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Essay Formatting

The purpose of this web page is to draw your attention to and help you avoid the most common formatting and stylistic errors I see in literary essays. Note that different style formats will vary slightly, but they should all agree on the points listed below. You are encouraged to download this page and use it for your other classes.


Note: This is not a complete guide to essay style and format. Consult your MLA Handbook or Chicago Manual of Style (the two style guides most commonly used in the Humanities) for complete details.

If you wish to print out the complete text of this guide, click here [Note: the print version is currently unavailable]. If you wish to read individual sections online, select from the topics below.

These are some aspects of essay-writing that I have noticed numerous people struggling with repeatedly. Please e-mail me if you have a question about essay formatting or style, and I'll try and put up an answer here. Chances are, if you don't know it, somebody else doesn't either....


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Last Update: 20 April, 2005
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