How To Write A College Admission Essay: Your Ultimate Guide 2023-24

College Admission Essay

Writing a college essay is never a piece of cake, especially when your future depends on it. While writing a regular argumentative essay or cause and effect essay, you only risk getting a low grade. However, when it comes to writing a college application essay, the stakes get much higher. Whether you like it or not, the quality of your admission essay will directly affect whether you will be able to study at the college of your choice or not, which is why it is so important to get things right!

Prior to writing a significant piece of work such as a college essay, students often have numerous inquiries, including what format do college essays use.

So, to help you succeed, our write my admission essay team has prepared a step-by-step guide on how to write a college admission essay, along with detailed information on what format should a college essay be in and more! Let's browse through the upcoming paragraphs, and let us help you stand out from the crowd.

Defining What Is a College Admissions Essay

As you could've already guessed from its name, a college application essay is a part of your admission package submitted to enroll in a college. And to be more specific, it is one of the most vital parts of your application.

In a nutshell, a college admission essay, which is also often referred to as an application essay, personal statement, or statement of purpose, is a short written statement submitted by an applicant that is seeking to enter a particular university, college, or graduate school.

The purpose of an admission essay is to complete your college application and show the admission committee that you are the right fit for their institution. According to CollegeBoard, admission officers are typically looking to see the applicant's ability to follow the college level essay format requirements, write well, and build logical arguments. At the same time, with the help of an application essay, they want to know more about the personality of each particular applicant. Therefore, this essay is basically your opportunity to show off your skills, highlight your best qualities, and prove that you deserve to study at the college of your choice.

Looking for the answer to the question of how to write a college application essay, it is vital to understand that the university essay format requirements can vary depending on the school you are interested in. When you're asking, 'What format do you write a college essay in?' know that sometimes, colleges will let you choose a topic yourself; therefore, the structure of your essay will largely depend on your preferences. In other cases, one may be required to write an admissions essay template according to the given college essay prompts. These common admission essay topics can range from being open-ended to extremely specific and even somewhat strange. A famous example comes from the University of Chicago, which had a pretty odd prompt for admission essays:

'What would you do with a foot-and-a-half-tall jar of mustard?'

Working with such tricky prompts can be rather challenging. But don't worry; most colleges will give you more than just that to work with.‍

As strange as some admission essay prompts can get, it is essential to maintain a positive attitude and discover complex ways of tackling them. Instead of getting overwhelmed with anxious thoughts such as, 'What format should I write my college essay in for these unconventional prompts?', it's crucial to stay calm and approach the task with a clear and open mind. Regardless of what topic one chooses to explore, all the elements used should be directed toward creating one big idea. That will make your college application essay layout flow smoothly and logically.

Although there are no universal rules on how to write a college essay, there are a number of strategies and tips that can help make this process significantly easier and a lot less stressful. In this article, we will stress how does a college essay look like, what essay format is used in college app, along with the various methods students can employ to approach their admission essays.

College Admission Essay Format: General Rules and Tips that Make a Great College Essay

If you are wondering what is the college essay format, know that a college essay format follows the general rules that are pretty standard. Typically, your admission paper should be in line with a basic 5-paragraph format. This means you will need to include one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

As for further college essays format requirements, most schools will require you to stick to the following recommendations:

  • One-inch margins on all sides;
  • 1.5 or double-spaced;
  • Easy-to-read fonts (Times New Roman is considered to be a standard choice);
  • 12 pt font size;
  • Clearly delineated paragraphs.

These are the general college entry essay format rules and requirements that are acceptable across most institutions. However, be sure to always check the admission essay format preferences of each particular school you are applying to. Keep in mind that papers that fail to follow the proper format for a college essay rules can be disqualified.

Now, let's get down to the details and look at the most useful tips that will help you create a flawless college admission essay example.

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Writing a College Entrance Essay: Preparation Stage

Before diving into your college format essay, it is always a good idea to take a step back and plan out what you want to write. This will make the process much faster and easier in the long run.

