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If your reader is one paragraph in and thinking, “I don’t have a clue what this student is talking about,” you’ve moved from arousing interest to creating confusion.It’s certainly possible and often effective to begin your essay with a description that piques interest without necessarily revealing exactly what the description is about.Take a minute and think about the college or university admission officers who will be reading your essay.
They’re competing for an admissions officer’s attention, and you don’t want to lose your reader before your story ever really gets going.
Here are five ways not to open your essay, in other words, what's more likely to lose a reader’s interest.
You already know how to write an academic essay: you start with an introduction, throw in a thesis statement, find about three paragraphs’ worth of evidence, and wrap it all up with a tidy conclusion…Now forget all that, because a successful college application essay is totally different.
Here's the thing: your college application essay needs to breathe life into your application.
If you had the opportunity to stand in front of an admission committee to share a significant story or important information about yourself, what would you say?
The college application essay is your chance to share your personality, goals, influences, challenges, triumphs, life experiences, or lessons learned.And if they have even the slightest suspicion, the answer will always be just a Google search away.This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, Ph D.One of the most common struggles students encounter is resisting the urge to squeeze everything they’ve seen, done, and heard into their essay.But your application essay isn’t your life story in 650 words.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.Starting a college-level essay can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t feel inspired or organized enough to articulate your thoughts.While we may not see it at the time…” You’d lose the person’s interest before you ever get to the good stuff. They’re stories, and stories need a beginning, not an introduction.Instead of writing a general introduction to warm the reader up to your topic, just start like this: “A pitcher’s mound can be the loneliest place in the world when you’re on it and things aren’t going well.” An essay that begins, “John F. Unless the quote was actually directed at you, your reader cares a lot more about what you have to say than they do about any famous person’s pithy words. Quotes can be effective when they’re actually part of the story, like, “I never should have taken the bait when my cousin said, 'I’ll bet you can’t ride down that hill on your bike without using your hands.' " Otherwise, use your own words.Instead, pick one moment in time and focus on telling the story behind it.Admission officers realize that writing doesn’t come easily to everyone, but with some time and planning, anyone can write a college application essay that stands out.