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How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

4-minute read

  • 6th May 2023

Never underestimate the power of an essay hook . This opening statement is meant to grab the reader’s attention and convince them to keep reading. But how do you write one that’ll pack a punch? In this article, we’ll break this down.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the first thing your audience will read. If it doesn’t hook them right off the bat, they might decide not to keep reading. It’s important that your opening statement is impactful while not being too wordy or presumptuous.

It’s also crucial that it clearly relates to your topic. You don’t want to mislead your readers into thinking your essay is about something it’s not. So, what kind of essay hook should you write? Here are seven ideas to choose from:

1.   Story

Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example:

The key to a good story hook is keeping it short and sweet. You’re not writing a novel in addition to an essay!

2.   Fact

Another great essay hook idea is to lay out a compelling fact or statistic. For example:

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing this. Make sure it’s relevant to your topic, accurate, and something your audience will care about. And, of course, be sure to cite your sources properly.

3.   Metaphor or Simile

If you want to get a little more creative with your essay hook, try using a metaphor or simile . A metaphor states that something is something else in a figurative sense, while a simile states that something is like something else.

Metaphors and similes are effective because they provide a visual for your readers, making them think about a concept in a different way. However, be careful not to make them too far-fetched or overly exaggerated.

4.   Question

Asking your audience a question is a great way to hook them. Not only does it make them think, but they’ll also want to keep reading because you will have sparked their curiosity. For example:

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Try to avoid using questions that start with something along the lines of “Have you ever wondered…?” Instead, try to think of a question they may never have wondered about. And be sure not to answer it right away, at least not fully. Use your essay to do that!

5.   Declaration

Making a bold statement or declaring a strong opinion can immediately catch people’s attention. For example:

Regardless of whether your reader agrees with you, they’ll probably want to keep reading to find out how you will back up your claim. Just make sure your declaration isn’t too controversial, or you might scare readers away!

6.   Common Misconception

Laying out a common misconception is another useful way to hook your reader. For example:

If your readers don’t know that a common belief is actually a misconception, they’ll likely be interested in learning more. And if they are already aware, it’s probably a topic they’re interested in, so they’ll want to read more.

7.   Description

You can put your descriptive powers into action with your essay hook. Creating interesting or compelling imagery places your reader into a scene, making the words come alive.

A description can be something beautiful and appealing or emotionally charged and provoking. Either way, descriptive writing is a powerful way to immerse your audience and keep them reading.

When writing an essay, don’t skimp on the essay hook! The opening statement has the potential to convince your audience to hear what you have to say or to let them walk away. We hope our ideas have given you some inspiration.

And once you finish writing your essay, make sure to send it to our editors. We’ll check it for grammar, spelling, word choice, references, and more. Try it out for free today with a 500-word sample !

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Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

You can think of the first sentence of your essay as you would a fishing hook. It grabs your reader and allows you reel the person into your essay and your train of thought. The hook for your essay can be an interesting sentence that captures a person's attention, it can be thought-provoking, or even, entertaining.

The hook for your essay often appears in the first sentence . The opening paragraph includes a thesis sentence . Some popular hook choices can include using an interesting quote, a little-known fact, famous last words, or a statistic .

A quote hook is best used when you are composing an essay based on an author, story, or book. It helps establish your authority on the topic and by using someone else's quote, you can strengthen your thesis if the quote supports it.

The following is an example of a quote hook: "A man's errors are his portals of discovery." In the next sentence or two, give a reason for this quote or current example. As for the last sentence (the thesis) : Students grow more confident and self-sufficient when parents allow them to make mistakes and experience failure.

General statement

By setting the tone in the opening sentence with a uniquely written general statement of your thesis, the beauty is that you get right to the point. Most readers appreciate that approach.

For example, you can start with the following statement: Many studies show that the biological sleep pattern for teens shifts a few hours, which means teens naturally stay up later and feel alert later in the morning. The next sentence, set up the body of your essay, perhaps by introducing the concept that school days should be adjusted so that they are more in sync with the teenager's natural sleep or wake cycle. As for the last sentence (the thesis) :  If every school day started at ten o'clock, many students would find it easier to stay focused.

By listing a proven fact or entertaining an interesting statistic that might even sound implausible to the reader, you can excite a reader to want to know more. 

Like this hook: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics , teens and young adults experience the highest rates of violent crime. Your next sentence can set up the argument that it's dangerous for teenagers to be on the streets at late hours. A fitting thesis statement might read: Parents are justified in implementing a strict curfew, regardless of a student's academic performance.

The Right Hook for Your Essay

The good news about finding a hook? You can find a quote, fact, or another type of hook after you determine your thesis. You can accomplish this with a simple online search about your topic after you've developed your essay .

You can nearly have the essay finished before you revisit the opening paragraph. Many writers polish up the first paragraph after the essay is completed.

Outlining the Steps for Writing Your Essay

Here's an example of the steps you can follow that help you outline your essay.

  • First paragraph: Establish the thesis
  • Body paragraphs: Supporting evidence
  • Last paragraph: Conclusion with a restatement of the thesis
  • Revisit the first paragraph: Find the best hook

Obviously, the first step is to determine your thesis. You need to research your topic and know what you plan to write about. Develop a starting statement. Leave this as your first paragraph for now.

The next paragraphs become the supporting evidence for your thesis. This is where you include the statistics, opinions of experts, and anecdotal information.

Compose a closing paragraph that is basically a reiteration of your thesis statement with new assertions or conclusive findings you find during with your research.

Lastly, go back to your introductory hook paragraph. Can you use a quote, shocking fact, or paint a picture of the thesis statement using an anecdote? This is how you sink your hooks into a reader.

The best part is if you are not loving what you come up with at first, then you can play around with the introduction. Find several facts or quotes that might work for you. Try out a few different starting sentences and determine which of your choices makes the most interesting beginning to your essay.

  • How To Write an Essay
  • How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC
  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • The Introductory Paragraph: Start Your Paper Off Right
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • Writing a Lead or Lede to an Article
  • The Five Steps of Writing an Essay
  • An Introduction to Academic Writing
  • How to Write a Response Paper
  • How to Write a Research Paper That Earns an A

hook an essay definition

How to Write a Hook: Start Off Your Essay Strong with This Guide

hook an essay definition

What is a Hook for an Essay: Importance and Purpose

Which section of your essay can make your readers dip their toes into your writing? Is it the body paragraphs where all the analysis is laid out? Or maybe the introduction, where you present your thesis statement and voice your perspective on the subject? Well, if you think it is the latter, then we must agree with your decision. However, let's get more specific; if we take the introductory paragraph to pieces, which piece gets the most recognition? You must have guessed from the article's title that we're talking about a hook. But first, let's define what is a hook for an essay before we walk you through the reasons why it deserves our pat on the back.

The hook is the initial sentence in a written work. Whether you're asking how to write a hook for a song, blog post, or term paper, know that the purpose of any effective hook is to seize the reader's attention. It can be one sentence long, often for shorter pieces, or composed of several lines - usually for larger pieces. Making the reader want to keep reading is what an essay hook accomplishes for your paper, just as an intriguing introduction does for any piece.

Our main emphasis in this guide is on creating a good hook for an essay. Nonetheless, these fundamental guidelines apply to nearly every format for communicating with your audience. Whether writing a personal statement, a speech, or a presentation, making a solid first impression is crucial to spur your readers into action.

How to Write a Hook for Different Kinds of Writing

Although it is a tough skill to master, understanding how to write a hook is crucial for academic writing success. By reviewing the most prevalent kinds of essay hooks, you can discover how to effectively captivate readers from the start and generate a hook that is ideal for your article. To do so, let's head over to the following sections prepared by our dissertation writers .

essay hooks

How to Write a Hook for a College Essay?

By mastering how to write a hook for a college essay, you have the opportunity to stand out from the hundreds of applicants with identical academic portfolios to yours in your college essay. It should shed light on who you are, represent your true nature, and show your individuality. But first, you need an attention-grabbing start if you want the admissions committee to read more of yours than theirs. For this, you'll require a strong hook.

Set the Scene

When wondering how to write a good hook for an essay, consider setting the scene. Open in the middle of a key moment, plunge in with vivid details and conversation to keep your essay flowing and attract the reader. Make the reader feel like they are seeing a moment from your life and have just tuned in.

Open with an Example

Starting with a specific example is also a great idea if you're explaining how you acquired a particular skill or unique accomplishment. Then, similar to how you established the scenario above, you may return to this point later and discuss its significance throughout the remaining sections.

Open with an Anecdote

Using an anecdotal hook doesn't necessarily mean that your essay should also be humorous. The joke should be short and well-aimed to achieve the best results. To assist the reader in visualizing the situation and understanding what you are up against when tackling a task or overcoming a challenge, you might also use a funny irony. And if this sounds too overwhelming to compose, buy an essay on our platform and let our expert writers convey your unmatched story!

How to Write a Hook for an Argumentative Essay?

If you write a strong hook, your instructor will be compelled to read your argument in the following paragraphs. So, put your creative thinking cap on while crafting the hook, and write in a way that entices readers to continue reading the essay.

Use Statistics

Statistics serve as a useful hook because they encourage research. When used in argumentative writing, statistics can introduce readers to previously undiscovered details and data. That can greatly increase their desire to read your article from start to finish. You can also consider this advice when unsure how to write a good hook for a research paper. Especially if you're conducting a quantitative study, a statistic hook can be a solid start.

Use a Common Misconception

Another answer to your 'how to write a hook for an argumentative essay' question is to use a common misconception. What could be a better way to construct an interesting hook, which should grab readers' attention, than to incorporate a widely held misconception? A widespread false belief is one that many people hold to be true. When you create a hook with a misinterpretation, you startle your readers and immediately capture their interest.

How to Write a Hook for a Persuasive Essay?

The finest hooks for a persuasive essay capture the reader's interest while leading them to almost unconsciously support your position even before they are aware of it. You can accomplish this by employing the following hook ideas for an essay:

Ask a Rhetorical Question

By posing a query at the outset of your essay, you may engage the reader's critical thinking and whet their appetite for the solution you won't provide until later. Try to formulate a question wide enough for them to not immediately know the answer and detailed enough to avoid becoming a generic hook.

Use an Emotional Appeal

This is a fantastic approach to arouse sympathy and draw the reader into your cause. By appealing to the reader's emotions, you may establish a bond that encourages them to read more and get invested in the subject you cover.

Using these strategies, you won't have to wonder how to write a hook for a persuasive essay anymore!

How to Write a Hook for a Literary Analysis Essay?

Finding strong essay openers might be particularly challenging when writing a literary analysis. Coming up with something very remarkable on your own while writing about someone else's work is no easy feat. But we have some expert solutions below:

Use Literary Quotes

Using a literary quote sounds like the best option when unsure how to write a hook for a literary analysis essay. Nonetheless, its use is not restricted to that and is mostly determined by the style and meaning of the quotes. Still, when employing literary quotes, it's crucial to show two things at once: first, how well you understand the textual information. And second, you know how to capture the reader's interest right away.

Employ Quotes from Famous People

This is another style of hook that is frequently employed in literary analysis. But if you wonder how to write a good essay hook without sounding boring, choose a historical person with notable accomplishments and keep your readers intrigued and inspired to read more.

How to Write a Hook for an Informative Essay?

In an informative essay, your ultimate goal is to not only educate your audience but also engage and keep them interested from the very beginning. For this, consider the following:

Start with a Fact or Definition

You might begin your essay with an interesting fact or by giving a definition related to your subject. The same standard applies here for most types mentioned above: it must be intriguing, surprising, and/or alarming.

Ask Questions that Relate to Your Topic

Another solution to 'How to write a hook for an informative essay?' is to introduce your essay with a relevant question. This hook lets you pique a reader's interest in your essay and urge them to keep reading as they ponder the answer.

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Expert-Approved Tips for Writing an Essay Hook

Are you still struggling with the ideal opening sentence for your essay? Check out some advice from our essay helper on how to write a hook sentence and make your opening stand out.

good essay hook

  • Keep your essay type in mind . Remember to keep your hook relevant. An effective hook for an argumentative or descriptive essay format will differ greatly. Therefore, the relevancy of the hook might be even more important than the content it conveys.
  • Decide on the purpose of your hook . When unsure how to write a hook for an essay, try asking the following questions: What result are you hoping to get from it? Would you like your readers to be curious? Or, even better, surprised? Perhaps even somewhat caught off guard? Determine the effect you wish to accomplish before selecting a hook.
  • Choose a hook at the end of the writing process. Even though it should be the first sentence of your paper, it doesn't mean you should write your hook first. Writing an essay is a long and creative process. So, if you can't think of an effective hook at the beginning, just keep writing according to your plan, and it will eventually come into your head. If you were lucky enough to concoct your hook immediately, double-check your writing to see if it still fits into the whole text and its style once you've finished writing.
  • Make it short . The shorter, the better – this rule works for essay hooks. Keeping your hook to a minimum size will ensure that readers will read it at the same moment they start looking at your essay. Even before thinking if they want or don't want to read it, their attention will be captured, and their curiosity will get the best of them. So, they will continue reading the entire text to discover as much as possible.

Now you know how to write a good hook and understand that a solid hook is the difference between someone delving further into your work or abandoning it immediately. With our hook examples for an essay, you can do more than just write a great paper. We do not doubt that you can even write a winning term paper example right away!

Try to become an even better writer with the help of our paper writing service . Give them the freedom to write superior hooks and full essays for you so you may learn from them!

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How to Write an Essay Hook | Tips, Tricks, and Examples

What does fishing and essay writing have in common? It's all about the hook! Just like a fisherman needs a good hook to catch a fish, you need an excellent essay hook to reel in your readers. If you're tired of your essays flopping like a fish out of water, don't worry - in this article, we'll teach you how to craft a hook that will have your readers hooked from the very first sentence. Get ready to bait your audience and catch their attention like a pro!

Welcome to the world of essay writing! Crafting an essay that captivates your audience from the very beginning can be challenging. As a student, you might have struggled with the question, "How do I write an essay hook?" The answer is simple: you need to grab the reader's attention and keep them engaged from the first sentence. But how do you do that effectively?

Don't worry; that's where Jenni.ai comes in! Our AI tool is designed to help students write essays that stand out, with powerful hook examples for essays that will make your paper impossible to put down.

That's why we've created this blog post to help you understand what a hook is, and how to write one and provide you with some hook essay examples that will inspire you to take your writing to the next level. Whether you're writing a persuasive essay, a narrative essay, or a research paper, we've got you covered!

But first, let's talk about what an essay hook is. A hook is an initial statement in an essay, typically the first sentence or a group of sentences that grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more. It's the first impression you give to your reader, and it can make or break your essay.

A good hook should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and relevant to your topic. It can be a question, a quote, a statistic, a personal anecdote, or anything else that piques your reader's interest.

How to Write a Hook

Now that you know what a hook is and why it's important, let's dive into how to write a hook that will grab your reader's attention.

Start with an Interesting Fact or Statistic

One of the most effective ways to start an essay is with an interesting fact or statistic that relates to your topic. This will immediately grab your reader's attention and make them curious to learn more.

For example, if you're writing an essay about the impact of climate change on the ocean, you could start with a startling statistic like "The ocean has absorbed 90% of the heat produced by global warming, causing it to become 30% more acidic in the last century alone."

Use a Metaphor or Simile

Metaphors and similes can be powerful tools for creating an engaging hook. By comparing something familiar to your reader with something unfamiliar or unexpected, you can pique their interest and create a sense of intrigue.

For instance, if you're writing an essay about the importance of education, you could start with a metaphor like "Education is the key that unlocks the door to a brighter future."

Pose a Question

Asking a thought-provoking question can be an effective way to hook your reader and encourage them to think about your topic in a new way. The key is to ask a question that is relevant to your topic and that will make your reader curious to find out the answer.

For example, if you're writing an essay about the benefits of meditation, you could start with a question like "What if just 10 minutes of meditation a day could reduce your stress levels and improve your mental clarity?"

Share a Personal Anecdote

Sharing a personal story or anecdote can be a powerful way to connect with your reader and make your essay feel more relatable. It also shows that you have a personal stake in the topic you're writing about.

For instance, if you're writing an essay about the importance of mental health, you could start with a personal anecdote like "I remember the moment I realized I needed to prioritize my mental health. It was a sunny day, but I felt like I was drowning in darkness."

By using one of these techniques, you can create an essay hook that is engaging, relevant, and memorable. So the next time you sit down to write an essay, remember to start with a hook that will reel in your reader and keep them hooked until the very end.

Example Essays with Engaging Hooks

The End of Innocence: How Technology Is Changing Childhood

Introduction:

From playing in the backyard to scrolling through screens, the childhood experience has drastically changed in the last few decades. Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and children are not left behind. With the emergence of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices, the digital age has paved the way for a new kind of childhood experience.

However, this change has raised some serious concerns about the impact of technology on children's lives. In this article, we will explore the end of innocence and how technology is changing childhood.

Digital Age and Childhood:

With the advent of technology, childhood has evolved. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other smart devices have changed the way children play, learn, and communicate. The digital age has brought a wealth of information and entertainment that was not available in the past.

Children can now access an extensive range of educational resources, connect with peers, and entertain themselves at the touch of a button. However, this has led to concerns about the impact of technology on children's physical, social, and emotional development.

Physical Development:

Technology has made it easier for children to engage in sedentary activities such as watching videos, playing games, and browsing the internet. This has led to concerns about the impact of technology on physical development.

According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality. With children spending more time in screens, there is a real risk of obesity and other health problems. Furthermore, the excessive use of screens can lead to eye strain, headaches, and other health issues.

Social Development:

Technology has changed the way children interact with each other. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have given children a new way to connect with peers. However, social media can also be a source of cyberbullying, online harassment, and other negative experiences. 

Furthermore, the excessive use of screens can lead to social isolation, as children spend less time engaging in face-to-face interactions.

Emotional Development:

The impact of technology on children's emotional development is a subject of debate. While some studies have found a positive relationship between technology use and emotional development, others have found the opposite.

The excessive use of screens can lead to addiction, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, children who spend more time on screens are less likely to develop empathy and emotional intelligence.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the digital age has changed childhood, and the end of innocence is a real concern. Technology has brought a wealth of benefits, but it has also led to concerns about the impact on children's physical, social, and emotional development. As parents, it is important to strike a balance between technology use and other activities.

Encouraging children to engage in physical activity, spend time with friends and family, and pursue hobbies can help to mitigate the negative effects of technology. By being mindful of the impact of technology on childhood, we can help our children to grow into healthy, well-rounded individuals.

The Price of Perfection: Why Society's Standards Are Hurting Us

Perfection is a goal that many people strive for in their lives. Society often places a great deal of emphasis on achieving perfection, whether it is in our appearance, career, or personal life. However, the pursuit of perfection can have a negative impact on our mental and emotional well-being. In this article, we will explore the price of perfection and why society's standards are hurting us.

The Perfectionism Trap:

Perfectionism is the belief that one must be flawless in all aspects of life. It is a personality trait that can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including anxiety, depression, and stress. Society often reinforces the notion that perfectionism is desirable, which can lead people to feel inadequate or inferior when they fall short of this ideal.

