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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
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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

how to start hook for essay

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 >

how to start hook for essay

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

how to start hook for essay

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

how to start hook for essay

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.

how to start hook for essay

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.

how to start hook for essay

3. Story/Anecdote hook

how to start hook for essay

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.

how to start hook for essay

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

how to start hook for essay

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.

how to start hook for essay

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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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

Research Paper Analysis: How to Analyze a Research Article + Example

Film analysis: example, format, and outline + topics & prompts.

  • Features for Creative Writers
  • Features for Work
  • Features for Higher Education
  • Features for Teachers
  • Features for Non-Native Speakers
  • Learn Blog Grammar Guide Community Events FAQ
  • Grammar Guide

How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

Hannah Yang headshot

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 start hook for essay

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

how to start hook for essay

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 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.

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how to start hook for essay

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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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.

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How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay

What’s covered:, developing your hook.

  • 5 College Essay Hook Examples

5 Tips and Examples for Crafting a Great Hook

Your essay is one of the best tools available for standing out in a crowded field of college applicants (many with academic portfolios similar to yours) when applying to your dream school. A college essay is your opportunity to show admissions committees the person behind the grades, test scores, and resume. To ensure your college essay receives the full attention of admissions committees, you need to lure them in with a great hook—that is, a compelling opening that makes your audience hungry for more.

You need a strong start to capture the attention of the admission committees. When it comes to college essays, first impressions are everything. In fact, there’s no guarantee that anyone is going to read more than your first sentence if you bore them to tears within a few words, which is why it’s essential to craft an effective and engaging hook.

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for composing an attention-grabbing hook. A well-crafted hook can be anything from an image to an anecdote to an interesting fact while factors like writing style, essay structure, and prompt can all influence what makes for a good hook. That said, memorable hooks share a number of attributes, most notably they draw readers in,  connect with the topic you’re writing about, and leave a lasting impression, often in a creative or unexpected way.

For example, let’s construct a hypothetical essay. Let’s say that after some careful consideration, Jane Doe has decided to write her personal essay about her experience running canine obedience classes. She isn’t quite sure how to start her essay, so she’s practicing with some proven essay hooks. If you’re ready to develop your own hook, check out four of our favorite college essay hook strategies and how they work for Jane below!

College Essay Hook Examples

There are a number of proven strategies that Jane can use to craft a compelling hook. A few tried-and-true hooks include:

1. Open with an Anecdote

People love stories, so it makes sense that telling one is a great way to attract readers. Detailing a relevant anecdote provides context for your essay and can give the reader an idea of what you are up against if you’re overcoming an obstacle or rising to a challenge.

On the day that I told my mother I wanted to start my own canine obedience school, she smiled and muttered something under her breath about the irony of my youthful disobedience and my newfound passion for enforcing rules. What she didn’t know then was that it was not in spite of, but rather because of, my tendency to push the boundaries that I was confident in my ability to succeed.

2. Set the Scene

One fantastic way to get your essay moving and to draw your readers in is to plunge them into the middle of an important scene. Provide readers with descriptive details and dialogue to make them feel like they’re watching a movie from your life and have just tuned in at a critical moment.

I jumped back as the dog lunged for my leg, teeth bared and snarling. “It’s okay, Smokey, it’s okay,” I soothed as I tried to maneuver closer to the post where I had tied his leash. In the back of my head, I heard my brother’s taunts swirling around.

“A dog trainer?” he had scoffed. “What kind of person would hire you as a dog trainer?!”

I pushed the thoughts away and grasped the leash, pulling it tightly to my side as Smokey, surprised by my sudden confidence, fell into stride beside me.

3. Ask a Question

Asking a question at the beginning of your essay can activate your reader’s critical thinking and get them hungry for the answer that you won’t offer until later. Try to come up with a question that’s broad enough that they won’t know the answer right away, but specific enough that it isn’t a generic hook that could work on just any college essay.

How do you respond when you’re faced with a very real physical threat to your safety, yet you literally can’t afford to back down? This is the question I faced on my very first day as a dog trainer.

4. Use a Metaphor or Simile

A metaphor or simile can pull readers in by helping them make connections between seemingly unrelated topics or by encouraging them to think about topics from a different point of view.

Running canine obedience classes is a lot like navigating high school. It’s a dog-eat-dog world with a lot to learn, many personalities to manage, peril around every corner, and everyone anxious to graduate.

Selecting the right hook is a great first step for writing a winning college essay, but the execution is also important.

1. Narrow Down Your Scope

Sometimes the best way to tackle big projects like writing an attention-grabbing hook or captivating college essay is to think small. Narrow down on a specific incident or even a moment that leads into your topic.

It’s my first time teaching a canine obedience class. I’m surrounded by strangers and the dogs are barking so loud I can’t hear myself think, but I have a gnawing feeling that I’m losing control. I put my fingers to my lips and let out the loudest whistle I’m capable of. Suddenly there was silence.

