Essay Formatting Requirements

The purpose of producing written work is to communicate your message to the reader. You already provide the reader many aids; writing clear thesis statements, organized paragraphs, and using reading guides like spaces, commas, and periods. However, the most beautiful prose can be muddled by poor formatting. Clear presentation of text allows the reader’s brain engage with your ideas with minimal friction.

Over the years, writers have developed a style guide based on effective formatting techniques. While you have learned MLA formatting in English classes, we will be using Chicago Manual of Style, more specifically the CMS Notes and Bibliography format. For additional information on how to format an essay in the CMS NB format, take a look at Purdue OWL's example essay.

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab is a great resource for all your Chicago Manual of Style formatting questions.

Essay Expectations

In addition to following the style guide, here are Mr. Gessaman's expectations. Failure to meet these expectations may result in your essay being returned.
  • Typed. Hand-written essays will not be accepted.
  • Times New Roman style font (Helvetica, Calibri). Essays received in Comic Sans or similar fonts will not be read.
  • Chicago Manual of Style (with Notes and Bibliography) format is used throughout
  • Cover page is required.
  • 12 point font
  • 1 inch margins on all sides
  • Page numbers are included
  • Spell-checked
  • Grammar-checked
  • Personally proofread
  • Essay should be proofread, printed, collated, and stapled in the upper left corner before student arrives in class.
  • Essay must be ready at the beginning of class on the due date.


Digital Handouts

Critical Response Sentence Starters