The Cost of Perfection:

The pursuit of perfection can have significant costs, both personally and socially. At an individual level, it can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Perfectionism is often associated with high levels of stress, as individuals feel pressure to meet unrealistic expectations. This can lead to physical health problems, such as headaches, muscle tension, and insomnia.

At a societal level, the pressure to be perfect can lead to social isolation, as individuals feel unable to meet the expectations of their peers. Social media has exacerbated this problem, as individuals compare themselves to others who seem to have achieved perfection in various aspects of their lives.

This can lead to a sense of inadequacy and low self-esteem, as individuals feel they cannot measure up to the standards set by others.

Breaking Free from Perfectionism:

Breaking free from the trap of perfectionism requires a shift in mindset. It requires recognizing that perfection is not achievable and that mistakes and failures are a natural part of the human experience. Learning to embrace imperfection can lead to greater emotional resilience and mental well-being.

It also requires challenging the societal norms that reinforce the importance of perfectionism. This includes questioning the unrealistic expectations placed on individuals in various aspects of life, such as their appearance or career success.

In conclusion, the pursuit of perfection can come at a significant cost to our mental and emotional well-being. Society often reinforces the notion that perfectionism is desirable, which can lead individuals to feel inadequate or inferior when they fall short of this ideal.

Breaking free from the trap of perfectionism requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to embrace imperfection. By recognizing that perfection is not achievable, we can work towards greater emotional resilience and mental well-being. It also requires challenging the societal norms that reinforce the importance of perfectionism, so that we can create a more compassionate and accepting society for all.

Breaking the Stigma: Why Mental Health Matters

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it is often stigmatized and overlooked in our society. Many people suffer from mental health issues, but due to the stigma surrounding these conditions, they may not seek the help they need. In this article, we will explore the importance of mental health and why breaking the stigma is so crucial.

The Impact of Mental Health on Our Lives:

Mental health plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. It affects our emotions, thoughts, and behaviour, and impacts how we interact with others and the world around us. Mental health issues can have a significant impact on our daily lives, leading to difficulties with work, relationships, and overall functioning.

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health:

Despite the prevalence of mental health issues, there is still a significant stigma surrounding these conditions. This can lead people to feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help, which can delay treatment and lead to more severe symptoms. Stigma can also lead to discrimination and negative attitudes towards individuals with mental health issues, which can further exacerbate their symptoms and impact their quality of life.

Breaking the Stigma:

Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is crucial to ensuring that individuals receive the help they need. It requires challenging the negative attitudes and misconceptions that contribute to the stigma. This includes promoting awareness and education about mental health issues, as well as encouraging open and honest conversations about mental health.

By creating a more accepting and supportive environment for individuals with mental health issues, we can help to reduce the stigma and improve access to care.

The Importance of Seeking Help:

Seeking help for mental health issues is crucial for both individuals and society as a whole. By addressing mental health issues early on, we can prevent more severe symptoms and improve overall functioning. It also helps to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, as individuals who seek help can serve as role models and advocates for others who may be struggling.

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it is often stigmatized and overlooked in our society. Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is crucial to ensuring that individuals receive the help they need. It requires challenging negative attitudes and misconceptions about mental health, promoting awareness and education, and encouraging open and honest conversations.

By doing so, we can create a more accepting and supportive environment for individuals with mental health issues, and improve access to care for all.

From Zero to Hero: The Power of Resilience

Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity and bounce back from challenges. It is a powerful trait that can help individuals achieve success in all areas of their lives, from personal relationships to professional pursuits. 

Life can be full of challenges and setbacks that can leave us feeling defeated and discouraged. But what sets successful people apart from those who struggle is their ability to bounce back from adversity and keep pushing forward. This ability to overcome obstacles and persevere in the face of adversity is known as resilience, and it can be a powerful tool for achieving success in all areas of life.

In this article, we will explore the concept of resilience, its benefits, and strategies for building it. We'll also look at real-life examples of resilience in action and how it can help us go from zero to hero in our own lives.

Defining resilience: What it is and why it matters

Resilience is the ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity, trauma, or stress. It involves being able to bounce back from setbacks and continue moving forward despite challenges. Resilience is not a fixed trait; rather, it can be developed and strengthened over time through deliberate practice and the cultivation of a growth mindset.

Resilience matters because life is full of challenges, both big and small. Whether it's a difficult job interview, a breakup, or a health issue, we all face obstacles that can derail us if we don't have the tools to cope. Resilience helps us stay strong in the face of adversity, maintain our focus on our goals, and continue making progress even when the going gets tough.

The benefits of resilience: How it can improve your life

There are many benefits to developing resilience. Here are just a few:

Increased self-confidence: When we develop resilience, we become more confident in our ability to handle challenges and overcome obstacles. This increased confidence can spill over into other areas of our lives, helping us take risks and pursue our goals with greater vigour.

Improved mental health: Resilience has been linked to improved mental health outcomes, including lower rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because resilient individuals are better able to cope with stress and trauma, and are less likely to be overwhelmed by negative emotions.

Greater success in personal and professional pursuits: Resilience is a key predictor of success in both personal and professional endeavours. Individuals who are more resilient are better able to persevere in the face of challenges, bounce back from setbacks, and stay focused on their goals.

Strategies for building resilience: From mindfulness to self-care

While some individuals may be naturally more resilient than others, resilience is a trait that can be developed and strengthened over time. Here are some strategies for building resilience:

Practice mindfulness:

Mindfulness can help us develop a greater awareness of our thoughts and emotions, and learn to regulate them more effectively. This can be especially helpful when we are facing challenges or setbacks.

Cultivate a growth mindset: 

A growth mindset involves believing that our abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication. This mindset can help us stay motivated and focused even when we encounter obstacles.

Practice self-care: 

Taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally is essential for building resilience. This may include getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring us joy and fulfilment.

Real-life examples of resilience in action

There are countless examples of individuals who have demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. For example:

Oprah Winfrey grew up in poverty and was a victim of abuse, but she persevered and went on to become one of the most successful and influential people in the world.

J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mother when she wrote the first Harry Potter book, which was rejected by multiple publishers. But she kept writing and eventually found success, becoming one of the bestselling authors of all time

Another factor that contributes to resilience is having a positive outlook. People who are resilient tend to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, rather than dwelling on the negative. They also have a sense of optimism and hopefulness, which allows them to see the light at the end of the tunnel even in the darkest of times. 

In fact, studies have shown that having a positive attitude can help individuals cope better with stress and adversity, leading to increased resilience.

In addition to having a positive outlook, building strong relationships with others can also help to foster resilience. Having a support system of family, friends, and even colleagues can provide a sense of belonging and connection, which can be critical during difficult times. This support system can also provide emotional and practical support, helping individuals to better manage and overcome challenges.

Furthermore, resilience can also be strengthened through learning and personal growth. By taking the time to reflect on past experiences, individuals can gain valuable insights into their own strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness can help them to develop a greater sense of resilience, as they become better equipped to deal with future challenges.

Finally, taking care of one's physical health can also contribute to resilience. Engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet are all important factors in maintaining physical well-being. By prioritizing physical health, individuals can better cope with stress and adversity, allowing them to bounce back more easily when faced with difficult situations.

In conclusion, resilience is a powerful trait that can help individuals overcome adversity and achieve success in all areas of life. Whether it is through developing a positive outlook, building strong relationships, or prioritizing physical health, there are many strategies that can be used to build resilience. 

By focusing on these strategies and working to develop a greater sense of resilience, individuals can learn to transform themselves from zero to hero, achieving their goals and living their best lives.

In conclusion, the essay hook is a crucial element in any essay, as it is the first thing that readers will see and can make or break their interest in the rest of the essay. There are many different types of essay hooks that can be used, from rhetorical questions and anecdotes to statistics and quotes.

By understanding the different types of hooks and how they can be used effectively, writers can capture their readers' attention and keep them engaged throughout the essay.

To create a successful essay hook, it is important to consider the audience, the topic, and the purpose of the essay. By tailoring the hook to these factors, writers can create a hook that is not only attention-grabbing but also relevant and meaningful.

Fortunately, with the help of Jenni.ai , creating an essay hook has never been easier. Our AI-powered writing assistant can help you create essay hooks with its AI autocomplete feature, Jenni.ai can help you create essay hooks that will capture your readers' attention.

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How to Write a Hook for an Essay?

Home / Blog / How To Write A Hook For An Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

Introduction

Writing an essay is a challenging task, and the hardest part is often the beginning. The first sentence of your essay, also known as the hook, is critical. It needs to be compelling enough to capture your reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. In this blog post, we'll explore some writing tips and examples for creating a hook that will draw in your readers and keep them engaged.

What is a hook?

A hook is a sentence or two that captures the reader's attention and draws them into the essay. It's the opening statement that sets the tone for the rest of the essay. A hook can be a question, a quote, a statistic, an anecdote, or anything that will make your reader want to keep reading. The hook is the first impression of your essay, and it's essential to make it a good one.

Types of hooks

There are several types of hooks that you can use to start your essay. Here are some of the most common ones:

Question hook

Asking a question is a great way to start your essay. It engages the reader and encourages them to think about the topic. For example, "Have you ever wondered why some people are afraid of spiders?"

Using a quote from a famous person or a literary work is another effective way to start your essay. It adds credibility to your writing and can help you establish a connection with your reader. For example, "In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'"

Statistic hook

Using a statistic can be a powerful way to start your essay. It gives the reader a sense of the importance of the topic and can help you establish credibility. For example, "Did you know that more than 80% of adults in the United States suffer from back pain at some point in their lives?"

Anecdote hook

Anecdotes are personal stories that can be used to start your essay. They are an effective way to engage the reader and make them feel connected to the topic. For example, "When I was six years old, I fell off my bike and broke my arm. It was a painful experience, but it taught me the importance of perseverance."

Tips for writing a hook

Now that you know the different types of hooks, here are some tips for writing an effective one:

Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial when writing a hook. Consider their age, interests, and background. If you're writing for a younger audience, you may want to use a question or anecdote hook. For an older audience, a statistic or quote hook may be more effective.

Keep it short and sweet

Your hook should be no more than two sentences long. You want to grab the reader's attention quickly and make them want to read more.

Use vivid language

Use descriptive language that paints a picture in the reader's mind. This will help them visualize the topic and make it more interesting.

Make it relevant

Your hook should be relevant to the topic of your essay. It should set the tone and provide a clear indication of what the essay will be about.

Examples of hooks

Here are some examples of effective hooks:

"Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by your workload? It's time to take control of your schedule and achieve success."

"Mark Twain once said, 'The secret of getting ahead is getting started.' This is especially true when it comes to achieving your goals."

"Did you know that over 70% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs? If you're one of them, it's time to take action and find a career youlove."

"When I was in college, I spent a semester studying abroad in Spain. It was an unforgettable experience that taught me the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing new cultures."

Some More Points To Write An Effective Hook For Your Essay

Sure, here are some additional facts and tips to help you write an effective hook for your essay :

Know your topic inside and out

To write an effective hook, you need to have a deep understanding of your topic. Conduct research and gather as much information as possible before starting to write. This will help you identify the key points you want to make and choose the type of hook that best fits your topic.

Humor can be a powerful tool when it comes to writing a hook. A well-placed joke or witty remark can make your reader laugh and keep them engaged. Just be careful not to overdo it or use inappropriate humor.

Create a sense of mystery

Creating a sense of mystery or intrigue can be an effective way to hook your reader. For example, "What if I told you there's a simple way to double your productivity in just one week?"

Start with a shocking statement

Starting with a shocking statement can be a great way to get your reader's attention. For example, "Every day, thousands of innocent animals are subjected to cruel and inhumane testing in laboratories around the world."

Use a metaphor or simile

Using a metaphor or simile can be a creative way to start your essay. For example, "Life is like a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns."

Use descriptive language

Using descriptive language can help paint a picture in the reader's mind and make your writing more engaging. For example, "The sun slowly rose over the horizon, casting a warm orange glow across the sky."

Appeal to emotions

Appealing to your reader's emotions can be a powerful way to hook them. For example, "Imagine a world where everyone is treated with kindness and respect. It's possible if we all work together."

Be provocative

Being provocative can be a risky strategy, but it can also be very effective if done correctly. For example, "Some people believe that climate change is a hoax. But the facts tell a very different story."

In summary, writing a hook is a critical part of creating an engaging essay . By knowing your topic, using humor, creating a sense of mystery, starting with a shocking statement, using metaphors or similes, using descriptive language, appealing to emotions, and being provocative, you can create a hook that grabs your reader's attention and keeps them engaged throughout your writing.

In conclusion, writing a hook for an essay is a crucial step in capturing your reader's attention and keeping them engaged throughout your writing. There are different types of hooks you can use, including question, quote, statistic, and anecdote hooks. By understanding your audience, keeping it short and sweet, using vivid language, and making it relevant, you can create a hook that sets the tone for your essay and entices the reader to keep reading. Remember, the hook is the first impression of your essay, so make it count!

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Essay Hook Examples That Grab Attention (Formula for Better Grades)

Essay Hook Examples That Grab  Attention (Formula for Better Grades)

Table of contents

hook an essay definition

Meredith Sell

Have you ever read a line that caught your attention so fast, you didn’t look up until five paragraphs later? Props to whoever wrote it — they mastered the attention-grabbing hook.

Top 10 Essay Hooks

For many writers, hooks (or ledes, as they’re referred to by journalists) are both tantalizing and infuriating. Out in the wild, we spot first lines that are startling and mind-bending and stoke our curiosity. But then we sit to write our own and all we can think of is “once upon a time” or “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” or, worse, “imagine yourself…”

‍ ‍ The truth is: every piece of writing can’t start with an explosion or a chase scene. Especially if you’re writing an academic essay or other piece of nonfiction that needs to stick with the facts. But there are better ways to start your essay than the sleepy “A recent study observed 300 chimpanzees in 50 habitats over seven years. This is what it found.”

  • ‍ How do you write a hook that grabs your reader’s attention right away?
  • Is there a way to make sure the hook fits the piece you’re writing?
  • ‍ How do you use AI to produce better hooks?

These are just a couple questions we’ll answer in this article. 

But first, let’s talk about what you need to know before attempting to write that opening sentence.

Try our FREE essay hook generator > Try our FREE essay hook generator >

hook an essay definition

What to Know About Your Essay (and Topic) Before You Write the Hook

Whether you’re writing a research paper on economics, an argumentative essay for your college composition class, or a personal essay for that blog you’ve been plotting, there are a few things you need to nail down before you settle on a first line.

1. Gain In-Depth Knowledge of Your topic

hook an essay definition

Name one thing under the sun. You could write an essay about it.

Before you actually write your essay, though, you need to know your topic — not just in name, but in-depth. You don't have to be a subject matter expert , but you do have to research.

Your research will help you narrow your focus, build an argument, and uncover the facts to shape the flow of thought throughout your piece. What you learn in the research stage should determine how you structure your essay — and should guide your choice of hook.

‍ Did you uncover a shocking fact? A compelling anecdote? An interesting quote? Any of those things could be your hook.

‍ Take action: When you’ve finished your research, go through your notes and think through your essay. Mark or make a list of anything you learned that’s compelling enough to be a good lead. Then, filter that list through your essay genre.

2. Type of essay

hook an essay definition

In academic settings, there are generally three kinds of essays:

  • Argumentative: Making the case for a certain stance or route of action.
  • Expository: Explaining the who, what, when, where, why, and how of some phenomenon.
  • Narrative: Telling a true story as a way to explore different ideas.

‍ The type of essay you’re writing is key to choosing the best hook for your piece. 

A serious argumentative essay probably shouldn’t start with a joke. And a shocking statistic may not be the best way to set the stage for a narrative story.

‍ Take action: Go through your list of potential hooks and cross out anything that doesn’t fit the type of essay you’re writing, whether it's a persuasive , argumentative or any other essay.

3. Audience and tone

To make sure your essay is properly engaged and understood, you need to keep your audience in mind and choose a tone that fits both your subject and your audience.

For an argumentative essay, you’re trying to convince someone who doesn’t agree with you that what you’re claiming is right or, at least, reasonable. You don’t want to turn them off with snarky or offensive language — but you do want to be authoritative. Your hook should match that tone and support your effort.

A narrative essay is likely to welcome more lyrical language, so starting with a colorful description or an anecdote might make more sense than, say, a bold claim or surprising fact. Whatever tone you choose for your narrative essay — comical or gentle or bold — should be used for your hook.

‍ Expository essays can use all sorts of tones and be written to a variety of audiences, so think carefully about the tone that best fits your subject matter. An essay explaining how the human body shuts down when overdosed will likely require a different tone than one on the lives of circus masters in the late 1800s. 

‍ Take action: Look at your list. Can you write these potential hooks in a tone that suits your subject and audience?

Are you writing a 10-page paper or a three-page reflection? Or is this your senior thesis, pushing 100 pages?

‍ If you’re writing a shorter paper, you’ll want to keep your hook quick and snappy. Don’t wax eloquent over three paragraphs about your childhood baseball league if your research paper on Little League is only four pages long.

At the same time, a long work — like a senior thesis or a term paper — could be enhanced by a longer hook. Just make sure your hook relates to and supports the core point of your essay. You don’t want to waste space describing a scene that ultimately has nothing to do with the rest of your piece.

‍ Take action: If you write out the items on your list, how long will they be? A sentence or paragraph? Perfect. Two to five paragraphs? Unless your essay is on the longer side, you may want to save that information for later in the piece.

‍ Now that you know the basic facts about what you’re writing, let’s look at some approaches you could use to catch those readers — and reel them in.

5 Enticing Essay Hooks (and How to Avoid Common Mistakes)

1. shocking fact or statistic.

Your research turned up a trove of information — some of it’s boring, some of it’s downright mind-blowing. Here’s a tip: If you lead with anything, lead with the mind-blowing stuff.

‍ Your job as the writer is to either make the mundane interesting or point out what’s not mundane at all. That starts with your first sentence.

For example, let’s say you’re writing about the color of the sky. You don’t want to start with “the sky is blue”. But you could start by explaining how the sky got its color.

For example:

‍ Making the mundane interesting: Sunlight is clear and colorless — until it strikes earth’s atmosphere. Then, scattered by air molecules, it colors our sky blue.

‍ Not mundane at all: In 2020, wildfires up and down North America’s West Coast sent so much smoke into the atmosphere that, in California, the sky turned orange.

Whether you’re sharing a fact or statistic, make sure it’s shocking or unexpected. And state it as directly as possible. 

Produce a shocking statistic with AI

Go to Wordtune, add your headline, and click on 'Expand on' and type "statistics". You can scroll through different AI-suggested stats that relate to your subject at hand.

hook an essay definition

Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >

2. Bold claim hook

Especially fitting for argumentative essays, this approach goes from zero to 60 in two seconds (or less, depending how fast your audience reads). The idea is to get to the point ASAP. Make your claim — and then dive into your argument to back it up.

Will your claim ruffle feathers? Hopefully. If your “bold claim” makes people shrug, you haven’t succeeded either in writing it or in choosing a claim that’s actually bold. 

‍ Avoid the mistake of making a claim that people already accept as fact.

