my peers during class discussions, but I know nothing of war. Denial of education. Denial of religion. Denial of speech. I have an endless list of freedoms, and I know nothing of oppression. Malaria. Cholera. Cancer. I watch how Alzheimer’s progresses in my grandmother, but I know nothing of disease. Living under a strict caste system. Being stereotyped because of one’s race. Unwarranted prejudice. I may be in a minority group, yet I know nothing of discrimination. Flappers, speakeasies, and jazz. Two world wars. Pagers, hippies, and disco. I’m barely a 90’s kid who relishes SpongeBob episodes, and I know nothing of prior generations. Royal weddings, tribal ceremonies, and Chinese New Years. I fast during Ramadan, but I know nothing of other cultures. Hostile political parties. Progressive versus retrospective. Right and wrong. I am seventeen, and I know nothing of politics.

This montage is really a list of the first-world problems of the writer and the things the writer “knows nothing” about. In writing this list, however, the student is making clear that they’re aware of the limits of their own experience, and that kind of self-reflection is crucial for a winning college essay.

3 – Tie the moments of the montage together

Each montage essay must end by clearly drawing a lesson. The question every admissions officer will be asking is: what do all of these moments tell us about you?

Is ignorance really bliss? Beyond my community and lifetime exists myriad events I’ll never witness, people I’ll never meet, and beliefs I’ll never understand. Being unexposed to the culture and perspectives that comprise this world, I know I can never fully understand anyone or anything. Yet, irony is beautiful. Embarking on any career requires making decisions on behalf of a community, whether that be a group of students, or a patient, or the solar system. I am pleased to admit like Jon Snow, I know nothing, but that will change in college.

This reflection really doesn’t have to take up a lot of space. In just a few sentences, this author shows us why the montage matters: this student understands the limits of their experiences and knowledge, and, most importantly, is eager and willing to work to overcome them.

For more successful college application essays like this, check out our collection of actual sample essays below:

The “I am…” Essay Format (best if you have an identity or belief that’s important to you)

This format is the most direct way to approach a personal essay. By using this structure, you will directly present the admissions officers with some crucial aspect of your personality, background, or interests.

This essay format is best for students who want to highlight a particular quirk, lifelong challenge, or important aspects of their demographic background.

This kind of essay generally follows this structure:

  • A surprising “I am…” statement
  • Explanation of the statement with specific examples
  • Reflection on how this has shaped you

Like all college admissions essays, this will require you to be specific and detailed. But, it might not involve much of an actual story or narrative (though it can!). Take a look at the breakdown of the example below to see how it’s done.

essay format at the top

1 – Start with a surprising “I am…” statement

This essay structure depends on hooking your reader’s attention from the first line, so you want to start with something memorable, unexpected, and maybe even a bit confusing. Though often this means saying “I am…” it could just as easily be “I believe…” or “I have…”

I am an aspiring hot sauce sommelier. Ever since I was a child, I have been in search for all that is spicy. I began by dabbling in peppers of the jarred variety. Pepperoncini, giardiniera, sports peppers, and jalapeños became not only toppings, but appetizers, complete entrées, and desserts. As my palate matured, I delved into a more aggressive assortment of spicy fare. I’m not referring to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the crunchy snack devoured by dilettantes. No, it was bottles of infernal magma that came next in my tasting curriculum.

Here’s a classic example of how to start. “Hot sauce sommelier” is unusual and quirky enough that it holds the reader’s attention. Admissions officers will want to keep reading to see why this matters.

2 – Expand on the “I am…”

This can take different forms: you can explain how you came to be, say, a hot sauce sommelier. Or you can tell us what that looks like in your everyday life. It’ll depend in large part on what your individual story is, but the key is specifics, specifics, specifics.

