Major points are the building blocks of your paper. Major points build on each other, moving the paper forward and toward its conclusion. Each major point should be a clear claim that relates to the central argument of your paper.
Sample Major Point: Employment and physical health may be a good first major point for this sample paper. Here, a student might discuss how dropping out of high school often leads to fewer employment opportunities, and those employment opportunities that are available tend to be correlated with poor work environments and low pay.
Minor points are subtopics within your major points. Minor points develop the nuances of your major points but may not be significant enough to warrant extended attention on their own. These may come in the form of statistics, examples from your sources, or supporting ideas.
Sample Minor Point: A sample minor point of the previous major point (employment and physical health) might address worker injury or the frequent lack of health insurance benefits offered by low-paying employers.
The rest of the body of your paper will be made up of more major and minor points. Each major point should advance the paper's central argument, often building on the previous points, until you have provided enough evidence and analysis to justify your paper's conclusion.
More Major and Minor Points: In this paper, more major points might include mental health of high school dropouts, healthcare access for dropouts, and correlation between mental and physical health. Minor topics could include specific work environments, job satisfaction in various fields, and correlation between depression and chronic illness.
Author: Deborah Croft | Designation: Product Manager at EA | Date Published: 14, June 2010
An essay is called an essay because it follows some basic essay formats. Every writer who tries to write an essay should understand and follow a standard essay format. Most teachers consider the format of the essay equal to the content of it. Often students are required to develop their essays in various styles like MLA style, APA style, Harvard, Chicago, AMA, oxford and few more. The essay format decides the entire structure and organization of the ideas. A standard essay form decides the title page, table of contents, main page and sub sections, introduction and conclusion and appendix.
If you are to consider basics of a standard essay format, your essay should have an introduction, a body consists of three to twenty main points depending on the requirements, and a conclusion. Even though various essays demand the body to be extended or keep it short, you should have a minimum of three points. The introduction in a standard essay form should let the reader know what the subject of the paper is. You should also inform the reader about how your organized your paper is. This part should give a brief about your main points or evidence that proves your thesis statement. The last sentence of the introduction should be your thesis statement. The thesis statement should clearly state your argument or points you are going to prove in the essay.
The body of the essay should also be clearly following the standard essay format and body is everything between your introduction and conclusion. Your body should have separate paragraphs for your supporting points and there are no strict rules on organizing your points. Some say you must describe the most important point last in order to keep the reader interested. In each paragraph you should have an introduction to each of your points and an explanation to it. You should also provide supporting evidences to your points like quotes and examples. The last part of your every point should tell the reader how you can relate it to the argument of the essay.
The conclusion of the essay should restate the thesis of the essay. You should also prove the thesis using the points mentioned in the body part of the essay.
There are a number of other parameters to be considered when following a standard essay format. You should use good quality white paper and only one side is to be written. The page should be given margins according to the citation style you adopt. In case of title pages if instructed by your teacher, follow the instruction or you can write the title on upper one by third portion and leave the middle of the page empty. You should use the name of the professor and date on the bottom part of the page. When numbering the page, it is recommended to use your last name just before the number on the upper right hand corner of every page. You should not use a period after the number. There should be double spacing between the lines on your entire paper thus enable comments from your teachers. You can leave a single space between every word and two spaces between sentences, however there is no need of a space before a punctuation mark. The names of books, novels and plays should be underlined and quotation marks are to be used before and after the titles of shorter works.
The capitalization should also be minimized only to necessary and only the first letter of each word in the title should be capitalized. If you are writing a long essay, you should include a table of contents which makes reading easy. It should go in the order of introduction, body, conclusion, works cited etc. you don’t require any special characters to end the essay with, just a simple period will do.
Essay Format & Standard