There are so many rules to academic writing that it can cause you to feel anywhere between overwhelmed, annoyed, or downright panicked. You think you can understand the formatting and the next thing you know, your essay is marked with corrections to an extent that you feel like you wasted your time in figuring formatting out in the first place.
There is No Way Around Practice
I am not going to lie to an essay writer by making you think that there is a magical formula that can make you remember everything. Formatting comes with practice and there is really no easier way to memorize an essay format than to know all the rules and keep trying even if you have to submit a draft five times.
Harvard Formatting Rules…
You have to start reading about all the referencing styles one by one and practice comparing and contrasting all of them. Let’s start with a very common format that you may have come across many times while reading or writing essays. Get yourself ready, today is the day that the Harvard formatting becomes your friend…
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Some Basics to Get Out of the Way…
It all begins with a few rules that you have to know right away. Make sure that you get in the habit of leaving a one-inch margin on both sides, align your text to the left, and indent each new paragraph. The line spacing is to be double (until you are told to keep it any lower). The font can be Times New Roman (to be safe as that is the standard font for much of academic writing (only if your professor has not particularly mentioned another). Adjust the font size to 12.
The Title Page
The Harvard format will always have a title page that mentions the topic of your essay, your name, and your institution’s name (all centralized in the middle of the page).
All About Running Headers…
There is a running header that carries a short title of whatever your essay is about or the course that you are writing the essay for. This header will appear at the top left of your title page and at the top right of every other page besides the page numbers.
Double and Triple-Check Your Basic Formatting
The first thing that you have to do is get all this basic formatting done before you start to write. If you have made any mistakes in the way that you have adjusted margins or line spacing, the entire essay will end up having the same problem and you will have no choice but to edit the whole thing painstakingly. At this point, check and double-check your formatting.
You are Ready to Write…
Once you do that, you are ready to do some actual writing in your prepared document. Now, there are certain ways that headings are arranged in every kind of formatting. The first thing to do is giving the title of your essay (centralized). The title will not be in bold.
Levels and Their Formatting…
There are different levels of headlines. The first level headlines are the main headlines out of which narrower, smaller ones may emerge. For first-level headlines like “Introduction”, “Discussion”, and “Conclusion”, make sure that each heading is in bold and italicized. For example, “Introduction”.
Level two headings are the same as level one headings in the Harvard style of formatting.
Level three headings will be italicized but not in bold.
At the end of every essay, the last page has to have a first-level heading of bibliography, followed by a list of all the references that you have cited in your essay.
You Need Not Panic…
If you are hyperventilating by now and you have no idea how to make sure that you can mind your p’s and q’s when it comes to academic writing, maybe you can do it with some help. Hire a professional essay writing service to take care of all the minute rules and make sure that your essay does not come back to you with countless revision notes. An online paper writing service can format better than you any day!
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