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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Tips for a strong hook in a college essay?

I'm stuck on how to start my essay. Anyone have tips on what makes a good hook for a college essay? What types of openings have worked for you? Would love some inspiration here, feeling a little stressed trying to make my intro stand out.

8 months ago

I understand that starting your essay can be one of the most stressful parts of the application, but it's a great opportunity to capture your reader's attention. A compelling hook could be an intriguing question, a vivid description, a surprising fact, or an anecdote related to your essay topic. Whatever you choose, make sure it's authentic to who you are and the story you're telling.

One approach is to drop the reader right into the action with a moment from your life that illustrates the theme of your essay. For example, if you’re sharing a moment that showcases your problem-solving skills, start with a sentence detailing the intensity of the moment, like 'Sweat dripped down my forehead as I frantically scanned the crowd for a way out.' This kind of hook sets the stage and invites the reader into your experience immediately.

Remember to keep your audience in mind; admissions officers read thousands of essays, so your opening line should be fresh and interesting, without resorting to clichés or overused quotes. After hooking the reader with your opening, ensure that the rest of your essay delivers on the promise of your hook by developing your narrative or thematic thread in an engaging and meaningful way. Stay true to your voice and your story—that authenticity is often the strongest hook of all.

8 months ago

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