Format for entries: A single space is used after any punctuation mark. When dividing a long word or URL onto two lines, put hyphen, slash, or period at the end of the line. Do not add a hyphen to a URL that was not originally there. Never begin a new line with a punctuation mark. Double-space all lines in a bibliography entry. Do not indent the first line of a bibliography entry, indent second and subsequent lines 5 spaces, or 1/2″ ( cm) from the left margin. Please see Chapter 11. Guidelines on How to Write a Bibliography for details.
PDF (portable document format) is perhaps becoming a widely used format now. There are PDF-readers for all platforms (Windows, MacOS, Linux). This also guarantees that you can be confident that it will look as you intended, no matter what reader is used to view the document and it is also secure. Modern versions of Microsoft Word contain a PDF export function or you can download a free pdf converter such as Cute pdf : you install it and then "print" the document to a folder on your PC. PDFs can however sometimes prevent keyword-scanning software on job boards or applicant-tracking systems from picking up information that allows you to be found.
You present a persuasive argument for the abandonment of the 5-paragraph essay and suggest a new format for presenting an argument... However, you did not provide much information on what is expected to go in between your introduction and conclusion? You suggested this format opens the essay to compare/contrast, cause/effect, analysis, etc... but how do you suggest students structure an essay with these approaches in practice? Any piece of writing needs some structure and main ideas that are then supported with various pieces of evidence (whether you are writing a historical thesis or a persuasive essay)... If you are abandoning a "main idea followed by supporting evidence" format, what do you propose should take its place? Or perhaps my understanding of the 5-paragraph essay you are speaking of is incorrect?