When you submit your essay (assignment) for marking, there is a set format you must follow. There may be some small differences in format that your own lecturer may request of you, so make sure that you read and follow the instructions in your subject learning guides carefully. Following are some basic guidelines for you to follow:
Basic essay structure
The title page should contain: name, student number, unit title/number, question title/name, due date, unit coordinator, word count. You do NOT have to decorate the page (e.g. graphics, photographs) unless you are asked to by the lecturer.
Margins – minimum 2.5 cm, maximum 3 cm all around
Double or 1.5 space all of the essay paragraphs including ‘long quotations’ (more than 40 words) which should have NO quotation marks, be indented 1.3 cm to the right, and have the same spacing as the rest of the essay paragraphs.
Use a plain serif (e.g. Times New Roman) or sans serif (e.g. Arial) font. A serif font is easier to read. Suggested sizes are 12 for the text and 14 for headings.
Do not change fonts in the course of writing the essay.
Put numbers in line with the right margin at the top or bottom of each page. Centre the number of the first page of chapters or appendices at the bottom. It is also acceptable, although less common, to centre all page numbers. Pagination is best done with Header and Footer.
Appendices usually follow the reference list.
Each appendix must start on a new page.
Appendices must be numbered—A,B,C or 1,2,3.
Headings are signposts that focus the reader on the most important content in a piece of writing. Provided that they are well structured, headings make longer pieces of writing easier to write and easier to read (for the marker). Look at headings systems in your unit reading material and you will get a ‘feeling’ for their structure and suitability. Follow these rules:
Hierarchy of headings- an exampleThe oncology ward: Nuclear radiation and client care The effects of radiation on living tissue Implications for normal cells
When you write headings, you should use a ‘Capitalisation style’—either minimal OR maximal and stick to this style.
Maximal (Headline style).The Oncology Ward: Nuclear Radiation and Client Care
Minimal (Sentence style).The oncology ward: Nuclear radiation and client care