Essay Format: A Comprehensive Guide With An Essay Outline Example

Written By: Freda T.Romo
Published On: Aug 21,2023

Both students and professionals alike need to be proficient essay writers. Following the correct essay structure is essential while writing any type of work, including academic essays and business reports. We'll dig into the nuances of essay formatting in this thorough tutorial, covering crucial topics including essay headers, APA format, and MLA paper format. We'll also provide you an essay outline example to further your understanding of the idea.

Knowing the Essay Format:

  • Let's have a firm handle on the principles of essay format before moving on to the details. An essay style essentially establishes the organization and structure of your written work. It guarantees readability, clarity, and consistency so that your audience can easily follow your ideas and arguments.
  • The APA format and the MLA paper format are the two most popular essay formats. Despite minor stylistic and citation variances, both follow the fundamental rules of essay form.

Essay Heading:

A crucial part of essay header. It acts as the essay's cover page and includes the author's name, the essay's title, the course name, and the date. You should style your essay outline example as  follows:

  • Writer's Name On the first page, write your entire name in the upper essay header. Make sure it is left-aligned and doesn't make use of any extra formatting.
  • Your essay's title need to be centered above the text. To make it stand out, choose a bold or italic typeface.
  • Include a brief description of the course, such as its name and number, immediately after the title. This information has to be given clearly and in the middle.

Headings in APA Format: 

The APA format contains a certain technique for structuring the information within your essay in addition to the essay heading. These are called headers, and they aid in giving your material a hierarchical framework. In APA style, there are five levels of headings:

  • Level 1 heading: Centered, bold, and in title case (e.g., "Introduction")
  • Level 2 heading: Left-aligned, bold, and capitalized (for instance, "Literature Review").
  • Level 3 heading: In APA format a period, an indented, bold, and sentence case heading, such as "Methodology." 
  • Level 4 heading: "Participants." is an example of a heading that is indented, bold, italicized, and in sentence case.
  • Level 5 Heading: Italicized, indented, and in the sentence case with a period, such as "Data Analysis."

MLA Paper Format: 

The MLA paper format approaches essay formatting in a somewhat different way. Although the essay's general structure is simpler and does not employ headers like in APA format, it does feature a header.

Here's an example of an essay heading formatted in MLA fashion:


  • Author's Name: Your complete name should be in the upper left corner of the first page, just like in APA format style. The name of your teacher, the name of the course, and the date must all come after it, each on a different line.
  • Title: Unlike APA, MLA paper format demands that the title be centered on the first page. You should only use regular formatting; it shouldn't be bolded or italicized.


  • Essay outlines illustration: Now that you are familiar with essay headers and the many formatting options, let's look at an example of an essay outline example. An outline acts as a road map for your essay, assisting you in planning your ideas and ensuring that they flow logically.

Introducing myself:

Start with a provocative remark or inquiry as your hook.

Background information: Set the scene for your issue by providing background.

Declaring a thesis Declare your core point or purpose in clear terms.

  • Section 1: The Value of Essay Structure

Describe the importance of essay format in academic and professional writing.

Give instances of badly structured essays and the effects they have.

  • Section 2: Essay Header and Its Elements, 

Name of author, title of course, date: list the essential components of an essay header.

Stress the need of using the proper formatting in the header.

  • Section 3: Headings in APA Format

In APA format, describe the five levels of headers.

Describe when and how to successfully use each heading level.


The ability to write in the proper essay structure is useful both in and outside of the classroom. Understanding the complexities of essay headers and structure is crucial whether you are adhering to the straightforward MLA paper style or the rules of APA format headings. This thorough guidance should be a helpful tool for you to succeed in your essay writing endeavors, along with an example essay plan. Therefore, keep correct formatting in mind the next time you start writing an essay, and your work will stand out.

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