Last Update: April 1, 2021

Learn How to Format College Essay and How to Structure It

How to Format and Structure Your College Application Essay?

Don’t know how to format college essay or even where to begin with writing it? We’ll address these questions in our article and give you useful advice in this article. Read on to improve your chances of getting admitted to your university of choice.

How to Structure a College Essay?

Before we can get into the “how to format college essay” aspect, we need to select a well-defined structure format for your writing. Why? Because you can’t format and style the text that’s not yet written, so why overcomplicate things for the time being?

Below are the points it’s usually good to discuss in the essay ordered optimally. If you don’t want to get bogged down with structuring your college application essay, just follow our outline. Of course, you can change it up if you want to.

1. The Reasons Why You Want to Study in the Program

In this part, try to reveal what exactly prompted you to choose a specialty and subject. Note how your interest in studying a certain field developed and what you did to motivate yourself. Learn more about the major, profession, or try to show your enthusiasm for learning. Concentrate on generating ideas, not on “how to format college essay writing.”

2. Why Exactly You Are Suitable for This Program

When talking about “how to write a college essay format,” it’s essential to market yourself as a student. Using your example, explain why you should be chosen. Try to focus not only on the fact that you meet the requirements of the university.

Mention the fact that you have thoroughly studied the course and are interested in gaining knowledge for development in a specific professional field. It will be important for the university and the admissions committee to see that you know about the specialty, that you have consciously chosen this direction, which makes this point a vital part of “how to write a college essay format.”

3. The Experience That Influenced Your Decision

Your background is another critical aspect of conforming to “how to write a college essay format.” Describe your experience; it could be work experience, becoming a volunteer, working on a project, a summer vacation program at a camp, visiting an exhibition or museum, participating in competitions, and how they influenced your decision to study at a university, your decision to choose a certain specialty. Do not try to come up with something unusual because even the most ordinary conversation with a professional can push and motivate you.

4. How Does the Major Relate to the Further Choice of a Profession

The format of a college essay also necessitates you to talk about your ambitions and what you’ll do after graduating. If you apply for a major related to the development of practical skills, focus on what skills you want to acquire to become a professional in a particular field.

Describe what skills you have, how they will help you in learning and mastering the profession. When describing your previous experiences, always connect them to the program and your studying – that’s the format of a college essay.

5. Your Plans for The Future

Lastly, be sure to write about your plans as a part of the format of a college essay. You must avoid being too general in this. If you write in your motivation letter that you want to be a journalist, this is unlikely to distinguish you from any other applicants. Try to explain how a certain profession will help you achieve some bigger goal you have in mind.

How Should I Format My College Essay?

Having established a college essay structure, let’s go over the main aspects of the style you should employ when composing. Of course, when initially writing, you should focus more on the established outline, as the content is always more important. After the initial version is ready, you can edit all you want.

However, don’t let yourself think that correctly formatting isn’t important – on the contrary. Admissions officers specifically look at formatting as an important part of assessing whether to accept a student or not. So, “how to format a college application essay?” is a good question to ask!

Most of the points below answer the question “How should I format my college essay?” and you should return to them in the later stages of doing your essay. Optionally, instead of doing it yourself, you could delegate the college essay edit to someone else and purely focus on creating the text.

1. Use Sans Serif Font Families

First and foremost, you can choose Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Open Sans, Roboto, PT Serif, Arimo. To write the main text, select the 10-12th font size (point size), margins – 1 inch, 1.5 spacing, black. For writing headings and subheadings, decorative fonts and 16-20 font sizes are suitable, but your college personal statement isn’t usually big enough to encompass subheadings.

2. Divide the Text Into 3-to-5-Line Paragraphs

Without paragraphs, the letter will look like a collection of incoherent sentences. Therefore, after writing the text, divide it into paragraphs – this aspect is also important to the point “how to structure a college essay.”

A paragraph is a coherent piece of text consisting of one or more sentences that convey one thought. The paragraphs create a sense of order and make for easier reading time. The text of the letter, divided into paragraphs, looks simple and orderly. They help you navigate the text, and you don’t even have to ask “how to structure a college essay” after correctly dividing the text into paragraphs.

3. Don’t Make All Paragraphs the Same Length

If you have too much information in every paragraph, this is the first sign that you’ve just written down a stream of consciousness, and that’s it. What concerns the “How should I format my college essay?” is that you should make paragraphs of different lengths.

4. Have the Paragraphs in the Same Style

It’s recommended to highlight paragraphs with either a horizontal or vertical indentation, but not both simultaneously. Most commonly, the vertical space is preferred but not always.

5. Additional Tips

Besides the college essay structure points and the formatting question, there are other things you could do to improve these aspects of your writing. You want to get an outside perspective and comments because your own perspective will always be too one-sided.

Almost everyone makes the same mistakes – not adhering to a good college essay structure or missing out on aspects of how to format a college application essay. From the outside, this is immediately noticeable, which is why it is so important to ask for feedback on your essay.

Getting Feedback on the Format of a College Essay

  1. Before you start writing your essay or even figuring out the formatting, select 3-4 people. It is best if they come from different areas of your life: for example, your mentor, acquaintance, friend, and relative (this way, you get the most diverse feedback).

Tell them what program you are applying for and why this college essay you’re needing. Then, ask them to answer some questions about yourself and the essay:

  • In your opinion, how long is a college essay that would have the most impact?
  • What are the most important aspects for the selection committee to know about me?
  • What do you think is the most outstanding and unique about me?
  • Supposing you’re in my place, how do you format a college essay?
  • What events/experiences from my life do you consider necessary to discuss?
  1. After writing the essay, ask the same people for feedback on the already written text. It is better to do this at the initial stage so that it’s not that hard to make changes. And then it is much easier to show the essay when you initially asked for their opinion. Now, there’s no need in asking, “how do you format a college essay?” just these two 2 questions:
  • What impression do you get of me after reading this essay?
  • Is it clear why am I applying to the program?

Summing Up How to Write a College Essay Format

Now that you know all about the structure of application essays and how to format college essays, it shouldn’t be such a big task for you! Make use of our tips, and be sure to get others to review your work!

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