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How to Start a College Essay Effectively

Starting a college essay can be a bit challenging, especially if you don’t know definitely how to start it and articulate all your thoughts. Believe me, I feel your pain, but with a little bit of planning, hard work and research, you will be able to begin a large number of essays in a short time. You should remember that the perfect college essay introduction is the main key to making your paper exceptionally good, so it requires a lot of efforts to get it exactly right.

But you’re lucky because in this article I’ll tell you how to start a college essay effectively: explaining how the first part of the essay should be formed, considering what actually makes a well-done personal statement introduction and providing you several nice examples of paper beginnings to make clear how they work.

The Importance of the Perfect College Essay Introduction

Before we talk about the importance of high-quality introduction, let’s recall different types of essays you may write in college: research essay, expository essay, compare and contrast essay, argumentative essay and etc. (see more here:

There are a lot of other sources where you can also find best college essay examples.

You have to understand that your essay’s beginning is a chance to represent your writing to the audience. It is very important to be able to engage the readers so that they want to keep reading your paper. Remember, your main job here is to impress and amuse all your audience and to make you memorable against the background of other personal statements.

It’s vital to hook the reader’s attention from the very beginning –  the more captivated and awake your audience are, the more successful you will be.

How to Format a College Essay Appropriately

The right college essay format plays the most important role in the whole writing process. As a rule, you start with a really good, brief story about something unusual that has happened to you. It doesn’t mean that the story has to be about something important, it’s just unforgettable moment of your life that stood out to you in a specific way. Then you give an explanation of why this story is the best demonstration of one of your major values, beliefs, and qualities.

Main Elements of the College Essay Introduction

So, what are the components of the outstanding personal statement introduction? Here are some of them:

A striking first sentence. This grabs reader’s attention immediately and awakens their interest in your story.

A catchy, itemized story that shows your eventual understanding. You should provide good sensory information of deeply engaging quality for the reader.

A penetrating rod of the essay. This pivotal piece links short story when you explain what you have learned from the life experience, how you have matured passing through it, and how it has formed the person that you are now.

College Essay Introduction – Writing Tips

As we know introduction is a starting section which states the goals and the purpose of the following writing. The properly written introductory part is the main key to making your paper successful.

So, my advice is to work in a reverse order. First, you need to figure out the unity of the text and only then go back and decide how it should start. It is necessary to develop the general idea about which life event you want to share.

Maybe it’s difficult for you to come up with a topic, we have a helpful guide on, here are a lot of striking ideas in a free access.

It may also be useful to check out guides to specific college application essay, like, here you will find out a lot of needed information.

Writing a Great First Sentence

Here are some college essay tips how to make your killer sentence more effective and hook the readers from the first words.

There are some ideas how to create an engaging beginning, you can look for some interesting trivial facts, anecdotes or quotes.

It is important to know that the first part of the sentence arouses interest and creates expectations. The second part builds the relation with the author and propels the imagination. In both cases, you have to achieve your staple aim of maximum reader engagement.

Let’s Get Ready to Summarize

  • The perfect college essay introduction should rise reader’s curiosity and make them want to know and read more.
  • Basic Elements of Great Personal Statement Introductions
  • First killer sentence
  • A detailed description of one experience from your life
  • Insight pivot to the bigger picture, where you give the explanation how this experience has shaped you, your beliefs, values, and point of view
  • You shouldn’t write the introduction in the first place
  • Instead, come up with your story first and tell it to your friends
  • Then, provide your killer sentence and pivotal part. The first sentence should be short including detailed description making up of an easily pictured scene. The pivot should answer the question: how does your story connect to larger truth and insight about you?
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