Use a reasonably-sized font: either 10 characters per inch or a 12 point font. And choose a font that is easy to read rather one that is decorative: "Arial," "Lucida," "Modern," "Palermo" or "Times New Roman" are some good choices. Scripted fonts are hard to read even if they do make your paper "look nice"; it is the content of the paper that is most important, and making it easy for your readers to understand that content is always a good choice.
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.