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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Breaking the Ice in Your Admission Essay
Want to teach me something new? Don't explain it to me-show me an example. All of us learn in different ways. Some of us are visual. Some cerebral. Some of us need to talk it through. When it comes to advice on drafting admissions essays, I find that most of the information out there is in the nature of explaining. Want an example?

Tip lists. Admissions consultants love their bullet points.

Don't compose a resume in prose.


Don't get too emotional.


Write from the heart.

These are all useful and arguably accurate admonitions about admission essay writing. But if I was an anxious student with writer's block, these platitudes would probably just frustrate me.

There are plenty of sample essays out there on the web, many of them helpful. However, for students who need a little push out of the gate, the first hurdle is that opening sentence.

This article from last year boasts the top 10 opening lines from Stanford University admissions essays. I'm not sure if that is 100% true, but these are some good opening lines.

"I have old hands". "When I was in eighth grade, I couldn't read". Simple. Provocative. Interesting. Most importantly-these statements make your reader want to, well, continue reading. This may be the single most important aspect of your essay. It doesn't have to be Pulitzer-Prize winning literature. It just has to inspire your reader to care.

Perhaps surprisingly, this might just be easier than you think.


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