2. Use Adjectives

Adjectives are used to add a description and make your writing clearer and more specific. In other words, they’re the details that make your writing stand out and suck readers in. Jane didn’t simply reward the dog for sitting, she…

It was a battle of wills between me and the eight-month-old Australian Shepherd—defiance was in his sparkling blue eyes, but so was desire for the bit of hot dog hiding in my hand. Reluctantly he sat, earning his treat while I claimed my alpha status.

3. Use Emotion

Use emotion to connect and entice your reader. Emotions make readers feel, pulling them into your essay, and are memorable. You can use them for everything from sharing a fact about yourself to putting the reader in your shoes.

When I was young, I would have been extremely lonely if not for my dog Trevor. I struggled to make friends and Trevor provided companionship, helped me overcome my shyness (he was a great icebreaker), and is responsible for shaping who I am today. When Trevor passed away in high school, I set out to train canine obedience and help dogs become the best versions of themselves—just like what Trevor did for me.

4. Short and Sweet

Admissions committees have a lot of essays to read, so the quicker you get to the point and capture their attention, the better.

Mere moments into my dream job, someone had already peed on the floor and another had bitten a person. Welcome to the life of a dog trainer.

5. Just Start Writing

Sometimes the hook of your college essay isn’t clear. Rather than getting hung up, start developing your essay and see if it adds clarity as to how to best implement a hook. Some students even find that it’s easiest to write a hook last, after writing the body of the personal statement.

Where to Get Feedback on Your Essay Hook

Wondering if you created an effective hook? It’s difficult to evaluate your own writing, especially a line or two you read and reworked numerous times. CollegeVine can help. Through our free Peer Essay Review tool , you can get a free review of your hook, and overall essay, from another student. Then you can pay it forward and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

how to start hook for essay

Apr 5, 2023

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.

So, if you're struggling with your essay hook or looking for a way to streamline your writing process, sign up for Jenni.ai today. Our powerful writing assistant can help you take your writing to the next level, and with a free trial available, there's no reason not to give Jenni.ai a try.

Sign up today and start writing essays that will hook your readers and earn you the grades you deserve!

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

how to start hook for essay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

how to start hook for essay

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

how to start hook for essay

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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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!

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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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. 

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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.

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 Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads

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ALWAYS START AN ESSAY WITH AN ENGAGING INTRODUCTION

Getting started is often the most challenging part of writing an essay, and it’s one of the main reasons our students are prone to leaving their writing tasks to the last minute.

But what if we could give our students some tried and tested tips and strategies to show them how to start an essay?

What if we could give them various strategies they could pull out of their writer’s toolbox and kickstart their essays at any time?

In this article, we’ll look at tried and tested methods and how to start essay examples to get your students’ writing rolling with momentum to take them to their essays’ conclusion.

Once you have worked past the start of your essay, please explore our complete guide to polishing an essay before submitting it and our top 5 tips for essay writing.

Visual Writing Prompts

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN ESSAY’S INTRODUCTION?

 Essentially, the purpose of the introduction is to achieve two things:

 1. To orientate the reader

2. To motivate the reader to keep reading.

 An effective introduction will give the reader a clear idea of what the essay will be about. To do this, it may need to provide some necessary background information or exposition.

Once this is achieved, the writer will then make a thesis statement that informs the reader of the main ‘thrust’ of the essay’s position, the supporting arguments of which will be explored throughout the body paragraphs of the remainder of the essay.

When considering how to start an essay, ensure you have a strong thesis statement and support it through well-crafted arguments in the body paragraphs . These are complex skills in their own right and beyond the scope of this guide, but you can find more detail on these aspects of essay writing in other articles on this site that go beyond how to start an essay.

 For now, our primary focus is on how to grab the reader’s attention right from the get-go.

 After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step or, in this case, a single opening sentence.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON WRITING HOOKS, LEADS & INTRODUCTIONS

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Teach your students to write  STRONG LEADS, ENGAGING HOOKS  and  MAGNETIC INTRODUCTIONS  for  ALL TEXT TYPES  with this engaging  PARAGRAPH WRITING UNIT  designed to take students from zero to hero over  FIVE STRATEGIC LESSONS.

WHAT IS A “HOOK” IN ESSAY WRITING?

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A hook is a sentence or phrase that begins your essay, grabbing the reader’s attention and making them want to keep reading. It is the first thing the reader will see, and it should be interesting and engaging enough to make them want to read more.

As you will learn from the how to start an essay examples below, a hook can be a quote, a question, a surprising fact, a personal story, or a bold statement. It should be relevant to the topic of your essay and should be able to create a sense of curiosity or intrigue in the reader. The goal of a hook is to make the reader want to read on and to draw them into the central argument or point of your essay.

Some famous examples of hooks in literature you may have encountered are as follows.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” George Orwell in 1984
“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 in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

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HOW TO HOOK THE READER WITH ATTENTION-GRABBING OPENING SENTENCES

We all know that every essay has a beginning, a middle , and an end . But, if our students don’t learn to grab the reader’s attention from the opening sentence, they’ll struggle to keep their readers engaged long enough to make it through the middle to the final full stop. Take a look at these five attention-grabbing sentence examples.

