Nova A.
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College Application Essay Format - A Definitive Guide

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Published on: Jan 4, 2021

Last updated on: Dec 22, 2022

College Application Essay Format

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The college application essay can be a daunting part of the entire process. It is your chance to show schools what makes you stand out from the rest and how they should feel lucky to have someone like you on their team.

College admission essays are a rather serious matter, as the admissions officers can get to know you through it. The tone of voice should be formal and reputable so that they might think highly of you at first glance.

So, it is important to follow a certain format so that when the admission committee reads your essay, they can see who you are and what makes you unique. This will allow them to understand how much of an asset you would be if admitted into their school.

Here you can find examples and learn how to format an essay for your college admissions process if you don’t know where to start.

What is a College Application Essay Format?

college application essay is an opportunity to tell the admissions committee about yourself and your interests. A well-written, structured document will make a good impression on them, while poorly written or unstructured documents are likely to be rejected outright.

Other than test scores, it is a vital part of your admission process. Your college app essay format should play a pivotal role in organizing both your ideas and expectations of what you want from this institution going forward.

The use of the MLA or APA format is important because it provides a clear guideline for you to follow. It also demonstrates that you are capable and prepared enough to know how formatting works in academic writing. You will probably have your personal statement read when there’s no evidence suggesting otherwise, such as not adhering to directions given by the professor.

On the other hand, if you have written and formatted your essay correctly, it will help show that you know what you are doing. Moreover, the officers will also get an idea of how serious this is to you by reading your well-formatted work.

A perfect college application essay format tells others who you are and what your goals for the future might be. Furthermore, it also explains how you can contribute to a university in the present day.

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How to Format a College Application Essay?

Formatting an essay is brutally difficult for most high school students, but writing a college application essay can be even more so. It's no fun to remember everything you learned in English class about the proper structure of one single piece of paper.

Luckily, we're here to help you format your college application essay. Below you can find the standard college essay format that you can follow.

College Application Essay Introduction

When you start writing the college essay, don’t dismiss the introduction. It is an important part of your college application process.

A good introductory sentence should always attract attention-grabbing opening sentences are often used for that purpose in most essays because they make people interested right off the bat. The first sentence in this paragraph can really set up how long or short each following point will be by connecting them with either ‘and’ or ‘but.’ An intro shouldn't drag on too much but also not leave out any valuable information - it's sort of like 'everything you need to know about X without telling everything about it all.

College Application Essay Body

The truth is that crafting the perfect essay requires a lot of time and effort. In this section, we'll learn how to support your main idea with solid facts and evidence while making your essays easy to read and follow proper formatting guidelines.

The body paragraphs in a college admissions essay are what make or break it. They provide all the necessary information for readers, so they know where you're coming from as well as what kind of person you are.

College Application Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is an opportunity to wrap up your arguments and persuade the reader. The essay should go back to the thesis statement - what are you trying to prove? With facts from previous paragraphs, use them as evidence or examples that support the argument.

Standard Font Style

When writing the college application essay, avoid using fancy fonts and emojis. Keep it simple with Times New Roman or Arial font size 12pt.

College Application Essay Heading Format

The heading is an important part of your essay. Find a catchy phrase that will grab the reader's attention and make it more exciting to read. The word count should be less than ten words, written in bold type at the upper left corner on each page.

The page headings in your essay are the first thing a reader will see. Write them carefully and correctly follow the proper format of what should be written inside each section. Have a look at the following example to get a better idea.

College Application Essay Title

The essay title is the first thing that gets read by admission officials. The words in your essay topic/title should capture the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading it. Don't write a vague or boring topic for your essays.

Attach a Document

When submitting your essay, it's important to format it in the correct way. You should make sure that you are saving the file in an accepted format before submission. Because some committees only accept word files or PDF documents that cannot be edited and always look uniform.

Citation Style

When you are writing an essay for college, make sure to cite your sources so that you don't risk plagiarizing and give credit where it is due. The type of citation style depends on the academic guidelines or requirements at a university. But MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard all have different styles, which can be confusing if they're not well known by students applying for colleges.

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College Application Essay Format Examples

Many students don't have the skills to write an essay on their own, so they look for help from outside sources. However, if you know how to do it and want a challenge of your own - here are some examples that you can use to create a successful common application essay.

You've been given the opportunity to submit a college essay for any school you want. It's your chance at fame and fortune, so make sure not to blow it. To get accepted into top colleges like Harvard or Yale, certain guidelines need to be followed when writing an essay in general.

The above common app college essay format examples will help you understand how to write an essay for college applications.

Tips for Formatting a College Application Essay

Below you can find some expert college app essay formatting tips that you can apply in your college essay.

  • Double-check the word count before submitting your college essay. If it is not specified in instructions, 500-650 words should be a good estimate.
  • As you're reading these college admission essays, make sure to pay attention not only to how the writers structured their essays but also to what kind of tone they used.
  • College formatting rules are strict. You are most likely required to write your essay in APA, MLA, or Chicago style. Make sure you follow the instructions and use the specified format style for your paper before submitting it - this will save time on proofreading.
  • The essay prompt gives you ideas of what to write about to make a good story. Use the words in it as a guide for your own thoughts- do not simply copy them word by word.
  • You don't need to tell your entire life story in a 500-600 word essay, so pick one event that makes you unique and use it as your theme.

The time has come to get your essay on the correct track for college. Refer back to our tips and guidelines anytime you're writing a new paper, or if these seem unclear, head over to a professional writer who will help finish it up.

At EssayWriter.college, we provide the best essay writing help from a top essay writer to students who are unable to write exceptional college essays.

Our exclusive admission essay writing service promises quality and affordability through discounts and reasonable prices that can't be beaten elsewhere in town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a college essay need a title?

Every college essay needs a title, but you don't need to stress about it. In most cases, experts suggest writing your essay before locking in on a final choice for the name of your work or major paper.

What should you not do in a college essay?

The following are some things that you should not do in writing a college essay:

  • Do not rehash your academic and extracurricular accomplishments.
  • Do not write about ‘a topic.’
  • Don't start with a preamble or end the piece in an optimistic manner.
  • Never hold back the words you know are true to your heart.
Nova A.


Nova A. (Marketing, Literature)

Nova Allison is a skilled Digital Content Strategist with eight years of experience in crafting scientific and technical content. What makes Nova’s online content plans stand out is her perfect mix of engaging and informative writing styles. Her years of writing experience have polished her skills in writing accurate technical content.

Nova Allison is a skilled Digital Content Strategist with eight years of experience in crafting scientific and technical content. What makes Nova’s online content plans stand out is her perfect mix of engaging and informative writing styles. Her years of writing experience have polished her skills in writing accurate technical content.

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