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What’s the Best Scholarship Essay Format?
Many scholarships require students to write an essay as part of their application. These writing and essay scholarships want to learn about your experiences, interests, or background as a student through your essay. But once you have finished writing, you may wonder: What is the best way to format my scholarship essay?
Should you include a title? What about spacing, page numbers, or citations? These are important questions and should be essential parts of your editing and revising process. Keep on reading to make sure that your essay is formatted properly!
Don’t miss: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool
Getting started with essay formatting
The first rule of the scholarship essay format is following all of the rules that the scholarship application states. Whether that is spacing, citations, or font size, you should always follow the directions. There isn’t a faster way to get a scholarship committee member to say “nah” than ignoring the directions.
Should you begin your essay with a title? In my experience reading essays of all types, a title is very optional. If it is an especially clever or necessary title, then sure, go for it!
Otherwise, I would recommend saving your valuable word count and put it towards the actual essay. If you write your essay and are feeling stuck on a title, let it go and don’t worry about it. Prepare for your scholarship writing endeavors by reading our short essay guides for 250 word essays, as well as 500 word essays!
Related: How to write an essay about yourself
Font size & style
The MLA recommends using size 12 font, and that’s what we’d recommend using. As far as the style of the font, you should stick to something that is legible and easy to read. Times New Roman or Arial are both going to be good bets. The scholarship essay is not the best place to get creative with a funky, hard-to-read font.
Should I single or double space the essay?
We know that most of your essays for school are probably double spaced. This is usually a good call for scholarship essays as well, because it makes the essay easier to read. In addition to spacing, you want to make sure that your scholarship essay is broken down into paragraphs and is not one single block of text.
Are page numbers required?
On many school papers, you may have to put a page number on each page. This is not necessary for your scholarship essays unless it is a clearly stated requirement.
Does proper scholarship essay formatting require citations?
If you are citing other sources, it is a good idea to use citations. It does not matter whether you are using MLA, Chicago, or some other type of citation (unless it is specifically required). Instead, it is important to simply be consistent in how you cite your sources. Most essays probably will not require outside sources or research, but if you are applying to certain research-based or STEM scholarships you may want to brush up on your citations.
Do’s and don’ts for scholarship essay formatting
|Use a 12 point font||Don’t use any unconventional or hard-to-read fonts|
|Use an easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman or Arial||Don’t include an overly casual or unnecessary title|
|Cite your sources if you are using external facts (especially necessary in STEM essays)||Don’t use page numbers unless specifically instructed to|
|Double-space your essay||Don’t submit your essay before double checking to make sure that you meet all formatting requirements|
|Carefully read the essay formatting requirements before submitting||Don’t submit your essay without reading it over|
Writing can be a very stressful process for students, both in the scholarship process and the college admissions process. One of the best things that you can do is give yourself plenty of time to write and refine your essays. Ideally, you will also have a trusted outside reader serve as an editor for all of your essays.
The major rules of scholarship essay formatting are to follow the application instructions and make sure that your formatting is not distracting. Ultimately, you will want to ensure that the essay reader can easily and clearly read your essay and not distract them with sloppy or unconventional formatting.
Additional resources for writing essays
Here at Scholarships360, we have nearly every resource to help you write your best scholarship essay and to help you through the college admission process. Learn how to write winning scholarship essays, including how to start a scholarship essay and how to end a scholarship essay as well! Maybe you are writing a “Why this college” essay? We can help with that too! Also, be sure to check out our individualized supplemental essay guides for schools that require them.
Frequently asked questions about scholarship essay formatting
Should a scholarship essay be double spaced?
What citation style should I use in a scholarship essay?
Above all, the important thing to remember with citations is to keep them consistent. Don’t use half-MLA and half-Chicago as doing so will come off as careless.