5 Tips to Write a College Essay that Hooks Your Reader Tip 1: Narrow Your Lens. Think small. Tip 2: Start with a First-Person Story. Try starting your essay with a story written in first-person narrative. Tip 3: Use your Senses. Nothing grabs a reader like details. Tip 4: Add Adjectives. Dig deep and describe your moment. Tip 5: Emotionally Connect.