The Right College Essay Format

When applying to any college, even small things can cost you a lot. It’s especially true in terms of a college essay because it’s the most personal part of the entire application. However, many modern students agonize over the right college essay format and such basic elements as margins, font styles, files, etc. You may find it hard to organize your overall thoughts too. This comprehensive guide covers the ins and outs of formatting this paper on its micro and macro levels. Minor formatting issues include fonts and headings, while broad formatting concerns can be avoided by using a helpful template.

Understanding College Essay Margins, Fonts, and Other Formatting Parameters

The main formatting concerns of most students depend on whether they prefer to attach formatted documents or copy and paste their papers into the text box of online application forms. If you’re unsure what to do, check basic application instructions and remember that common college applications require students to copy and paste their essays into a special text box.

Besides, many colleges allow applicants to send their papers, thus providing them with their increased control over essay formatting. There are basic reasons why sending paper college applications is not the best option:

  • Most colleges claim that they prefer online applications, so it’s wise to comply with their preferences where possible to make the whole process go smoothly, but this decision won’t affect your admission chances;
  • Paper applications tend to get lost, so online applications provide you with more time to fix everything and be confident that all materials are received.

Regardless of how you submit your college paper, keep a track of its word count, use helpful spell checks, and do other things to increase its quality.

If You Copy and Paste a College Essay into a Text Box

If you prefer this method, the main thing is to double check everything to ensure that you transfer your paper correctly, so use the following simple college essay format tricks:

  • Check whether the whole paper is transferred without any cut parts;
  • Word counts may mess up by some wonky formatting or words can be counted differently in a text box, so make the necessary adjustments right there;
  • When you copy and paste, it’s possible to lose formatting parts, including italics and bold;
  • Paragraph spaces may mess up too, so check if they are clearly delineated;
  • Fonts are usually standardized, but select a standard one just in case.

If You Prefer to Attach a Document

In this case, be more concerned with the overall format of your college essay. Such basic elements as spaces and margins are important.

  • Use 1-inch margins because they are basic and easy to read;
  • Your college essay should be double-spaced;
  • Clearly delineate all essay paragraphs;
  • Use the font style that is simple to read;
  • Include headings and page numbers;
  • Submit this paper in an accepted file format.

Basic Formatting Guidelines Applied in All Cases

  • You don’t need any title, unless it’s requested because it only eats into a given word count;
  • Avoid overly colloquial and cutesy formatting choices for your college essay.

Tips on How to Structure College Essays

Perhaps, you are less concerned with micro level formatting issues, such as font styles. If you’re more focused on macro-level formatting, including the right structure, use this basic formula to write easily and express all personal strengths clearly. This assignment allows students to break up from a standard 5-paragraph essay structure. A perfect college paper is just like a sandwich with its conclusion and intro. The latter one must give a clear idea of where other paragraphs will go, while any conclusion wraps everything up and make the main point clear. The best structure of your college essay is like a narrative that relates to important life experiences. You can use an extended analogy where every paragraph is its part or choose other effective writing methods.

Why the Use of Special Templates Is a Bad Idea

There are many templates for college essays online, and they offer simple guidelines on structuring and formatting this assignment. Students are advised against using them because they make papers sound dull and boring. Consider what you want to say and talk through how to structure all ideas to end up with a perfect outline and the best college essay format. It’s worth looking at examples and templates to get a better idea of different formatting styles. Don’t pattern them closely to produce an original paper because it must reflect your personal voice and writing style.

Key Takeaways when Formatting Your Essay

Check these tips for micro-level formatting concerns when writing your college essay:

  • Write it in advanced word-processing software, even if you prefer to copy and paste your essay directly into a text box;
  • If you want to copy and paste your text, ensure that its formatting is transferred correctly;
  • If you attach this paper, ensure that margins are correct, font styles are readable, and its file format is compatible.

Coping with Macro-Level Formatting Concerns

  • There isn’t any super-secret format that will guarantee success to your college essay;
  • In terms of its correct structure, a strong introduction is the most important thing in addition to a cleat conclusion that wraps all major point up (the body has a free format as long as it flows logically).

Common Things That Make a College Essay Bad

What may turn this paper terrible? Check common mistakes made by students when formatting, structuring, and writing their college essays.

Problems with the Right Topic Selection

A common way to spoil this assignment is choosing the wrong topic. Your poorly-chosen content leads to a bad paper that won’t impress any reader. This essay is written by students to let admission committees get to know their personality, talents, character, and skills. If you pick a terrible topic, don’t expect to submit a good paper because your impression on readers will be ruined.

  • Some poor topics show that you lack maturity or a good sense of judgement;
  • Others suggest that you’re a boring personality;
  • Bad essay topics also indicate that you are disconnected from or unaware of the outside world.

Problems with the Entire Execution

Even if a college essay makes a great personal statement, you may fail to put all parts together or structure your ideas correctly. That’s because you fail to prove others the clarity and maturity of your personal writing style. The most effective way to avoid this problem is eliminating faulty writing techniques, such as incorrectly used punctuation or unclear syntax. Another powerful way is to avoid ignoring basic prompt instructions for both careless and creative reasons.

Otherwise, readers will think that you are someone who can’t understand how to follow important instructions or someone who just blows off basic directions.

Bad College Essay Topics to Avoid

A good topic selection also contributes to the right college essay format, so avoid these troubler categories.

  1. Too personal topics reveal something very private and show that students don’t understand existing boundaries. Avoid writing a lot about your disability, diseases, or bodily functions, etc.
  2. Too revealing of your bad judgement. Leave all immoral and illegal actions out of your college essay because giving readers something to dislike about you is a poor idea. Don’t write about committing any crime as your exciting or fun experience. Don’t make up any fictional stories about your life. Detailing any personal flaws is the wrong choice too.
  3. Too overconfident topics should be eliminated because no one likes show-offs. If you focus your college essay only on personal accomplishments, you will lose. Don’t brag and make yourself a perfect hero. Avoid having no awareness of a real scope of these accomplishments.
  4. Too boring and clichéd topics won’t bring you any success. If you choose them, you’ll fail to make your college essay memorable. Don’t write about sports or other trivial things. Other essay ideas that should be avoided include suggestions on how to fix the whole world, going meta, reacting with sadness to common experiences, using famous quotes, etc.
  5. Being too off-topic is bad too because this paper should be focused on your personality and backgrounds. Don’t play tribute to anyone important. Don’t focus on any work of art that moved you.
  6. Too offensive topics are never appreciated by readers and they show that you’re not open to new ideas and lack your self-awareness.