Tip File: Starting your college essay

Because your personal statement is a major opportunity to come alive on the page for the collage admissions officer reading your application, drawing the reader in from the first sentence is essential.

That’s where your “lead” comes in.

Read your first sentence to yourself. Does it tell a story? Does it say something strong about who you are? Most importantly: is it possible or likely that someone else could be starting his or her essay in the same way?

If the answer to that last question is yes, scrap your first sentence and start again. Make sure your first sentence isn’t one that has been done before.¬†You only have one chance to hook the reader. Use it to your full advantage!

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