Hooks To Start An Essay

Your essay's job is to entertain and impress this person, and to make you memorable so you don't merely blend into the sea of other personal statements.Like all attempts at charm, you must be slightly bold and out of the ordinary—but you must also stay away from crossing the line into offensiveness or bad taste.Usually, how this translates is that you start with a really good (and very short) story about something arresting, unusual, or important that happened to you.This is not to say that the story has to be about something important or unusual in the grand scheme of things—it just has to be a moment that stands out to you as defining in some way, this story is an accurate illustration of one of your core qualities, values, or beliefs.To see how the introduction fits into an essay, let's look at the big structural picture first and then zoom in.Even though they’re called essays, personal statements are really more like a mix of a short story and a philosophy or psychology class that's all about you.Before we talk about how to start a college essay, let's discuss the role of the introduction.Just as your college essay is your chance to introduce yourself to the admissions office of your target college, your essay's beginning is your chance to introduce your writing.

It's vital to grab attention from the get-go—the more awake and eager your audience is, the more likely it is that what you say will really land.

It might also be helpful to read our guides to specific application essays, such as picking your best Common App prompt and writing a perfect University of California personal statement.

In the next sections of this article, I'll talk about how to work backwards on the introduction, moving from bigger to smaller elements: starting with the first section of the essay in general and then honing your pivot sentence and your first sentence.

Picture it: your audience is an admissions officer who has read thousands and thousands of essays.

This person is disposed to be friendly and curious, but if she hasn’t already seen it all she's probably seen a good portion of it.

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