  • “The secret to success is hidden in a single, elusive word: persistence.”
  • “Imagine a world without electricity, where the only source of light is the flame of a candle.”
  • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but most importantly, it was the time that changed everything.”
  • “They said it couldn’t be done, but she proved them wrong with her grit and determination.”
  • “He stood at the edge of the cliff, staring down at the tumultuous ocean below, knowing that one misstep could mean certain death.”

Regardless of what happens next, those sentences would make any reader stop whatever else they might focus on and read with more intent than before. They have provided the audience with a “hook” intended to lure us further into their work.

To become effective essay writers, your students need to build the skill of writing attention-grabbing opening sentences. The best way of achieving this is to use ‘hooks’.

There are several kinds of hooks that students can choose from. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective of these:

 1. The Attention-Grabbing Anecdote

2. The Bold Pronouncement!

3. The Engaging Fact

4. Using an Interesting Quote

5. Posing a Rhetorical Question

6. Presenting a Contrast

 How appropriate each of these hooks is will depend on the essay’s nature. Students must consider the topic, purpose, tone, and audience of the essay they’re writing before deciding how best to open it.

 Let’s look at each of these essay hooks, along with a practice activity students can undertake to put their knowledge of each hook into action.

1: HOW TO START AN ESSAY WITH “THE ATTENTION-GRABBING ANECDOTE”

 Anecdotes are an effective way for the student to engage the reader’s attention right from the start.

When the anecdote is based on the writer’s personal life, they are a great way to create intimacy between the writer and the reader from the outset.

Anecdotes are an especially useful starting point when the essay explores more abstract themes as they climb down the ladder of abstraction and fit the broader theme of the essay to the shape of the writer’s life.

Anecdotes work because they are personal, and because they’re personal, they infuse the underlying theme of the essay with emotion.

This expression of emotion helps the writer form a bond with the reader. And it is this bond that helps encourage the reader to continue reading.

Readers find this an engaging approach, mainly when the topic is complex and challenging.

Anecdotes provide an ‘in’ to the writing’s broader theme and encourage the reader to read on.

Examples of Attention-grabbing anecdotes

  • “It was my first day of high school, and I was a bundle of nerves. I had always been a shy kid, and the thought of walking into a new school, surrounded by strangers was overwhelming. But as I walked through the front doors, something unexpected happened. A senior, who I had never met before, came up to me and said ‘Welcome to high school; it’s going to be an amazing four years.’ That one small act of kindness from a complete stranger made all the difference, and from that day on, I knew that I would be okay.”
  • “I was in my math class and having a tough day. I had a test coming up, and I was struggling to understand the material. My teacher, who I had always thought was strict and unapproachable, noticed that I was struggling and asked if I needed help. I was surprised, but I took her up on her offer, and she spent extra time with me after class, helping me to understand the material. That experience taught me that sometimes, the people we think we know the least about are the ones who can help us the most.”
  • “It was the last day of 8th grade, and we were all sitting in the auditorium, waiting for the ceremony to begin. Suddenly, the principal got on stage and announced that there was a surprise guest speaker. I was confused and curious, but when the guest walked out on stage, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was my favorite rapper who had come to speak to us about the importance of education. That moment was a turning point for me, it showed me that if you work hard and believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

Attention-Grabbing Anecdote Teaching Strategies

One way to help students access their personal stories is through sentence starters, writing prompts, or well-known stories and their themes.

First, instruct students to choose a theme to write about. For example, if we look at the theme of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, something like: we shouldn’t tell lies, or people may not believe us when we tell the truth.

Fairytales and fables are great places for students to find simple themes or moral lessons to explore for this activity.

Once they’ve chosen a theme, encourage the students to recall a time when this theme was at play in their own lives. In the case above, a time when they paid the cost, whether seriously or humorously, for not telling the truth.

This memory will form the basis for a personal anecdote that will form a ‘hook’. Students can practice replicating this process for various essay topics.

It’s essential when writing anecdotes that students attempt to capture their personal voice.

One way to help them achieve this is to instruct them to write as if they were orally telling their story to a friend.

This ‘vocal’ style of writing helps to create intimacy between writer and reader, which is the hallmark of this type of opening.

2: HOW TO START AN ESSAY WITH “THE BOLD PRONOUNCEMENT”

 As the old cliché “Go big or go home!” would have it, making a bold pronouncement at the start of an essay is one surefire way to catch the reader’s attention.

Bold statements exude confidence and assure the reader that this writer has something to say that’s worth hearing. A bold statement placed right at the beginning suggests the writer isn’t going to hedge their bets or perch passively on a fence throughout their essay.

The bold pronouncement technique isn’t only useful for writing a compelling opening sentence, the formula can be used to generate a dramatic title for the essay.

For example, the recent New York Times bestseller ‘Everybody Lies’ by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is an excellent example of the bold pronouncement in action.

Examples of Bold Pronouncements

  • “I will not be just a statistic, I will be the exception. I will not let my age or my background define my future, I will define it myself.”
  • “I will not be afraid to speak up and make my voice heard. I will not let anyone silence me or make me feel small. I will stand up for what I believe in and I will make a difference.”
  • “I will not be satisfied with just getting by. I will strive for greatness and I will not be content with mediocrity. I will push myself to be the best version of me, and I will not settle for anything less.”