Despite the current lack of certification offered for the profession which I am seeking, I am unquestionably qualified. I can tell you that a cayenne pepper sauce infused with hints of lime and passion fruit is the perfect pairing to bring out the subtle earthy undertones of your microwave ramen. I can also tell you that a drizzle of full-bodied Louisiana habanero on my homemade vanilla bean ice cream serves as an appetizing complement. For the truly brave connoisseur, I suggest sprinkling a few generous drops of Bhut Jolokia sauce atop a bowl of chili. Be warned, though; one drop too many and you might find yourself like I did, crying over a heaping bowl of kidney beans at the dining room table. Although I consistently attempt to cultivate the rarest and most expertly crafted bottles of molten spice, like an oenophile who occasionally sips on five dollar bottles of wine, I am neither fussy nor finicky. I have no qualms about dousing my omelets with Cholula, dipping my tofu in pools of Sriracha, or soaking my vegetarian chicken nuggets in the Frank’s Red Hot that my mom bought from the dollar store. No matter the quality or cost, when gently swirled, wafted, and swished; the sauces excite my senses. Each initial taste, both surprising yet subtly familiar, has taught me the joy of the unknown and the possibility contained within the unexpected.

Check out all specific details the writer uses in this portion of the essay! These moments both show the student’s skill as a writer and, more importantly, convey their very real passion for hot sauce. It doesn’t matter that it’s a little bit silly: what matters is showing the university that this student is dedicated to something .

3 – End by reflecting on how this aspect of your identity shapes who you are as a person and student

As always, these essays have to end with a bit of introspection: you’ve told us the story, now explain why it matters, as this student does.

My ceaseless quest for piquancy has inspired many journeys, both gustatory and otherwise. It has dragged me into the depths of the souks of Marrakech, where I purchased tin cans filled with Harissa. Although the chili sauce certainly augmented the robust aroma of my tagine, my food was not the only thing enriched by this excursion. My conquest has also brought me south, to the valleys of Chile, where I dined among the Mapuche and flavored my empanadas with a smoky seasoning of Merkén. Perhaps the ultimate test of my sensory strength occurred in Kolkata, India. After making the fatal mistake of revealing my penchant for spicy food to my friend’s grandmother, I spent the night with a raw tongue and cold sweats. I have learned that spice isn’t always easy to digest. It is the distilled essence of a culture, burning with rich history. It is a universal language that communicates passion, pain, and renewal. Like an artfully concocted hot sauce, my being contains alternating layers of sweetness and daring which surround a core that is constantly being molded by my experiences and adventures. I’m not sure what it is about spiciness that intrigues me. Maybe my fungiform papillae are mapped out in a geography uniquely designed to appreciate bold seasonings. Maybe these taste buds are especially receptive to the intricacies of the savors and zests that they observe. Or maybe it’s simply my burning sense of curiosity. My desire to challenge myself, to stimulate my mind, to experience the fullness of life in all of its varieties and flavors.

essay format at the top

This student makes clear to colleges why this aspect of their personality matters. It has helped them learn and travel; it shows the student’s desire to “challenge” themselves and to “stimulate their mind,” which is exactly what a top-tier university is looking for.

The Creative/Artistic Format (Best if you have an unusual topic and like taking risks)

I’m cheating a little bit here: by definition, there’s no real format to these Creative/Artistic Essays. These are the most unique, the toughest to pull off, and the riskiest essays. But for certain students, they’re undoubtedly the right choice.

Although these essays aren’t as easy to bulletpoint out as the above, creative personal essays will always contain the following elements:

  • A unique gimmick
  • Meaningful information about the writer’s life or identity
  • A mature reflection

essay format at the top

The Creative/Artistic Essays make your essay stand out to colleges, but require careful planning and editing to pull off. If you’re an artist type, or, alternatively, if you feel your application needs something to separate you from the pack, these can be the right choice.

Consulting with one of our expert college essay coaches can be the best way to ensure that your Creative/Artistic Essay helps and not hurts your application.

Below is a successful example, and some analysis of why this essay works:

“Is it bigger than a breadbox?” “Yes.” I have always been tall, decidedly tall. Yet, my curiosity has always surpassed my height. Starting at a young age, I would ask countless questions, from “How heavy is the Earth?” to “Where does rain come from?” My curiosity, displayed in questions like these, has truly defined me as a person and as a student. Therefore, it is not surprising that I became transfixed the first time I played 20Q (the electronic version of Twenty Questions). Somehow, a little spherical device guessed what I was thinking. The piece of technology sparked my curiosity and instilled in me a unique interest in 20Q. This interest would later reveal valuable character traits of mine while also paralleling various facets of my life. “Does it strive to learn?” “Yes.” I became determined to discover how 20Q guessed correctly. After some research, I discovered artificial intelligence, more specifically, artificial neural networks—systems which learn and improve themselves. This idea fascinated me. I wanted to learn more. I read avidly, seeking and absorbing as much information as I could. When given the opportunity years later, I signed up for the first computer programming class available to me. I found myself in an environment I loved. I would stay after class, go in during free periods, make my own apps, and work over Cloud-based IDEs. I prized the freedom and the possibilities. “Is it driven?” “Yes.” After my introduction to 20Q, I began to play Twenty Questions (the traditional parlor game) and became determined to rival the guessing accuracy of the artificial intelligence. At first I was mediocre. However, through long car rides with family, good-natured yet heated competitions with friends, logical strategy, and time, I became more effective. I discovered the “secrets” to success: practice and perseverance. “Does it apply what it learns?” “Yes.” As 20Q implements what it learns, so do I. Throughout high school, I applied the “secret” of practice to my basketball career. I spent countless hours sharpening my skills in 90° summer heat to 20° late-winter cold, countless afternoons playing pickup games with my friends, and countless weekends traveling to AAU basketball tournaments. As a result, I became a starter for my school’s varsity team. I applied another “secret,” this time the “secret” of perseverance, by dedicating myself to physical therapy after knee surgery in order to quickly return to football. Later that year, I became the first player in my grade to score a varsity touchdown. “Does it attempt to better itself?” “Yes.” Once I became proficient at Twenty Questions, I strengthened my resolve to become masterful. To do so, I needed to become a skillful inquisitor and to combine that with my analytical nature and interpersonal skills, all of which are vital for success in Twenty Questions. Because I had been debating politics with my friends since the 8th grade, I recognized that debate could sharpen these skills. I began to debate more frequently (and later more effectively) in English and government class, at the lunch table and family gatherings, and whenever the opportunity presented itself. This spurred in me an interest for how public policy and government work, leading me to attend Boys State and receive a nomination for The United States Senate Youth Program. “Does it think deeply?” “Yes.” So far, I have realized that thriving at Twenty Questions, just like life, is all about tenacity, rationality and interpersonal skills. I have found that, as in Twenty Questions, always succeeding is impossible; however, by persevering through difficulties and obstacles, favorable outcomes are often attainable. As I have become better at Twenty Questions, so too have I improved in many other aspects of my life. Nonetheless, I realize that I still have unbounded room to grow. And much like 20Q, I will continue to learn throughout my life and apply my knowledge to everything I do. “Are you thinking of me?” “Yes.” Source: Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked

Framing this essay as a round of 20 questions is the kind of risky creative move that, in this case, can really pay off.

It works here because it isn’t just being creative or artsy for the sake of it: this format really allows the student to express multiple important aspects of their personality as it relates to their application.

You’ll notice that, like most creative essays, it combines elements of the other essay formats. But it does so in a unique way that can’t be replicated: nobody else can write a 20 Questions style essay without ripping off this author.

If you can find a creative idea like this one that lets you express unique elements of your story or personality in a fun, attention-grabbing structure, then this option might be the best one for you.

You should think of the steps outlined in this blogpost as the middle of the essay writing process. First, you need to brainstorm and select your topic (see our guide on that here) . Then, based on that topic, you can use this post to identify what structure and format will work best for crafting your essay.

If you’ve settled on an essay format, it’s time to move on to actually writing the essay itself. We recommend starting by reviewing some of the past successful essays linked below and by first reading our post on the Diamond Strategy for topic selection.

Of course, there’s no substitute for professional help: our expert essay coaches have helped countless students with brainstorming, topic choice, organization, crafting, and final touches on essays that have helped these students gain admission to Ivies and other elite colleges. If you’re interested in working with one of our college essay coaches, reach out to us here !

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Mike

Mike is a PhD candidate studying English literature at Duke University. Mike is an expert test prep tutor (SAT/ACT/LSAT) and college essay consultant. Nearly all of Mike’s SAT/ACT students score in the top 5% of test takers; many even score above 1500 on the SAT. His college essay students routinely earn admission into their top-choice schools, including Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth. And his LSAT students have been accepted In into the top law schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Law.