Just like “the sky is blue” won’t work as a shocking fact, it won’t work as a bold claim. We know the sky’s blue. Tell us something we don’t know. Or better: tell us something we’ve never heard before and may even find hard to believe. (As long as you can back it up.)

What could work for our sky color example?

  • Denver has the blue-est sky of anywhere I’ve lived.
  • Climate change is making sunsets more colorful than ever.

Generate a bold claim suggestion using AI

Go to Wordtune again, and write a statement that has general consensus. Then, choose the 'Counterargument' suggestion. This is a great way to formulate a bold claim with no effort at all.

hook an essay definition

3. Story/Anecdote hook

hook an essay definition

In an anecdote hook, you use a story to establish a connection between the topic and the reader to gain their attention. The story must be direct and concise, and relate to the main topic quite directly.

If your research turned up a wild example from a study that perfectly fits what you’re writing about, leading with that anecdote might be the best way to open your essay. Or maybe you have a personal story that relates to the topic — or permission from a friend to include their story.

The anecdotal hook is a favorite for magazine journalists and, let’s be honest, most of the writers in the room. It’s an excuse for us to play with words and work in more storytelling. As a bonus, well-told stories also have a knack for sucking in readers. Humans are storytellers . It’s like our radar is always pinging for another wild tale to first hear and then share.

But be careful you’re not wooed by a story that doesn’t fit the essay you’re writing. And if it does fit, keep it brief. The details you include need to be relevant to the essay, not just satisfying the inner gossip’s need for more juice.

A favorite writing tip that applies here: enter the scene as late as possible, leave as early as possible.

Consider these two examples:

‍ Long and rambling: When I moved to Colorado in 2015, I’d never been here before and I didn’t know what to expect. I came from Illinois, where I thought the skies were big and the landscape was boring. I wasn’t expecting the Colorado sky to be bigger. And I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be more blue.

‍ Direct and concise: The first thing I noticed when I moved to Colorado was the sky: it seemed bigger and more blue than the sky anywhere else I’d lived.

Either of these hooks could work fine if we were just writing a personal essay about a move to a new place, but if we’re specifically writing about the sky, the second example is better. It sticks to the point — the sky and the color of the sky — and doesn’t get bogged down in irrelevant details about where the person moved from, whether they’d been to Colorado before, or what they were expecting.

Improve your story using AI

Not all of us are natural storytellers. By using AI you can expand a short-written story, or simply phrase it better.

hook an essay definition

4. Question Hook

Do you remember the beginning of this blog? No need to scroll back up, because I just used the same hook style again: the question.

Starting your piece with a question is a great way to spark curiosity in your reader and set up what your piece is about. But there are plenty of ways to do this poorly.

Avoid any variation of “have you ever thought of…” or “have you ever wondered…” Questions like these try to put thoughts into readers’ minds that they may or may not have ever considered, and can be a major turnoff.

Instead, you’ll want to come up with a unique question that approaches your topic from a fresh angle. This means honing in on what was especially interesting or surprising from your research — and maybe even doing some brainstorming of different questions to find the most fascinating one.

What questions could you ask about the color of the sky? So glad you asked.

  • Why did the sky turn orange in the middle of the day?
  • If light is clear, why does the sky look blue?
  • What do earth’s atmosphere and rainbow-casting suncatchers have in common?

5. Description Hook

hook an essay definition

Another favorite of the literary writers in the room, description is a prime choice for explanatory or narrative essays. But it takes some focus and intention to do well. 

Like with story hooks, you want to keep descriptive hooks concise. Whatever you’re describing — historical figure, disease, sporting event, London in the 1600s — should be clearly relevant to the central purpose of your essay. Your description should either illustrate the point you’re making or serve as an introduction to your topic.

Mistakes to avoid:

  • Relying on passive voice
  • Choosing bland words
  • Describing a scene that’s common to the reader 

As with all hooks, your description needs to be specific and unexpected .

So what would make a good descriptive hook for an essay on the sky? 

Describing a sunset is too cliche, so cross that one off the list. Describing the sky as it is on a normal day wouldn’t be shocking or unexpected. To reach something unique, you’d have to either zoom in on the air molecules (like we did in our shocking fact example) or take a totally different approach:

Only an artist, the kind that memorized the colors in the crayon box as a kid and uses words like cerulean and violet , could name the difference between the blue of Colorado’s sky and the blue of Indiana’s sky. But she saw the difference, first in photos and then in person. That richer Colorful Colorado blue reflected in her eyes. Not baby blue or sapphire or azure — or even sky blue. Blue bird, perhaps? That’s what Coloradans called it. We’re closer to the sky, they say, that’s why it’s blue-er here. Believe it or not, they’re right.

Create a description hook with AI

By now, you know the process. You write the main topic of your essay, and click 'Explain'. You can also try the 'Emphasize' suggestion, which rather that adding an explanation, reiterates the message more deeply.

hook an essay definition

3 Approaches to Avoid When Writing Hooks

Every type of hook can be done poorly, but avoid these at all costs. These hooks are tired and overdone. They may help you start your first draft, but please — for the sake of your readers — do not submit an essay with any of these leads.

1. Quotations

Abraham Lincoln probably didn’t even say that quote the internet attributed to him, but even if he did, people probably already know it. It’s not shocking or unique or unexpected. Leave it out.

2. Definitions

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines hook as “a thing designed to catch people’s attention.” 

This approach doesn’t catch anyone’s attention — unless you’re defining a particularly unusual word. But even if you are defining an unusual word, there’s probably a more interesting way to start your essay than relying on someone else’s definition.

3. “Imagine this”

Here’s a hint: Cut “imagine this” and keep the rest. The hook will either work (and be an enticing description) or be painfully boring. Either way, you’ll at least avoid the most cliched approach to starting any piece of writing.

Our Go-To Trick for Writing Catchy Hooks

If you want a surefire way to write compelling openings , do this:

Go through your notes and either outline your essay or write the whole thing. This way, you’ll know the central thread (or throughline) that runs throughout your piece. 

Once your essay or outline is complete, go back through and identify a particularly compelling fact, claim, or example that relates to that central thread.

‍ Write up that fact, claim, or example as the hook for your essay using any of the methods we’ve covered. Then revise or write your essay so the hook leads smoothly into the rest of the piece and you don’t repeat that information elsewhere.

Does your hook spark curiosity in you? Did that fact surprise you in the research stage? Chances are, your readers will have the same reaction. And that’s exactly what you want.

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How to Write a Hook that Captivates Readers

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A hook is a compelling opening sentence or paragraph in an essay or article. Its purpose is to grab the readers’ attention and entice them to continue reading. A hook must evoke an emotional response or pique curiosity to keep the readers engaged.

Are you trying to figure out how to write a hook? Stick around because this blog has all the guidelines you need to write one like an expert  paper writing service  provider. So, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Types of Hooks for Essays

Your essay or  research paper’s  hook can be in any of the five types:

Anecdotal Hook

Starting with an anecdote is a good way to keep the readers interested. Ensure that the anecdote relates to your topic and makes your readers feel like they’re part of the narrative.

For example:

“Sarah sat at the edge of the cliff. The wind whipping through her hair as she stared into the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon. Little did she know that this moment would be the catalyst for a life-changing decision.”

This hook introduces a character, Sarah, and a dramatic setting, the Grand Canyon. Doing so creates intrigue and leaves readers wondering about Sarah’s decision. Here, the reader is immediately invested in the story and eager to learn more.

Question Based Hooks

Another effective hook is to pose thought-provoking questions. This type of hook encourages readers to engage with the content right from the start actively. 

Here’s an example:

“What if everything you thought you knew about success was wrong? What if the key to achieving true fulfillment lies in embracing failure and redefining your definition of success?”

This hook presents a series of thought-provoking questions challenging the conventional wisdom about success. 

Statistical or Factual Hook

This hook type is particularly effective when the statistic or fact is relevant to the main content. 

“Did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February? Discover the secrets to making lasting changes and achieving your goals beyond the first month of the year.”

This hook uses a surprising statistic about the failure rate of New Year’s resolutions to capture readers’ attention. It entices readers to continue reading to uncover shared strategies and insights.

Witty or Humorous Hooks 

Humor and wit can be great ways to keep your readers interested and make their reading experience more enjoyable. If the content is funny or lighthearted, this kind of hook can grab people’s attention.

“They say the early bird catches the worm, but what about the night owls? Discover the surprising advantages of embracing your nocturnal nature and redefining productivity on your own terms.”

This hook puts a fun spin on a well-known phrase about night owls and productivity. 

Scenario Based Hook

This kind of hook appeals to their senses and feelings, establishing an instant bond.

“The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow over the tranquil beach. As the waves gently lapping against the shore, a sense of peace and possibility filled the air. Beckoning those who dared to chase their dreams!

This hook paints a picture of a beautiful beach at sunset, creating a sense of tranquility and motivation. It provides a vivid image full of detail that draws readers in and captures their imaginations. 

Understanding How to Write a Killer Hook 

A hook is like a doorway to your content. It sets the tone for establishing a connection with your readers. 

It can be a stirring statement, an interesting question, an amusing anecdote, or a shocking fact.

Why is a Strong Hook Crucial in Capturing Readers’ Interest?

Having an eye-catching hook can be a major game-changer when grabbing people’s attention. It’s like a magnet, luring them in and making them want to read your writing.

If you don’t have a good hook, people might not stick around to hear what you have to say. Moreover, a strong hook also sets the tone for your entire writing. 

Examples to Understand the Impact of a Strong Hook

Compelling Statement:

“In today’s busy world, have you ever thought about how you can get more done in a shorter amount of time?”

This hook immediately grabs readers’ attention by talking about a common problem. It plays on people’s need to be more efficient and leaves them wanting to find the solution.

Thought-Provoking Question

“What if the key to happiness lies not in acquiring more, but in letting go?”

This hook gets people thinking by asking a thought-provoking question that goes against the grain. It makes readers question their own opinions and views. Luring them in to see what kind of answers the piece offers.

Intriguing Anecdote

“As the clock struck midnight, she found herself standing on the edge of a decision that would change her life forever.”

This hook straight away pulls readers into a dramatic scenario. Trying to spark their curiosity about the character’s problem. Makes them desperate to find out the results of their choice.

Surprising Fact

“Did you know that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text?”

This hook throws out an unexpected and captivating fact that gets readers interested. It brings up an interesting piece of info. Also gives a hint at what more can be discovered in the rest of the article.

Pro Tips to Craft a Killer Hook

You can use the following techniques to write a killer hook.

Target Audience – Identification, Preference, and Interest

Before you write a hook, it’s important to understand your audience well.

To identify your target audience, consider the following factors:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, education level, occupation, etc.
  • Psychographics: Values, beliefs, hobbies, lifestyle choices, etc.
  • Behavior: Online habits, preferred platforms, browsing patterns, content consumption habits, etc.

Understanding Target Audience Preferences and Interests

After identifying your audience, it is important to know their interests. Here are some guidelines from the expert  research paper writing services  provider. 

Surveys and Questionnaires 

Send out surveys to your audience to get their thoughts and feelings directly. Ask what they like, what interests them, and what captures their attention. Look at the answers you get to find out what people usually think.

Social Media Listening 

Keep an eye on social media sites where your desired demographic hangs out. Check out what they’re interacting with, what they’re talking about, and the kind of lingo they use.

Effective Hook for Effective Writing

Once you’ve figured out what your audience likes and dislikes, you can craft a hook that resonates with your audience. Here are a few ideas to help you do that while writing an essay:

Pinning the Pain Points 

Identify the challenges, problems, or pain points your audience faces and address them directly in your hook. For example, “Tired of struggling to find time for self-care? Discover a simple solution that fits into your busy schedule.”

Appeal to Their Aspirations

Tap into your audience’s aspirations, goals, or desires and use them to create an emotional connection. For instance, “Imagine a life filled with adventure and travel. Uncover the secrets to fulfilling your wanderlust dreams.”

Use Their Language 

Pay attention to the language, phrases, and terminology your audience uses. Incorporate those words in your hook to make it relatable and resonate with their communication style.

Focus on Relevancy 

Ensure that your hook directly relates to the topic or content you’re offering. Make it clear how your content will provide value or satisfy their interests. For instance, 

“Discover the latest fashion trends that suit your body type perfectly.”

Create Curiosity 

Intrigue your audience by hinting at valuable insights or solutions they can expect to find in your content. Pose a question or make a statement that sparks their curiosity and leaves them wanting more.

Impactful Hook for a Perfect Write-up

Stick to these guidelines below for writing an effective hook:

Keep Your Opening Sentence Concise 

The first line of your hook matters in getting people to pay attention. Keep it short, powerful, and interesting right away. Don’t waste time with long intros or too much background info. Drop a punchy sentence that sets the tone for the rest of your content.

Consider the following example:

“Unravel the mysteries of the universe in just five simple steps.”

Creating a Sense of Curiosity or Suspense

Creating intrigue can capture your readers’ attention and keep them hooked. Think of it like this: curiosity and suspense are like bait to draw people in. 

For example, you could open with a question or Statement that will make your readers want to know more. Or you could set up a scene that creates a sense of anticipation for what comes next.

“She stood at the crossroads, a single decision separating her from the life she had always dreamed of.”

This opening sets up a suspenseful situation. Makes readers eager to find out what choice the character will make and what the consequences will be. 

Add Emotions to Evoke a Strong Reaction:

Feelings resonate with readers and get an intense response. By tapping into people’s emotions, you can create an instant link and interest.

“Heart pounding, palms sweating, she took a deep breath and stepped onto the stage. It was her moment to shine.”

It creates an emotional connection and builds anticipation as readers root for the character to do well. Stirs up many feelings and encourages readers to continue reading to find out what happens next.

Key Ingredients of a Good Hook 

While writing a hook, ensure:

Clarity and Conciseness 

Make sure the hook is simple and to the point. Cut out any extra words that could weaken its effects.

Emotional Appeal 

See if the hook gets the emotions out of the readers you want. Think about adding or making the elements stronger to get the readers feeling something.

Relevance and Connection 

Make sure the hook is closely connected to the rest of the article. Tweak the hook to strengthen the link between the start and the rest of the text.

Language and Tone 

Be mindful of the words you use, how you say it, and the type of writing in the hook. Try to make sure it’s something that your target audience will like and expect.

Common Mistakes to Avoid 

Overly long or complicated hooks.

Avoid making a hook statement overly long. Long and convoluted hooks for writing can confuse or overwhelm readers. As a result, they will lose interest before they dive into the main content.

Using Clichés or Generic Openings

Using clichés or generic openings in your hook can make it predictable and uninteresting. Generic openings fail to capture readers’ attention because they offer nothing new or intriguing.

“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a brave hero who embarked on an epic journey to save the world from evil.”

This opening might sound familiar and reminiscent of classic fairy tales. Still, it doesn’t provide any unique or surprising elements. 

To avoid clichés and generic openings, strive for originality and fresh perspectives. Here’s a revised hook that takes a different approach:

“In the darkest corners of a forgotten realm, a reluctant outcast discovers an ancient secret that holds the power to reshape destiny.”

Failing to Deliver on the Promises Made in the Hook

When readers are hooked by an intriguing statement or a compelling question, they expect the content to deliver on those promises. Failing to do so can lead to disappointment and a loss of trust.

Ensure that the hook in essay accurately reflects the main content and sets realistic expectations for readers. Here’s an example:

“Discover the ultimate secret to becoming a millionaire in just one month!”

If the content that follows this hook doesn’t provide a legitimate and achievable path to wealth creation, readers will feel misled and may lose interest. While writing hooks, ensure that the hook’s promises align with the content and deliver valuable information or insights.

Writers need to use a catchy hook in their write-ups. It is like setting the tone for your entire piece, and it can create an emotional connection between you and your readers.

Hopefully, this blog post helped let you know how to write a hook for an essay. If you are still confused, don’t hesitate to count on the professional expertise of  our writers .

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Essay Writing Guide

Hook Example

Nova A.

20+ Hook Examples to Grab Reader’s Attention

15 min read

hook example

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Are your essays falling flat with a disinterested audience? Do you find it challenging to keep readers engaged from start to finish?

The truth is, if you don't capture your reader's attention right away, they might just click away or, worse, never even start reading your essay.

But how can we make sure that does not happen? 

An essay hook is what you need to meet this challenge. It is an attention grabber that hooks your reader’s interest.

Here, we will discuss several catchy hook examples to make your piece of writing more engaging. You can also read the types of hooks and tips to write effective hook statements for your essay. 

So, let’s start with the blog!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is an Essay Hook?
  • 2. Examples of Different Types of Hook
  • 3. Hook Examples for Types of Essays
  • 4. How to Choose a Good Hook?
  • 5. How to Write a Good Essay Hook?

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook, often found at the beginning of an essay introduction , serves as an opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. These hooks are a common feature in high school, college, and various academic assignments.

It's vital to understand that hooks are distinct from introductions; they complement introductions rather than replacing them. A well-crafted hook should be self-contained, avoiding the pitfalls of being dull or predictable.

Purpose of Hook in Writing

An effective hook serves two primary purposes. 

  • Firstly, it sets the tone for the essay by providing the reader with a glimpse of the topic's essence. 
  • Secondly, it constructs a compelling introduction that tempts the reader to dive deeper into the essay's content.

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Examples of Different Types of Hook

In this section, we will explore different types of essay hooks and hook sentence examples. We will look into how these hooks can be used for writing different academic papers.

Question Hook

You can grab the reader’s attention by asking them an intriguing question that they would want to know the answer to. When posing a question, think about the interest of the reader and the things they would want to learn more about.

Avoid making your question generalized or simple Yes or No questions. For instance, asking a general question such as “Do you watch television?” won’t grab their attention and make them think it over. 

Using rhetorical questions to engage the reader is always a good idea!

Question Hook Example

Here are 10 hook question examples:

An anecdote can be a personal story or a product of your imagination. Provided that the story is relevant to your focus topic.

Typically, an anecdote is a funny statement, written to make the reader laugh and want to continue reading further.

Our lives are full of stories. Every day something interesting, funny, or strange happens. So, why don’t you use such stories to attract the reader’s attention?

Anecdote Hook Example

An anecdotal hook should be directly related to the central theme of the paper, demonstrating its relevance and connection to the main idea.

A "quote hook" is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay with a quotation from a notable person, a famous author, or a respected source. The purpose of a quote hook is to immediately capture the reader's attention and establish the relevance of the topic by providing an authoritative statement.

A well-chosen quote can add credibility to your writing, evoke emotion, or introduce a key theme or idea that you intend to explore in your essay. It can also set the tone for the piece, whether it's persuasive, informative, or narrative.

Quotation Hook Example

The following is a quotation hook example that you can consider for your essay. 

Statistical Facts 

Fact or statistic hook is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay or piece of content with a numerical fact or data point. The purpose of a statistical facts hook is to immediately engage the reader's interest by presenting them with a surprising, statistic related to the essay's topic.

This type of hook is particularly effective when writing an informative essay or persuasive essays that rely on data and evidence to support the main argument. 

Statistical Hook Example

Below is an interesting statistical hook example:

Personal Story

Starting a piece of writing with a personal short story is a good idea when writing narrative essays or a college application essay .

It doesn’t have to be an experience that you faced firsthand; it could be something that happened with a friend or a relative.