Strategies for Teaching how to write a Bold Pronouncement

Give the students a list of familiar tales; again, Aesop’s Fables make for a good resource.

In groups, have them identify some tales’ underlying themes or morals. For this activity, these can take the place of an essay’s thesis statement.

Then, ask the students to discuss in their groups and collaborate to write a bold pronouncement based on the story. Their pronouncement should be short, pithy, and, most importantly, as bold as bold can be.

3: HOW TO START AN ESSAY WITH “THE ENGAGING FACT”

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In our cynical age of ‘ fake news ’, opening an essay with a fact or statistic is a great way for students to give authority to their writing from the very beginning.

Students should choose the statistic or fact carefully, it should be related to their general thesis, and it needs to be noteworthy enough to spark the reader’s curiosity.

This is best accomplished by selecting an unusual or surprising fact or statistic to begin the essay with.

Examples of the Engaging Fact

  •  “Did you know that the average teenager spends around 9 hours a day consuming media? That’s more than the time they spend sleeping or in school!”
  • “The brain continues to develop until the age of 25, which means that as a teenager, my brain is still going through major changes and growth. This means I have a lot of potential to learn and grow.”
  • “The average attention span of a teenager is shorter than that of an adult, meaning that it’s harder for me to focus on one task for an extended time. This is why it is important for me to balance different activities and take regular breaks to keep my mind fresh.”

Strategies for teaching how to write engaging facts

This technique can work well as an extension of the bold pronouncement activity above.

When students have identified each of the fables’ underlying themes, have them do some internet research to identify related facts and statistics.

Students highlight the most interesting of these and consider how they would use them as a hook in writing an essay on the topic.

4: HOW TO START AN ESSAY USING “AN INTERESTING QUOTATION”

This strategy is as straightforward as it sounds. The student begins their essay by quoting an authority or a well-known figure on the essay’s topic or related topic.

This quote provides a springboard into the essay’s subject while ensuring the reader is engaged.

The quotation selected doesn’t have to align with the student’s thesis statement.

In fact, opening with a quotation the student disagrees with can be a great way to generate a debate that grasps the reader’s attention from the outset.

Examples of starting an essay with an interesting quotation.

  • “As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’ As a 16-year-old student, I know how it feels to be judged by my ability to climb the “academic tree” and how it feels to be labeled as “stupid”. But just like the fish in Einstein’s quote, I know that my true potential lies in my unique abilities and talents, not in how well I can climb a tree.”
  • “Mark Twain once said, ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.’ This quote resonates with me because as a teenager, I often feel pressure to conform to the expectations and opinions of my peers. But this quote reminds me to take a step back and think for myself, rather than blindly following the crowd.”
  • “As J.K. Rowling famously said, ‘It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.’ As a 16-year-old student, I often find myself getting lost in my dreams for the future and forgetting to live in the present. But this quote serves as a reminder to me to strive for my goals while also cherishing and living in the here and now.”

Teaching Strategies for starting an essay with an interesting quotation.

To gain practice in this strategy, organize the students into groups and have them generate a list of possible thesis statements for their essays.

Once they have a list of statements, they now need to generate a list of possible quotations related to their hypothetical essay’s central argument .

Several websites are dedicated to curating pertinent quotations from figures of note on an apparently inexhaustible array of topics. These sites are invaluable resources for tracking down interesting quotations for any essay.

5: HOW TO START AN ESSAY BY “POSING A RHETORICAL QUESTION”

What better way to get a reader thinking than to open with a question?

See what I did there?

Beginning an essay with a question not only indicates to the reader the direction the essay is headed in but also challenges them to respond personally to the topic.

Rhetorical questions are asked to make a point and to get the reader thinking rather than to elicit an answer.

One effective way to use a rhetorical question in an introduction is to craft a rhetorical question from the thesis statement and use it as the opening sentence.

The student can then end the opening paragraph with the thesis statement itself.

In this way, the student has presented their thesis statement as the answer to the rhetorical question asked at the outset.

Rhetorical questions also make for valuable transitions between paragraphs.

Examples of starting an essay with a rhetorical question

  • “What if instead of judging someone based on their appearance, we judged them based on their character? As a 16-year-old, I see the damage caused by judging someone based on their physical appearance, and it’s time to move away from that and focus on character.”
  • “How can we expect to solve the world’s problems if we don’t start with ourselves? As a 16-year-old student, I am starting to see the issues in the world, and I believe that before we can make any progress, we need to start with ourselves.”
  • “What would happen if we stopped labelling people by race, religion, or sexual orientation? As a teenager growing up in a diverse world, I see the harm caused by labelling and stereotyping people; it’s time for us to stop and see people for who they truly are.”

Teaching Students how to start an essay with a rhetorical question

To get some experience posing rhetorical questions, organize your students into small groups, and give each group a list of essay thesis statements suited to their age and abilities.

Task the students to rephrase each of the statements as questions.

