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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.We'll cover what makes a great personal statement introduction and how the first part of your essay should be structured.
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.
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.
In this article, I’ll walk you through exactly how to start a college essay.
What are the ingredients of a great personal statement introduction?
I'll list them here and then dissect them one by one in the next section: Want to write the perfect college application essay? Your dedicated Prep Scholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up.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.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.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.How do you go about crafting an introduction that successfully hooks your reader?Let’s talk about how to structure the beginning of your college essay.This means that before you can craft your ideal first sentence, the way the short story experience of your life will play out on the page, and the perfect pivoting moment that transitions from your story to your insight, you must work out a general idea about which life event you will share and what you expect that life event to demonstrate to the reader about you and the kind of person you are.If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, check out our guide on brainstorming college essay ideas.