Basically, the pre-writing process should consist of the following steps:

  1. Read the essay format college requirements and prompts;
  2. Pick the topic that suits you;
  3. Brainstorm;
  4. Organize the most positive aspects that you want to mention. Brainstorm all the points later and keep the best ones.
  5. Define what should a college application essay look like and its length, and set a word limit for each point.
  6. Create a rough draft. Once all your ideas are in place, create a detailed college essay outline.

Now, let's look at some of these steps in detail.

How to Pick a Perfect College Admission Essay Topic

First of all, to prepare for writing a paper, you need to choose a compelling topic. Regardless of whether you are choosing a topic yourself, or picking it among the provided prompts, here are the key qualities of a good college admission essay topic to keep in mind:

  • It should be thoughtful and relevant.
  • It should be personal and reveal your individuality.
  • It should give you the scope to highlight your best qualities.
  • It should be engaging.
  • It should provide an insight into your experience or aspect of your background.
  • It will help you tell the admission committee something they don't already know (i.e., something that can't be seen in your application)
  • It should not be too broad.

These tips should help you choose the right topic and structure, so you won't have to wonder, 'What format should my college essay be in' anymore. However, regardless of your choice, the most important tip is to be yourself. It is not necessary to write about some really major achievement or unbelievable experience. The committee wants to know who you are as a person, so even if you write about something very basic but manage to share your story - you will win!

Define How Long Should a College Application Essay Be

Typically, a basic application essay format does not imply any word count limitations. However, when unsure how long should a college admissions essay be, it is recommended to keep your essay about 650 words long. This is the optimal length for such a paper because essays that exceed 650 words are often too wordy, whereas shorter ones can look incomplete and fail to deliver the core idea.

Nevertheless, always pay close attention to the specific requirements for the college admission essay format set by your chosen college, as there may be differences in instructions.

College Admissions Essay Prompts for 2023 - 2024

With the publication of the College Admissions Essays for the year 2023 - 2024, the students can now start learning how to write an essay in college format in order to stand apart from thousands of applicants competing for the spot at the school of their dreams. From thought-provoking personal stories to challenging ideas, the essays of this year offer students a variety of opportunities to show their unique experiences, perspective, and passion.

Our experts have identified basic prompts you may face:

  1. 'Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.'
  2. 'The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?'
  3. 'Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your critical thinking in college essays? What was the outcome?'
  4. 'Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.'
  5. 'Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.'
  6. 'Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?'
  7. 'Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.'

College Application Essay Format Template

Earlier in this article, we discussed the general college application essay format. Yet, if you are still wondering how to format college essay, here is what each part of the college essay template should include:

college application essay format
  1. Introduction - Introduce the topic and yourself, and include a 'hook.'
  2. Body of text - Focus each body paragraph on a specific point or idea, build solid evidence to support it, and back up with examples.
  3. Conclusion - Wrap up the key ideas and points, and finish with a positive, thought-provoking statement.

This is a very brief and simple yet effective essay format template college would want you to use as a guide for your work.


So, how to write a college essay format beginning? - You always start it with a powerful introduction!

It is vital to create an interesting yet informative introduction. When you wonder how to write college essay introduction, know that it is what the college admission committee will see first, so it is important to make the opening attention-grabbing. And the best tactic to make the right impression is to use a powerful hook.

Including a hook will only benefit you and not make the admissions officer bored to tears of reading a pile of admission papers. The introduction should make you stand out from the crowd of other applicants, so think of something that makes the reader want to read more of the article. Some of the most common ways to shape the best essay format hooks are:

  • Rhetorical question
  • Surprising statistics
  • Shocking fact
  • Powerful quote

After creating a hook for your format for college essay, include a few sentences with background information to introduce yourself and the topic without going into too much detail. Then make a final statement (thesis) and smoothly lead onto the body of the work.


When writing the main body of the college entry essay format, devote a separate paragraph to each point, and support all your ideas with evidence or examples.