For example, if we start with the thesis statement “Health is more important than wealth”, we might reverse engineer a rhetorical question such as “What use is a million dollars to a dying man?”

Mastering how to start an essay with a question is a technique that will become more common as you progress in confidence as a writer.

6: HOW TO START AN ESSAY BY “PRESENTING A CONTRAST”

In this opening, the writer presents a contrast between the image of the subject and its reality. Often, this strategy is an effective opener when widespread misconceptions on the subject are widespread.

For example, if the thesis statement is something like “Wealth doesn’t bring happiness”, the writer might open with a scene describing a lonely, unhappy person surrounded by wealth and opulence.

This scene contrasts a luxurious setting with an impoverished emotional state, insinuating the thrust of the essay’s central thesis.

Examples of Starting an essay by presenting a contrast

  • “On one hand, technology has made it easier to stay connected with friends and family than ever before. On the other hand, it has also created a sense of disconnection and loneliness in many people, including myself as a 16-year-old. “
  • “While social media has allowed us to express ourselves freely, it has also led to a culture of cyberbullying and online harassment. As a teenager, I have seen social media’s positive and negative effects.”
  • “On one hand, the internet has given us access to a wealth of information. On the other hand, it has also made it harder to separate fact from fiction and to distinguish credible sources from fake news. This is becoming increasingly important for me as a 16-year-old student in today’s society.”

Teaching Strategies for presenting a contrast when starting an essay.

For this activity, you can use the same list of thesis statements as in the activity above. In their groups, challenge students to set up a contrasting scene to evoke the essay’s central contention, as in the example above.

The scene of contrast can be a factual one in a documentary or anecdotal style, or a fictionalized account.

Whether the students are using a factual or fictional scene for their contrast, dramatizing it can make it much more persuasive and impactful.

THE END OF THE BEGINNING

These aren’t the only options available for opening essays, but they represent some of the best options available to students struggling to get started with the concept of how to create an essay.

With practice, students will soon be able to select the best strategies for their needs in various contexts.

To reinforce their understanding of different strategies for starting an introduction for an essay, encourage them to pay attention to the different choices writers make each time they begin reading a new nonfiction text.

Just like getting good at essay writing itself, getting good at writing openings requires trial and error and lots and lots of practice.

USEFUL VIDEO TUTORIALS ON WRITING AN ESSAY INTRODUCTION

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

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

Table of Contents

Writing essays can be an exhausting task. Most people looking back on their days in school and current students can all attest to that sentiment. The pressure of writing something that’s captivating and original , an essay that will turn heads and yield a high grade, generates anxiety in students all over the world. 

And the thing that will capture the most attention and really keep the audience, in most cases the professor, reading the essay is something called a hook. Understanding what a hook is and how to write a hook for an essay can make a huge difference in the outcome of the piece and how it is viewed by the person reading it. 

What is a Hook in an Essay? 

A hook in an essay is generally the opening line that is designed to pique the interest of the reader. The hook is used as bait, a way to lure in the attention of the reader and captivate them in a way that they will continue reading out of a desire to learn more about the topic at hand. 

Not all essays are created equal. A single classroom where all students are assigned the same topic can yield dozens of different ways to talk about or explain the same idea. What will make one essay stand out from the others is a hook that compels the reader to keep going. The hook is essentially an elevator pitch, a short and sweet delivery that is designed in a way to generate curiosity and intrigue, a segue into the deeper and more detailed explanations and research that go into the essay as a whole. 

A hook can be presented by using an anecdote, a powerful or inspiring quote, a shocking statistic, or a well-written and vivid description. The hook establishes from the start the essay’s tone and relevance.

Why is it Important to Have a Good Essay Hook?

If you don’t have a good essay hook, you will have a very hard time connecting with the reader. Aside from that, you can lose the interest and attention span of the audience if you don’t captivate them from the beginning. 

Keep in mind, most essays are written by students and the professor responsible will be required to read dozens of them for each assignment. If you don’t have a great essay hook, the chances are you won’t capture the attention of the professor and this will impact the grade you receive on the essay. 

Storytelling is such an important part of human history. It goes back to the beginning of mankind and has played an integral role in the advancement of humanity and society. From the early times of humanity, the best storytellers were the ones who were able to capture the attention of their desired audience. Using a great hook that piques the interest of audiences has always been a vital component of telling a great story, whether it’s a speech or an essay.

What are the Different Types of Essay Hooks

There are different kinds of hooks that can be used while writing essays. Each kind of hook is different but has the same principal purpose: to get the reader’s attention so they are hooked from the start and continue reading with the desire to learn more, not just because they are tasked with the assignment to read the essay. 

By creating a captivating hook and generating a desire to keep reading, you are one step ahead on the mission to deliver an essay that is actually impactful. 

An anecdote is a short, amusing, and interesting story or quip about a person, story, or event. Kicking off an essay by sharing an anecdote is a very easy and entertaining way to hook the reader into feeling engaged and curious about the story they are about to read. 

