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Is this a bad idea for my Common App Essay opening sentence?

trooney20trooney20 0 replies1 threads New Member
The first sentence of my essay is in Norwegian, followed directly by an accurate translation in italics. It is a quote my grandmother said to me when I was young, and as my essay focuses on my passion for language learning I thought it might be a unique idea that ties in personal memories. Still unsure if this is a good idea though.
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Replies to: Is this a bad idea for my Common App Essay opening sentence?

  • merc81merc81 11902 replies203 threads Senior Member
    The concept seems fine (and interesting) to me. However, it's foreign words and phrases that are typically distinguished with italics, ja?
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 2255 replies28 threads Senior Member
    This is an effective writing style. Good opener!
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  • 3puppies3puppies 1749 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I think you can make it work, but not because it's different or unique. It will work because it's a lead in to why language is so important to YOU.

    I can pretty much guarantee that admin officers/essay readers have seen all sorts of quotes from kids' grandmothers - that have inspired kids, even many in foreign languages. The essays that stand out to them are the ones that avoid the tired cliches, but tell who the applicant is, and what is important to them. And you sound like you're getting that.

    Best of luck with this!
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  • mathmommathmom 33245 replies163 threads Senior Member
    I think it's fine. My older son opened with the results of a computer program he wrote that was supposed to produce the perfect college essay, but actually was hilariously full of tropes without saying anything. It was barely in English.

    The quote as a lead is often an effective way to jump into an essay. I think it's fine as long as you provide the translation.
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  • hhghh123hhghh123 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Overall, I agree that it should be an effective start to an essay. As long as you can tie in personal aspects of yourself, you should do great!
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  • aquaptaquapt 2469 replies51 threads Senior Member
    This sounds fine as a concept. However, I don't remember font options like italics being available in the common app word-processing window for the personal statement a couple of years ago - has this changed? You may have to make do with what's available, like quotation marks. Check ahead of time so you're not disappointed when you go to paste the essay into the application!
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