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IELTS SPEAKING: 🎙️ Unveiling the Secrets: Recent Part 3 Questions and Sample Answers‪!‬ IELTS Podcast

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Dive into our latest podcast episode where we unravel the mysteries behind recent Part 3 questions and equip you with top-notch sample answers that will leave the examiners in awe! Here’s a glimpse of what awaits: – Mastering the Art of Response: Discover why some test takers excel in providing impressive answers to tricky topics like Public Facilities, Challenges and Difficult Tasks, and Leadership, and how you can replicate their success. – From Ideas to Impact: Unlock the techniques to structure your answers effectively, infuse them with valuable grammar features, and elevate your speaking game to the next level. – Secrets Revealed: Get exclusive access to model answers that not only provide solutions to the questions but also serve as a beacon of inspiration for your own responses. Whether you’re gearing up for your IELTS exam or simply looking to enhance your speaking skills, this episode is your ultimate guide to success. QUESTIONS ANSWERED: Public Facilities: What are the benefits of public facilities? Why are some public transport methods popular, such as the subway? Why are some public transport methods unpopular? How can cities improve their public facilities3 Challenges and Difficult Tasks: What challenges do young people face today? How do young people handle difficult or challenging tasks? Is it better to face difficulties alone or seek help from others? Do you think people need to be challenged? Leadership What qualities are required to become a company leader (CEO or manager)? What factors determine whether a small company will become successful? Does the latest technology play an important role in a company’s development? What do you think of charitable organizations Tune in now and unleash your speaking prowess! Join many other students who have achieved IELTS success with our online course or get instant writing feedback with our online IELTS essay checker.  You can download or listen to the audio version here: Direct Download | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify |

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Ohio primary election 2024 voter guide: Greater Cincinnati races

Ohio's primary election is March 19. Early voting began Feb. 21.

At the top of the ballot are party primaries for president – though the nominees are all but set – and for U.S. Senate on the Republican side.

But residents of Greater Cincinnati have plenty of local races to vote on. Here are the area's top contested primaries:

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

8th Congressional District (includes part of Hamilton County, all of Butler County)

  • U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, will face a former Butler County auditor Kay Rogers in the Republican primary this March.
  • Three Democrats are seeking the nomination in the district : Vanessa Enoch, David Gelb, and Nathaniel Hawkins.

2nd Congressional District (includes Clermont County)

  • 11 Republicans are running to replace retiring Rep. Brad Wenstrup , R-Hillsboro.
  • Who's running .
  • Who's endorsed whom in the race.
  • How voters are deciding who to support.

Ohio General Assembly

4th Senate District (Butler County): Ohio Sen. George Lang will face former Ohio Rep. Candice Keller and Middletown resident Mark Morgan in the Republican primary in March.

47th House District (Butler County): Hamilton pastor Diane Mullins is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Sara Carruthers for the seat.

55th House District (Warren County): Two Republican candidates Michelle Teska and Ben McCullough are vying to replace Rep. Scott Lipps in the Ohio House of Representatives.

56th House District (Warren County): Two familiar Warren County Republicans, Kathy Grossmann and Adam Mathews, and newcomer Heather Salyer will face each other in the March primary for a Statehouse seat.

29th House District (Hamilton County): Rep. Cindy Abrams faces George Brunemann in a GOP primary.

Court of Appeals

12th District Court of Appeals (Butler, Warren, Clermont and other counties): Two Republican women, judge Barbara Carter and lawyer Melena Siebert, are running for a six-year term on the court.

Local tax levies and bonds

Kings Local School District would build a new high school if a bond issue passes. It's one of several local measures on the ballot.

How can I view my Ohio ballot before Election Day?

The Ohio secretary of state's office has sample ballots for every precinct in the state available online. To find it,  click here  and choose your county. From there, enter your name, find yourself in the search results and click "sample ballots."

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio primary election 2024 voter guide: Greater Cincinnati races

Enquirer file

NBC Boston

When do the NBA playoffs start? Schedule, format and more to know

The final day of the regular season is less than a month away., by eric mullin • published march 15, 2024.

The push for the NBA playoffs is on.

