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Once you begin to study for a specialized degree, like an MBA or a JD, the papers you write will become just as specialized. Not only will you write papers on highly focused topics, but you will also have to format them in focused ways. Interestingly, in the academic world, the way you format and layout an essay is just as important as what you research and write about in the essay itself. When you decide to earn an advanced degree, students should take time to memorize the specialized formatting, so they do not encounter problems with their professors and with professional organizations.
Different universities will have different details in their formatting requirements, but the general idea remains the same. Your papers will need to have the proper heading, with your name, the date, the course, and the instructor listed in some particular style. You will also be required to use a font in a certain size with measured margins. The way you format the paragraphs, page numbers, and in-text documentation will all need to be done to the coursework specifications. When done properly, a professor should be able to only tell the differences between students’ papers by their names. Everything else should be identical.
Before you risk submitting a paper without the proper formatting style, you should look at samples written by other students at your academic institution. Many students benefit by seeing what an MBA essay should look like so they can model theirs after the style. Students should not only look at the headers and footers, page numbers, and paragraph styling, but they should also look at how long the typical sentences and paragraphs are, too. Some professors can be lenient on the first papers, but not all of them will be. Unfortunately for students who do not know how to format their essays, there are some professors who will not grade any essays that are improperly formatted. You may have written the most amazing essay ever, but it the header is incorrect, you could earn a zero on the paper if you have the “right” professor.
If you are formatting the essay for your MBA application process, then you should check over the requirements several times before you submit it for acceptance. If the application committee sees that you neglect formatting when you are trying to make a first impression, then the committee will not want you to represent their school so you admissions request will be denied.
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