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.Luckily, being able to craft the perfect beginning for your admissions essay is just like many other writing skills—something you can get better at with practice and by learning from examples.
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.
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.
We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step.
At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Find out more about Prep Scholar Admissions now: Here’s a weird secret that’s true for most written work: just because it'll end up at the beginning doesn’t mean you have to write it first.
The story typically comes in the first half of the essay, and the insightful explanation comes second —but, of course, all rules were made to be broken, and some great essays flip this more traditional order.
Now, let’s zero in on the first part of the college essay.
In a 500-word essay, this section will take up about the first half of the essay and will mostly consist of a brief story that illuminates a key experience, an important character trait, a moment of transition or transformation, or a step toward maturity. Trying to shock, surprise, or astound your audience?
Once you've figured out your topic and zeroed in on the experience you want to highlight in the beginning of your essay, here are 2 great approaches to making it into a story: Later, as you listen to the recorded story to try to get a sense of how to write it, you can also get a sense of the tone with which you want to tell your story. The way you most naturally tell your story is the way you should write it.