Teacher: “I will never forgive you for the essay you submitted.”
Student: “What’s wrong with it? I can see you gave me an A already.”
Teacher: “My dinner got burned because I just couldn’t get myself to stop reading it.”
Do you get the clue?
Polish your essay introduction if you want to wow your teacher. Add something shocking, funny, or interesting.
Right from the start, build an emotional connection. An essay hook should be your reader’s bait.
You can write persuasive essay hooks in several ways.
You will use a hook when you want to encourage or intimidate your audience in reading your essays.
A hook is the first sentence that appears in your introductory paragraph. Its average length is 3-7 sentences, but it depends on the essay topic.
The hook will show your readers that the content of the essay is worth reading. Some writers will even make the hook go up to several pages.
Though, it would be best if you kept it as a sentence or a short paragraph.
Remember, the hook does not replace is not an essay introduction. It is an opening line for an introduction.
The essential components of the introduction of an essay are the thesis statement and the hook.
To write a good essay hook, you need to follow these steps:
- Understand the literary work
- Craft an outline
- Know your audience
- Know your writing intent
Let us discuss each in detail.
Have in mind a clear vision of the literary work for your essay. You will need to describe the techniques used in supporting the arguments of the given essay type.
Have an outline to organize your information and highlight the relevant points to your essay.
Choose how you intend to develop your work and know your target audience. Use simple language if you are targeting children. If it is for professionals, use appropriate language.
Your choice of the hook should fit your essay. Know the purpose of the research paper you want to write. If you have an interesting essay topic choice, your hook should be funny.
Have a normal hook if you want to write a conference paper.
- When done right, it heats your reader’s interest, and they end up reading the entire essay.
- The right hook will present your expertise in the field and show off your skills.
- Only the readers you intend to reach will read your content because it attracts the target audience.
- The reader dies to find out more because of your use of intriguing questions to keep the tension levels right.
- A good essay hook gives an excellent introduction to your essay.
Different types of hooks exist for different kinds of papers, such as research papers and essays.
- Personal story
- Statistical facts
- Literary quotes
- Common misconception
- Thesis statement
When you want to grab your audience’s attention, you can ask an intriguing question that they have an interest in answering.
Question hook examples include:
- What would our lives be if we had to go about our daily lives experiencing chronic joint pain?
- Are your day-to-day activities keeping you from achieving your lifelong dreams?
- How much sugar can one consume in a day?
- Did you know that studies show that women are more predisposed to clinical depression than men?
- Do jobs that require you to have a college education earn you more than those with skilled trades?
- Does online learning offer a better option for K-12 education?
- If commercially processed food was unavailable for long periods, would your family still have enough to eat?
- In this year’s elections, will we experience a record-breaking voter turnout?
- Is the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies important to YouTubers?
- Just how much television watching time is too much for school-going kids?
- What would be the difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person?
- What is love?
- What would you define kindness to be?
- What do you live for?
- What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day?
Think about what the reader would be eager to learn or what they are interested in before posing the question.
Do not make the questions Yes or No or generalized. Tailor them to fit your reader’s needs. Making use of rhetoric is always an excellent way to grab the reader’s attention.
We live lives full of strange, interesting, or funny happenings. So, why not attract the attention of your reader using such stories?
An anecdote may be something you have imagined or a personal story. Ensure the story remains relevant to your essay topic.
Examples of an anecdote hook:
- Last night my cousin Harriet went clubbing with red lipstick all over her teeth. I didn’t feel anything about not telling her until everyone started laughing…
- You know, as a child, my cat was my best friend. My childhood was exciting because of her.
- That reminds me of a crazy night we had with my best friend before he got swept off his feet by his girlfriend Sandy.
- I was a vampire last Halloween – it was the real deal.
- Is that a pink rose? Wow! I adore them. My great grandfather had a vast rose garden, with over 300 species. Every Wednesday, he would go and clip many of them and make my great granny a bouquet. Does this kind of love exist anymore?
- Oh, I love Paris! I have visited France six times this year. Have you seen the Eiffel Tower? It’s the most iconic attraction in Paris.
- I once had a Chihuahua: She was adorable. Every morning, I would open the door, and she would run and pick up the newspaper for me.