Personal Story Hook Example

Here is a great hook example for a personal story essay that you can consider. 

Description Hook

This hook is a vivid description of a scene or event to draw readers' attention to your writing. A well-written descriptive hook will make your readers want to know more about what is in the rest of your paper. 

Descriptive hooks are most commonly used in narrative essays but can be used in any type of writing. 

Description Hook Essay Example

The following is an interesting example of a description hook that you can read for your better understanding. 

Metaphor/Simile Hook

The metaphor/simile hook is used to help readers think about a particular topic in a different way. Your readers will think about the meaning and the context in which the topic is being addressed. 

A metaphor directly compares two things that are not related to each other. 

Metaphor/Simile Hook Example

Literary quotes.

When writing book reviews, it is often a good idea to use literary quotes. However, it is important to keep in mind that these quotes may not be appropriate for use in persuasive or expository essays .

We remember visual information more efficiently than words. When we see something, our brains quickly turn it into a picture. Scenes are often used in descriptive or narrative essays.

Scene Hook Example

Hook examples for types of essays.

There are different types of essays according to their structure and purpose. For instance, an argumentative essay is a serious essay written to persuade the reader on an argument. Whereas a narrative essay could be a light-hearted narration of an event. 

You can not use a funny question to start an argumentative essay. Similarly, you can not use a serious fact to start a funny narrative essay. 

The table shows hook examples for essays:

Let’s explore in detail some interesting hook examples according to different types of essays.

Expository Essay Hook Example

Hook: "Did you know that bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the world's crops?"

Explanation: This hook explains the surprising and essential role that bees play in our food production, setting the stage for an expository essay that will explore this topic in detail.

Argumentative Essay Hook Example

Hook: "Is the use of technology making us more connected or driving us further apart as a society?"

Explanation: This hook presents a thought-provoking question about the impact of technology on human relationships, signaling that the argumentative essay will analyze and argue different perspectives on this issue.

Descriptive Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a descriptive essay is as follows: 

Hook: "Imagine standing on a pristine white beach, the turquoise waves gently caressing your toes, and the scent of saltwater filling the air."

Explanation: This hook invites the reader to visualize a tranquil scene, creating anticipation for a descriptive essay that will provide vivid details and sensory experiences of this beautiful location.

Persuasive Essay Hook Example 

A hook example sentence for a persuasive essay is as follows:

Hook: "What if I told you that a simple change in diet could extend your lifespan by years?"

Explanation: This hook raises a compelling question about the potential health benefits of dietary choices, hinting at the persuasive argument that will follow in the essay.

Narrative Essay Hook Example

A hook example for narration is as follows: Hook: “I am really not sure if it is a real memory or just something that became more solid over time. But I am not sure that my neighbor once tried to murder me.”

Explanation: This hook introduces doubt about the authenticity of a memory involving the neighbor's alleged murder attempt.

Compare and Contrast Essay Hook Example 

Hook: "Apples and oranges—two fruits that couldn't be more different in taste, texture, and appearance." Explanation: This hook highlights the contrast between apples and oranges, signaling that the compare and contrast essay will explore the differences and similarities between these two fruits.

Process Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a process analysis essay is as follows:

Hook: "Have you ever wondered how your favorite chocolate chip cookies are made?"

Explanation: This hook engages the reader's curiosity about the process of making chocolate chip cookies, setting the stage for a process essay that will provide step-by-step instructions.

Cause and Effect Essay Hook Example 

A hook example sentence for a cause and effect essay is as follows:

Hook: "In the realm of environmental science, the butterfly effect is real."

Explanation: This hook introduces the concept of the butterfly effect and its relevance to environmental science, foreshadowing a cause and effect essay that will explore the ripple effects of small actions on the environment.

Analytical Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a analytical essay is as follows:

Hook: "Unlocking the hidden layers of Shakespearean sonnets is like deciphering a cryptic code."

Explanation: This hook uses a metaphor to describe the complexity of analyzing Shakespearean sonnets, indicating that the analytical essay will delve into the intricate language and themes within these works.

Hook Examples In Speeches

Hook: “In the United States, people are still fighting to be free. Many are fighting for free access to resources, free speech, and even the right to marry.”

Hook: “Getting revenge can easily become an obsession for many people. Some really crave for that kind of thing when they are being wronged.”

How to Choose a Good Hook?

Choosing a good hook involves engaging your audience, creating interest, and setting the stage for your content. Here is how to choose a good hook: 

  • Know Your Audience: Understand the interests and preferences of your target audience.
  • Relevance is Key: Ensure your hook directly relates to your content's topic.
  • Shock or Surprise: Use shocking facts, surprising statistics, or intriguing anecdotes.
  • Tell a Story: Engage emotionally with personal stories or narratives.
  • Pose a Question: Ask thought-provoking questions that make readers curious.
  • Quotations: Share powerful quotes from relevant authorities.
  • Visual Imagery: Use descriptive language to create vivid mental images.
  • Conciseness: Keep your hook brief and to the point.
  • Test and Refine: Experiment with different hooks and refine based on audience response.

Now that you have learned various techniques for crafting effective hooks, you're well-prepared to start writing one.

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How to Write a Good Essay Hook?

Here are the points that you need to keep in mind to write a hook for your essay. 

Step#1 Know the Kind of Literary Work 

First, it is important to have a clear vision in mind of the literary work you have selected for your paper. Here you need to describe what a certain essay type demands and what types of techniques you require to support your arguments in your essay. 

Step#2 Create an Outline

Always create an essay outline to see how the information can be organized better and which points need to be highlighted. Try to find an attention grabber that adds to the significance of that point. 

Step#3 Who are You Writing for?

Know your target audience and choose a way in which you want to develop your work. Your hook statement should be according to it. If you are writing for children, write in simple language. If you are writing for professionals, take the specific language into account. 

Step#4 Know the Purpose of Writing Your Essay

Choose hooks that fit your paper. Know the type of essay you are writing and its purpose. You can go for funny hooks if you are writing a paper on a light topic. If you are writing a conference paper, then you should be more formal. 

To Sum it Up!

Now you know the different ways to start your essay or research paper. You are the one to decide which hook is better and more effective to use according to the type of paper. Don’t forget to take into account the preparatory steps and figure out what type of hook is best to use.

You know that starting with a hook can make or break your academic essay. However, it is not always easy to come up with the perfect anecdote or statement for an opening line. 

Luckily, you can get help from a legit essay writing service like MyPerfectWords.com , which can create perfect essays and do your paper for you. You may be asking yourself why you should use this service instead of creating one yourself and here's your answer - getting high-quality academic writing help from our professional essay writer at affordable prices is a good deal!

Avail your chance and order your essay now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good hook sentence.

FAQ Icon

A good hook sentence is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention or compels them to read your essay further. It is supposed to make your essay more interesting and engaging for them.

A great technique to use is starting out by making an assertive claim about your topic. This will help in grabbing the reader’s attention the moment they begin reading your essay.

What comes first, thesis or hook?

The hook of your essay is the first line of your introductory paragraph or can be more than one also. But the essay hook is written first.

A thesis statement follows it. It is included as a mini-outline of the essay and tells the readers about the essay’s content. Further on, the transitional hook sentence is added at the end of the paragraph.

What is the purpose of a hook?

The main and foremost purpose of a hook is to grab the attention of readers and hook them to your work. It creates an interesting and enticing start to an essay or any other assignment and connects the readers to your work.

What is a hook statement?

The hook is the first sentence of your introduction, and it should be interesting. A great way to start your introduction is by writing an engaging, concise, and clear hook. This will spark curiosity in the reader, which leads them through all that you have written about.

How long is a hook in an essay?

The hook is 1-2 sentences of your essay are important because they help capture the reader's attention. They will continue reading if they are interested in what you have to say.

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Nova A.

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

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Hannah Yang

how to write a hook

How do you make people feel excited to read your work?

Well, for starters, you can write a great hook.

The “hook” refers to the first sentence, or first few sentences, of an essay, article, or story. That’s because these first few lines need to hook readers in, the same way fishermen use bait to hook fish in.

If you’re trying to figure out how to write a hook, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how to write a fantastic hook and to see some examples of successful ones.

What Is a Hook in Writing?

Top 5 tips for writing good hooks, great examples of hooks, is writing a hook in an essay different from a story hook, conclusion on how to write a hook.

We use the term “hook” to talk about the very beginning of a written work—specifically the part designed to grab readers’ attention. The hook can be as short as a single sentence or as long as a full paragraph.

Writing hooks is a necessary skill for all types of writing—narrative essays, research papers, fiction writing, and more.

definition of a hook in writing

What Makes a Good Hook Important?

Good hooks make your reader feel excited to keep reading.

If you’re writing a book, you need a great hook so people decide to actually buy your work, instead of putting it back on the shelf.

If you’re writing a blog post or article, you need a great hook so people read to the end, instead of scrolling or flipping to a different article instead.

And if you’re writing an essay for school, you need a good hook so you can practice the skill of writing well.

What Are the Different Types of Hooks?

There’s more than one way to write a great hook.

Here are six types of hooks that will grab your reader’s attention.

  • Question hook : a question that provokes the reader’s curiosity and makes them keep reading to find out the answer
  • Statement hook : a strong declaration related to your topic that makes the reader keep reading to see you defend this statement
  • Statistic hook : an interesting fact or statistic that makes you sound knowledgeable, so your reader trusts your expertise
  • Quote hook : a memorable quote, often by a famous person, that the reader will find interesting
  • Description hook : a vivid description that immerses your reader into a specific scene
  • Anecdotal hook : a personal story that relates to your topic and makes the reader feel personally connected to the story

Here are our top tips for writing a strong opening hook.

Tip 1: Surprise the Reader

Readers crave the unexpected. If you start your piece in a surprising way, they’ll be more likely to keep reading.

You can even say something controversial. Readers will want to keep reading to see how you prove your own statement.

Tip 2: Raise a Question

When starting an essay or a story, you should try to create a question that the reader wants answered.

This doesn’t have to be a literal question that ends with a question mark—instead, it can simply be an unusual statement or a weird situation. Make sure it’s something your target audience will find interesting.

Tip 3: Keep Your Promises

If you open your essay with an interesting hook, you need to be mindful of what you’re promising to the reader. If you don’t keep that promise throughout the piece, your reader will feel tricked.

For example, you’d probably be unhappy if you read a story that started with, “The monster was coming for me” and then, later in the first chapter, said, “Then I woke up and realized it was just a nightmare.”

The first sentence is a strong opening hook, but it promises a dramatic scene, which doesn’t get fulfilled, because the hook turns out not to be real.

An equivalent in an essay would be writing a controversial statement and then failing to prove why that statement is true, or asking an interesting question and then failing to answer it later.

Tip 4: Keep It Relevant

Some writers try so hard to choose an interesting hook that they end up using something irrelevant to their essay. Readers will get confused if you open with a random quote or statistic that only tangentially connects to your thesis.

If you’re choosing between a fascinating hook that doesn’t have much to do with your topic, or a decent hook that’s directly related to your thesis statement, you should go with the latter.

Tip 5: Don’t Stop at the Hook

Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong.

Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

One way to learn how to write hooks is to look at examples.

Here are examples of six hooks you could use to start a persuasive essay about artificial intelligence, plus three hooks you could use to start a sci-fi story.

Example 1: Question Hook

  • Will artificial intelligence someday become smarter than humans?

Example 2: Statement Hook

  • Artificial intelligence could become smarter than humans by 2050.

Example 3: Statistic Hook

  • As of 2022, the global AI industry is worth over $130 billion.

Example 4: Quote Hook

  • The scientist Stephen Hawking once said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Example 5: Description Hook

  • The Alexa AI blinks from the kitchen table, emitting a comforting blue light.

Example 6: Anecdotal Hook

  • Like many people of my generation, I used an AI for the first time when I was twelve years old.

Example 7: Sci-Fi Story Hooks

  • Samuel Gibson had friends. Sure, all his friends were AI robots that his parents had purchased for him, but they still counted as friends.
  • My father’s office is full of strange machines, which none of us are allowed to touch.
  • The AI revolt began on Christmas morning of the year 2068.

Both essays and stories require good hooks. After all, you’re still competing for your reader’s attention, no matter what kind of work you’re writing.

However, a story hook will look very different from an essay hook.

If you’re writing fiction, you most likely won’t use a statistic, question, or quote to hook your readers in. Instead, your best options will be a statement, a description, or an anecdote—or, or often, a sentence that combines a little bit of all three.

Just like with essays, you should try to raise a question in your reader’s head. This can be a strange character, an unusual setting, or a mysterious fact.

Here are some examples of strong hooks in novels:

“My first memory, when I was three years old, was of trying to kill my sister.”—Jodi Piccoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Once upon a time, on the coldest night of midwinter, in the darkest heart of the forest, Death and Fortune came to a crossroads.”—Margaret Owen, Little Thieves

“The women gather in a YMCA basement rec room: hard linoleum floors, half-windows along one wall, view of sidewalk and brick.”—Maria Adelmann, How to Be Eaten

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a rainy overcast day in 1975.”—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

“It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident.”—Kristen Cashore, Fire

There you have it—a complete guide to writing a fantastic hook.

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Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • November 24, 2023

Learning the secrets behind an effective essay starts with understanding the power of a hook. Your hook is the opening statement of your introduction and ultimately acts as an invitation to your readers. It invites them to explore the ideas you’re presenting, while also engaging their attention for a long enough time to read your work.

With a great hook, you can improve your writing skills and set the stage for a masterfully written essay. But what else is a good hook able to do? And what kind of hook can you use to write an incredible essay?

This guide (complete with hook sentence examples) will help walk you through the steps of writing a hook and how to use it to boost your grades and make your work more compelling than ever!

What Is An Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening sentence or paragraphs of your essay and is designed to pique the curiosity of your reader while also holding their attention long enough to read the rest of your work. Think about it – would you want to read an essay if the first sentence is long-winded and boring?

Generally, writers use an effective hook to set the tone for the rest of the work and give you a quick look ‘behind the curtain’. The hook tells you exactly what the essay is about in a thoughtful and thought-provoking way that leaves you hungry for more.

For example: “ Did you know that the average person eats around five pounds of shark meat every year? In a shocking study by the Shark Lovers World Organization, it was revealed that around 4% of all fish-based products contain shark meat. ”

Of course, this isn’t true (at least, we hope not!). But it did capture your interest and make you want to find out more. That’s exactly what a hook does.

A good essay hook can keep your readers interested and helps to engage them in what you’re saying. It also leaves a lasting impression on them, which means you’ve accomplished your goal of starting a conversation about your essay topic.

Types Of Essay Hooks

With the many types of essays and writing structures you can use for your work, there are just as many hooks to suit your topic. But which ones are relevant? And which one should you use to effectively introduce your writing?

Below, we’ve listed some of the most common types of essay hooks to help you narrow down your search.

Question hook

If you start your essay with a thought-provoking question, you have a great chance of engaging your readers from the get-go. This is because a question can encourage them to actively think about what you’re saying and spark curiosity about what the real answer to the question is.

It’s important to ensure that your question is relevant and intriguing, but it’s even more important that it aligns with the theme of your essay. Usually, your readers will want to keep reading to find the answers in the body of your essay.

Quotation hook

When you open your essay with a quote from a notable person or reputable organization, you add credibility to your work. This can be particularly important when you’re discussing a topic that needs expertise to build trust.

After you use a relevant quote, you’ll also need to explain why it’s relevant to set the stage for the discussion or argument that you’re presenting.

Statistic hook

Introducing your topic with a compelling statistic or data is another great way to add credibility to your paper. It shows your reader that you’ve done your research, and you have proof to back up the claims that you may be making in the body of your essay.

It’s essential to use statistics that are accurate, though, and they should come from credible sources. Otherwise, you may be undermining your work, which could lead to losing the trust of your reader.

Anecdote hook

The last time I started an essay with an anecdote, my professor gave my work a stellar review and I got the best grades in my class .

Did we grab your attention? Good. That’s how an anecdote hook works. An anecdote is a short personal story that establishes trust with your reader and creates an emotional connection. It can also add a layer of interest to narrative or descriptive essays.

In some essays, you can write an anecdotal hook from the perspective of a fictional character. As long as it sounds like a personal experience, it should reel your readers in.

Surprising statement hook

If you can, try to capture your reader’s attention with a bold or unexpected statement. When you catch them off guard, you can stimulate their curiosity. They’re going to want to keep reading to see how you address or support your surprising statement.

You can use this type of hook in several different ways. Whether you’re challenging a common misconception, giving counterintuitive insights, or presenting intriguing facts that will wow or shock your reader, you can start your essay off on the right note.

Description hook

A description hook helps to engage readers by painting an image or setting a scene using descriptive language. Typically, it appeals to the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) and describes something in enough detail that it makes the reader feel as if they’re actually experiencing it for themselves!

This type of hook is suited for narrative or descriptive essays because it allows you to set the tone, establish a certain atmosphere, and even evoke an emotional response in your reader. In turn, the reader becomes fully immersed in the scene that you’re setting.

How To Write A Great Essay Hook

Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to put your pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and write a hook that will draw readers in and keep them reading. If you follow the steps we’ve outlined below, you’re sure to craft a hook that will reel in your audience – hook, line, and sinker .

1. Know your audience

Knowing your audience is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when you’re writing an essay hook. Are you writing for your teachers, peers, or a broader audience? Once you know that, you can move on to understanding their motives, and values, and how their emotions will affect how impactful your hook is.

Creating a connection with your audience grabs the reader’s attention and encourages them to keep reading your essay. And, by fostering this connection, you can make them more receptive to the message you’re trying to convey.

2. Understand the purpose of your essay

Before you can write your hook, you’ll need to know what the purpose of your essay is. Generally, your essay will try to inform, persuade, or narrate your subject. Either way, narrowing down the motivation behind writing the essay will help you on your quest to write a hook that suits your writing.

Your hook should always align with the concept of your essay since it’s used to introduce the main theme or argument. You can think of it as a preview of what you’re going to talk about – it gives your readers a glimpse into the direction of your written work and sets expectations for what your essay will cover.

3. Choose the right type of hook

The type of essay hook you choose significantly impacts your essay’s style and whether it will keep your reader’s interest. You can pick from a question, quotation, anecdotal hook, or any of the others we’ve listed.

By carefully selecting what types of hook sentences will captivate your reader and establish the right tone for your essay, you’re guaranteed to have a compelling introduction. You just need to make sure that your hook suits the essay you’re writing.

For example, if you’re writing a personal story hook as an introduction to a historical essay that relies on a chronological structure, it wouldn’t be very impactful. Instead, a quotation or statistic hook may be better suited to an academic essay like this.

4. Make sure your hook is relevant

Relevance is the key to creating a compelling essay hook. The hook should always connect to the topic of your essay, and the link between the two needs to be clear from the get-go.

This does mean, however, that you need to avoid unrelated information in your hook. Keeping with the example of writing a historical essay, we can illustrate this point perfectly.

Say you’re writing an essay on World War II, and you’ve chosen a statistical hook to open your writing. Adding statistics about coffee sales during the same time period is completely irrelevant and won’t have much of an impact.

Unrelated hooks can confuse your audience and completely lose the reader’s interest. On the other hand, a focused and relevant hook can grab the reader’s attention and make your essay more exciting.

