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Admission Essay: Format and Structure Guide

Your first step in the world of higher education starts when you think about your prospects. The first test comes as soon as you make up your mind and choose your alma mater. An application or admission essay is your statement or motivation letter, in essence. Here, you have to answer basic questions of your choice and your future plans after graduation. 

No one is born an essay writer, and the path of becoming the best includes focusing on the quality of your writing. Regardless of your chosen course, eventually, you have to master the craft of being clear and consistent, with regard and respect to the paper’s established form and structure. In some cases, the structure and format are everything, affecting the overall evaluation of it. Everyone would love to find a life-hack that would make it a matter of minutes to create a perfect essay, but it always requires effort and time.

Therefore, this article exists to help you to write your admission essay and give you a comprehensive guide on how to nail it and get into the college or university of your dreams.  

Essay books
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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Before writing

First and foremost, consider general tips on writing that would make your day easier. Don’t storm your doc file and expect it to magically make sense from the first attempt. Pay attention to grammar, stylistics, and punctuation. 

Then, give yourself a fair amount of time to think about your strengths and weaknesses. Consider things that are important for the Bachelor’s degree (or Master’s degree, depending on where you are applying). Admission essays have a distinctive structure, and you can’t spend too much time talking about general stuff: focus only on your goals, what you expect to learn, why you are the best candidate for the university. 

According to professional writers, the plan and writing process are as important as the final product. So, here’s the shortlist of “a must” things before writing your admission paper:

  • Usually, all higher education institutions have specific requirements for writing an admission essay. Carefully read the questions you need to answer in your essay. 
  • Think about each relevant detail you will use in your essay. Write them down and evaluate how effectively they answer the posed question. 
  • Use proofreading tools, and don’t forget to revise the first draft. 


All universities have online application systems that allow you to attach your document or paste your essay in the box. Of course, depending on the method of sending an essay, the suggestion would differ a bit. 

Note: avoid unnecessary CAPS, symbols, emojis, and colloquial language when writing an admission essay. Stay professional and focused on only relevant information.

If you attach your essay:

  • Use one-inch margins and 1.5 or double spacing. It is universal and easy to read formatting.
  • Use standard fonts: Time News Roman, Calibri, or Arial are good to go. Don’t use bold or italic accentuation on something. The standard size for any font is 12pt, also for the sake of easily reading it.
  • Usually, requirements indicate in which format you should attach your file. It is either .docx or .pdf (unless stated otherwise).

If you paste your essay in the box:

  • Always double-check if the text was copied correctly and nothing went missing. 
  • Correct font, font size, and spacing if possible; double-check if your paragraphs are displayed correctly. 
Essay research
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Application essay length depends on specific requirements your institution provides you with. Normally, it consists of up to 650 words and five paragraphs (each section dedicated to answering specific questions and fairly easy development of your narrative). 

An admission essay follows the same structure logic as any other essay: 

  • In the first paragraph, you introduce yourself and your relevant academic experience;
  • The second paragraph is perfect for justifying your choice of this program and why you think the university can help you to achieve your goals (don’t be over flattering or say “just because,” be specific and provide the committee with valuable reasoning);
  • The third paragraph can be dedicated to your additional experience as a volunteer or your job position, where you can describe what skills you have obtained. This is where you can specifically state what you are best in;
  • The fourth paragraph may provide a logical conclusion on what makes you a perfect candidate for the committee accepting your application. Explain how your skills make you a perfect student of this program and how you can contribute to the university and become a professional in the chosen field;
  • Last but not least, the fifth paragraph maybe just a formal closing statement where you thank the admission committee for their attention and the opportunity.

Of course, your particular case may differ, but let’s assume you stick to the general requirements plan. Some universities may allow you to be more creative with the structure and language, but the overall plan is the following: respect paragraphs structure.

Answer questions
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The questions you may encounter:

What is your current level of education?

The answer is quite self-explanatory. Specify the school or college you finished, the degree you obtained (if any). All additional courses and programs serve in your favor as being a part of your academic experience.

What are your passions? What do you expect to achieve after acquiring the degree? 

Don’t be all over the place with this one; focus on your interests relevant to the course you choose. Describe how this degree will help you to achieve your goals and contribute to society.

Do you have any additional experience relevant to the course?

It’s time to shine with your working experience, volunteering projects, and any activity that proves that you are responsible, dedicated, and pro in management or leadership. Don’t be overly critical or shy to state facts about your experience. Yet, avoid lying about something you never experienced. 

Of course, the questions may sound different, they may be vague or oddly specific, and you have to be prepared to defend your application and show that you are the appropriate candidate for this position. 

As easy as it is, you are ready to submit your admission essay. Always edit and re-read it before sending it. Never rush and stay calm. You’ve got it. 

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