Formatting is like following a recipe found in a grandmother's recipe book. The rule is to follow it to the letter. If it has been tested multiple times then it is bound to be the right way. There is a calming and reassuring aspect of following traditions. It works.
The rules are simple:
Use black, 12-point, Times New Roman as the font.
Set your margins to 1 inch on all sides.
Set alignment to left justified.
Use a single space after periods.
Use double-spaced line spacing.
Indent all paragraphs by 0.5 inches, and don't hit tab or space to indent.
Use " " as speech marks and ' ' for quotes or inner thoughts
Inner thoughts should be written in italics.