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Essay papers: correct structure, format and referencing

Essay papers are any written piece of academic work that counts toward the final grade of a student. An essay may be in the form of a narrative or book report. Sometimes, it may be necessary to format an essay to take the shape of a scientific experimental report. It depends on the purpose of the essay and the requirements of the course or subject in which the essay is being written.


The correct structure of an essay usually involves the introduction, abstract, literature review, body and conclusion. Note that not all essays follows after this pattern. The reason is because essays differ and it may be required that you follow a particular pattern depending on the type of essay you are to write.
The introduction of an essay paper pays close attention to giving the general ideas of the paper. It presents an overview of the body of the work. In a simple essay, the introduction is closely followed by the body of the essay and the conclusion. In a more complex essay, it may be necessary to include other sections such as methodology and literature review.
The abstract of an essay is a few sentences that clearly define what the essay is about. It is usually appropriate for lengthy essay papers like thesis and dissertations. To get the best out of an abstract, it is good to condense your ideas and give the reader the most salient points found in the essay. When a reader comes across your essay, the first place that he is usually focused on is the abstract. This tells him whether your essay is worth reading or not.
The body of an essay is where all the facts pertaining to the essay are mentioned. If you carried out any experiments, surveys and sampling, this is the place to state them. The idea is to let your readers know in detail what you did to arrive at your results and conclusions. This is the place for you to state all the important points of your essay paper. Do not mistake this area for the conclusion. It is no use concluding your work right in the middle of the paper.
The conclusion is the final part of the essay. This is where you give your final thoughts on your assigned topic. Make firm conclusions that will leave no doubt in the mind of your readers as to what you think.


An essay paper format differs depending on the type of essay. Generally, most essay papes require that you have your title page, page numbers and the correct font in place.
The tile page of your essay should include your unique student number, your full names, the names of your lecturer(s), name of course coordinator, date of submission and of course the topic of the essay and the name of the course work. Some departments require the student to have a brief description of their essay in their title page but this is not always necessary neither is it compulsory.
The accepted font size of an essay is 12 pt except for the heading that may be slightly larger. An essay should have page numbers for easy identification.


The references in essay papers depends on institutional, departmental, or organizational requirements. The most popular referencing styles are the APA, MLA, Chicago and Harvard formats.