how to format an application essay
Use a font that’s easy to read, like Times, Arial, Calibri, Cambria, etc. Avoid fonts like Papyrus and Curlz. And use 12 pt font.
While single-spaced essays are usually acceptable, your essay will be easier to read if it’s 1.5 or double-spaced.
Or you are still getting ready or working on writing them, but will need to know how to format your common application essay(s) in upcoming weeks or months.
- Compose your draft in either a Word file or Google docs. Do not craft it directly in the Common Application text box (You could lose your work)! If you use Word or Google docs, you can use their word count and, most importantly, the spell check feature. The Common App now allows you to upload Google docs directly from Google Drive. (Hint: If you want to use this feature, you might want to get a Gmail account that you use exclusively for these essays.) You can also copy and paste your Word or Google doc directly into the Common App text box.
- The Common Application essay text box does not allow tabbing. So make your paragraphs with block formatting (have a space in between each paragraph instead of an indentation.) You can format this way in your Word or Google doc, but make sure it translates after you either upload your Google doc, or copy and paste from the Word or Google doc.
- The Common Application essay text box only has formatting for Bold, Underline and Italics. I would format your essay along MLA guidelines (using italics for things like book titles, foreign words, those types of copyediting rules.), and then make sure they translate or carry over after you upload or copy and paste. If you lose the italics, use the Common App italics formatting to add them inside the text box. I see no reason to use either Bold or Underlining in your essays. Avoid gimmicky formatting, such as ALL CAPS, emojis or #hashtags.
- Avoid titles. Even though I think a snappy title can enhance an essay, I see no way to format it at the top of the Common App essay that would center it, and think it could be more of a distraction. If you really love your title, feel free to give it a try, but I think it will only stick on the far left of the first line. (If you go for it that way, maybe put it in Bold to make it clear it’s a title.)
- Do NOT include the prompt at the top of your essay. That only eats up precious words. With your Common App essay, you simply check the box that your essay lines up with the best.
- Supplemental (shorter) essays have similar formatting options. Use the same rules as above for these. Some do not provide a text box and require you to upload from Google docs or attach a Word file (converting it to a PDF.)
- Double check word counts. The Common App text box and text boxes for the supplemental essays show the minimum and maximum word counts, which is very helpful. After you copy and paste an essay, always scroll through it to make sure everything copies (and your formatting carried over) and make sure it’s within the word count requirement shown under the box.
- You can go back and make edits after you have submitted your essays. Even after you submit, go back and review to make sure it’s exactly how you wanted it.
- General rules for formatting drafts in Word or Google docs: Use a common font (Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria…), write in 12 pt font, double space.
Map out what you’re going to write by making an outline.
Believe it or not, the brainstorming stage may be more tedious than writing the actual application essay. The purpose is to flesh out all of your possible ideas so when you begin writing, you know and understand where you’re going with the topic.
This is a boring story because itвЂ™s dry facts without any context. What kind of office was it? How are all these things related: being creative, wanting to change the world, and researching for a business school? There is no storyline, no connection. The writer states that theyвЂ™re tired of their office job, but fails to draw the reader in; the reader does not sympathize with the author in any way; and there is no vivid or descriptive language used.
Through answering these questions, you will show the committee that you are the right candidate for this degree.
Table of Contents
It is important to follow the correct format for the margins, spacing and the Font size. If the students fail to follow the instruction, the examiner might judge the content based on the incorrect formatting style.