Writing a College-Entrance Essay (Cont.)
The beginning of a college-entrance essay is crucial. It must grab the reader's attention and introduce the topic. Have students experiment with different beginnings, using the opening strategies on this page. Afterward, encourage them to share their sample beginnings with a partner for feedback. Which beginning is most compelling?
Make sure students know college-entrance essays are part narrative, part argument. Like any good argument, the essay needs to include reasons and evidence to support the author's case for admittance. However, students must present those details in a personal way. To do so, recommend they include personal anecdotes that demonstrate their exemplary qualities and unique fit with the school to which they are applying. Repeat the oft-cited writing advice: show, don't tell.
Finally, note that their essay will likely require multiple drafts to complete, including intensive revision and editing. There's a lot riding on the essay; they should take the time to get it right. Make sure they know you're there to support them throughout the process.