Keep your writing interesting and vary the length of the sentences to make it more readable. Also, try using transition words and phrases between sections and sentences so that the reader will still be intrigued, and your college admission essay does look like a list of facts about you. Try not to drift off-topic.


When unsure how to write college application essay conclusion, remember that the ending college essay should tie up all the points and evidence previously stated into one or two important ideas. Make the last statements in the conclusion memorable so as to leave a good, lasting impression on the reader. If you still have questions like 'What format for college essay is applicable?', just write to us to do my essay, and we will help you with the proper college entrance essay format!

Top Tips for Writing a College Essay That Gets You into Your Dream College

We have put together the most helpful college admission essay tips to give you the best chance of beating the admissions odds. Just write to us 'write my college essay' and you will receive the best college essay format examples from our service.

  1. Start early. Now you know what format should college essays be in, so it is already time to begin writing and applying for college, and the sooner you get your application handed in, the better the chances of getting accepted.
  2. Be yourself. Always demonstrate the best of yourself, but do not sugar-coat the truth. The committee will most likely understand that you are not sincere in your essay.
  3. Thoroughly analyze the prompt. Take your time to read it and make sure you fully understand the question.
  4. Show rather than tell. Students often forget to demonstrate and back up their achievements, which takes them nowhere. So, do not forget to add details, evidence, and examples.
  5. Be vivid. A college application essay template should be like a story with good descriptions, so be clear and paint a good picture with your words. Do not write a mundane college admission essay.
  6. Try to stand out. Remember, there are lots of other students applying, so make sure you can show that you are different from everybody else and be controversial in a good way.
  7. Be careful with humor. Being funny can be good in certain situations, but you do not know the admissions officer and therefore do not know how they will respond. Only use humor if it's necessary; then double-think it.
  8. Proofread. Make sure you proofread and edit your admissions essay format instead of simply handing it in after a quick spell-check. Let others give you a second opinion, for example, a teacher or parent. After you've made some corrections and gotten feedback, do not be scared to make multiple revisions to the work.

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College Application Essay Examples

Although not all students realize it, looking at well-written sample college essays prior to writing can be helpful in many ways. From a clear essay format, you can better grasp the overall purpose of the task, understand the formatting and style peculiarities, and even find inspiration to generate some fresh ideas for your own paper. Hence, checking out a good sample essay for college admission will never hurt!

For you, we have prepared a few excellent college application essay examples:

By referring to the college essay format template provided above, it is evident what format are college essays written in. Utilizing these examples as a guide can guarantee that your paper will be distinctive and remarkable.

Create Your Flawless Admission Essay

Wrapping up everything discussed in our step-by-step writing guide, let's once more recap some of the most important tips to craft a flawless application essay format example.

College Admission Essay Do's

  • Start early on
  • Carefully read the college admissions essay format requirements and prompts
  • Keep your format of college essay concise and straight to the point
  • Choose a topic that best reveals your personality
  • Make a college essay outline format before writing
  • Check out good college admission essay examples to get inspired
  • Have a powerful opening with a hook
  • Use lots of details, facts, and examples to support your ideas
  • Proofread and edit your personal essay before the submission
  • Be yourself

College Admission Essay Don'ts

  • Make it too long
  • Write down your complete autobiography
  • Repeat yourself
  • Neglect a proper college application essay structure
  • Tell college admissions officers what you think they want to hear
  • Over-embellish your accomplishments
  • Wait until the last minute.

Looking for Expert Help?

At this point, you must be sure of what format should a college application essay be in, along with easy steps to take to perfect your work. However, if after reading our detailed guide and looking at a good college admissions essay sample, you still feel that you need some extra help with your college admission essay, then you've come to the right place!

Studying at college is never easy. Being a student, you'll have to write a variety of academic papers, including a college application essay, case study, research paper, etc. However, while there is tons of work to handle, the solution is always the same.

DoMyEssay writers are here to raise your test scores and make your studies simple, so you don't have to ever wonder what is standard college essay format or even what does a college essay look like!

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