Depending on the guidelines that your school provides, the formatting of your essay will differ, but there are a few things your paper will always need. If you used other people's work in your definition essay, you will have to cite it properly. Remember to include footnotes, end notes or in-text citations. Also, you will need to have a bibliography or works cited list at the end of your paper. Your teacher or professor may also want you to annotate your works cited list by writing a couple of sentences about each of your sources and how they contributed to your essay. You will likely also have to provide a title page with the title of your essay, your name, date, class and instructor.
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.