Opening your personal statement can be tricky. But it’s the difference between drawing your reader in and making them curious about you. And maybe turning them off or boring them. So in this article, I am going to share with you some common tips to write a better college essay.
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So the first one is the overly grand ambiguous statement. Something like many great thinkers has. Existed throughout our nation’s history and the key to having a successful endeavor is perseverance. And the reason why some people don’t recommend these is that they are kind of abstract & floaty. And not all that personal.
The second one is what we call going meta which is basically where you write an essay about writing an essay. I’m staring at the blank computer screen and it’s two hours before the deadline. And I don’t know what to write about. You might think a lot of students do write about this but actually, a bunch of students does this.
This is another that it’s super hard to pull off.
The third one is the quote and oftentimes students want to pen a really popular quote. Like, be the change you wanted to see in this world which is a great sentiment. But the college application readers want to hear from you.
So I wouldn’t start with a quote from somebody else. Because then you kind of got to bring it back also it’s probably a quote they’ve heard before.
The fourth one is what I call the too-obvious thesis that spoils the ending of your movie. And by your movie, I mean of course your personal statement. For example what if at the start of avengers infinity war? There was like a big voiceover. So that’s not what we’re doing on our college essays or in personal statements.
Instead of giving an ending of where the essay’s headed. You want to signal it. But you want to pique their curiosity. Don’t worry about this, I’m going to let you know some ways to do that. So, The first one is called,
1) The Full Hemingway
It is basically an image-based description. That doesn’t give away too much about where the story’s headed. But it leads to the details, the images, the little moments. Maybe it’s a bit of dialogue that speaks for itself.
You got to follow up pretty soon. With something specific that gives us a sense of where this college essay is headed.
2) The Mini Hemingway
So in the mini hemingway you’re going to start with some specific details or specific images. And then within the first three or four sentences, you’re going to follow up with something specific. That gives us a sense of where the essay is directed.
Also Read: How to Write an Undergraduate Dissertation
The difference between full & mini hemingway is the full heading one goes on a bit longer. With all the details before it gives us context for where we are. Whereas the mini hemingway gives us just a couple sentences about something kind of mysterious that draws our attention.
3) The Twist Opening
It is basically setting up our expectations to go in a particular direction. Before offering the information that overthrows those expectations in a particular way.
4) The Philosophical question
This involves asking a question at the start of your college essay. That you’re then going to spend the rest of your personal statement trying to answer. Usually through some kind of personal story. Be careful not to drift into ambiguous statements.
5) The Confession
In this, you basically find a sentence or a fact about yourself. That you worry people might judge you. Or it’s something that you don’t always share with everyone. Because it really requires some explanation. And your college essay is part of that explanation.
Remember, If one of the thesis openings got you curious you might want to try it. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability in your essay. And she/he let us know that she is willing to laugh at her/himself which is a great quality to show to colleges.
6) The Trailer Opening
It gives us kind of like a one-to-two sneak peeks preview into what’s to come in the essay.
7) The Fascinating Concept Opening
The most important thing about opening the work is. Once you’ve shared the concept try to make it personal. Also, this opening can show you great curiosity and intellectual vitality if you know some stuff. About some stuff as you probably do. This is a nice way to signal it.
So these were some of the common ways by which a reader can write a better college essay. But keep this in mind the key to an awesome personal statement isn’t necessarily the opening.
The key to opening is the skill, qualities, values, and interests that will also help you to write a better college essay.
So don’t spend way too much time focused on your opening; it’s really the middle of your essay. And how the middle shows all those different sides of you. That is really going to help you.
I hope you find this article useful.