5. Spark curiosity

The way that you phrase your essay hook is just as important as the type of hook you use. Ideally, your hook should excite the reader and spark curiosity that makes them want to keep reading.

A poorly worded hook can be confusing or – let’s face it – boring! And you don’t want to bore your audience before they even get past your introduction. Whether you’re asking a question or introducing the topic for your ideas, your hook should set the stage for the rest of your essay.

You may need to use some creativity for this step. But putting yourself in the shoes of your reader can help. Ask yourself ‘What would make me want to keep reading?’. Your answer is usually a good place to start!

6. Keep it short

Although an attention-grabbing hook is ideal, it’s essential to keep it short. You should focus on using impactful language that can effectively convey your message. This is mainly because a shorter hook can keep your reader’s attention without overwhelming them with too much information.

Remember, it’s all about balance. When it comes to essay hooks, you want to strike a balance between capturing your audience’s attention and giving them a concise overview of what your essay is about.

7. Tweak the tone

The tone of your hook sets up the tone for the rest of your essay – so it’s pretty important that you align your tone with the topic. To do this, you first have to ask yourself what the tone is . Is it serious? Or perhaps you want to come across as humorous? Either way, you’ll want to maintain a consistent tone throughout.

A good example of this would be when writing a personal essay. In this case, an anecdote hook would be a great way to kick off your writing. However, if your personal story is serious, a funny anecdote isn’t necessarily the best choice. Instead, you’ll want to pick an anecdote that matches the seriousness of what you’re discussing in the body of your work.

8. Revise your hook with Smodin

After you’ve written your hook, it might still need a little nip and tuck to go from almost perfect to perfectly polished. To do this, you can use several different techniques to rewrite it.

But the easiest way to ensure that your hook is bulletproof is to use Smodin’s AI Paraphrasing tool . It can spin your words to sound like it was crafted by an expert – in a matter of seconds. It’s also a good way to avoid plagiarism and check your text to see how well it performs (the flow, tone, and relevance).

You can also use our free AI Writer to generate a unique, plagiarism-free, and professional essay in just a few prompts. This can help you draft a rough copy of your work before making any adjustments or modifications to your final product.

Catchy Hook Examples For Your Essay

With a better understanding of the types of essay hooks, and how to use them, you are well on your way to crafting an effective and attention-grabbing introduction to your writing. But, if you still need a little help with tailoring hook types to suit your writing structure, take a look at some of these examples of hooks for different types of essays:

Argumentative essay hook examples

Statistical hook: “ According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate around 4.48 pounds of trash every day. This highlights the urgent need for recyclable products and packaging to address this pressing issue. ”

Question hook: “ Have you ever wondered how our experiences as children impact our daily lives and our resulting choices as adults? This critical question has prompted us to explore the topic of childhood trauma and the profound implications that it could have on our futures. ”

Persuasive essay hook examples

Statistic hook: “ Did you know that over 1.3 million tons of plastic waste are dumped into our oceans every year? This alarming statistic demands our attention and immediate action to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution. ”

Surprising statement: “ In a world that’s run by technology, it’s shocking to realize that the average person spends more time in their day scrolling through social media than sleeping. The digital age has not only revolutionized communication but has also left us questioning the true value of our time and relationships. ”

Narrative essay hook examples

Anecdotal hook: “ Raindrops tapped lightly on the window pane, and the slight rustling of the leaves seemed to whisper secrets in the wind. Little did I know that this ordinary evening would soon become an extraordinary chapter in the story of my life. It all began with a letter—an old, weathered envelope that held the key to a long-buried family mystery .”

Question hook: “ Have you ever wondered what it feels like to stand at the edge of a cliff, staring into the vast unknown below? The adrenaline coursing through your veins, the wind tousling your hair—each moment pregnant with the possibility of adventure. What if I told you that such a moment would change the course of my life forever? ”

Compare and contrast essay hook examples

Quotation hook: “ In the words of Aristotle, ‘Excellence is an art won by training and habituation’. As we delve into the realms of two seemingly disparate subjects, we must consider how their unique qualities and shared traits contribute to the pursuit of excellence in their own distinct ways. ”

Anecdote hook: “ As the sun went down, the city lit up with its busy streets, and I stood there, feeling stuck between two different places—the lively city and the peaceful countryside. In that moment, I noticed how city life and rural living are alike in some ways but also have their unique features. ”

Can I use the same type of hook for different essays?

While some hooks are versatile, it’s best to tailor your hook to the specific essay you’re writing and the topic you’re covering. You’ll need to consider the audience, purpose, and nature of your writing before choosing a hook.

Can I use a combination of different types of hooks in one essay?

Yes, you can experiment with combining different types of essay hooks in your writing, especially if your topic allows for different approaches. However, you should always make sure to include a smooth transition between the hooks and keep them simple. Otherwise, you risk confusing your reader.

Writing catchy hooks is more than just finding something clever to say at the opening of your essay. It’s about leaving an impression on your reader that will carry through the body of your work and leave them hanging on every word you say. Ultimately, your hook can make or break your essay.

With Smodin, coming up with, writing, and revising your hook is as simple as one, two, three. So why not try out our tools to streamline your writing process? There’s nothing to lose – and everything to gain!

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73 Essay Hook Examples

essay hook examples and definition, explained below

An essay hook is the first one or two sentences of your essay that are used to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into your discussion.

It is called a hook because it “grabs” the reader and doesn’t let them go! It should have something in there that makes the reader feel curious and intrigued, compelling them to continue reading.

Techniques for Good Essay Hooks

Here are a few techniques that you can use to write a good essay hook:

  • Use a Quotation : Sometimes, a relevant quotation from a well-known author or expert can help establish the context or theme of your essay. Next time you’re conducting research for an essay, keep an eye out for a really compelling quote that you could use as your hook for that essay.
  • Start with a Statement that is Surprising or Unusual: A surprising or unusually statement will draw a reader in, making them want to know more about that topic. It’s good if the statement contradicts common knowledge or reveals an insight about your topic that isn’t immediately obvious. These can be particularly good for argumentative essays where you’re putting forward a controversial or compelling argument as your thesis statement .
  • Tell a Brief Anecdote : A short, interesting story related to your topic can personaize the story, making it more than just a dry essay, and turning it into a compelling narrative that’s worth reading.
  • Use Statistics or Facts: Interesting, surprising, or shocking facts or statistics work similarly to surprising statements: they make us want to know more about a topic. Statistics and facts in your introductions are particularly useful for analytical, expository , and argumentative essays.
  • Start with a Question: Questions that make the reader think deeply about an issue, or pose a question that the reader themselves has considered, can be really effecitve. But remember, questions tend to be better for informal and personal essays, and are generally not allowed in formal argumentative essays. If you’re not sure if you’re allowed to use questions in your essays, check with your teacher first.

Below, I’ll present some examples of hooks that you could use as inspiration when writing your own essay hook.

Essay Hook Examples

These examples might help stimulate your thinking. However, keep in mind that your essay hook needs to be unique to your essay, so use these as inspiration but write your own essay hook that’s perfect for your own essay.

1. For an Essay About Yourself

An essay about yourself can be personal, use “I” statements, and include memories or thoughts that are deeply personal to you.

  • Question: “Have you ever met someone who could turn even the most mundane events into a thrilling adventure? Let me introduce myself.”
  • Anecdote: “The smell of freshly baked cookies always takes me back to the day when I accidentally started a baking business at the age of nine.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “I’ve always believed that you haven’t truly lived until you’ve read a book upside down, danced in the rain, or taught a parrot to say ‘I love pizza.'”
  • Quotation: “As Mark Twain once said, ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ That’s a philosophy I’ve embraced in every aspect of my life.”
  • Humorous Statement: “I’m a self-proclaimed ‘professional chocolate tester’ – a title that’s not only delicious but also requires extreme dedication.”
  • Start with your Mission Statement : “My life motto is simple but powerful: be the person who decided to go for it.
  • Fact or Statistic: “According to a study, people who speak more than one language tend to be better at multitasking . As a polyglot, I certainly live up to that statistic.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life were a book, it would be a blend of an adventurous novel, a suspense thriller, and a pinch of romantic comedy.”
  • Personal Revelation: “Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an uncanny ability to communicate with animals. It’s an unusual skill, but one that has shaped my life in many ways.”
  • Narrative: “The day everything changed for me was an ordinary Tuesday. Little did I know, a single conversation would lead me to discover my true passion.”

2. For a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay often explores personal experiences, feelings, and thoughts. So, your hooks for reflective essays can usually be more personal, intriguing, and engaging than other types of essays. Here are some examples for inspiration:

  • Question: “Have you ever felt as though a single moment could change your entire life? This essay is going to explore that moment for me.”
  • Anecdote: “I was standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking at the vast emptiness, and for the first time, I truly understood the word ‘perspective’.”
  • Bold Statement: “There is a part of me that is still trapped in that room, on that rainy afternoon, holding the letter that would change everything.”
  • Personal Revelation: “The first time I truly felt a sense of belonging wasn’t in a crowded room full of friends, but in the quiet solitude of a forest.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “In my life, silence has been a teacher more profound than any words could ever be.”
  • Quotation: “Einstein once said, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’ Now, looking back, I realize how profound that statement truly is.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life is a tapestry, then that summer was the vibrant thread that changed the entire pattern.”
  • Narrative: “As the train pulled out of the station, I realized I wasn’t just leaving my hometown, I was leaving my old self behind.”
  • Philosophical Statement: “In the theater of life, we are both the actor and the audience, playing our part and watching ourselves simultaneously.”
  • Emotive Statement: “There is a sort of sweet sorrow in remembering, a joy tinged with a hint of sadness, like the last notes of a beautiful song.”

For an Argumentative Essay

Essay hooks for argumentative essays are often the hardest. This type of essay tends to require the most formal type of academic writing, meaning your hook shouldn’t use first person, and should be more based on fact and objectivity, often at the expense of creativity. Here are some examples.

  • Quotation: “Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.’ If Jefferson were alive today, he would likely feel that this meed for a well-informed citizenry is falling well short of where he would aspire.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite what romantic films may portray, love at first sight is merely a myth perpetuated by society. This essay will prosecute the argument that love at first sight is a myth.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading psychological disability worldwide. Yet, mental health is still stigmatized and often overlooked. This essay will argue that depression should be seen as a health issue, and stigmatization of depression causes serious harm to society.”
  • Comparison: “Much like an unchecked infection, climate change, if left ignored, can spread far beyond what it is today, causing long-term economic and social problems that may even threaten the longevity of humanity itself.”
  • Contradiction : “While we live in an era of unprecedented technological advancements, millions around the world are still denied basic internet access.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Animal testing is not only ethically unacceptable, but it also undermines the progress of medical research.”
  • Challenging Belief: “Despite popular belief, the automation of jobs is not a threat but an opportunity for society to evolve.”
  • Quotation: “George Orwell wrote in ‘1984’, ‘Big Brother is Watching You.’ In our modern society, with the advancement of technology, this is becoming more of a reality than fiction.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “Despite countless diet fads and fitness trends, obesity rates continue to rise. This argumentative essay will argue that this is because medical practitioners’ approaches to health and weight loss are fundamentally flawed.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Research reveals that over 90% of the world’s plastic waste is not recycled. This alarming figure calls for a drastic change in social attitudes towards consumption and waste management.”
  • Challenging Assumption: “Society often assumes that progress and growth are intrinsically good, but this is not always the case in the realm of economic development.”
  • Contradiction: “Western society upholds the value of freedom, yet every day, members of society cede personal liberties in the name of convenience and security.”
  • Analogy: “Like an overplayed song, when a news story is repeated too often, it loses its impact. In the era of digital media, society is becoming desensitized to critical issues.”
  • Relevant Anecdote: “In a village in India, the arrival of a single computer transformed the lives of the residents. This small anecdote underscores the importance of digital inclusion in today’s world.”
  • Call to Rethink: “In a world where success is often equated with financial wealth, it is time for society to reconsidered what truly constitutes a successful life.”

For a Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay examines two issues, looking at both the similarities and differences between them. A good hook for a compare and contrast essay will immediately signal to the reader the subjects that are being compared and why they’re being compared. Here are sine ideas for hooks for a compare and contrast essay:

  • Quotation: “As Charles Dickens wrote in his novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. This could equally apply to the contrasting dynamics of urban and rural living.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite popular belief, cats and dogs have more in common than society tends to think.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing being an only child to growing up with siblings is like contrasting a solo performance with an orchestral symphony.”
  • Contradiction: “While many view classic literature and contemporary fiction as worlds apart, they are more akin to two sides of the same coin.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Android and iPhone may compete in the same market, but their philosophies could not be more different.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Statistics show that children who grow up reading books tend to perform better academically than those who do not. But, the jury is out on how reading traditional books compares to reading e-books on screens.”
  • Quotation: “As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, ‘Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.’ This statement can be used to frame a comparison between short-term and long-term thinking.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Democracy and dictatorship are often seen as polar opposites, but are they are not as different as they seem.”
  • Comparison: “Climate change and plastic pollution are two major environmental issues, yet they demand different approaches and solutions.”
  • Contradiction: “While traditional classrooms and online learning are seen as separate modes of education, they can often blend into a cohesive learning experience.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Though both based on merit, the structures of capitalism and socialism lead to vastly different societal outcomes.”
  • Imagery: “The painting styles of Van Gogh and Monet can be contrasted as a stormy sea versus a tranquil pond.”
  • Historical Reference: “The philosophies of the Cold War-era – capitalism and communism – provide a lens to contrast economic systems.”
  • Literary Comparison: “The dystopian societies portrayed in George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ serve as contrasting visions of the future.”
  • Philosophical Question: “Individualism and collectivism shape societies in distinct ways, but neither one can truly exist without the other.”

See Here for my Guide on Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

For a Psychology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a psychology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in the human mind, behavior, or the specific psychology topic you’re discussing. Here are some stimulating hooks for a psychology essay:

  • Rhetorical Question: “How much control do we truly have over our own actions?”
  • Quotation: “Sigmund Freud once said, ‘Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.’ This essay will explore whether this is universally true.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Contrary to popular belief, ‘venting out’ anger might actually be fueling the fire of fury.”
  • Comparison: “Just as an iceberg reveals only a fraction of its bulk above water, conscious minds may only be a small piece of who humans truly are.”
  • Contradiction: “While it may seem counterintuitive, studies show that individuals who are more intelligent are also more likely to suffer from mental health issues.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Despite advances in technology, understanding the human brain remains one of the final frontiers in science.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to a study by the American Psychological Association, nearly one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness. Yet, mental health continues to be a topic shrouded in stigma.”

For a Sociology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a sociology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in social behaviors, cultural phenomena, or the specific sociology topic you’re discussing. Here are ideas for hooks for a sociology essay:

  • Quotation: “As Karl Marx once noted, ‘Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex.’ Sadly, society has not made much progress in gender equality.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Social media, initially created to connect people, is ironically leading society into an era of unprecedented isolation.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing society to a theater, where each individual plays a role, it is possible to start to see patterns and scripts embedded in daily interactions.”
  • Contradiction: “While people often believe that technology is bringing society closer together, evidence suggests that it’s actually driving a wedge between people, creating ‘digital divides’.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Human societies are constructed on deeply ingrained systems of inequality, often invisible to those benefiting from them.”
  • Statistical Fact: “A recent study found that women still earn only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. This stark wage gap raises questions about equality in the workforce.”

For a College Application Essay

A college essay is a personal statement where you can showcase who you are beyond your grades and resume. It’s your chance to tell your unique story. Here are ten potential hooks for a college essay:

  • Anecdote: “At the age of seven, with a wooden spoon as my baton, I confidently conducted an orchestra of pots and pans in my grandmother’s kitchen.”
  • Provocative Statement: “I believe that life is like a game of chess. The king might be the most important piece, but it’s the pawns that can change the entire course of the game.”
  • Personal Revelation: “It wasn’t until I was lost in a foreign city, armed with nothing but a map in a language I didn’t understand, that I truly discovered my love for adventure.”
  • Intriguing Question: “Have you ever wondered how it feels to be part of two completely different cultures, yet wholly belong to neither?”
  • Bold Declaration: “Breaking a bone can be a painful experience. Breaking stereotypes, however, is an entirely different kind of challenge.”
  • Unusual Fact: “I can recite the periodic table backwards while juggling three tennis balls. It’s a strange talent, but it’s a perfect metaphor for how I tackle challenges.”
  • Quotation: “As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ This quote has defined my approach to learning.”
  • Narrative: “It was a cold winter’s day when I first discovered the magic of turning a blank page into a world full of characters, stories, and ideas.”
  • Metaphor: “Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, my high school years have been a period of profound metamorphosis.”
  • Humorous Statement: “Being the youngest of five siblings, I quickly learned that the best way to be heard was to become the family’s unofficial lawyer.”

Conclusion: The Qualities of a Good Essay Hook

As I wrap up this article, I want to share a few last tips on qualities that a good essay hook should have. Keep these tips in mind when writing your essay hook and using the above essay hook examples:

First, relevance . A good hook should be directly relevant to the topic or theme of your essay. The hook should provide a preview of what’s to come without giving too much away.

Second, Intrigue. A great hook should make the reader want to continue reading. It should create a question in the reader’s mind or present a fascinating idea that they want to know more about.

Third, uniqueness. An effective hook should be original and unique. It should stand out from the many other essays that the reader might be going through.

Fourth, clarity. Even though a hook should be captivating and original, it should also be clear and easy to understand. Avoid complex sentences and jargon that might confuse the reader.

Fifth, genre conventions. Too often, my students try to be so creative in their essay hooks that they forget genre conventions . The more formal an essay, the harder it is to write the hook. My general approach is to focus on statistics and facts, and avoid rhetorical questions , with more formal essay hooks.

Keep in mind that you should run your essay hook by your teacher by showing them your first draft before you submit your essay for grading. This will help you to make sure it follows genre conventions and is well-written.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 50 Durable Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 100 Consumer Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 30 Globalization Pros and Cons

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How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Expert Manual

  • Essay Writing Guides

writing a hook for essay

It is impossible to change the first impression no matter what we deal with. The statement ‘You will never have a second chance to make the first impression!’ is true when you invent good hooks for an essay. The first sentence in the essay after a title has a unique and crucial task to draw attention to the covered topic and make the reader keep reading the text in a single breath. Here, you will find the answer to the essay hook and how to master the art of breathtaking writing.

What Is a Hook for an Essay?

Wondering how to write a hook for an essay, it is worth finding out what it is. A hook is like the opening act of a captivating performance that grabs the audience’s attention from the beginning. In the context of an essay, a hook serves as a compelling introduction designed to intrigue, engage, and entice readers to continue reading. It sets the tone for the rest of the essay, creating an anticipation that something interesting, thought-provoking, or even surprising lies ahead.

Like a fisherman uses an irresistible bait to catch fish, an essayist employs a hook to lure readers into their work. A successful hook captures attention and establishes the writer’s credibility and expertise, giving readers a reason to trust and invest time in exploring the essay further.

