Academic Standards of College Essay Paper Format: Knowing Everything

Every college and university sets some standards for academic writing that their students must follow. These rules are based on their time-tested practices established to create cohesion and uniformity. Don’t worry. If you’re unfamiliar with these guidelines, we will keep you updated and inform you of the best practices in this blog. By the time you reach the end, you’ll have plenty of helpful information on college essay paper formats. Let’s navigate through this process for better understanding.

Common Standards of College Essay Examples Format

Since many college essay formats are used interchangeably, we will discuss each one by one here. Every educational institution uses them accordingly, and students must follow the guidelines provided by their professors. Some common standards for college essay page setup and formats are mentioned below.

Page Set-up

Setting up a page for your essay and its referencing format is the first thing you should pay attention to. Here is a formal set-up of your assignment page.

  1. Leave a 1-inch margin on all page sides, e.g., top, left, right, and bottom
  2. Must use double-space from start to finish. Single space creates confusion and is aesthetically unappealing.
  3. Font style must be New Times Roman or Arial, with sizes ranging from 10 to 12 points.
  4. Page numbers should be on the right corner or in the middle, half an inch from the border.
  5. Headings formats should be different from subheadings. Fonts should be clearly defined before you start your college essay paper.
  6. Subheadings must be smaller in font than their main headings.

Referencing or Citation Format Style According to Subject

Understanding and using referencing style for citations or bibliography is also mandatory for students. Every subject from science, humanities, medicine, or philosophy must use their designated referencing style. Below, we will present details of where you should use citation style in your paper.

APA (American Psychological Association) Style

American Psychological Association (APA) is a referencing style for college essays. This citation format is used exclusively for various disciplines. Clinical Psychology, Applied Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Education, and Social Sciences use this format.

MLA Style (Modern Language Association)

Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format is used in Literature, Arts, History, and all subjects under the Humanities discipline. MLA format is sometimes used in journals or editorials as well.

AMA Format (American Medical Association)

American Medical Association (AMA) citation format style is strictly used for medical research papers, clinical studies on patients, and disease treatments. Other medical branches that use this format include biological sciences, Biochemistry, Forensic Science, Health Science, etc.

Chicago, Turabian Format

Chicago/Turabian format is used only in Magazine, Newspapers, Tabloids, Books, and Mass Communication disciplines. Investigative Journalism is the most significant example of utilizing this referencing format in their essays.

Council of Scientific Editors (CSE) Referencing Style

The Council of Scientific Editors (CSE) is an organization for publishing scientific material. Their guidelines for citing sources or references are known as the CSE citation style. The CSE format is a gold standard for scientific research papers and is followed worldwide.


In this blog, we’ve presented comprehensive information related to academic standards of college paper format. Students may follow the best and most appropriate referencing style for their essays and achieve the best grades.

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