Shiksha Guidelines for Admission Essays for Abroad
While there are separate guidelines given by different universities for admission essays, some universities, on the other hand, have no set instructions. In such cases, we follow some basic rules.
The following are some rules to follow when universities do not give any specific essay guidelines:
- Do not give an essay title as it will just increase the word count.
- Avoid informal formatting such as random capitalisation, italics, bold words/ sentences until and unless relevant to the context.
- The essay should be professional and formal in tone.
- Avoid using hashtags, emojis or fancy symbols, unless relevant to the content.
- Never use abbreviations such as ASAP, BYOB, ETA, RSVP, etc, and so on.
- Do not write your name in the header/footer section or at the top/bottom of the page, unless specified in the university guidelines.
Once you receive the topic/ title of the admission essay, you can start working on it keeping in mind some important points. Here are some pointers to follow when the university or college has given essay prompt or prompts:
- Draft your essay in a word document even if you are to submit it online; do not attach any document.
- If you are submitting the essay online, and not through any attachment, double-check the formatting and spacing.
- For documents that need to be attached, make sure your document is readable.
- Stick to serif fonts like Times New Roman or Ariel, with a font size of 11 or 12 points, 1-inch margins, single spacing, 0 indents, and justified alignment.
- Ensure that your file format is as per the university requirements as the application only accepts certain versions of word files (.doc and not .docx, or .rtf or .pdf files).
- The essay should be drafted in a proper format, with an introductory paragraph, body, and a conclusion that wraps up the essay.
- Avoid using any essay templates that are easily available online as it will make your essay stilted and lack originality.
- Plagiarism is a strict no-no and an offence in the eyes of Ad Com.
- Always double-check the word, space or character limit of the document.
If you are submitting the essay by pasting it in a text box, remember these points:
- Once you have pasted the whole text into the box, check whether the entire content has been copied and that no line or paragraph is missing.
- Transferring the essay into the text box can mess up the word count as it can be counted differently than the word doc, so you might need to make adjustments accordingly.
- You might also find that there are formatting errors like extra spaces or missing bold/ italics words. In such cases, you would need to edit the text in the box itself.
- The paragraphs should be clearly separated and demarcated, and no spaces should be given between paragraphs.
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