Finding ideal hooks for an essay requires creativity, a deep understanding of the subject, and a clear understanding of the target audience. It should be carefully tailored to match the tone and purpose of the essay, leaving an indelible impression in the readers’ minds. Ultimately, a strong hook sets the stage for a remarkable essay, ensuring that readers are captivated from the very first sentence until the very last.

Types of Hooks for an Essay to Work with

A well-crafted hook can take various forms depending on the topic and style of writing. It could be a thought-provoking question, a fascinating anecdote, a powerful quote, a vivid description, etc. The purpose is to create an instant connection with the audience, making them feel emotionally invested or intellectually curious about the subject. The most commonly used and winning are the following types of hooks for an essay:

  • Question Hook. A question hook poses a thought-provoking query to spark curiosity in the minds of your readers. You engage them actively and encourage them to think critically by asking a compelling question. This hook style sets the stage for an essay that seeks to answer the question comprehensively.
  • Statistic Hook. Utilizing a statistical hook involves starting your essay with a striking fact or figure, instantly capturing readers’ attention by presenting them with concise, verifiable information. This type of hook is particularly effective when discussing current events, controversial topics, or areas with relevant data.
  • Anecdotal Hook. Another bright hook for an essay example is a funny phrase that grabs readers’ attention by narrating a compelling and relevant story. You can achieve an emotional bond with the target audience by opening with a short, captivating anecdote. This hook invites them to explore the rest of your essay to understand how the story relates to the topic.
  • Do not underestimate starting the essay with an explanation or description of issues you will investigate in your writing, especially if it is specific or unknown to your audience. In such a way, you will help the reader feel on top of things.
  • Personal story. Depending on the situation, your personal experience may become a winning example of a good hook for an essay. It may assist in hastening your readers to you and make them feel more friendly and knowledgeable.

Hooks breathe life into an essay, igniting the readers’ curiosity and ensuring they remain invested in your work until the very last word. Each hook type serves a unique purpose ― from facilitating emotional connections to arousing thoughtful contemplation. Experimenting with these varieties empowers you to craft compelling introductions, setting the stage for a memorable and captivating essay.

Good Hooks for an Essay: Effective Hints

A hook is a crucial element in any essay as it acts as the first impression, grabbing the reader’s attention and enticing them to continue reading. A well-crafted hook sets the tone for your essay and establishes your credibility as a writer. We will explore various techniques to help you clarify how to write a hook for an essay.

  • Understand your audience. Before crafting a hook, it is essential to consider your target audience. Is your essay formal or informal? Are you writing for academics or a general audience? Understanding your reader’s interests will help you tailor your hook to their nations and expectations.
  • Consider the essay type. When inventing a hook for an essay, you should clearly define the type of essay since starting an official investigation with an anecdotal hook is inappropriate. Instead, using your life story or joke is possible when working on a personal opinion essay.
  • Experiment with Different Hooks. Remember, there is no all-purpose approach to writing hooks. Experiment with the abovementioned techniques and find what works best for your essay. Don’t be afraid to revise and refine your hook until it achieves the desired impact.

Write a hook for an essay engaging a large audience since it is an essential skill for any writer. By understanding your audience, employing creative techniques, and experimenting with different approaches, you can capture your readers’ attention right from the start. A persuasive hook sets the stage for a captivating essay, making it more likely to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

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Winning Tips to Consider When Writing an Essay Hook

Even knowing how to write a hook for an essay, it will not be superfluous to familiarize yourself with proven tips that assist with hook invention and time minimization. Do not underestimate the role of hook for essay success since it may leave a long-lasting impression, especially when you pass entrance exams or other decisive papers and must submit your writing. So, if you are looking for intriguing ideas for an essay hook, turn to the following tips.

  • Investigate the area you deal with; maybe some unexpected facts will interest your reader.
  • Brainstorm the ideas; you may remember exciting facts, look for impressive statistics, or cite topic-related individuals.
  • Consider the hook’s purpose, whether you will provide background information, engage in dull topic reading, or touch the inner strings of the soul.
  • Delay with the hook until the end of writing if you are unsure or lack hook ideas for an essay.
  • Pay attention to the hook length, avoid discouraging the audience, and do not exceed the limits of the introduction scope.

Do not neglect to devote time to hook inventing since it is a starting point or a ‘gate’ to your creation. And it depends on you whether the reader wishes to enter or pass by.

Excellent Examples of Hooks for an Essay

Depending on the required essay type and selected hook, you may start your writing using the following examples of hooks for an essay.

  • Have you ever wondered that …?
  • Do you still hesitate/believe/rely….?
  • One scientist once said, ‘…
  • The quote… confirms …
  • According to the latest statistics
  • The fact … proves…
  • It is never too late to …
  • The event that turned my life upside down …

Of course, you may adhere to your strategy on how to write a good hook for an essay, but remember it must be well-aimed and laconic.

Where to Take Hook Ideas for an Essay?

When it comes to finding hook ideas for an essay, there are several avenues you can explore to capture your reader’s attention right from the beginning. Here are a few sources where you can draw inspiration for writing a hook for an essay:

  • Reflect on your life or significant moments related to your essay topic. Whether it’s an intriguing anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful statement, sharing a personal story can effectively engage your readers.
  • Look back at significant historical events related to your essay’s subject matter.
  • Keep up with the latest news and trends. Find connections between your essay topic and ongoing events, controversial issues, or current debates.
  • Explore famous literature, books, poems, or speeches touching your essay’s theme.
  • Research statistical data or unconventional facts related to your essay topic.
  • Pose thought-provoking questions related to your essay’s subject matter.

Tailor your hook to your essay’s specific topic and angle to make it stand out and leave a lasting impression on your readers.

Comprehending how to write a hook for an essay will significantly contribute to the excitement and elevate the level of interest in your creation. In addition, the right hook may leave an unforgettable first impression and be a memorable and thought-provoking creation touching the most delicate strings of the soul.

What is the purpose of the essay hook?

The essay hook aims to draw the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay. It serves as the opening statement or a compelling opening line that immediately captivates the audience. A well-crafted essay hook can be a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, an intriguing anecdote, or a vivid description that entices the reader and sets the tone for the entire essay.

What are the types of essay hooks?

Several types of essay hooks effectively grab the readers’ attention and interest them in further reading. Some common types of essay hooks include:

  • Anecdotal hooks
  • Question hooks
  • Statistical hooks
  • Quotation hooks
  • Descriptive hooks
  • Personal stories, etc.

Remember, the choice of essay hook depends on the topic, type, tone, and purpose of the essay. Experimenting with different hooks can help you find the most effective way to engage your readers from the beginning.

What is a hook for an essay?

By incorporating hooks into essays, writers can establish relevance, context, and emotional resonance. Moreover, hooks act as a bridge between the writer and the reader, fostering a sense of rapport and engagement. They create an initial bond, forging a connection that makes the reader more receptive to the essay’s message.

How to create a good hook?

Remember, crafting a good hook takes practice. Experiment with different approaches and learn from the feedback you receive. With time and refinement, you’ll develop a skill for creating attention-grabbing hooks.

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Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

Now here’s the clue.

If you want to wow your teacher, polish the introduction. Add something interesting, funny, shocking, or intriguing. Good essay hooks help you build an emotional connection right from the start. Think of an essay hook as bait for your readers.

Our expert team has prepared numerous examples of hooks for essays. You’ll find hook examples for an argumentative essay, personal story, history essay, and other types of papers.

For 100% clarity, we provided examples using each hook tactic. And a short part about how to write a good hook.

Teacher: "I won't forgive you for this essay."  Student: "But you gave me an A. What's wrong with it?"  Teacher: "I couldn't stop reading it, and I burned my dinner."

  • 💎 What Exactly Is a Hook & How to Write a Good One
  • 📜 Examples of Classical Essay Hooks
  • 💡 Try Some Informative Essay Hooks
  • 🦄 Here are the Most Uncommon Essay Hooks

✅ Good Hooks for Essays: Bonus Tips

  • 🔗 References for More Information

We highly recommend reading all the methods and examples, so you don’t have any questions.

💎 How to Write a Hook That Will Work for Your Essay?

The hook of your essay usually appears in the very first sentence.

The average length of an essay hook should be 3-7 sentences, depending on the topic.

But first, let’s quickly go through the key questions.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook (or narrative hook) is a literary technique that writers use to keep their readers engaged. It shows that the content below is worth reading.

The hook can have different lengths. Some writers make it last for several pages. Though, it better be a short paragraph or even a sentence.

Why Do You Need a Good Essay Hook?

Writing the right hook is essential for a few reasons:

  • It heats up your readers’ interest. If you did it right, they read the whole piece.
  • It shows off your skills . A right hook presents you as an expert in your field.
  • It attracts target audience. Only the readers you want will keep reading.
  • It keeps the tension on the right level. Use an intriguing question, and a reader dies to find out the answer.
  • It makes a good introduction. Starting your essay off a boring fact is simply not a good idea.

How to Write a Good Hook: Ideas and Examples

Next, we will discuss these hook types in more detail. We’ll also provide essay hook examples of less common yet intriguing types: dialogue, story, contradiction, comparison, definition, metaphor, puzzle, announcement, and background information hooks.

💬 The Famous Quote Hook

Use a famous quote as a hook for your essay on history, literature, or even social sciences. It will present you as an established writer. It shows how knowledgeable you are and motivates the readers to engage in the text.

⬇️ Check out examples below ⬇️

Quote Hook Example: Political Science

Hilary Clinton once said that "there cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard." Which creates a discussion about how perfect democracy should look like. If it is a form of government that considers all opinions, why are women silenced so often even nowadays? The truth is that we need to ensure completely equal opportunities for women in politics before we talk about establishing the correct version of democracy. And even the most developed and progressive countries are still struggling to get to that level of equality. It can be achieved by various methods, even though they might only work in certain countries.

Social Sciences

"Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." These words of wisdom from John Kennedy reflect the perspective we need to teach the younger generations. For some reason, it has become popular to blame the government for any problem arising in society. Is it their fault that we don't think about waste and keep trashing our home? Social responsibility is a real thing. The well-being of our countries starts with the actions of every separate individual. It is not entirely right to wait until the government fixes all the issues for us. The best strategy is to start thinking about what we can do as a community to make our home even a better place.

And excellent sources of quotes for you:

  • Brainyquote.com – you can search quotes by topic or by author.
  • Goodreads.com is not only a great collection of e-books but also quotes.
  • Quoteland.com has plenty of brilliant words for all imaginable situations.
  • Quotationspage.com – more than 30,000 quotations for unique essay hooks.

❓Rhetorical Question Essay Hooks

It doesn’t have to be rhetorical – any type of question addressed to your audience will do its job. Such a universal kind of hook can spike the interest of your readers immediately.

Some useful patterns of rhetorical questions:

  • What could be more important than…?
  • What if there was only one… (chance/day/hour)?
  • Who wouldn’t like to… (be a cat/turn visitors into clients)?
  • Why bother about… (inequality/imperfect education system)?
  • Which is more important: … (making money or realizing potential)?

And more in examples:

Example of a Question Hook on Education

Wouldn't free access to education for everyone be wonderful? The answer would most likely be positive. However, it is not as simple as it seems. As much as the governments try to achieve this goal, there are still many uneducated people. On the bright side, in the era of technology, learning has never been so easy. Of course, some young adults just prefer the shortcut option of taking a student loan. Other ways are much more challenging and require a lot of responsibility and patience. Finding free educational resources online and gaining experience with the help of video tutorials might sound unprofessional. Still, you will be surprised how many experts hired in different fields only received this type of education.

Question Hook Example: Health

Is there anything that can help you lose weight fast? You have probably heard of this magical keto diet that is getting more and more popular worldwide. People claim that it helps them shred those excess pounds in unbelievably short terms. But how healthy is it, and does it suit anyone? The truth is that no diet is universal, and thanks to our differences, some weight-loss methods can even be harmful. Keto diet, for example, leads your body into the state of ketosis. What happens is that you don't receive carbohydrates, and in this state, fat is used as the primary source of energy instead them. However, it carries potential threats.

😂 Anecdotal Essay Hooks

This type would usually be more suitable for literary pieces or personal stories. So, don’t use it for formal topics, such as business and economics. Note that this hook type can be much longer than one sentence. It usually appears as the whole first paragraph itself.

It wouldn't be Kate if she didn't do something weird, so she took a stranger for her best friend this time. There is nothing wrong with it; mistakes like that happen all the time. However, during only five minutes that Kate spent with the stranger, she blabbed too much. Thinking that she sat down at the table that her friend took, Kate was so busy starting on her phone that she didn't notice that it wasn't her friend at all. Sure enough, the naive girl started talking about every little detail of her last night that she spent with her date. It was too much for the ears of an old lady. Kate realized she took the wrong table only when it was too late.

Literature (personal story)

Do not ever underestimate the power of raccoons! Those little furry animals that may look overly cute are too smart and evil. It only takes one box of pizza left outside your house by the delivery person for the disaster to begin. When they smell that delicious pizza, no doors can stop them. They will join the forces to find a hole in your house to squeeze into. Even if it's a window crack four feet above the ground, they know how to get to it. Using their fellow raccoons as the ladder, they get inside the house. They sneak into the kitchen and steal your pizza in front of your eyes and your scared-to-death dog. Not the best first day in the new home, is it? 

📈 Fact or Statistic Hook

Looking deeper into your essay topic, you might find some numbers that are quite amusing or shocking. They can serve as perfect hooks for economics- and business-oriented writings. Also, it is better if they are less known.

Business/social sciences

The UAE workforce is culturally diverse since around 20% of employees (usually called expatriates) come from different countries. Ex-pats tend to take managerial positions, which makes communication within companies quite tricky. The training focused on raising cultural awareness is getting more common, but such educational strategies as games (or gamification) are still rarely applied in the UAE companies. Yet, gamification was a useful tool in other places, making it an attractive UAE team building method. It can significantly help integrate ex-pats and create a more culturally aware environment.

The full version of this paper is here: Gamification and Cross-Cultural Communication in Dubai

Statistic Hook Example in Economics

The United Arab Emirate's debt has been rising drastically in past years, from about US$17 billion in 2003, which is almost 19 percent of GDP, to US$184 billion in 2009. Only a small proportion of the debt can be tracked directly to the public sector. A report by UBS bank shows that most of the debt comes from the corporate sector. Most of the companies that hold the main section of the debt are financial institutions. The public sector partly owns them. Banks in the UAE have been accumulating their debt amounts in the years mentioned above and could now account for 75 percent of the total foreign debt. The discussion is about the reasons why the UAE debt has been rising at an alarming rate.

Check the whole essay Debts in the United Arab Emirates .

Some good sources for statistics

  • Finance.yahoo.com is perfect for business papers.
  • Usa.gov/statistics is an easy-to-use governmental engine for searching data and stats.
  • Unstats.un.org provides a massive collection of statistics published by UN organizations
  • Oecd-ilibrary.org is the online library of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), featuring its books, papers, and statistics and is a gateway to the OECD’s analysis and data.

🤯 Shocking Facts are Very Good Hooks for Essays

Very similar to a statistical hook, a fact can serve as a perfect engaging introduction. Search your field for some shocking phenomenon and gently insert it in the beginning.

Don’t forget to include a reliable source reinforcing your words!

Fact Hook Example in Economics

Nowadays, much attention is paid to the problem of shark finning around the world. Millions of sharks are killed annually for their fins, and many of them are dropped back to the ocean finless, where they die because of suffocation. In many countries, the idea of shark finning remains illegal and unethical, but the possibility of earning huge money cannot be ignored (Dell'Apa et al. 151). Regarding available technologies, market economies, trade relations, and cheap employment, it does not take much time to organize special trips for shark hunting. The Trade of shark fins is alive and well developed in countries like the United States and China. However, the number of people who are eager to try shark fin soup has considerably decreased during the last several years because of the popularity of anti-shark fin soup campaigns and laws supported worldwide (Mosbergen). The situation continues to change in China.

Read the full paper about China Southern Airlines being against shark finning .

Daniel Stacey and Ross Kelly observed that long lines and a new gray market trend for bigger screen phones marked Apple's new iPhones debut. As expected, new phone models drew Apple fans outside retail stores (Stacey and Kelly). Global critics, however, noted that this year's lines were generally longer relative to previous periods mainly because of the developing gray market for Apple products. The new Apple's iPhones have larger screens than the previous models. Also, they boast of improved battery life, faster processors, and an enhanced camera. Tim Cook called them "mother of all upgrades" (Stacey and Kelly).

For the whole text, go to Apple’s New iPhones Start Selling in Stores” by Stacey and Kelly

Sources to look for reliable facts:

  • Buzzfeed.com – news, videos, quizzes.
  • Cracked.com – a website full of funny stuff, like articles, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Webmd.com – an incredible collection of medical facts you will love.
  • Livescience.com – discoveries hitting on a broad range of fields.
  • National Geographic – needs no introduction.
  • Mental Floss answers life’s big questions, a compilation of fascinating facts and incredible stories.

🗣️ Dialogue as a Catchy Hook for Essays

Dialogue is another type of hooks that goes perfectly with pieces of literature and stories. It can even make your short essay stand out if you include it at the beginning. But don’t forget that it only concerns specific topics such as literature and history.

Here it is:

Dialogue Hook Example in Literature

– Why did you do it? – I don't know anymore… That's why I'm leaving for a little bit right now. I need time to think.

With these words, Anna stepped back into the train car and waved goodbye to Trevor. She couldn’t even find the right words to explain why she ran away on her wedding day. It wasn’t that she didn’t love Trevor, but there was this deep, natural, and unexplored feeling that told her it wasn’t time yet. But the only thing Anna realized was that the city made her sick. That day, she took off her wedding dress, bought a ticket on the next flight leaving that afternoon, and hopped on the train taking her to the airport. She couldn’t even remember the country’s name she was going to so blurry everything was from her tears.

Dialogue Hook for History Essay

– If we still had inquisition, we could probably set him on fire. – Some dark magic, indeed, my friend! It would have probably been a real dialogue if we knew who was the first automobile inventor for sure. People were undoubtedly shocked to see the cars moving by themselves without horses. However, since they started appearing around the globe around the same time, it is almost impossible to identify who was the original creator of the idea and the first automobile itself. The credit was usually given to Karl Benz from Germany, who created a gasoline car in 1885-1886. But there are also much earlier records of a gentleman named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built the first vehicle powered by steam in France in 1769.

🔮 A Story Looks Like an Extremely Good Essay Hook

A universal essay hook is a story. You can use this trick pretty much anywhere. The main challenge is to be as authentic as possible, try to tell something fresh and engaging. The more specific and narrow the story, the more chances for a successful introduction.

Story Hook Example for an Essay on Business

Dell started fast and strong. The original company was founded in 1984 when the founder was only a 19-year-old student at the University of Texas. Four years after the inception of the company, Michael Dell became the Entrepreneur of the Year. Eight years after he started the company from his dorm room's comfort, Dell was chosen as the Man of the Year by PC Magazine. […] The company was acknowledged as the world's leading direct marketer of personal computers. At the same time, Dell was known as one of the top five PC vendors on the planet (Hunger 9). […] However, the company's journey encountered a major hurdle down the road. Even after recovering from an economic recession in 2010, the company continued to experience declining sales.

Continue reading Dell Technologies Mission, Vision, and Values .