Rhetorical Questions

A rhetorical question is a question that is asked for effect and not necessarily to elicit some kind of an answer. It’s a great way to make people think or question themselves or their beliefs regarding a specific topic or subject matter. 

Description

Using a description as a hook that’s intriguing and attention-grabbing is a great way to drive curiosity and ensure the audience continues reading the essay. 

Fact/Statistic

People love facts and statistics. They are great ways to engage readers by providing them with bits and pieces of factual information they can then use to build stronger opinions or arguments about the subject at hand. 

Using a quote as a hook can work really well if choosing the right person and a quote that is highly relevant to the topic of the essay. People are easily inspired by quotes so leveraging them as hooks is a great strategy for writing essays that engage. 

Common Misconceptions 

By adding a common misconception as a hook for your essay, you teach something right off the bat. This is a really impactful way of showing the reader that they can expect a lot more value and lessons learned if they continue reading beyond the hook of the essay. 

What Are Some Good Hooks for Essays (With Examples)

An intriguing rhetorical question .

Let’s imagine you are writing an essay about using artificial intelligence to create articles. An intriguing rhetorical question you could use for the hook of the essay could be something like: 

“Do you want to spend the whole day writing or leverage technology to do the work for you?” It’s an obvious answer but a question that doesn’t necessarily even need an answer. It makes a point. That’s why it makes a great hook because it intrigues the reader to find out more about how technology will do the work for them. 

A Surprising Fact or Statistic

Shock your reader right off the bat. You writing about health and nutrition? Start your essay with a statistical hook like:

“X% of people who consume Y are more likely to develop Z in their lifetime.” Obviously the reader will be curious to know if they fall into that category and will keep reading.

A Relevant Quotation

People love quotes. By adding an inspiring or thought-provoking quote by someone that carries weight on the topic of your essay, your hook will capture the reader’s attention. If you are writing an essay on veganism, for example, and you start off with the following quote by Paul McCartney for a hook, you are on the right path: 

“If slaugherhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”

An Interesting Anecdote

Anecdotes can be personal or amusing. This helps catch the reader’s attention making it a great hook for an essay. Connect with the reader by using a meaningful anecdote. If you are writing an essay on public speaking, a great example of an anecdote spoken by Winston Churchill would definitely work as a captivating hook. 

“When I get up to speak, I always make a point of taking a good look around the audience. Then I say to myself, ‘What a lot of silly fools.’ And then I always feel better.” 

A Common Misconception

Back to the idea of an essay discussing veganism, as there are many common misconceptions about a plant-based diet, creating a hook with something that will really surprise the reader would be a great way to kick off the piece. For example: 

“Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet won’t cause protein deficiencies. In fact, plant-based consumers can get more than enough protein without even having to supplement.”

How to Write a Hook for an Essay and Get Started

Without knowing where you are going with your essay, it will be challenging to create the right hook. You don’t want to start with the hook, even though it will eventually be at the start of the essay. 

In order to create a hook that really does the job, you want to flesh out the entire essay, research the subject matter first, and decide the hook toward the end. This way, you are well-versed in the subject matter by having done most of the research first. 

Create an Outline

First, you want to outline the entire essay. Figure out what you are going to write about, the direction you will take the piece, and how you will close it out. 

By outlining the intro, body, and conclusion of the essay first, you already do a lot of the legwork to understand the structure and content that will be used to develop the essay. Simply outlining the essay first will already get the creative juices flowing so the hook you end up creating will be impactful. 

Develop a Thesis

The thesis statement is the main idea or concept that you will talk about and deliver in your essay. You want to develop this first so you have a strong backbone to build on when it comes time to write both the hook and the essay. 

Writing your thesis statement will make it so much easier to write your hook. The thesis is typically presented at the end of the introduction whereas the hook is at the beginning of the intro. So by having your thesis developed and in place, you’ll naturally be able to write a hook that makes a lot more sense and flows well into the thesis statement shortly after. 

Write Your Hook

Once your essay is outlined and the thesis is ready to go, you want to write your hook. Which style hook will depend a lot on the subject of the essay and what you plan to present with the thesis. That’s why having the first two steps in place before taking a shot in the dark with the hook is essential. Write a few different types of hooks to see which works the best. Share the introduction with friends or colleagues to see which hook captures their attention the most before making your final decision. 

Writing an essay can be a tiring and tedious experience for many people. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you are prepared with the proper steps to take and tools to use to assist you in the process. 

Once you have the outline and thesis in hand, you can even plug them into ChatGPT to help brainstorm some hooks that make your essay intro pop. And if you end up using ChatGPT or some other AI-generating content writer with the production of your essay, run it through the Undetectable.ai humanizing tool to ensure that the text is natural and doesn’t sound robotic.

While the hook of an essay might seem like a simple step that’s easy to ignore (it’s just a sentence, right?), don’t slack on this step. It’s a step too many people don’t give enough time and part of the process that can make or break a great essay. 

Remember, your essay will be one of many and you want to stand out in a crowded room, not just be another paper on the pile.

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How to Write a Catchy Hook for an Essay: Types, Examples, and Tips

  • by Lesley V.
  • January 9, 2023 June 7, 2023
  • 10 Comments

What is a hook in an essay?

