Essay Format Tips from an English Teacher Following your professor or teacher’s favorite essay format is extremely important. It may seem that having to follow this particular style is silly, but adhering to the most popular styles, such as for example MLA or APA helps students to help keep their papers neat, organized, and free of plagiarism. This is why you need to follow these instructions. What is an Essay Format? An essay format is a series of guidelines that decide how your paper must certanly be arranged.