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College Application Essay Format - A Detailed Guide

By Cathy A.

7 mins read

Reviewed By Melisa C.

College Application Essay Format college application essay format

Applicants have to consider even small things when applying to a college. These include test scores, test prep, etc. However, writing an essay is considered an essential part of your application. For this, you need to keep in mind several college application essay guidelines.

The main elements are formatting the font, headings, margins, along with organizing the overall ideas. Nevertheless, most students are not familiar with the proper college essay format. Therefore, they often end up wondering what format should I use for a college application essay.

If you are one of those students, have a look at this detailed guide. It will help you get a comprehensive idea of how to write a college application essay format.

What is a College Application Essay Format?

A college app essay format is a set of guidelines to organize and structure your ideas. It plays an important role in giving a proper and logical direction to your essay. Similarly, it is usually the first thing that the committee officers will see in your application.

For example, you have been asked to use an MLA or APA format, but you don’t adhere to the guidelines. It leads the examiner to feel that you are not capable enough to follow the basic instructions. Thus, there is a possibility that they might not read your personal statement.

On the other hand, if you have written and formatted your essay correctly, it will help you stand out. Moreover, the officers will also know that you have understood and follow the essay’s requirements.

A perfect college essay application format tells a good story of who you are and your career goals. Furthermore, it also clarifies how you can contribute to the college in the future.

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How To Format A College Application Essay?

Formatting is quite stressful for most high school students while writing a college application essay. It is because they are often unfamiliar with the right structure.

Therefore, we have put together some crucial elements for you. They must be considered to write a proper format of a college application essay.

Follow the guidelines given below to format your college application.

1. The Standard Writing Format

A college essay follows a standard format that includes the following three sections.

  • College Application Essay Introduction
  • It should introduce the applicant and the college application essay prompt that you are writing about. Similarly, it also mentions a thesis statement that discusses the main idea.

    Thus, it is important to select an impressive topic and take time to outline your thoughts. However, don’t forget the admission essay is about you as a person.

  • College Application Essay Body
  • It is a detailed part of your college essay that requires a lot of time and effort. In addition, applicants must relate the topic to the essay’s main body to make it easy to read.

    You can also add relevant facts, evidence, and examples to support your thoughts. It will make your essay sound credible.

  • College Application Essay Conclusion
  • The essay conclusion serves as your last chance to prove yourself as the most deserving candidate among others to get admission.

    Have a look at the below document to understand the essay writing format properly.

2. Font Size/Style, Margins, and Line Spacing

When writing a college application essay, avoid using fancy fonts. Instead, begin your application by choosing a 12pt font in the Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. It is usually a default font size and style for college essays.

Similarly, a margin around the page is another crucial element that you must consider. For this, use a one-inch margin on the four sides of each page.

On the other hand, the paragraphs should be typed in 1.5 or double line spacing. Always intend the first line of each paragraph with a tab. Lastly, use left alignment to justify your college application.

3. Page Headings

College essay headings may vary according to the writing style. However, most institutions follow and accept the general guideline in the application process.

Thus, page headings should be placed in the upper left-hand corners of pages. Follow the below heading format in your college essays.

  • The header’s first line should include your name.
  • The next line should contain the name of your course instructor or supervisor.
  • The third line must have the title of your essay, along with the course code
  • Write the submission date in the last line.

The following example shows the college application essay heading format.

Eric Bassett
Dr. Patrick Greene
Biology 1125
8 April 2017

Keep in mind, the headers should appear on every page of your college essay. However, the page number should be placed on the first page only.

Moreover, in the next pages, include your surname and page number in the header. Intend both to the right side of the page.

4. College Application Essay Title

The titles of your college application papers should be centered and placed beneath the headings. After typing the title, press the enter key twice to begin the paragraphs.

Remember, the college essay would not be complete without a good heading. Refer to the below example to get a comprehensive idea of the concept.

5. Citation Style

The citation styles for admission essays are specific. The most commonly used and instructed styles include MLA, APA, Chicago, or Harvard. Make sure that you follow them correctly to present a properly cited paper.

Here, we have mentioned a complete college essay template for you.

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College Application Essay Format Examples

Here are some common app college essay format examples for you to get a better idea.

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In case you need some more samples, check out our college application essay examples.

College Application Essay Formatting Tips

Below given are some expert tips to assist you in the formatting and writing process.

  • Use short and simple sentences while writing a college application.
  • Use an active voice to convey your ideas effectively.
  • Understand the assigned essay prompt properly beforehand.
  • Do not write the prompt at the top of the essay.
  • Have a look at your essay title and subtitle to stay connected to the topic in a specific way.
  • Relate your introduction, body, and conclusion to the essay’s topic.
  • Find a great and interesting essay title. It must show the entire work and the main idea in a few well-chosen words.
  • The application must follow a clear structure. Thus, it is better to create an outline before starting writing.
  • Pay close attention to the conclusion part as it will summarize the entire content of your essay.
  • Double-check the word count specified by the admission committee before submitting your essay. However, a standard length varies from 250 to 650 words.

Undoubtedly, the content of your essay is of high importance. However, the format is the thing that you should address first. Thus, make sure to do your best to get the right college essay format template. It is because the admission officers will not even read your essay if it has an incorrect format.

Students are often unfamiliar with the concept and prefer to hire essay experts to complete this task. If you are one of them and wondering how to format a college essay. Then choosing MyPerfectWords.com is the best choice for you.

It is the best college application essay service that guarantees to provide essay help at affordable rates. Similarly, professional writers have the right education, knowledge, and experience to craft and format application essays.

All you have to do is to contact our support team and specify your requirements. Then, we’ll make sure to deliver your college essays according to the specified format.

Therefore, place your order to get a convincing college application within the given deadline..

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do college essays need titles?

A college essay's title is its most important element. It tells readers what the paper will be about and hints at how creative it can have been in writing style.

2. What should you not say in a college essay?

Twelve things you should avoid in a college essay:

  1. Never write on a 'subject.'
  2. Never give in to your thoughts.
  3. Never begin with a prologue.
  4. Never, ever finish a story with the words ‘happily ever after.’
  5. Never repeat your academic and extracurricular achievements.
  6. Never, ever pontificate.
  7. Never be afraid to express yourself.
  8. Never, ever offer TMI.
  9. Never expose your writing to an excessive number of individuals.
  10. Never, ever over-edit your essay.

3. Can I swear in my college essay?

Don't use swear words in your college essays. It's a major mistake that will likely get you rejected by every college.

Cathy A.

Cathy A.

Literature, Marketing

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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