In general, you should bring your most compelling experience to the forefront and then structure your essay around that.
The following is a list of possible approaches to the introduction, with an emphasis on the opening sentence itself: Some people will start with a compelling experience but will insist on prefacing that experience with a very generic statement such as the following:“My interest in law can be traced back to the time I first found out that justice is not absolute.”Often, the reason people will write such a statement is that they feel compelled to restate the question in some way.
My team and I were halfway finished with what our instructors dubbed ‘The Long Paddle,’ and I could feel my sanity slowly slipping away.
A combination of severe sleep deprivation and extreme physical exercise can do that to you.”This opening is attention grabbing precisely because it offers no context.
You should use that to your advantage in creating a strong lead.
This is the type of approach that we can’t ignore because it has the potential to be so effective, but it also could have disastrous results.You’re writing an introduction to your essay for two reasons.First, its purpose is to hook your readers so that they will read on and see what you have to say.This applicant starts as follows:“I entered boot camp on June 18, 1989.That day, the Indian child who had chased cows and the American youth who had philosophized about physics died.”By juxtaposing incongruous elements of his personality, the writer highlights his uniqueness and leaves the reader wanting to learn more.Many people make the mistake of writing a paragraph that explains what they’re going to talk about in the rest of the essay.Such a paragraph might include something like the following:“My journey toward law has been shaped by a variety of experiences, including academic studies, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.”The reader knows that you’re going to talk about these things and is most likely muttering to herself, “Get to the point.”If you have a paragraph like this in your essay, the best move would be to delete it.By stating a problem, you create instant curiosity because the reader wants to see how you will address this problem.This applicant uses a rhetorical question to state a problem that has confronted him: his height.This applicant uses a typical “My interest in law” opening, but has a surprising point to make:“My interest in the law began with donuts.”By thwarting expectation with this unconventional origin, the writer succeeds in grabbing the reader’s attention as she turns to a more serious point.You have been assigned to write an essay but you’re not quite sure how to get started.