🦚 Contradictory Statement – Queen of Good Hooks

Everybody loves to start an argument by contradicting some facts. Therefore, you simply need to add a controversial statement at the beginning of your essay. People of all ages and beliefs will not be able to stop reading it!

Challenging your readers works well for social sciences, business, and psychology topics.

Examples of contradictory statements essay hooks:

If you think being a manager is a calm and relatively easy task, try surviving on five cups of coffee, a sandwich, and two packs of cigarettes a day. You would rather believe that managers only walk around the office and give their staff orders, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, the reality is much harsher than such rainbowy dreams. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. A whole set of personal qualities and professional skills must keep up with the successful strategic planning, assessment, and development. All the tasks the managers need to attend to are nerve-wracking and sometimes almost impossible to do. The stress from the demanding managerial position is often overlooked or underestimated.

Social sciences

Video games have been ruining our kids' lives and leading to an increase in crime. Since the gaming industry's development in recent years, the fear of its adverse effects on the younger generations' brains has become a significant concern. There is such a wide variety of games, ranging from educational to violent shooters and horrors. Almost immediately, caring parents jumped on the latter category, claiming that its impact is too significant and children become more aggressive and uncontrollable. Some supporters of this theory went even further. They decided to link real-life crimes to the effects of violent video games on child and adult behavior. However, as we will see later in this article, there is no or little scientific evidence supporting those ideas.

🔁 Vivid Comparison Essay Hook

Introducing your topic with an engaging, vivid comparison is a universal strategy. It is suitable for any kind of writing. The main idea is to grab your readers’ attention by showing them your unique perspective on the topic. Try to make the comparison amusing and exciting.

Comparison Essay Hook Options:

  • Comparison with daily chores (e.g., Proofreading your essays is like cleaning your teeth.)
  • Comparison with something everyone hates (e.g., Learning grammar is like going to the dentist.)
  • Comparison with something everyone loves (e.g., John was happy like a child eating a free vanilla ice cream.)
  • Comparison of modern and old-school phenomena (e.g., Modern email has much in common with pigeon post.)
  • Funny comparison (e.g., Justin Bieber is the Michael Jackson of his time)

Check out examples:

Environment

For many people, flying feels like a dream come true. More and more people take their first-ever flight thanks to the rapidly developing aviation technologies. Aircraft and airports are advancing, and air traveling is getting cheaper. However, except for transporting eager travel addicted and business people, planes are used in other ways. It appears that the whole economies across the world depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of airlines. Import and export demand this kind of transportation to work at all times. Aviation development seems like a great thing. However, just like any other technological breakthrough, it comes with a price. Environmental issues did not wait too long to show up.

Social sciences/psychology

Leaving home for the first time as a freshman can only be compared to the level of stress you had in childhood when your mother left you in the line at the checkout for too long. Indeed, becoming a student and moving out of the parent's house comes with a great deal of stress. All the unknown that lies ahead makes youngsters too anxious. Then, the difficulties of financial planning and increased academic pressure come as additional sources of worries. However, it does not have to be such a negative experience. Particular techniques can help students overcome their stress related to the separation from their parents.

📄 Definitions = Easy & Good Hooks for Essays

Another versatile essay hook option is introducing a qualitative definition. Try to make it capacious, and don’t fall into verbal jungles. This narrative hook is perfect for short scientific papers where there is only one focus subject.

Business Ethics

White-collar crime refers to the peaceful offense committed with the intention of gaining unlawful monetary benefits. There are several white-collar crimes that can be executed. They include extortion, insider trading, money laundering, racketeering, securities fraud, and tax evasion. Enron Company was an American based energy company. It was the largest supplier of natural gas in America in the early 1990s. The company had a stunning performance in the 1990s. Despite the excellent performance, stakeholders of the company were concerned about the complexity of the financial statements. The company's management used the complex nature of the financial statements and the accounting standards' weaknesses to manipulate the financial records. The white-collar crime was characterized by inflating the asset values, overstating the reported cash flow, and failure to disclose the financial records' liabilities. This paper carries out an analysis of the Enron scandal as an example of white-collar crime as discussed in the video, The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Go to see the full text here: Enron Company’s Business Ethics .

Motivation is the act of influencing someone to take any action to achieve a particular goal (Montana& Chanov, 2008). Employees' motivation depends on the job's nature, the company's organizational culture, and personal characteristics. In this case study, various theories influence and show how employees can be motivated in the workplace.

Continue reading this paper about Motivation Role in Management .

📚 Metaphor Hook for Essays

Naturally, using a metaphor as a hook for your essay comes with some limitations. You should only use this type in literature and sometimes in psychology. However, it serves as a great attention grabber if it’s engaging enough.

Let’s see how you can use a metaphor:

When life gives you dirt, don't try to squeeze the juice out of it. It's better to leave it alone and let it dry out a bit. Kate decided to follow this philosophy since nothing else seemed to work. After the painful divorce process, last week's ridiculous work assignments and managing two kids alone almost drove her crazy. No polite discussions, arguing, or bribing helped take care of seemingly a million tasks these little women had to deal with. Even letting out the anger just like her phycologist recommended did not help much. Instead, Kate referred to the last remedy. She put all the issues aside with the hope that it would get better later.

The recipe is relatively easy – take a cup of self-respect, two cups of unconditional love, half a cup of good health, a pinch of new positive experiences, and mix it all for a perfect state of happiness! We all wish it would be possible, right? However, the mystery of this state of being happy is still unsolved. The concept and its perception considerably change depending on time and values. Happiness is so complicated that there is even no universal definition of it. Besides, humans are social creatures, so associating your level of success with others is not unusual. Therefore, being happy means achieving a certain level of several aspects.

🧩 Puzzle? Yes! Amazing Hook for Your Essay

Doesn’t a good riddle grab your attention? Sometimes you just want to find out the answer. The other times, you want to figure out how it is related to the topic. Such a hook would be great for writings on psychology and even economics or business.

Here are the examples:

How many Google office employees you need to destroy a box of fresh donuts? Google is indeed famous for some of the most accommodating and unique working places around the whole world. However, the success of the company does not only appear from treats for employees. It seems that the organizational culture has many effects on business decisions and overall performance. All the staff working in Google share the same visions and values, helping them cooperate and lead the company to success. However, there is one aspect to consider. The organizational culture needs to be adapted to the ever-changing business environment.

Who survives on dirt-like substance, is never joyful, and only returns to the cave to sleep? It sounds horrible, but the correct answer is human. Nowadays, the demands for any kind of workers are rising, which brings tremendous effects on people. As the number of duties increases, it is getting harder for employees not to chug on coffee and come back home in time for a family dinner. The work-life balance is disturbed, leading to anxiety, relationship issues, and even health problems. Social life appears to be as important as making money. Therefore, the correct distribution of time between personal life and work duties is necessary for happiness.

📢 Announcement Is Also a Good Essay Hook Option

Announcements could be suitable for literary pieces and historical essays.

Such a hook doesn’t have to be too long. It should be significant enough to persuade your readers to stick to your writing. Make sure it aligns with your topic as well.

Ways to use announcements as essay hooks:

It was a revolution! The Beatle's first song came out in 1962, and almost immediately, hordes of fans pledged their loyalty to this new band. Nearly all youngsters became obsessed with their music. No one can deny that the Beatles are still considered the creators of some of the best songs in history. However, the arrival of the British band influences culture as well. Many photos depict girls going crazy on live concerts and guys shaping their haircuts after the Beatles' members. The revolution that the band brought left an impact, evidence that we can still trace in modern British culture and music.

I will never go to Starbucks again! Oh, no, mind me. I love their coffee. At some point in my life, I even thought I had an addiction and had to ask my friends to watch my consumption of Pumpkin Spice Latte. Then, the wind of change turned everything upside down. On my usual Starbucks morning run, I noticed a homeless man holding a paper cup begging for money. At first, I didn't pay much attention since it's a usual occurrence in our area. However, one day, I recognized my old neighbor in him. The only cash I had on me, I usually spent on my cup of coffee, but I decided it was not much of a sacrifice. From that moment, I only showed up on that street to shove a few bucks into that poor guy's cup. One day, to my surprise, he talked to me.

ℹ️ Background Information Essay Hook

Last but not least, give background information on your subject to make a good intro. Such an essay hook is effortless and suitable for practically any paper. Try to find the most unobvious angle to the background information. At the same time, keep it short and substantive.

Here are the ways to use background information essay hooks:

Air Arabia is among the leading low-cost carriers in the global airline industry. The airline is mainly based at the Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Air Arabia, 2012). The airline came into inception in 2003 after His Highness Dr. Sheik Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emiri Decree. Later, Air Arabia was transformed into a limited liability company. For nearly a decade, Air Arabia has witnessed tremendous growth, resulting in increased fleet size and improved sales revenues. At the same time, Air Arabia has created a renowned brand that offers reliable and safe services (Dubai Media Incorporated, 2012). Air Arabia identifies itself as a low-cost carrier by providing low fares in the industry. Some of the key strengths of the airline include punctuality and safety. This aims to ensure that the airline serves its customers most efficiently by observing its safety requirements and adhering to the landing and takeoff schedules (De Kluyver, 2010).

Read the full text here: Air Arabia Company Analysis.

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in the Arkansas United States in 1962 as a grocery store. The company, which operates a chain of over 8,000 stores in fifteen countries, is estimated to employ over two million employees from diverse backgrounds. Wal-Mart was incorporated in 1969 and started trading in the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. […] Although the company can leave its consumers with a saving due to its low-price policy, it has faced some sharp criticisms over how it treats its employees and other stakeholders. Wal-Mart boasts of its ability to save its customers' money, an average of $950 per year. This, however, has been criticized as harming the community. Also, the feminists' activists have focused on Walmart's misconduct in offering low prices. (Fraedrich, Ferrell & Ferrell 440)

Now we won’t keep you for long. Let’s just go through simple points of essay hook writing.

Someone may think that you have to write your hook first. It comes first in the paper, right?

In reality, though, you can wait until your entire essay is nearly finished. Then go back and rewrite the very first paragraph. This way, you can have a fresh look at what you’ve written in the beginning.

Here’s a simple plan you can follow.

  • First, write a basic version of your thesis statement.
  • Then, provide supporting evidence for your thesis in every body paragraph.
  • After that, reword your thesis statement and write your concluding paragraph.
  • Finally, search for an attention-grabbing fact, statistic, or anything from the list above to serve as an engaging essay hook.

Add this essay hook to the beginning of your introduction. Make sure that your ideas still flow naturally into your thesis statement.

⚠️ Pro tip: choose various hooks and play around, adding each hook to your introduction paragraph. Like this, you can determine which one makes the most impressive beginning to your paper.

Some of your choices may sound interesting but may not lead to your essay’s main point. Don’t panic! Paper writing always involves trial and error. Just keep trying your essay hook ideas until one fits perfectly.

That’s it 😊

Good luck with your work!

🔗 References

  • Hook – Examples and Definition of Hook
  • How to Engage the Reader in the Opening Paragraph – BBC
  • Hooks and Attention Grabbers; George Brown College Writing Centre
  • Hook Examples and Definition; Literary Devices
  • What Is a Narrative Hook? Video
  • How to: Writing Hooks or Attention-Getting Openings-YouTube

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What Is a Hook In an Essay?

When asked to write an essay most students ignore the need to express their own creativity and thoughts. Essays that are too formal or boring are often not read. As such, your priority as a writer is to ensure that your audiences are catered for and that the essay is written for them. This implies grabbing and maintaining the audience’s attention to make them want to read every word. One way of achieving this is by using an essay hook.

An essay hook can be understood in the same way as a fishing hook. It is something that grabs the attention of the reader and reels them in. The hook could be a sentence or set of sentences that capture and maintain the attention of readers.

hook an essay definition

For those still wondering whether essay hooks warrant this much attention, here is a general explanation. An essay hook is essentially the first thing your readers come across when they look at your text. It is the moment your readers decide whether to keep reading or to stop. In other words, the opening sentence of your paper (the hook) must be something special.

Five decades ago, the amount of information for reading was limited, and people were not as spoilt for choice as they presently are. Even in the assignment context, your instructor is likely to have scores of other papers to go through. If you fail to interest your reader within the two sentences of your essay, it is highly likely that they may stop reading altogether.

Before we look at the different ways you can start your essay with an attention grabber, let us look at some tips on structuring a hook.

How Do You Write a Strong Hook Sentence?

When starting off your essay, keep the main purpose of the essay in mind. Your choice of hook ought to relate to that purpose, and should underline the central idea. For instance, if the purpose is to present some fresh facts on a certain topic, it could be a good idea to begin your essay with some staggering statistics.

Part of writing a great hook is considering it as an integral component of the introduction, and the whole essay. Please note that, while the introduction does not present any major findings or facts, it plays a role in setting the mood for the entire paper. Part of the introduction is the thesis statement and the hook. The hook evokes emotions, while the thesis statement orients the readers on what to expect.

As you begin your essay, it helps to be substantial and interesting. To achieve this, you must have a clear picture of the main points you intend to make within the paper. Create an outline to ensure that no important information is left out. If possible, leave the writing of the introduction until after you have finished writing the body of the paper. This way, you are sure of what to write in the introduction. Writing the introduction after the body also helps you to pick hooks that are appropriate for the text.

So, What is a Good Hook for an Essay?

A scintillating hook immediately makes the reader want to go on reading. The art of picking the right information for your hook and turning into an amazing opening for your essay is something that you have to learn. Start by considering what you suppose your reader would find interesting about the topic of your essay.

Hooks can be quite challenging to generate, especially if you are still not clear on the contents of your essay. As such, the very first step in writing your hook is to conduct some planning, where you consider these presentation elements of your work:

  • The type of essay you are writing
  • The tone and writing style you intend to use
  • Your intended audience
  • The structure you plan to establish

It is customary for the hook to appear at the very beginning of the essay. Here are some options to consider as you choose your hook:

  • An anecdote

An anecdote is simply a short story. When used as an essay hook , anecdotes can be used to make a point or gain the attention of the reader. Just remember to make sure that the short story used relates to the primary idea of the paper. The writer must establish relevance between the story and the topic.

Another option for starting your essay in a captivating manner is through the use of a quote from an authoritative source. A quote is particularly useful when writing an essay based on a story, book, or author. Including a quote from a reliable source at the beginning of your essay can lend credence to your text, and helps to strengthen your thesis.

  • A general statement

You could also set the tone for your entire essay using a uniquely written general statement of your main claim. The beauty of this is that you get right to the point, and is good when working with a restrictive word count limit.

A proven fact or interesting statistic at the beginning of your essay is another bright way to start your essay. Statistical hooks attract the reader to wanting to know more about the startling figures. This type of hook is more appropriate for the informational kind of writing. The Implications of the statistics must be further explained in the paper, just in case the reader fails to notice the link.

This article highlights some useful strategies for creating an entertaining and attention-grabbing hook to start your essay. You could choose to use a quote, statistic, fact, or any other type of hook, as long as it suits the purpose and style of your paper. You could also finish up with the body of your paper before going back to complete the introduction and the hook. The most important thing is to make sure that each segment of your writing is interconnected, and aimed at supporting the thesis statement.

hook for essay

How to Write a Hook for an Essay?

hook an essay definition

Have you ever struggled with difficulties while writing your essays? Probably, yes. If so, the biggest problem most likely lies in making your essay catchy. Doubtless, it should contain a nice hook. It is to say that you are supposed to bring into play all your imagination and don't be afraid to be creative. Hooks of good quality shouldn't be too long or boring. Read on to learn how to write a good hook for your essay, written by EssayService team.

What Is a Good Hook for an Essay?

So, what are the hooks for essays? Hooks or hook sentences are opening sentences that aim to attract and capture a reader's attention - to hook them up. Namely, you are to get the audience interested in what you wrote.

Important to note that the hook is based solely on your knowledge. It is in this sense that it will be personal to you. There is no methodology to find the perfect catchphrase for the essay since each person will have a different way of dealing with the subject and therefore introduce their reasoning. 

It must, however, be taken into consideration that your essay hook must absolutely be related to the subject, or at least to the reasoning that you will lead while writing your text. You should not forget to explain it to a minimum. It is important to put a catchphrase not just for the aesthetics of the introduction: it must add something to your reasoning.

hook an essay definition

8 the Most Popular Types of Hooks

If you don't know which way would be best to start writing your essay, below are some of the most popular hook types with hook examples offered by our write an essay for me service professionals.

types of hooks

Strong Claim

A statement or declaration that will make your readers think about whether they agree or disagree with the point of view mentioned in the hook sentence.

e.g., Online college classes are cheaper and more effective than in-person college classes.    

An intriguing question that will push the audience to read further. The curiosity will get the upper hand if the answer reveals at the end of the essay. 

e.g., That's not to say the life you have now isn't making you happy, but should you settle for just okay? 

Statistics and Facts

You may provide some accurate, interesting, and trustworthy facts to encourage your audience to continue reading. 

e.g., Two out of five Americans can't name a single freedom protected by the First Amendment. 

Stylistic Devices

Use your imagination and include some metaphors or similes to make the text more vivid and engaging.

e.g., Her long hair was a flowing golden river. 
e.g., Bright as the sun. 

Why don't you start your essay by telling a funny joke? That could evoke readers' positive emotions. Use kind humor and avoid sarcastic statements.

e.g., "What is the best thing about Switzerland? I don't know, but the flag is a big plus."

If you are to write a personal essay, you may share your own experience. It can be a memory, event, or even a story that inspired you once. 

e.g., When I was a child, my granny took me to the ZOO. Could you imagine a small three-year-old boy running from his granny directly to the lions' cage?

Scene Description

A vivid description of the scene where the action takes place would push your readers to feel the atmosphere of the story.

e.g., The day of his birth began with lightning striking the house of his parents.

The quote can markedly support and emphasize the thought and idea of your essay.

e.g., "The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." - Barack Obama

Quotes as Hooks for Essays

In an essay, writing a good introduction is usually a very delicate task. There are many methods for writing it, and often you will be tempted to start your essay with a quote. Indeed, a very appropriate quote that fits well with your text can, from the first lines, give your essay the breath it needs.

Quotes could have multiple functions: providing objective information, conveying an emotion, challenging the reader or, quite simply, surprising, and making people smile. 

But be sure to:

  • Avoid using well-known quotes and clichés. They can't be hooks and won't surprise anyone;
  • Be sure that the quote is related to the topic of your essay;
  • Avoid long quotes as they could bore the reader, instead use short and easy to understand quotations;
  • When using an author quote as a hook, be sure of the quote, the author, his work, and the date to avoid mistakes.

Why should you use a quote as an essay hook? A relevant and well-chosen quote can:

  • positively influence the essay grader;
  • make your essay more aesthetic;
  • raise the level of readers' trust and curiosity;
  • sum up your essay with a point pushing readers to think of it;
  • give a persuasive argument;
  • give specific references;
  • concretize your idea or opinion;
  • add authority or animate your writing;
  • provide proof that your further interpretation is justified.