The last day of the 2023-24 NBA regular season is less than a month away, meaning postseason basketball is quickly approaching.

There are several races throughout the Eastern and Western Conference standings that could come down to the final days of the regular season, like the battle for the top seed in the West and teams jockeying to stay above the play-in tournament zone.

As the action across the league heats up down the stretch of the regular season, here's what to know:

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

When does the NBA regular season end?

The final day of the regular season is Sunday, April 14.

How many teams go to the NBA playoffs?

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Jenny Cavnar excited for all-female Warriors broadcast on NBC Sports Bay Area

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Top 5 NBA prospects to watch in 2024 March Madness

A total of 16 teams -- eight from both conferences -- make the NBA playoffs. The top six seeds in each conference automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the final two spots are determined by the play-in tournament.

When is the 2024 NBA play-in tournament?

The play-in tournament starts two days after the end of the regular season, running from April 16-19.

How does the NBA play-in tournament work?

First, the seventh-place team faces the eighth-place team and the ninth-place team plays the 10th-place team. The teams play just one game, with the team higher in the standings having home-court advantage.

The winner of the 7-8 matchup earns the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The loser of that matchup then hosts the winner of the 9-10 matchup, with the No. 8 seed in the playoffs on the line.

So, teams that finish the season in seventh or eighth place just need to win one play-in tournament game to clinch a playoff berth. Teams that finish ninth or 10th have to win two games.

When do the 2024 NBA playoffs begin?

The first round of the NBA playoffs gets underway on Saturday, April 20.

How do the NBA playoffs work?

Every round of the NBA playoffs features seven-game series with a 2-2-1-1-1 format where the higher seed holds home-court advantage and hosts Games 1, 2, 5 (if necessary) and 7 (if necessary). The first-round matchups are No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

Do the NBA playoffs reseed?

Unlike the NFL playoffs, teams aren't reseeded after the first round. So the winner of the 1-8 matchup faces the winner of the 4-5 matchup in Round 2, while the winner of the 2-7 matchup faces the winner of the 3-6 matchup.

Schedule, key dates for 2024 NBA playoffs

Here's a full look at when the first three rounds of the playoffs will get underway:

First round: April 20

Second round: May 6-7 (can be moved up to May 4-5 if first-round series end early)

Conference finals: May 21-22 (can be moved up to May 19-20 if second-round series end early)

When are the 2024 NBA Finals?

The NBA Finals begin June 6, with a possible Game 7 scheduled for June 23.

Does NBA League Pass include the playoffs?

An NBA League pass subscription does not include access to playoff games. Playoff games will air across ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV.

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2024 NCAA tournament predictions to win March Madness regions, Final Four

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Selection Sunday is officially behind us. We know who is playing who and the path each team would need to take in order to claim the 2024 national title. So, now the question looms "Who will it be?"

Whether you are trying to create that first bracket or just trying to win your office pool, there is plenty of intrigue surrounding who the experts having making Cinderella runs, representing each region in the Final Four, and of course, which team will win it all.

Obviously, trying to predict March Madness is near impossible. It is madness, after all. And there's a reason that nobody has ever been able to correctly predict a full bracket. Still, for those of us less familiar with the 2024 college basketball scene, these predictions could be exactly what we need in order to earn bragging rights for a year.

Men’s March Madness: Selection Sunday bracket, snubs, predictions

2024 March Madness Bracket:

Here is an updated bracket with the full field and regions .

IT'S BRACKET MADNESS: Enter USA TODAY's NCAA tournament bracket contest for a chance at $1 million prize.

Here is a printable PDF of the men's bracket

2024 March Madness Predictions:

East region:.

USA Today : UConn

Paul Myerberg writes, "Anyone other than UConn winning the region and going to the Final Four would be a big surprise. The Huskies are long, deep, explosive, dripping with athleticism and loaded with the sort of confidence you'd expect from the defending champs." Myerberg does like Florida Atlantic as a potential sleeper in this region, but seeing as how FAU would likely face UConn in the Round of 32, clearly he believes that this is UConn's region to lose.

