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❶Later, as you listen to the recorded story to try to get a sense of how to write it, you can also get a sense of the tone with which you want to tell your story. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

What Is the College Essay Introduction For?

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High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of , two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of miles per hour. David Lodge, Changing Places. If string theory is really true, then the entire world is made up of strings, and I cannot tie a single one. This sentence hints that the rest of the essay will continue playing with linked, albeit not typically connected, concepts.

In just six words, this sentence upends everything we think we know about what happens to human beings. Is this person about to declare herself to be totally selfish and uncaring about the less fortunate?

We want to know the story that would lead someone to this kind of conclusion. So many amazing details here. Why is the Colonel being executed? What does "discovering" ice entail?

How does he go from ice-discoverer to military commander of some sort to someone condemned to capital punishment? To work well, your question should be especially specific, come out of left field, or pose a surprising hypothetical. How does an agnostic Jew living in the Diaspora connect to Israel?

This is a thorny opening, raising questions about the difference between being an ethnic Jew and practicing the religion of Judaism, and the obligations of Jews who live outside of Israel to those who live in Israel and vice versa. While traveling through the daily path of life, have you ever stumbled upon a hidden pocket of the universe?

The lesson you learned should be slightly surprising not necessarily intuitive and something that someone else might disagree with. The reader wants to know more. All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. Did he draw the right conclusion here? How did he come to this realization? This is the place in your essay where you go from small to big—from the life experience you describe in detail to the bigger point this experience illustrates about your world and yourself.

Typically, the pivot sentence will come at the end of your introductory section, about halfway through the essay. I say sentence, but this section could be more than one sentence though ideally no longer than two or three.

So how do you make the turn? Here are three ways to do this, with real-life examples from college essays published by colleges. In this pivot, you gesture out from the specific experience you describe to the overarching realization you had during it. Think of helper phrases such as "that was the moment I realized" and "never again would I. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door.

I actually succeeded in springing it. But in that moment I realized that the self-deprecating jokes were there for a reason. Not because I had let my failures get the best of me, but because I had learned to make the best of my failures. This pivot similarly focuses on a "that moment" of illuminated clarity. Not only does she describe her humor as "self-deprecating," but she also demonstrates what she means with that great "befriended the ground" line. It was on this first educational assignment that I realized how much could be accomplished through an animal education program—more, in some cases, than the aggregate efforts of all of the rehabilitators.

I found that I had been naive in my assumption that most people knew as much about wildlife as I did, and that they shared my respect for animals. This is another classically constructed pivot, as J. The widening of scope happens at once as we go from a highly specific "first educational assignment" to the more general realization that "much" could be accomplished through these kinds of programs.

This state of discovery is something I strive for on a daily basis. My goal is to make all the ideas in my mind fit together like the gears of a Swiss watch.

After cataloging and detailing the many interesting thoughts that flow through her brain in a specific hour, Aubrey uses the pivot to explain that this is what every waking hour is like for her "on a daily basis. And her pivot lets us know that her example is a demonstration of how her mind works generally. Our return brought so much back for me. Dad haggling with the jewelry sellers, his minute examination of pots at a trading post, the affection he had for chilies.

I was scared that my love for the place would be tainted by his death, diminished without him there as my guide.

That fear was part of what kept my mother and me away for so long. Once there, though, I was relieved to realize that Albuquerque still brings me closer to my father. Here are some ways to think about making this transition: My true reward of having Stanley is that he opened the door to the world of botany. I would never have invested so much time learning about the molecular structure or chemical balance of plants if not for taking care of him.

Without having to "take care of him," Michaela "would never have invested so much time learning" about plant biology. By leaving me free to make mistakes and chase wild dreams, my father was always able to help ground me back in reality. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

A great pivot is like great parkour—sharp, fast, and coming on a slightly unexpected curve. A blue seventh place athletic ribbon hangs from my mantel. Every day, as I walk into my living room, the award mockingly congratulates me as I smile. Ironically, the blue seventh place ribbon resembles the first place ribbon in color; so, if I just cover up the tip of the seven, I may convince myself that I championed the fourth heat.

But, I never dare to wipe away the memory of my seventh place swim; I need that daily reminder of my imperfection. I need that seventh place. Two years ago, I joined the no-cut swim team. That winter, my coach unexpectedly assigned me to swim the freestyle.

After stressing for hours about swimming 20 laps in a competition, I mounted the blocks, took my mark, and swam. Around lap 14, I looked around at the other lanes and did not see anyone. However, as I finally completed my race and lifted my arms up in victory to the eager applause of the fans, I looked up at the score board.

I had finished my race in last place. In fact, I left the pool two minutes after the second-to-last competitor, who now stood with her friends, wearing all her clothes. It dangles information just out of reach, making the reader want to know more: Why does this definitively non-winning ribbon hang in such a prominent place of pride?

In the intro, we get physical actions: We basically get a sports commentary play-by-play here. Even though we already know the conclusion—Meghan came in 7th—she still builds suspense by narrating the race from her point of view as she was swimming it. This essay uses the time expansion method of pivoting: The rest of the essay explores what it means for Meghan to constantly see this reminder of failure and to transform it into a sense of acceptance of her imperfections.

Notice also that in this essay, the pivot comes before the main story, helping us "hear" the narrative in the way she wants us to. Everyone is too lazy to take out a dictionary or even their phones to look it up, so we just hash it out.

And then, I am crowned the victor, a true success in the Merchant household. Words and communicating have always been of tremendous importance in my life: With the first sentence, we are immediately thrust into the middle of the action —into an exciting part of an argument about whether "biogeochemical" is really a word. Is this a word? Ideally, as applications come due the fall of senior year, you want to start working on this several months beforehand in order to draft several versions and incorporate any feedback.

Set aside a few hours per week to brainstorm and draft your essay, as well as work on those revisions. The page is as blank as it was before, possibly even blanker. Personal statements are labors of love, not something you can whip out on a whim. Take a step back and do some research. There are many books on writing your essay with plentiful examples to help you along. Okay, great, now… forget everything you just read.

Remember — you want your essay to be original, to stand out, to share your unique voice with the world. Reading example essays should merely be done to give you confidence that it is indeed possible to write an outstanding, memorable personal statement. However, you do not want to fall into the trap of literally re-writing a statement that has already been written. So, how do you avoid this? Think about the critical decisions and events that have shaped you. In fact, you likely have had several such meaningful experiences.

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Before we talk about how to start a college essay, let's discuss the role of the introduction. Just as your college essay is your chance to introduce yourself to the admissions office of your target college, your essay's beginning is your chance to introduce your writing.

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Starting A College Application Essay College application essay is an important aspect of the application process into a school or college. Colleges have limited vacancies in the program, therefore, this is the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

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How To Start Your College Application Essay. Start jotting them down, but don’t worry just yet about writing a full-fledged essay. The college application essay writing process is an evolution, not a revolution. It will take time to grow and come into its own shape. To Start Your College Application Essay (Copy and paste this list into Word/Google doc and print it out) Go down this list of problems and write down “times” you faced or dealt with this type of problem. Try to think of one big example and one small one. Often the smaller ones turn out to be the best ones.

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Jun 15,  · Now that it's summer, you've got time to write a great college essay. And to get your college admissions essay off to the right start, begin with a captivating opening line. Want examples? Here are samples from winning college essays courtesy of Stanford University. These are opening lines of admissions essays that the Stanford admission reps especially liked. Your essay can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills. Try these tips to craft your college application essay.