Oftentimes, you'll need to submit your college essay in a specific file format. The application may only accept certain versions of Word files i. So just be sure that you are saving your file in an accepted format before you upload it! I recommend. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar.
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It will just eat into your word count. Your college essay should be professional, and anything too cutesy or casual will come off as immature. Maybe you're less concerned with the micro-level college essay format, like fonts, and more concerned with the macro-level format, like how to structure your college admissions essay.
Is there's some secret paragraph formula that will make writing easy and clearly express all of your strengths to an awestruck admissions committee? Sadly, no. However, the good news is that a college essay is actually a good opportunity to play with structure a little bit and break free from the five-paragraph essay. You're certainly not disallowed from writing a five-paragraph essay, but it's by no means guaranteed to be the best college essay structure.
A good college essay is like a sandwich, where the intro and conclusion are the pieces of bread and whatever comes between them is the sandwich toppings. A sandwich without bread is a bad sandwich, but a good sandwich could have any number of things between the bread pieces. So you need a clear introduction that gives a pretty clear idea of where you will be going in the essay and a conclusion that wraps everything up and makes your main point clear. However, how you approach the middle part is up to you.
You could structure your essay more like a narrative, relating an important experience from your life. You could use an extended analogy, where each paragraph is a part of the analogy. You want to adhere broadly to the wisdom that each paragraph should have an identifiable main idea, but a college essay is definitely a great chance to break free from the five-paragraph essay.
For more in-depth advice on how to structure your essay, check out our expert step-by-step guide on tackling the essay. You might see college essay templates online that offer guidelines on how to structure your essay and what to say in each paragraph. I strongly advise against using a template. It will make your essay sound canned and bland—two of the worst things a college essay can be.
You can also find tons of successful sample essays online. Looking at these to get an idea of different styles and topics is fine, but again, I don't advise closely patterning your essay after a sample essay. You will do the best if your essay really reflects your own original voice and the experiences that are most meaningful to you. The majority of college applicants are high school seniors, and most of the college application advice out there is aimed at them.
But what do you do if you don't fall into this narrow category? Our eBook on how to prepare for and apply to college as a nontraditional student will walk you through everything you need to know , from the coursework you should have under your belt to how to get letters of recommendation when you're not a high school senior.
There are two levels of formatting you might be worried about: the micro fonts, headings, margins, etc and the macro the overall structure of your essay. Tips for the macro level of your college application essay format :. Plus, if you use a college essay template, how will you get rid of these medieval weirdos?
Still feeling lost? Check out our total guide to the personal statement , or see our step-by-step guide to writing the perfect essay. If you're not sure where to start, consider these tips for attention-grabbing first sentences to college essays! And be sure to avoid these 10 college essay mistakes.
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MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material produced by other writers.
The MLA Handbook is available in most writing centers and reference libraries. It is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA Style :.
These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay. MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name. MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books for more information on headings, please see page in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition. If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically.
For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases and not, for example, full sentences.