FOX Sports : UConn

FOX Sports' John Fanta also likes UConn to come out of this region. It should be mostly a breeze for the reigning national champs too. That said, fans will be treated to a rematch of last year's national championship game between the Huskies and San Diego State Aztecs in the Sweet 16 if Fanta's predictions come true.

West Region:

USA Today : Arizona

Josh Peter writes, "Sure, the skeptics are howling: But Arizona lost two of its past three games! Including a 78-65 setback against lowly Southern California! Nonetheless, these Wildcats are built for an extended run thanks to a versatile eight-man rotation. Scoring? Got it. Arizona ranks third in scoring offense with 87.7 points per game. Caleb Love, the senior guard, leads the team in scoring at 18.1, and each of the team’s four other starters are averaging 9.8."

FOX Sports : Arizona

No love for the top seed North Carolina it seems. Fanta likes the Wildcats out of the West as well, with a matchup against UNC in the Elite 8.

South Region:

USA Today : Houston

Eddie Timanus writes, "One at least has to consider Kentucky in the No. 3 position. When their many talented scorers get going, the Wildcats are capable of beating anyone. But in the end we can’t go against top-seeded Houston. Despite the Cougars getting outmuscled in the Big 12 finale, they’ve been remarkably consistent all season in the nation’s deepest conference, and their defense-first approach should serve them well in the pressure-packed environment of March Madness."

FOX Sports : Houston

Once again, we see a match. Houston has undoubtedly been one of the most consistent teams in college basketball. It's hard to argue against them. While teams like James Madison and NC State could make a run, they certainly wouldn't be much of a match for a team as talented and proven as Houston.

Midwest Region:

USA Today : Purdue

Steve Berkowitz writes, "Given that the other team in NCAA Tournament history to lose in the first round as a No. 1 seed — Virginia — came back to win the national championship the following year, also as a No. 1 seed, how can you resist this one?"

FOX Sports : Tennessee

Our first mismatch. This is arguably the closest of any of the regions. Creighton has been one of the best teams all year and for them to be listed as a No. 3 seed, seems remarkably disrespectful. Still, FOX Sports likes the Tennessee Volunteers out of this region, defeating the Purdue Boilermakers in the Elite 8.

Final Four :

Paul Myerberg writes, "Anyone other than UConn winning the whole thing might be a big surprise, actually."

And it's hard to argue against him. UConn has been one of the deepest, most explosive, and most athletic teams we've seen in recent memory. Not only do they have the tools to reach the championship and win, but they clearly have the experience and know what it takes to do so.

UConn seems to be the runaway favorite for most experts and it's hard to disagree. UConn has dominated nearly every opponent they've faced, and they've faced several strong opponents.

How to watch NCAA Men's Basketball March Madness 2024

All games will be broadcast on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. Here are additional streaming options to watch all the action on your devices.

  • Stream through Paramount+
  • Stream through HULU with Live TV
  • NCAA March Madness Live app
  • Stream through DirecTV Stream

How to watch: Catch March Madness with a Fubo subscription

NCAA Men's Basketball March Madness 2024 Schedule

First and second round, sweet 16 and elite eight, ncaa championship game.

College Basketball News: When is the 2024 NIT? How to watch secondary men's college basketball tournament

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Gannett may earn revenue from sports betting operators for audience referrals to betting services. Sports betting operators have no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. Terms apply, see operator site for Terms and Conditions. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call the National Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, OH), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN). Must be 21 or older to gamble. Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with laws applicable where you reside.

IMAGES

  1. Essay Format

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  2. 32 College Essay Format Templates & Examples

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  3. 12 Tips on How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

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  4. Mla Format Essay Template Google Docs

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  5. 32 College Essay Format Templates & Examples

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  6. 32 College Essay Format Templates & Examples

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VIDEO

  1. Essay Writing Format of Advantage and Disadvantage essay in IELTS writing

  2. What is Essay? || Characteristics of A Good Essay || CSS || PMS

  3. Write an Essay Properly ! #essay #speaking #writing #eassywriting

  4. Are you confused ? How to write an Essay?

  5. Essay Writing

  6. Explaining the 4 types of essays

COMMENTS

  1. The 3 Popular Essay Formats: Which Should You Use?

    Formatting an essay may not be as interesting as choosing a topic to write about or carefully crafting elegant sentences, but it's an extremely important part of creating a high-quality paper. In this article, we'll explain essay formatting rules for three of the most popular essay styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago.

