1. Education
Richard Nordquist

Ten Student Essays We Never Finished Reading

By October 1, 2012

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Just kidding, of course. Like all other dutiful composition teachers, I read every one of my students' essays from start to finish (though at times with bridled enthusiasm and a good stiff drink).

The title of this post, adapted from the name of a recurring feature in The New Yorker, refers to uninviting opening lines. Rather than entice readers to continue, some first sentences make us wonder if it's worth going on. Here are ten of those boring or baffling openers. . . .

For the complete article (revised and expanded), see Hookers vs. Chasers: How Not to Begin an Essay.


October 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm
(1) brandon says:

i appreciate the not to do list but want do you recommend for a college essay first sentence.

please correct my grammar, if there is a error.

October 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm
(2) grammar says:


Keep an eye out for next week’s post (Oct. 19) on Good Opening Lines.


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