But there’s a catch:

A hook in an essay is NOT an introduction! It opens your introductory paragraph rather than substitutes it. Writing hooks serve to grab attention and encourage the audience to keep reading. Here you’ll find the top five hook ideas, with practical tips and examples for different essay types.

Let’s dive right in.

What Are Good Hooks for Essays? 

Writing hooks are many, and they work to capture interest and generate curiosity. A reader stays focused on your academic paper, immersing in the context and examining it till the end.

Good hooks for essays give people a reason to invest their time into your content. In the world of a short attention span, when we don’t read but scan texts (1), such grabbers matter.

I’ve been writing educational content for many years, you know. So, I had enough practice to define the features of a good hook. That’s how to craft it so that readers welcome it gratefully:

essay-hook-features

Good Hooks Are Intriguing

Although most essays refer to formal academic writing, remember a hook’s primary purpose:

It grabs attention and captures interest to motivate the audience to keep reading. With that in mind, make hooks a bit intriguing. It will engage and evoke readers’ interest.

Mistakes to avoid: Say no to irrelevant hooks; don’t cheat a reader to get a wow effect. Your hook should refer to the essay’s topic and fit its thesis. (More on that below.)

Good Hooks Guide a Reader

It’s essential because your reader should understand what they’ll get from an essay. Scanning the hook, they already assume your topic and background information. A good hook guides a reader to your thesis statement.

Mistakes to avoid:  Don’t use common knowledge or boring facts in hooks. Think of something controversial yet relevant to your topic. Otherwise, the hook will “say” to the audience that your paper isn’t worth reading. Remember that it sets the tone for the rest of your essay.

Good Hooks Are Short and Up-to-Point

Even in formal papers, writing hooks make readers crave more and continue investigating. You have only five seconds (2) to grab their attention! So it’s essential to make hooks short and up-to-point:

Thus, you’ll catch the audience at once and encourage them to stay with you.

Mistakes to avoid:  Don’t use long sentences with many filler words. Be concise, use an active voice, and remember the purpose of your essay. What effect do you intend to have on the reader? Vague words, redundant adverbs, and no clear point in a hook can ruin the impression of your whole essay.

Good Hooks Fit Your Thesis

You know every essay has a thesis statement in the introduction. When writing a hook, make it super relevant to your thesis. It should sound natural and fit the context of your paper.

It’s critical for the logical flow of your essay introduction. Such hooks communicate the paper’s idea, helping readers get involved in the topic.

 Mistakes to avoid:  Don’t hurry up to craft a hook for an essay. Start with a thesis instead. Once ready, it will help you decide on the hook type that looks and sounds best in the context.

5 Types of Essay Hooks (With Examples)

So, what are the hook types in formal works like academic writing?

Below I’ll share five hook ideas with examples. It will help you see how they work for reader engagement. All based on my writing experience and the editorial feedback I got on my drafts.

essay-hooks-examples

1. Statement

A statement writing hook is a sentence making a clear claim about the topic and research you’ll cover. It should reflect the essay for people to see what they’ll get if they continue investigating.

Why are statements so engaging?

They make readers want to see what arguments you use to support your research. It’s about curiosity again. The audience continues reading to confirm their view of your statement is true.

This hook makes a strong statement about the transformative power of education. It highlights the belief that education can bring significant change, and explains how.

In college papers, a thesis can also be an attention-grabber. Start your text with the core statement you’ll support throughout the essay.

A thesis statement can be a hook if you have an alternative (unexpected) take on the subject. Readers may want to see where and how you came up with such a new idea.

2. Statistics

A statistic hook works for more formal and informative academic papers. Consider numbers, percentages, and decimals related to your research to grab readers’ interest.

First, it’s about psychology again. People tend to perceive the information with numbers as more authoritative and trustworthy.

And second, surprising statistics boost intrigue. Readers will want to find out what’s behind those numbers. (Consider something rare or unexpected for a hook to reach this effect.)

Be sure to include the source: Where did you get those numbers? Do not “invent” facts for a wow effect; be honest with your audience when choosing hooks for essays.

In this hook for an essay, the statistic about food waste grabs the reader’s attention. First, it presents a surprising fact. Second, it sets the stage for delving into the causes and consequences. Finally, it signals that you’ll propose solutions to this critical problem.

3. Question

The most popular essay hook type, a question grabs attention at once. It signals to readers that if they continue reading — they’ll find the answer.

People are curious by nature, and questions leave them wanting more. It’s psychology: Curiosity won’t let them put your writing aside.

Not all questions work like writing hooks. You need to ask a thought-provoking one or involve further exploration of the issue. Use open-ended questions in essays. Avoid those too general or expecting short “yes” or “no” answers.

hook-for-an-essay-question

4. Quotation

Some content experts say this hook is “for lazy authors,” meaning those who don’t know how to engage readers.

Literary quotes or quotes from famous people are super engaging. (Example: Motivational quotes’ crazy popularity on social media.)

Yes, this hook has a controversial reputation. It’s because newbie writers overuse it, placing random sayings in their content.