  2. How to Format an Essay

    Abstract: comprised of 3 paragraphs, totaling about 300 words, with 100 words in each. Paragraph 1: must include a research question, thesis, and outline of the essay's importance. Paragraph 2: Key resources, scope and limits of research, etc. Paragraph 3: Conclusion that you've already reached in your essay.

  3. How to Format an Essay: MLA, APA, & Chicago Styles

    If your instructor lets you pick the format of your essay, opt for the style that matches your course or degree best: MLA is best for English and humanities; APA is typically for education, psychology, and sciences; Chicago Style is common for business, history, and fine arts. 2. Set your margins to 1 inch (2.5 cm) for all style guides.

  4. PDF Student Paper Setup Guide, APA Style 7th Edition

    Indent the first line of every paragraph of text 0.5 in. using the tab key or the paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program. Page numbers: Put a page number in the top right corner of every page, including the title page or cover page, which is page 1. Student papers do not require a running head on any page.

  5. Proper Essay Format Guide (Updated for 2021)

    A scholarship essay should be tailored to the specific fund you are applying for, and it is best to avoid a generalized essay. The main components of the scholarship essay format are similar to those in a standard college essay: 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial) First line indent. Double-spacing. 1-inch margins.

  6. Essay Format Guide: APA, MLA, and Chicago Styles Explained

    An essay format refers to a set of guidelines that decides how the elements of your paper should be arranged. ... The word "Abstract" (centered at the top of the page) A concise summary of your essay (usually around 150-250 words) Highlight the main points, purpose, methodology (if applicable), and key findings or conclusions of your essay. ...

  7. How to Structure an Essay

    The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go. A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a ...

  8. A step-by-step guide for creating and formatting APA Style student papers

    The course number and name are often separated by a colon (e.g., PST-4510: History and Systems Psychology). Write the assignment due date in the month, date, and year format used in your country (e.g., Sept. 10, 2020). Title page line spacing. Double-space the whole title page. Place the paper title three or four lines down from the top of the ...

  9. MLA Format

    This quick guide will help you set up your MLA format paper in no time. Start by applying these MLA format guidelines to your document: Times New Roman 12. 1″ page margins. Double line spacing. ½" indent for new paragraphs. Title case capitalization for headings. For accurate citations, you can use our free MLA Citation Generator.

  10. College Essay Format & Structure

    For example, a student might discuss trying out for a sports team as a middle schooler, high school freshman, and high school senior, using each of those instances to describe an aspect of their personality. A rough outline for that essay might look like this: Narrative structure. Intro/hook: Vivid description of me at age 7, trying out for my ...

  11. College Essay Format Guide: APA, MLA, Chicago

    Chicago Style Essay Format. Requirements for this essay format include but are not limited to: Font: Times New Roman (unless your tutor specified a different one) Font size: 12pt. Margins: 1-inch margins on sides, top, and bottom; Header: Each page should have a page number at the top right corner and your last name.

  12. APA Essay Format: How to Write a Successful APA Essay

    If the essay is in a chapter of a book, edited collection, or anthology, APA format states that you should cite the last name, first name, title of essay, title of collection, publisher, year, and page range. For example: Smith, John, "The Light House," A Book of Poems, editing by Peter Roberts, Allworth Press, 2005, pp. 20-25.

  13. How to Format and Structure Your College Essay

    There are three traditional college essay structures. They are: In-the-moment narrative. Narrative told over an extended period of time. Series of anecdotes, or montage. Let's go over what each one is exactly, and take a look at some real essays using these structures. 1. In-the-moment narrative.

  14. Example of a Great Essay

    This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people's social and cultural lives.

  15. How to Format an Essay: Different Styles and Examples

    Font: Use 12pt Times New Roman. Spacing: Double-space the entire document. Margins: Maintain one-inch margins on all sides. Page Numbers: Insert a header at the top left of each page with a shortened name (below 50 characters) and a page number at the top right.

