An important element of every academic paper is an appropriate means to cite the sources that you have used in your paper.
The precise format (footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations) for citing sources would typically be expected to follow one of the styles that have become standard within disciplines (e.g., APA style or MLA style). For a more detailed discussion of these conventions see the Creating Bibliographies module.
When some instructors specify a particular formatting style, they are simply referring to the citation method. However, many other aspects of a paper’s format are also specified by these standard formatting styles, such as margins, line spacing, title page, etc. It is important to clarify whether these features must also follow the standard format.
Review the section below for a general formatting plan that could be used if your instructor has not required any particular set of conventions. Refer to the 'Essay Formatting' document located in the 'Resources' tab for additional help in formatting essays according to APA, Chicago or MLA style.
General Formatting Plan