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How To Start A College Essay

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So, Where to Start With Your Writing

It is time to write your admission essay. You’ve selected a topic. You’ve thought long and hard about what you want to say. You know exactly what you want to communicate with the admissions committee. There’s only one problem. How do you begin? Of course, you know that the first paragraph is going to be your introductory paragraph. The difficult part is deciding how to begin the introductory paragraph. How do you write something that is germane to the topic, and that catches the reader’s attention? Here is some good news! We have read essays written by some very bright individuals to see what methods they use to get their essays started off on the right foot. If you want to learn how to start a college essay, please continue reading. We think you will pick up some great tips.

Creative Opening Lines for a College Application Essay

Sometimes, the only thing you need to quickly grab your reader’s eye is one sentence. The opening line, when used correctly, can make the person reading your essay sit up and take notice. Throughout the years we have had the fortune to read and write many well-written essays. Several of them had opening lines that were funny, touching, surprising, or even baffling. In any case, all it took was one sentence and we were hooked. Here are just a few of the memorable essay openers that we have seen over the years:

  • Nobody thought I would live past my tenth birthday.
  • In 2005 I spent two days clinging to a tree while flood water rushed below me.
  • I have been a circus performer since I was three.
  • When I was in the first grade I built my first robot.
  • I once taught a squirrel how to play fetch.
  • I never ran before I lost my leg, but now I run marathons.
  • I learned the hard way that you can’t ride a cow.

Of course, if you opt to go with a catchy opening line, remember that you have to quickly segue into the rest of your essay. So, make sure your opening eye is relevant as well as being interesting.

Opening your College Entrance Essay with an Anecdote

Telling your audience a brief story about yourself is another great way to start you application essay. The anecdote adds a personal touch and allows the reader to get to know you a bit. Before you choose the story you want to tell, there are a few things you should consider. Can you fit the story in five sentences or less? Does the story reveal something about me that the school will find attractive? Will the story make the admissions staff want to keep reading? Opening with an anecdote is a great choice if you plan on filling the remainder of your essay with facts and information about your accomplishments and goals. That touch of humanity will balance things out, and you will end up with a very well written essay.