November 08, 2011 in Writing process

Essay Formats

Essay Formats There are a few things in life that are a given. We all have to pay taxes and we are all going to die. These are given facts. Another thing in life that is a given is if you choose to go to the university, you are going to have to write masses amounts of essays over the four years of higher education. It is imperative that a student begin to familiarize himself the rules of writing and the different essay formats available for writing these essays. Depending on the field of study there will be different essay formats to follow.

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There are a number of formats from which to choose.

Depending on the essay format assigned, for instance MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), Chicago, Harvard or Turabian, it is expected that the student follow the formats exactly as assigned. Each of these formats are normally used in a different discipline in most universities. Humanities and liberal arts generally stays with the MLA format where social sciences lean toward the APA format.

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The purpose of having a standard format is to give each and every essay structure. University professors demand that specific instructions be followed. It is very important that when using another person’s idea or quoting something they have said that it be referenced as a resource and give credit in an essay. Not only will you find a reference in the body of the essay but it is imperative it be listed in a bibliography or works cited page.

Below there are different essay formats professors will ask for when citing the work of others in the essay itself.

Harvard - known as the author - date system. In the body of the essay, when citing an author, use quotes for the direct work and at the end, in parenthesis place the author’s name, comma, year of publication and the page number from which it was found.

APA - uses the author - date system as well. Used primarily for science, health and human studies.

MLA - After placing the work cited in quotations, follow it with parenthesis containing the author’s name, space and the page number of the resource material for in text citations.

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The main reason for making certain that anything that is cited from another source is given full credit is so that plagiarism never comes into play. It doesn’t matter that someone else thought of an idea and the essayist used it to reinforce the idea being made in the essay, but the idea or direct quote from another author must always be recognized by using the appropriate essay format each and every time.

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