Practical Tips on How to Write a Hook for an Essay

Below you will find several valuable tips from our paper writing service online writers to help you write a perfect hook for your essay.

tips for hook

Tip №1: To create a catching hook, you are to define the thesis - your opinion on the subject. The following questions could help you:

  • What is the topic of my essay?
  • What writing style should I adopt?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What text structure do I need to establish?
  • What is the purpose of my essay? (persuade, discuss, tell the story, investigate something)

Done? Great! Now keep on reading our step-by-step guide for the hands-on tips and more hook examples.

Tip №2: Start with searching for useful material. Surprisingly for you, it's better to write a hook and an intro after finishing the whole essay. Why? Simply because having the entire essay done, you will understand what is a good hook sentence for your essay.

Tip №3: Define the type of your essay. This step is crucial because an analytical essay or cause and effect essay differ greatly from argumentative, critical, narrative, and descriptive essays as they require using various writing strategies. It goes without saying that the hooks will also differ. Then, the process of writing an essay hook will be much easier. 

Tip №4: Write coherent sentences, and don't forget to use linking words that help not to lose the train of thought.

e.g., in the first place, again, moreover, not only ... but also, as well as, markedly, such as, another key point, especially, for example, the first thing to remember, specifically, for instance, etc.

Tip №5: Never use unknown references. Remember, the hook is made to "catch" the attention of your reader. 

Tip №6: Account for the audience you write for. For instance, if you write an essay for narrow-field professionals, use appropriate hook and language. Conversely, the personal essay could begin with your childhood story or a touching fact of your life.

Tip №7: Use diverse sources to look for good hook sentences and phrases. Namely, you could use historical facts or new info from social media, thus showing that you are an open-minded person who is interested in a number of things.

Tip №8: Always make sure your essay hook is relevant as its purpose is to highlight or reinforce the main idea of the essay.

Essay Hooks Examples

Facts and stats.

Numbers in your hook sentence would definitely draw readers' attention. If you write, for example, an argumentative essay, accurate statistics, interesting facts, and other credible data are the best fit. Mind that in such essays, intro can't be humorous.

e.g., "Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan are perceived to be the most corrupt countries in the world, while Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are the least corrupt ones."

"There are 3.725 billion active social media users."
"US adults spend an average of 1 hour, 16 minutes each day watching video on digital devices."

Literature Essay

e.g., Is poetry only the expression of personal feelings?

"To make poetry is to confess," said Friedrich Klopstock, an 18th-century German poet considered to be the creator of "the poetry of experience and experience" (Erlebnisdichtung). Confession is the act of sharing all of your feelings with an outside person, often from the Church, to wash away your sins. In this sense, and following Klopstock, poetry would indeed be the expression of personal feelings. Is it only that?

Quoting an author in a catchphrase is a dangerous exercise, in the sense that this sentence will be the first thing the professor sees in your essay. Citing an author requires knowing exactly what information you are going to give.

Economics Essay

e.g., The Brazilian economy since 2011

Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world. After experiencing a period of substantial growth, the economy shows signs of slowing since 2011, due to the stagnation of the prices of export raw materials, the decline in domestic consumption linked to household debt, and lower investment. Affected by the decrease in household consumption, industrial activity, and investment, the Brazilian economy has entered a recession since 2014 (-3.5% in 2015). The recession is forecast to deepen in 2016 due to the tightening of monetary policy to curb inflation and insufficient investor confidence due to political uncertainty.

Generally, such hooks are mainly found in essays on social sciences like economics and geography, or any other subject using a lot of data.

As with the quotations, be certain of the precision of the data that will serve as a hook, and do not forget to cite your sources!

Philosophy Essay 

e.g., Is work a necessary evil?

At first glance, it would seem that work is not something bad. Indeed, work would be something necessary for human fulfillment, as well as leisure and cultural activities, since it would allow the man to improve these physical, moral, and social capacities in order to humanize. We are nevertheless led to wonder if…

You can also start your introduction by using an idea of the resolution of the subject. If you are doing this, then you need to bring up one of your hypotheses, usually what you consider to be the most likely answer when asked the question.

This option will also be useful for writing your complete introduction since it will allow you to question this hypothesis in your intro to draw your text's general problem. It also allows you to start your argument.

"Topical Issue" Essay 

e.g., Are cities in crisis?

Cities, understood as areas where people live, work, consume and have fun, also concentrate a certain number of problems, made up of inequalities and exclusions. In this context, the state has intervened for several decades to try and compensate for this through protean actions grouped under the label "city policy."

Leaning on a news item to create a hook will allow you to put the subject in context. It will even help you put your reasoning in place.

Putting the subject in context will allow the professor to see that you have understood the issue and its challenges in today's world. You can mention laws, social actions, current events, etc.

To put it in a nutshell, using different kinds of hooks is a perfect way to grab your reader's attention. Our research paper writing service professionals have enumerated for you the best tips for writing great essay hooks, as well as the types of hooks. Use our tips and choose the best one for your introduction!

Still can't quite get the hang of the essay hook? No problem! Order an essay on our platform, work with a network of professional freelance writers, and have your assignment ready in no time. Order essays with nice hooks!

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  • How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples

How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.

The main goals of an introduction are to:

  • Catch your reader’s attention.
  • Give background on your topic.
  • Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.

This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

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Table of contents

Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.

Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.

Examples: Writing a good hook

Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.

  • Braille was an extremely important invention.
  • The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly  why the topic is important.

  • The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
  • The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.

Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.

  • Mary Shelley’s  Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.

Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.

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Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:

  • Historical, geographical, or social context
  • An outline of the debate you’re addressing
  • A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
  • Definitions of key terms

The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.

How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:

Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.

This is the most important part of your introduction. A  good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.

The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.

Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.

As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.

For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.

When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.

It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.

To polish your writing, you can use something like a paraphrasing tool .

You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.

Checklist: Essay introduction

My first sentence is engaging and relevant.

I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.

I have defined any important terms.

My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.

Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.

You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.

  • Argumentative
  • Literary analysis

This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

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A young girl runs across a grassy lawn, trailed by a small dachshund.

The Dogs Helping the Covenant Children Find Their Way Back

To heal after a mass shooting, the Covenant School families have turned to therapy, faith, one another — and a lot of dogs.

Monroe Joyce, 10, runs with one of two dachshunds taken in by her family. She is one of several children who now have a dog after surviving the Covenant School shooting. Credit...

Supported by

Emily Cochrane

By Emily Cochrane

Photographs by Erin Schaff

Emily Cochrane and Erin Schaff spoke with more than a dozen Covenant School parents, students, staff and their dogs.

  • Published March 24, 2024 Updated March 28, 2024

Two of April Manning’s children, Mac and Lilah, had just survived the mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville. They needed stability and time to grieve.

Listen to this article with reporter commentary

Open this article in the New York Times Audio app on iOS.

So she did everything she could to keep the family dog, Owen, their sweet but ailing 15-year-old golden retriever, with them for as long as possible. She pushed back his final trip to the vet, keeping him comfortable as he slowly moved around the house.

Getting another dog was the furthest thing from her mind. But a few weeks after the shooting, her children sat her down for an important presentation.

Prepared with a script and a PowerPoint — “Why We Should Get (Another) Dog” — they rattled through research showing the mental health benefits of having one. It could limit their chances of developing PTSD and help them feel safe. Playing together would get them outside and boost their happiness.

Ms. Manning and her husband considered. Maybe a second dog was possible.

Two children pet dogs in a living room.

First came Chip, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Then, after Owen succumbed to old age, came Birdie, a miniature poodle and Bernese Mountain dog mix. And in taking them in, the Mannings were far from alone.

In the year since Tennessee’s worst school shooting, in which three third-graders and three staff members were killed by a former student, more than 40 dogs have been taken in by families at Covenant, a small Christian school of about 120 families.

“I really only expected them to help in a cuddly kind of way, like just to snuggle the kids when they’re upset ,” Ms. Manning said. “But I wasn’t really expecting all the other benefits from them.”

To spend time with the Covenant families is to understand how they have relied on one another, traditional psychological treatments and mental health counseling, and their Christian faith to hold them together.

But it is also to see how often what they needed — a distraction, a protector, a friend who could listen, something untouched by darkness — came from a dog.

An Immediate Response

Dogs greeted the surviving children at Sandy Hook Elementary School as they returned to a refurbished middle school in 2013. A dozen golden retrievers were on hand in Orlando to provide comfort after the deadly attack at a L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub in 2016. The therapy dogs who tended to the surviving students in Parkland, Fla., made the school yearbook .

“Over this period of sort of, 35,000 years, dogs have become incredibly adept at socializing with humans, so they’re sensitive to our emotional state,” said Dr. Nancy Gee, who oversees the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Even brief, minute-long interactions with dogs and other animals can reduce cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, research by Dr. Gee and others has shown, providing a possible lifeline for veterans struggling with PTSD and others recovering from trauma.

And on the day of the Covenant shooting, dogs were immediately there to help. Covey, the headmaster’s dog, was at a nearby firehouse, where dozens of staff members and students were evacuated. Squid, a retriever mix, was at the children’s hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, helping to comfort the staff if needed.

When the students who survived were put on a school bus to be reunited with their anguished parents, Sgt. Bo, a police dog, was sitting at their side.

Officer Faye Okert, the dog’s handler with the Metro Nashville Police, handed out a baseball card of dog facts to distract and comfort the children.

“The focus was on him,” said Officer Okert. “You had smiles after what they had been through.”

After families reunited, counselors offered clear advice: To help your child, get a dog. Or borrow a neighbor’s.

That led several parents to connect with Comfort Connections, a nonprofit comfort dog organization. Jeanene Hupy, the group’s founder, had seen firsthand how therapy dogs had helped the Sandy Hook students and started her own organization once she moved to Nashville.

The group, which oversees a menagerie of golden retrievers, a gentle pit bull and a massive English mastiff, began its work by visiting individual homes in the days after the shooting. Then, when students returned to class weeks later, the dogs were once again there.

They were something to look forward to, in the moments when walking through the school doors felt overwhelming. And when there were painful reminders — a water bottle clattering to the floor, an unsettling history lesson on war or the absence of a friend — a child could slip away and cuddle a dog.

As Ms. Hupy put it, something special happens “when you bring in something that loves you more than it loves itself, which is these guys.”

A Reassuring Presence

First it was a joke, then a reality: Everyone was getting a dog.

Fueled by community donations and her own money, Ms. Hupy began connecting several parents and puppies. Even for families who could easily afford a new dog, Ms. Hupy and her trainers dramatically eased the logistical hurdles by finding and training puppies that seemed perfect fits to each family.

The Anderson girls shrieked and cried with joy when they learned they were getting a dog, and have now taught Leo how to flaunt sunglasses and do tricks. The Hobbs children constantly scoop up Lady Diana Spencer, often fashionably dressed in a string of pearls or sweaters.

The dogs are also there in the harder moments, too, like when an ambulance or police car drives by blaring its siren or when the memorial ribbons in their neighborhood remind them of what was lost.

“Sometimes it’s just nice to have a giant soft pillow that doesn’t need to talk to you and just cuddle it,” said Evangeline Anderson, now 11.

And if the dogs chew on a shoe or make a mess on a rug, Ms. Manning said, it is a lesson in how to deal with conflicting emotions.

“We still love them and we’re so glad we have them — both things can be true,” she said. “Just like we can be really nervous about going back to school and still also be excited to do it.”

And maybe, the parents realized, it was not just for the children.

Rachel and Ben Gatlin were driving back from vacation on the day of the shooting. That has meant grappling with the heaviness of survival and knowing that Mr. Gatlin, a history teacher who carried a pistol on his ankle for personal protection, could have run toward the shooter that day.

And while their new dog, Buddy, has adapted to the bossiness of their young children and has developed a penchant for sock consumption, he has also kept the adults’ thoughts focused in the moment. Tending to his needs has served as a reminder of their own.

“When you see it working, you’re in total comfort,” Ms. Gatlin said.

Even the school’s chaplain, Matthew Sullivan, found that the stories of new puppies being shared each day in chapel were “wearing me down in a good way.”

“I kind of wanted to enter into the experience of all these families firsthand,” he said.

Now Hank, a slightly anxious, floppy-eared Scooby-Doo doppelgänger, has been adopted into his home, which had been a little empty without his grown children.

The Alternatives

Not everyone got a dog.

For the McLeans, the solution was two rabbits.

“It’s an incredible distraction to their reality,” Abby McLean said of her children, cupping her hands to mimic cradling a rabbit on her shoulder. “I find myself occasionally doing it as well.”

Another family added Ginny, a tortoise with a possible seven-decade life span, to the mix of animals already in their house.

“For having lost people early in life — there was something that equated to me in that, that there was a longevity to it, to a tortoise,” said Phil Shay, who picked out the tortoise with his 12-year-old daughter, Ever.

Still, the dogs far outnumber the other pets. And every day they can make a little difference.

The first night that George, Jude and Amos Bolton had tried to sleep alone without their parents after the shooting, the slightest grumble from the ice machine or the dryer had been too much. Their mother, Rachel, who had maintained that she liked dogs, just not in her house, soon agreed to take in Hudson, a miniature Goldendoodle puppy with doe-like eyes and wild curls.

“We didn’t realize the dogs could create comfort for people,” Jude, now 10, said, his hands ruffling Hudson’s ears. And when Hudson came home, he added, “he’s just been comforting us ever since.”

It is now easier to sleep through the night, safe with the knowledge that Hudson is there.

“All my friends joke, they’re like, ‘I can’t believe you’re a dog person now,’” Ms. Bolton said. But this dog, she added, “has healed this family.”

Read by Emily Cochrane

Audio produced by Patricia Sulbarán .

Emily Cochrane is a national reporter for The Times covering the American South, based in Nashville. More about Emily Cochrane

Erin Schaff is a photojournalist for The Times, covering stories across the country. More about Erin Schaff

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  1. What is a hook?

    What is a hook? The "hook" is the first sentence of your essay introduction. It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it's interesting. To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader's curiosity.

  2. Hook in Essay Writing ⇒ Attention-Grabber Types and Examples

    This thought-stirring hook can clarify complex concepts or emphasize points effectively. An analogy for an argumentative essay discussing anxiety can help convey the feeling to the reader. Example: "Living with anxiety can be akin to being trapped in a pitch-black room. The uncertainty, the isolation—it's overwhelming.

  3. How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

    Here are seven ideas to choose from: 1. Story. Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example: In January 2023, two children were playing outside in a Los Angeles neighborhood.

  4. How to Write the Hook of an Essay

    Here's an example of the steps you can follow that help you outline your essay. First paragraph: Establish the thesis. Body paragraphs: Supporting evidence. Last paragraph: Conclusion with a restatement of the thesis. Revisit the first paragraph: Find the best hook. Obviously, the first step is to determine your thesis.

  5. How to Write a Hook

    A hook is an opening statement (which is usually the first sentence) in an essay that attempts to grab the reader's attention so that they want to read on. It can be done by using a few different types of hooks, which are a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote. Be mindful that the hook has to be related to the overall topic of the paper.

  6. How to Write a Hook: 10 Ways to Capture Your Readers' Attention

    Writing a compelling hook takes skill. But you can use any of the following ways of writing a hook to get you started: 1. The Surprising Statistic Hook. Presenting a surprising fact or statistic is a great way to grab the attention of your audience. For example, an essay on the orphan crisis may begin with:

  7. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Guide, Tips, and Examples

    Determine the effect you wish to accomplish before selecting a hook. Choose a hook at the end of the writing process. Even though it should be the first sentence of your paper, it doesn't mean you should write your hook first. Writing an essay is a long and creative process. So, if you can't think of an effective hook at the beginning, just ...

  8. How to Write an Essay Hook

    A hook is an initial statement in an essay, typically the first sentence or a group of sentences that grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more. It's the first impression you give to your reader, and it can make or break your essay. A good hook should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and relevant to your topic.

  9. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

    Quote hook. Using a quote from a famous person or a literary work is another effective way to start your essay. It adds credibility to your writing and can help you establish a connection with your reader. For example, "In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'".

  10. How to Write a Hook for an Essay

    By definition, a personal narrative is a story of your life. Therefore, good essay hooks for such narratives need to both get the readers' attention and introduce you to readers as a sympathetic character. ... Good essay hooks can be particularly difficult when you are writing a literary analysis (for an in-depth guide, head to that link ...

  11. Essay Hook Examples That Grab Attention (Formula for Better ...

    This is a great way to formulate a bold claim with no effort at all. ‍. 3. Story/Anecdote hook. In an anecdote hook, you use a story to establish a connection between the topic and the reader to gain their attention. The story must be direct and concise, and relate to the main topic quite directly.

  12. How to Write a Hook

    Types of Hooks for Essays. Your essay or research paper's hook can be in any of the five types: Anecdotal Hook. Starting with an anecdote is a good way to keep the readers interested. Ensure that the anecdote relates to your topic and makes your readers feel like they're part of the narrative. For example: "Sarah sat at the edge of the cliff.

  13. Types of Hook & 20+ Hook Examples to Kick-Start Your Essay

    The hook of your essay is the first line of your introductory paragraph or can be more than one also. But the essay hook is written first. A thesis statement follows it. It is included as a mini-outline of the essay and tells the readers about the essay's content. Further on, the transitional hook sentence is added at the end of the paragraph.

  14. How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

    Tip 5: Don't Stop at the Hook. Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong. Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

  15. How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

    And, by fostering this connection, you can make them more receptive to the message you're trying to convey. 2. Understand the purpose of your essay. Before you can write your hook, you'll need to know what the purpose of your essay is. Generally, your essay will try to inform, persuade, or narrate your subject.

  16. 73 Essay Hook Examples (2024)

    Techniques for Good Essay Hooks. Here are a few techniques that you can use to write a good essay hook: Use a Quotation: Sometimes, a relevant quotation from a well-known author or expert can help establish the context or theme of your essay.Next time you're conducting research for an essay, keep an eye out for a really compelling quote that you could use as your hook for that essay.

  17. How to Write a Hook for an Essay ️ Step-By-Step Instructions

    The essay hook aims to draw the reader's attention and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay. It serves as the opening statement or a compelling opening line that immediately captivates the audience. A well-crafted essay hook can be a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, an intriguing anecdote, or a vivid ...

  18. Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

    Then, spread by air molecules, it paints the sky blue. Next, we will discuss these hook types in more detail. We'll also provide essay hook examples of less common yet intriguing types: dialogue, story, contradiction, comparison, definition, metaphor, puzzle, announcement, and background information hooks.

  19. What Is a Hook In an Essay?

    The hook could be a sentence or set of sentences that capture and maintain the attention of readers. For those still wondering whether essay hooks warrant this much attention, here is a general explanation. An essay hook is essentially the first thing your readers come across when they look at your text.

  20. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Practical Guide

    Practical Tips on How to Write a Hook for an Essay. Below you will find several valuable tips from our paper writing service online writers to help you write a perfect hook for your essay. Tip №1: To create a catching hook, you are to define the thesis - your opinion on the subject.

  21. Hook in Writing

    Hook Examples and Strategies in Fiction Writing. Fiction is writing that is about imagined people, places, and/or things. It is entirely created by the writer. Examples of fiction are: Fiction ...

  22. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  23. The Dogs Helping the Covenant Children Find Their Way Back

    Monroe Joyce, 10, runs with one of two dachshunds taken in by her family. She is one of several children who now have a dog after surviving the Covenant School shooting. Emily Cochrane and Erin ...