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Essay Advice for Introductory Paragraphs/Sentences?

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Essay Advice for Introductory Paragraphs/Sentences? [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 06:21
It seems like a lot of the advice out there for essays talks about flashy/creative lead paragraph introductory sentences using colorful language, imagery, etc. to begin. Any opinions out there on at what point this becomes necessary? It doesn't seem practical to me to do this if you are answering a short answer question (<300 words) since you don't have many words to get to the point, but how about 450 words? 500 words? Also, is it a good idea to use a flashy intro for one essay and then make the rest of them more direct/plain? It seems like overkill and slightly cheesy to begin each essay with an attention-grabbing sentence...

Any advice from current or former applicants would be greatly appreciated! :)
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Re: Essay Advice for Introductory Paragraphs/Sentences? [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 11:38
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Depends on the content of your essay, as well as your writing style.

My advice:

First thing to do is answer the question being asked without worrying about extra details such as fancy/creative introduction. (BTW - Solaris1 writes ridiculously good creative style essays....I've read excerpts from his essays from last year and my god....University of Chicago knows how to educate their undergrads when it comes to writing....)

After you have answered the question being asked, step away from your essay and do something else. This is needed in order to bring a fresh perspective to your own essay. Sometimes writers get into this zone or mindset that when he or she tries to knock out the essay in one try, he or she ends up writing poor or below-average essays than he or she is capable of writing.

When you return to your essay, read it again. At this point, you should be able to revise certain aspect of your essay, whether it's a grammatical error, style, or even creativity.

Next, count the words in the essay and add/trim the number of words where it's appropriate. Many people end up revising his or her essay at this point, either by knocking out the creative introduction in order to reduce the word count or vice versa.

Different people have different ways of writing. If you think you can improve on your own writing style, then go to NYTimes.com or other editorial news websites (especially opinion section.....I prefer NYTimes because readers or reporters who submit his or her own opinions in the editorial or opinion section are well educated, and therefore he or she writes better than a reader of I don't know....NY Post or something). Whether it's an editorial, opinion, or a news article, you will find a specific article that you like in terms of writing style. Then use that article as an example and try to mimic that writing style.


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Re: Essay Advice for Introductory Paragraphs/Sentences?   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2009, 11:38
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