Home Blog College Application Essay Guide College Application Essay Format - A Step by Step Guide

College Application Essay Format - A Step by Step Guide

College Application Essay Format - A Step by Step Guide

The college application essay is an essential part of a college application process. It is a completely new type of writing for high school seniors.

College application essays are very important because the admission committee members can judge a lot about the student through this essay. How a student writes and structures the college essay is very crucial.

So, it is important to follow a certain format to capture the attention of admission committee members. You need to write and structure your essay in a way that depicts your thoughts and ideas.

If you don’t know the correct essay format for a college application essay, refer to this article. Here you can find the best way to learn how to write a college application format along with examples.

College Application Essay Format Definition

A college application essay format is a set of guidelines you need to follow to organize your thoughts and ideas. It is important to make sure your essay follows a proper and logical direction.

Following a certain format is very important to come up with a structured and well-organized college essay. There are chances that admission committee members might not read the essay if it is not properly formatted.

For example, you might be asked to write your college essay following an APA format or MLA format. Not adhering to the required formatting will show the examiner that you are not capable enough to understand the basic instructions.

But if your essay follows a proper format, it will help you stand out. Remember, this is the first thing that examiners will interact with. Moreover, the examiners will get an idea that you are capable enough to understand and follow the essay instructions.

So, it is important to apply the correct format for the margins, font size, and spacing.

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How to Format a College Application Essay?

Before formatting, make sure you are cutting or pasting your essay into the text box or attaching a document. Check the application instructions if you are not sure what you need to do.

Most colleges allow you to send your essay in a paper application, giving you more control over formatting. Regardless of how you submit your college essay, it is better to draft your essay in a Microsoft word processor.

Here are the guidelines you need to follow if you are copying and pasting or attaching a document.

Formatting Guidelines if You are Copying and Pasting into a Text Box

If you are copying and pasting into a text box, it is important to make sure everything is transferred correctly. Here are the points that you need to keep in mind while doing so.

  • Check if your whole essay content is transferred and nothing is cut off.
  • Make sure the word count is not messed up while transferring your content into a text. Make necessary adjustments if the word count changes.
  • You might lose all the formatting if you copy and paste. So better not to use any formatting if you are going to paste your essay into a textbox.
  • You may also lose paragraph formatting while pasting your essay over. So ensure all paragraphs are evenly spaced either through a tab or skipped lines.
  • Use Times New Roman or Arial font. The appropriate font size is 12pt.

Formatting Guidelines if You are Attaching a Document

You need to be more careful about the college essay format if you are attaching a document. Here are the points that you need to keep in mind.

  • Use one-inch margins on all sides of the paper. This will make the essay easy to read.
  • While single-spacing is acceptable, your essay can be 1.5 or double-spaced to make it more readable.
  • Intend the first line of the paragraph with a single tab.
  • Use standard fonts that make the content easy to read. The appropriate fonts are Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, etc.
  • You may need to include your college essay heading, page number, and application ID. Do not add your name unless it is specifically instructed.
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Standard Format for College Application Essay

After understanding the basic formatting guidelines, it is important to understand how to structure your college essay. You need to organize your essay in a way that can easily and clearly express your ideas.

The good thing is that the college essay or personal statement also follows a five-paragraph essay format. It includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Like other academic essays, a college essay can also be approached like a good story. Write the college application essay in a way that has an interesting introduction. All the details are discussed in the body paragraphs and should be ended with some thought-provoking lines.

College Application Essay Title

There is no need to add a title; it will increase your word count. However, you can add if it is specified in the instructions.

Page Headings

The heading is another important part of the essay. With the correct heading and format, the examiner will get an idea of the content. But if the format is incorrect, it will halt your chances of being selected.

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College Application Essay Format Examples

There are many college application essay guidelines that you can follow to format your essay. These include what font is best to use, required margins, and much more.

Below you can find some college application essay templates and college application essay examples to help students write the best essay. If you are planning to write a college essay, make sure to follow a certain template. This will help you get an idea about the contents of the essay.

The following format examples will help you understand what is the best way to structure your college essay.

College Application Essay Format Sample

College Application Essay Format Template

College Application Essay Format MLA

College Admission Essay Format Heading Example

College Application Essay Paragraph Format

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Tips for Formatting Your College Application Essay

Here are some experts to keep in mind while formatting your college application essay.

  • Double-check the word count before submitting your college essay. If the word count is not specified in the instructions, it should be around 500-650 words.
  • Read college admission essay format sample papers and see how others have formatted their essays. You can easily find sample essays online to help you understand the college admission essay structure better.
  • The formatting rules for colleges are specific. You are most probably asked to write your essay in APA, MLA, or Chicago writing style. Make sure to follow the instructions and write your essay in the specified format style.

It is time to start formatting your college essay correctly. Refer to the above guidelines and tips whenever you are writing a college essay.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many paragraphs is a college application essay?

Usually, a college application essay has 5 paragraphs, just like any other essay.

Do college essays need titles?

Yes, a college application essay is also a part of creative writing and, therefore, it must contain a working title. The best way of coming up with a great title is to write the essay before the title.

Can I swear in my college essay?

A big NO. avoid using profanities or slang in your college essay, at least if you do not want to lose the admission.

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