How to Start an Introduction Essay for College


You may find that getting started in writing the college essay can be frustrating. It is not always easy to write about yourself. Colleges place great importance on the personal essay since it introduces you to the college admissions officer. The essay portrays you as an individual and helps the college to decide whether or not to accept or reject you. There are several methods which will guide you in picking the salient points and starting you on the introductory essay. Begin writing the introduction early. Write in a conversational mode. Tell enough to grab the reader's interest but don't be too pompous. Show that you can write a well-structured introduction.

Things You'll Need

  • Writing materials

Starting the Introduction Essay

  • Begin the process by brainstorming. List random thoughts about yourself that are potential topics for the introduction. Include hobbies, experiences and goals.Think of family or school problems and how you overcame them. Tell if you hitchhiked across America and got caught in a violent storm. What did you do to cope? Describe an experience such as "I Spent an Afternoon in a Paris Police Station." Consider books of interest or teachers who have influenced you.

  • Narrow the major ideas that you may find workable for the introduction. Consider an experience you've had such as "Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia" or Climbing Mt. Masada at Sunrise." Include what you went through and what you learned from it.

  • Write a startling statement. "I plan to become a future president of the United States." Add to it if appropriate something like,"I was the student-body president of my high school and look forward to serving as your university student-body president so that I might work towards realizing my dreams." Tell what you can do for the college.

  • Use a quote to grab the reader's attention. "Life is made up of sobs, sniffles and smiles, with sniffles predominating" (a quote from "Gift of the Magi" by O.Henry included in "The Pocket Book of Quotations"). Develop your introduction from it, provided it fits in with your philosophy of life.

  • Find a news item such as "$400,000 Cancer Charity Scam Shocks the Nation." Think of people who might have been affected. Interview their families. Give thought to your reaction about the situation. Consider this technique for your beginning sentence.

  • Begin the writing process by putting your selected thoughts on paper. Focus on developing your ideas logically and clearly. Ask a friend or family member to read the paper for suggestions.

  • Revise carefully. Look for spelling and grammar errors. Ask yourself if you were the admissions officer would you be interested in reading the rest of the essay. Now that you've completed the introduction, you are ready to continue writing the body and conclusion.

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  • Photo Credit writing image by Alison Bowden from Hitchhiking-Need a car-03.jpg image by Carabay from divers image by Paul Wright from
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