The Trick to Writing an Amazing Opening Line | College Essay Tips

like a piece of music whose notes can be

reorganized and executed in infinite

sequences and styles there are endless

ways to open your story and trumpet your

arrival to admissions here are just some

opening line dues that have the

potential to sell Mahorn

set off fireworks and wrap a reader in

your story do open with dialog the act

of trying to envision someone's voice in

your head is instantly engaging and

communicates so much about the character

and the writer in just a few words do

ask a question or set up a mystery

beginning with the line that begs for an

answer is a surefire way to draw your

reader into a story do make them chuckle

kicking your essay off with humor

signals to an admissions officer right

away that this just might not be another

boring essay do surprise the reader BAM

a cleverly placed sound effect a line of

logic twisted on its head or even just a

description of a particularly strange

detail can jolt a reader like a bucket

of cold water and widen their eyes to

what comes along next do break the rules

actually strike that there are no rules

get creative try a thing you've never

tried open with a sentence fragment get

vulnerable and reveal something about


don't be weird for weird sake but to

experiment and see where your

imagination takes you do experiment with

endless incarnations of opening lines

before deciding which words will serve

as your introduction to admissions the

right opening line will make itself

known ringing clear as a bell in your

head when you reread it as you can

imagine there are also some opening line

tactics that should be avoided things

that will stop admissions officers in

their tracks or worse lull them right to

sleep here are some opening line don'ts

don't restate the question or tell

admissions the purpose of your essay

they know why you're here

don't waste the words just jump right in

don't use a quote from an author or

other famous person this is one of the


shade ways to open an essay so cliched

it is one of the few college essay

related cliches beyond saving

unless the quote you're considering adds

crucial perspective to your essay cut it

you don't need it and admissions

officers would rather hear your thoughts

and your words don't ease the reader in

you have six hundred and fifty words

tops to get your point across to

admissions every word counts don't over

explain and don't enter your story with

trepidation dive right in and get things

moving don't get stuck on the opening

line yes a killer opening is important

to your essay but that doesn't mean you

have to write it first if inspiration

fails to strike press on once you've

written the rest of your story and know

where it's going you'll have a better

sense of how to start it