- Successful college students write a story meant to give a brief account of their favourite Christmas holiday.
- A mother is telling her kids about a childhood holiday she loved.
- In a conversation about experiencing amusement parks, a child talks about their experience in Disney Land.
- At the start of an essay on fire safety, the writer gives a short cautionary story about a severe injury happening due to a failure in following protocol.
- During the Christmas morning breakfast, children and parents talk about the Christmas holidays they’ve enjoyed together.
Ideally, an anecdote makes the reader laugh and gives them more interest in reading your essay further.
You can use quotes from famous people to explain the relevance of your essay topic. Ensure you elaborate the quote for the reader’s understanding.
A statistical hook works when you intend to provide your reader with information. These facts are, in most cases, used in informative or process essays.
Statistical facts are also quotes from famous people, only that, in this case, they present a percentage, number, or figure.
When writing a college application essay or a narrative essay, it is best to start it with a short personal story.
It could be something that happened to a relative or a friend. It doesn’t have to be something you have experienced firsthand.
When writing your essay, you will want to get the reader’s attention. A description hook describes a scene vividly to the readers to want to read more and more.
It is in most cases used in narrative essays but can be used with other types of essays.
A simile/metaphor gives your readers a different way to look at an essay topic. A metaphor makes a comparison between two unrelated things.
An example would be:
“I have a five-year-old baby – my fashion business was founded in 2017.”
Literary quotes are best in a book review. Keep in mind that they may not be appropriate for use with persuasive and expository essays.
An example of a literary quote:
You can use literary quotes in a compare & contrast essay in the works of William Shakespeare: “Less than kind and a little more kin” (Hamlet, Act 2, and Scene 2)
It shows your reader that what they believe in may not be accurate. Then, make a connection with your thesis statement. This will force the reader to study further because this hook example aims at creating a disturbance.
“Fortune cookies aren’t Chinese,” “The Buddha wasn’t fat.”
Use this type of hook to depict that sometimes things are not what they seem to be. They are most appropriate for reflection or explanation essays.
In most cases, people can efficiently process and remember visual information. As human beings, we quickly transform words into pictures in minds. Scenes are, in most cases, used in descriptive or narrative essays.
“Imagine sitting by the fire sipping some wine with the love of your life by your side.”
A different way to begin your introduction without using the tricks is to go straight to the main statement. You don’t need to put a lot into just a couple of sentences.
Below are examples of essay hooks used in writing the different types of essays:
In an argumentative essay, the opening paragraph should be similar to that of a trial. You are supposed to claim persuasively and logically. This comes after you have provided some background information, just like a lawyer begins by presenting an issue.
For example, when arguing that all public places should be turned into no-smoking zones because of the adverse smoking effects, use an excellent statistical hook as follows:
“According to the World Health Organization, tobacco consumption kills more than 5 million people yearly. This makes the death rate more than would be from Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB combined.”
You may also want to check argumentative essay topics
A persuasive essay persuades the reader to take a specific action or agree with you by changing their beliefs.
The hook sentence in this essay will create curiosity in the reader by making a shocking revelation or stating statistics.
For instance, you can choose to write about the seriousness of the climate change issue and its threat to the world. Start your essay by giving facts concerning the atmosphere:
“On average each year, the human population emits approximately 39.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide. More than it has been in the past centuries, the carbon dioxide levels have significantly increased. You are highly mistaken if you think there’s no need to worry about climate change.”
A narrative essay is more like a story. It gives you the freedom to tell your story just the way you want. This is unlike other types of essays where you need to argue and choose a side.
“I am not sure whether it is just something that became solid over time or it is a real memory. I can’t tell whether at one point my neighbour tried to murder me.”
You can also check comprehensive narrative essay topics!
You may also want to check speech attention grabbers
You might be wondering what it takes to choose the right hook. There exists no single formula in choosing the best hook for your essay.
That said, you will need to keep the following in mind when choosing your hook:
- The type of essay
- Your audience
Knowing your audience and the type of essay you intend to write plays an essential role in selecting the hook.
So, it is crucial to identify the appropriate hook for your essay and audience.
We have provided you with the ultimate essay writing guide to create the best introduction to your essay. You may still find it to be challenging to grab the reader’s attention in your introductory line.
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