Good Essay Openings

Far better to begin at the first moment of large-scale conflict.

If the protagonist’s early-morning rituals are essential to the story line, or merely entertaining, they can always be included in backstory or flashbacks—or later, when he wakes up for a second time.

Watch now: How to begin your personal statement Check out our guides to concluding your statement, talking about your hobbies the right way and what to cut if you're hitting the Ucas character count.

Also, we cover some specific personal statement queries here including what counts in the character limit set by Ucas.

If you begin writing at the most dramatic or tense moment in your story, you have nowhere to go but downhill.

Good Essay Openings

Similarly, if your hook is extremely strange or misleading, you might have trouble living up to its odd expectations.An opening line should have a distinctive voice, a point of view, a rudimentary plot and some hint of characterization.By the end of the first paragraph, we should also know the setting and conflict, unless there is a particular reason to withhold this information.The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course of Western Civilization. But what author doesn’t dream of crafting an opening line that will achieve the iconic recognition of “Call me Ishmael,” or the staying power of “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth …”?In writing, as in dating and business, initial reactions matter.Many writers are taught that the more unusual or extreme their opening line, the more likely they are to “hook” the reader.But what we’re not taught is that such large hooks also have the power to easily disappoint readers if the subsequent narrative doesn’t measure up.The problem is that few readers, if confused, will ever make it that far.This is not to say that you can’t include information in your opening that acquires without knowledge the reader will acquire later. We spoke to admissions tutors up and down the country, and they all said the same thing: don't get stressed out trying to think of a killer opening!Check out our advice below on beginning your personal statement the right way, including what to include, what not to do and how to approach it (or even, put it off...).


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