  16. Essay Writing: How to Write an Outstanding Essay

    The basic steps for how to write an essay are: Generate ideas and pick a type of essay to write. Outline your essay paragraph by paragraph. Write a rough first draft without worrying about details like word choice or grammar. Edit your rough draft, and revise and fix the details. Review your essay for typos, mistakes, and any other problems.

  17. How to Format A College Essay: 15 Expert Tips

    While single-spaced essays are usually acceptable, your essay will be easier to read if it's 1.5 or double-spaced. Clearly delineate your paragraphs. A single tab at the beginning is fine. Use a font that's easy to read, like Times, Arial, Calibri, Cambria, etc. Avoid fonts like Papyrus and Curlz. And use 12 pt font.

  18. General Format

    MLA General Format. MLA Style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and citing research in writing. MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability ...

  19. Academic Essay: From Start to A+ Finish

    The process of how to write an academic essay involves a series of important steps. To start, you'll want to do some pre-writing, where you brainstorm essay topics, gather information, and get a good grasp of your topic. This lays the groundwork for your essay. Once you have a clear understanding, it's time to draft your essay.

  20. How to Format a College Essay

    Always maintain clean margins in your college essays. It is recommended that you keep 1-inch margins all around your essay format at the top, bottom, left, and right of the page. This is a standard and highly recommended tip for how to format a college essay cleanly. It will keep your essay visually pleasing and easy to read for the college ...

  21. How to format and structure a college essay: A definitive guide

    2 - Present the montage! Naturally, this is the biggest part of the Montage Format. The pieces of your montage can be short (as in the below example) or fairly long. The most important thing is that they are detailed, unique, and come together to tell the university admissions officers something about you.

  22. 27 Outstanding College Essay Examples From Top Universities 2023

    This college essay tip is by Abigail McFee, Admissions Counselor for Tufts University and Tufts '17 graduate. 2. Write like a journalist. "Don't bury the lede!" The first few sentences must capture the reader's attention, provide a gist of the story, and give a sense of where the essay is heading.

  23. How to Format and Structure Your College Essay

    We'll get into crafting a compelling essay that grabs the reader's attention, building a logical and engaging body that highlights your strengths, and solidifying your essay with correct formatting. Along the way, we'll cover conventional essay structure details to ensure your essay is polished and professional.

  24. ‎The Daily Reprieve: (Step Study) Step 2 Part 2

    Welcome to a captivating episode of The Daily Reprieve, an enlightening podcast featuring insightful essay readings, speaker meetings, workshops, and conferences. As we continue promoting our ad-free and self-supporting format, we humbly urge our valued listeners to help us maintain this quality by…

  25. NIT 2024: Updated Format, Latest Bracketology Predictions for Men's

    The 2024 NIT will have a new look to it. For years, the NIT guaranteed participation to regular-season conference champions that failed to win their…

  26. A look at schedule, and brackets for 2024 Big 12 men's basketball ...

    Big 12 tournament top players Jamal Shead, G, Houston - It says everything about Shead that he was a named Big 12 player of the year and the league's defensive player of the year.The straw the ...

  27. ‎IELTS Podcast: IELTS SPEAKING: ️ Unveiling ...

    Dive into our latest podcast episode where we unravel the mysteries behind recent Part 3 questions and equip you with top-notch sample answers that will leave the examiners in awe! Here's a glimpse of what awaits: - Mastering the Art of Response: Discover why some test takers excel in providing im…

  28. Ohio primary election 2024 voter guide: Greater Cincinnati races

    Ohio's primary election is March 19. Early voting began Feb. 21. At the top of the ballot are party primaries for president - though the nominees are all but set - and for U.S. Senate on the ...

  29. When do the NBA playoffs start? Schedule, format and more to know

    The push for the NBA playoffs is on.. The last day of the 2023-24 NBA regular season is less than a month away, meaning postseason basketball is quickly approaching.. There are several races throughout the Eastern and Western Conference standings that could come down to the final days of the regular season, like the battle for the top seed in the West and teams jockeying to stay above the play ...

  30. 2024 March Madness predictions: Picks for NCAA tournament, Final Four

    FOX Sports: Arizona. No love for the top seed North Carolina it seems. Fanta likes the Wildcats out of the West as well, with a matchup against UNC in the Elite 8.