College Essay Hooks

If you only have 650 words to make your mark: don’t use a title!

It’s a waste of space that disrupts your essay’s formatting and seems uninformed.

What’s such a normal experience of your daily occurrence that it’s led you to new insight, perspective, or thought?

Do you spend every day watching Wheel of Fortune, or investigating your hands?

By forcing your (intense) opinions on a reader, you come across as arrogant.

Gmo Essay Questions - College Essay Hooks

What can colleges teach someone who is proclaiming to already know everything?“The way the light shined on her skin as she sewed the quilt emphasized the details of every wrinkle, burn and cut.While she completed the overcast stitch, the thimble on her index finger protected her from the needle pokes.In this case, simple better: in one sentence, the speaker is able to distill the emotional core of her essay. Secondly - this is not the type of detail (or imagery) that’s going to work in your favor.The speaker’s voice reads as reflective, mature, and confident - she’s not afraid to be vulnerable, and has a clear voice. Okay, there are two things that need to be addressed here. While I’m a proponent for the “detailed” approach to hooking your audience, this isn’t quite what admissions officers are looking for.However, these types of hooks can also be more difficult to write.Unless you have a clear (or funny) story to tell from the beginning, they can be harder to write naturally.With 650 allotted words, you have the power to craft a captivating narrative about who you are, what you value, and most importantly - where you see yourself going.The very first sentence of your essay - commonly referred to as the ‘hook’ - is a direct invitation to the reader to walk into your world for the next few minutes. It’s hard to know what will feel appropriate for your essay, and what captures someone’s attention is so innately personal.Please don’t open your essay with a really convoluted, philosophical, or critical outlook on the state of humankind, technology, or any other large-scale topics.Sure, you want to seem intellectually curious and come across as a deep thinker, but it shouldn’t feel contrived. The college essay isn’t the time to try and prove your intellectual prowess - it’s a space for introspection and mature reflection.


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