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The very first sentence of your essay should be the “hook” or “grabber.” This sentence “hooks” readers or “grabs” their attention, making them want to read more.This first sentence should provide rich details, engage a reader’s curiosity, or otherwise stand out from the rest.This means it’s important to avoid boring, predictable introductory techniques.
But it’s not very effective unless you explain how this anecdote is connected to the rest of the essay.
In this sentence, you can: In Merchant’s intro, he goes on to describe the game of Banagrams a bit more, including the fact that his dad won the game with “Rambo,” which Merchant contended was not a word.
After this entertaining and vivid description, Merchant writes, “Words and communicating have always been of tremendous importance in my life.”With this brief sentence, Merchant explains what personal qualities are illustrated by his anecdote, as well as telling readers what the rest of the essay will be about.
After you write an anecdote, make sure you also provide 1-2 sentences explaining the significance of the anecdote and connecting it to the main topic of your essay.
It can also effectively introduce the experience or topic you’ll be discussing.
Here’s an excerpt from another winning college essay (written by Shaan Merchant for Tufts University):“Biogeochemical. ” There are shrieks and shouts in protest and support.In most cases, however, it is best if you don’t try too hard to use multi-syllable vocabulary words intended to impress admissions officers.It’s great for you to include a few more advanced words, but you shouldn’t overdo it.Find a similarly unique or thought-provoking first sentence.From the first few words, the admissions officer will be fully engaged in reading your essay.This highly detailed description of a family game of Bananagrams (a version of Scrabble) provides an excellent introduction to Merchant’s essay about his love of words.Merchant could have started his essay with a dull sentence like, “I have loved words since I was a child.” Instead, he selected a colorful, entertaining anecdote that introduced this point far more creatively.Here are some sample grabbers from winning college essays: Don’t each of these sentences make you want to read more? Some of these sentences offer vivid details (the hefty blue book, the noxious chemicals, the old hands). You may also notice that, for the most part, these sentences are short.This isn’t a necessity, but a short, intriguing opening sentence can be especially powerful.College admissions essays are a vital part of your application.They give the admissions committee a more personal understanding of you, and they can tip an admissions decision in your favor.