The correct format for an essay includes a heading, 1-inch margins and double spacing. Proper essay format calls for indenting paragraphs and include page numbers preceded by the author's last name.
The heading of an essay goes in the upper left corner on the first page of the essay. The heading should include the student's name, the instructor's name, the class name and the date of the essay. Generally, the preferred method for writing the date is day, month, year.
The next part of the essay is the title. The title should be in the center, and it should feature no special sizing or letter formatting, such as italics, bolding or underling. The title should be in title case, with all important words capitalized.
Each page should feature a page number in the upper right-hand corner. The author's name should precede the page number.
Proper formatting calls for left alignment of the paper's text and double-spacing of text with no extra space between paragraphs. Each paragraph begins with an indentation.
The general preference for essays is a 10-point or 12-point font. The preferred font is Times New Roman.
If the author uses outside resources, the essay must include parenthetical references. The exact formatting depends on whether the paper is MLA or APA style. Such essays must also include a Works Cited page.