How to Format and Structure Your College Essay

When it comes to writing an essay, one has to take care of certain things. Unfortunately, some students fail to format and structure their college essays properly. If you also face the same problem, you don’t have to worry. We have prepared this article to tell you some helpful tips regarding the same.

Everyone wants to score high in college. It is only possible when your assignments are correct. Sometimes, students don’t have any knowledge of how to write them. The good thing is that now you can get help from some platforms.

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Preparing an essay is indeed a challenging task. It should be presented in a way that the reader understands precisely. Every write-up needs to be straight to the point. Otherwise, the reader might get confused about what you want to convey. You might be curious to learn various things about formatting and structuring an article. So, without further ado, let’s get started with it.

What are the guidelines for formatting a college essay?

Formatting guidelines depend on the type of submission. Are you supposed to submit it in a text box or a document? But the following guidelines are essential for every essay-

  • The title is not compulsory: You should never forget that a title is unnecessary as it might increase your word count.
  • Don’t exceed the word limit: It is necessary to keep your write-up confined to the word limit.
  • Proper spacing between paragraphs: There should be single or double spacing to separate every section.

Text box:

  • Avoid bold and italics: You might think that using bold and italics will help make your essay unique. It is true in some cases, but you should not use them in a text box.
  • Take care of shapes: Text boxes are available in different shapes. However, it is crucial to pick one that doesn’t look weird.
  • Separation: Every paragraph must be separated to improve the overall reading experience.


  • Font style and size matter: If you attach a document, you must consider the font size and style. You can use Times New Roman with a 12 number size.
  • Spacing between the lines: Spacing is one of the most crucial things to consider in a document. The preferable line spacing is 1.5. You can also choose double-spacing.
  • Save in the PDF form: If you save the document in the PDF form, no one can edit it. It is better to consider this because there is always a risk involved in other applications like MS Word.
  • Number every page: It is essential to number every page of the document. In this way, you will be able to know how many pages you have typed. Also, you should add your name to it.
  • Focus on the word limit: As we mentioned earlier, the word limit should not exceed. So, you can do your research and cover the topics accordingly.

How should you structure your college essay?

Apart from formatting, you should also know how to structure your article or write-up. Here, we will explain three types of structures that you can use for the same.

  1. In-the-moment narrative
  2. Montage outline
  3. A narrative told over a long period
  • In-the-moment narrative: This is the most effective structure to engage the readers and keep them interested until the end. You can put your thoughts, emotions, views on specific events in the essay. In this way, the reader will understand the events according to your point of view. Also, note that this type of structure is excellent for topics that involve emotions, reflections, and dialogues.

Many students often make the mistake of over-explanation of certain events in the article. You should avoid this if you want to make the reader feel interested in reading it until the very end. It is essential to write it in a way that looks natural.

  • A narrative told over a long period: This type of structure involves sharing a story along with many experiences. It doesn’t matter how many parts are there in your essay. You can efficiently structure it by using this narrative style. For example, suppose you want to write about your journey from childhood to adulthood. Then, this style will be beneficial for you as you can express your emotions, thoughts, and feelings about every event.
  • Montage outline: In the montage outline, you can add various scenes from a single event. The best thing about using this outline is that you don’t have to follow the events in order. You might have seen this type of structure in some movies.

What are the practical tips for writing a college essay?

The following tips might be beneficial for you if you want to score good marks-

  • Select a topic: The first thing you should do is researching and choosing a topic. If you have an assigned one, you don’t need to follow this tip. However, you must remember to select a topic that you have sufficient knowledge of and research well. Otherwise, you won’t be able to express your views.
  • Choose a particular structure: We have already discussed various types of outlines you can consider. The format should be according to the write-up. Simultaneously, your ideas must be organized to make them easier to understand for the readers.
  • Write your thesis statement: The thesis statement is necessary to create an impression on the readers because they will know the topic of the essay. Therefore, you have to be careful while writing it.
  • Write the introduction: Another essential part of any write-up is the introduction. It should be written in a way that anyone will want to read until the end.
  • Add the conclusion: Without a conclusion, no essay is considered complete. So, adding it is compulsory.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, we can say that one can easily format and structure their college essay with a little bit of knowledge. We hope this article provided you with all the necessary information regarding the same.

Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the started.