Tips On Writing An Essay: Check Your Layout And Format
It doesn’t matter how many hours you’ve spent composing your essays and research papers; if you are not equally conscientious about the formatting and layout of the document, you will lose a significant amount of points, as well as your instructor’s respect. Properly and professionally packaging your work is an essential part of the writing process, and a good layout can really step up your writing game and leave a lasting, positive impression.
Most students are aware, on some level, that it is important to submit a well formatted, high quality looking essay. Despite this, they may not be aware of how to actually edit and structure their Word documents to ensure formatting guidelines are being adhered to. Do not waste time with guess work, and risk losing your professor’s good regard; follow the suggestions listed below and you can be certain that your essay or term paper looks perfect.
- Learn what the proper formatting expectations and guidelines are for the discipline you are writing in. The expectations for psychology and sociology are quite different from those for English, and both differ in many significant ways from the standards set forth by journalism departments.
- Get an up to date handbook for the formatting style that you are expected to follow. Many student writers prefer to borrow handbooks that are a few years out of publication, or else they rely on editing and formatting websites. However, the advice printed on these sources is often obsolete or limited. It is far better for you to invest in a reference guide.
- Set up your word processor’s default settings to that they adhere to the rules in your style guide. It is better to set up a document that is properly formatted from the start than it is to impose the correct layout on a mass of text that you have already written.
- Pay a great deal of attention to rules such as margins, pagination, double spacing, paragraph spacing, and heading hierarchies.
- Even if your essay is relatively short, include a correctly formatted and laid out title page, with your name, the date, and a running head featuring the paper’s title. This will add an extra dash of professionalism to your work.
- When you review your document on the computer, view it at less than one hundred percent zoom. You can get a better sense of what the document looks like as a whole if you zoom out.