Formatting and citation standards
Most institutions have a set of formatting and citation standards as do publications. For example, when you pick up your morning newspaper, you do not see a wide variety of formats, fonts, or forms of citation. That newspaper will have a set of standards for everything that goes into every issue. It is good to know what the standards are if you want to be published in a magazine, journal, newspaper, or anything else that has a wide distributions. If you are writing an essay for a class, your school will probably have guidelines. More often than not, they will have chosen one of the popular ones such as the MLA style guide, the Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style, or possibly the APA style.
These styles dictate every aspect of the formatting and style of the publications written in that institution. Some of those standards are the arrangement of citations, such as the people, books, or other sources you have consulted. The form of headings and subheadings is dictated by the style guides and they vary widely. This is an important part of a paper that is to be read by another person, so you need to get to know them thoroughly if you want your writing to be accepted. Be certain that you are using the latest edition because all of them tend to make several changes with each new edition that are often crucial to acceptance of your paper.