A quotation can be an effective way to start an essay by drawing on the insight of a notable individual.

This powerful quotation reveals the essence of resilience and perseverance in challenges. Using it as an essay hook, you can introduce a topic on overcoming obstacles or personal growth.

If you decide to use a quotation hook for your essay, here go some tips from me:

  • Find a rare quote related to your topic. Don’t use overused sayings we’ve all been reading hundreds of times already.
  • Ensure the quote is from a credible source and check the authorship before publishing it. Otherwise, you risk attributing your chosen quote to the wrong person. (A primary example is “ Write drunk, edit sober,” attributed to Ernest Hemingway though he didn’t tell it.)

how to start hook for essay

  • Use quotations that can add to the credibility of your argument. Choose those with powerful and memorable thoughts. Ensure you explain the quote after including it to prevent misunderstanding and confusion.

It’s the perfect hook for narrative writing : storytelling, blog posts, social media, etc.

Start your paper with a short episode that relates to the essay topic. It can be a real-life or fictional story with a hero to gain the reader’s attention and reflection.

Using a short personal story as an essay hook is a compelling way to make your essay more relatable. Opening lines like this captivate attention and create a sense of intrigue.

It introduces an experience or moment that connects to the topic you will be discussing. This approach can create a personal connection between the reader and your essay.

How to Create Attention-Grabbing Hooks for Different Types of Essays

With so many academic papers to write in college, it’s critical to understand what hooks work for each. Depending on the essay type and topic, opening sentences may vary.

Below are the best writing hooks practices for different essay types.

How to Write a Hook for Argumentative Essays

Start with a strong statement or question related to the topic of your essay. It will help the reader understand the point you’ll support. Besides, a question evokes curiosity:

The audience will expect the answer and continue reading your essay to find it.

Argumentative writing in schools is about learning critical thinking and communication skills. You try to convince the audience with arguments. Ensure your essay hook matches that confident and convincing tone.

This hook is a controversial statement that grabs the reader’s attention. It sets the stage for an essay where you use evidence and persuasive arguments to support the point.

How to Write a Hook for Research Papers

Start with a question or surprising statistics. Research papers in college serve to develop your searching and fact-checking skills. A question or statistics in essay hooks will show you can form arguments based on facts.

This hook engages the reader with an intriguing question about the research topic. It highlights the field’s impact, sparking curiosity and setting the stage for exploration.

How to Write a Hook for Compare and Contrast Essays

Use a question or a short story as writing hooks here. The task is to set up a contrast of concepts to show their nature through comparison.

This hook captures by presenting a relatable situation and teasing the exploration. It creates anticipation for the analysis, encouraging one to continue reading for answers.

How to Write a Hook for Informative Essays

Start with a story or a quotation. Informative essays aren’t as formal as other papers in schools, making these hook ideas fit. Consider the topic of your essay to choose a proper tone. Quotations work for more formal subjects, and stories serve best for less formal ones.

hook-for-an-essay-informative

This opening paragraph begins with a quotation. It helps grab attention to the topic and guide readers through the information in the essay.

How to Write a Hook for an Analytical Essay

For analytical essays, consider hook types like strong statements or rhetorical questions. This paper type resembles a critical analysis . So your hook will guide the audience through the context your analysis will tackle.

This hook begins with a thought-provoking rhetorical question, engaging the reader. It introduces the essay focus: analyze the persuasive language and explore its techniques.

How to Write a Hook for a Rhetorical Essay

Use a rhetorical question or a quotation from the work you’ll explore. Rhetorical essays are about analyzing someone’s non-fiction piece (4). So these writing hooks will work best here.

This hook is a thought-provoking question. It sets the stage for a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic speech. Readers understand you’ll explore the writing techniques employed by King to inspire change.

Tips to Create an Effective Essay Hook That Improves Your Writing

how-to-write-a-hook

Below are actionable tips for a writing hooks practice. Remember them when working on your essays. They’ll make your texts sound professional.

Use AI Content Generators

While tools like ChatGPT are controversial in academia (5), you can still use them for good. Consider AI assistants to help you with writing hooks ideas. They’ll offer examples that you can polish for your paper’s purpose.

Or, at least, you’ll see how to write a hook for an essay. Ask AI to share hook types for different papers — and you’ll know how to craft each and improve your writing skills.

Write in Simple Language

Say no to sophisticated terms and fancy words in your essays. Write the way you speak and use words everybody knows. Simple sentences can be informative and persuasive, too.

Please don’t try to sound smart. Bunches of lengthy, hard-to-pronounce words make your work sound artificial. Plus, they hurt the essay’s readability.

Avoid Passive Voice

I have no idea why it’s so, but students love using passive voice in essays. Do they believe it makes them sound formal and authoritative? It’s not so.

If you want to improve your writing, don’t use passive voice in texts. It makes writing sound weak and uncertain as if you aren’t sure about what you are saying. Passive voice also signals poor writing skills.

Add Power Words

Power words are active verbs and descriptive adjectives in your essays. They help communicate intrigue, surprise the audience, and evoke emotions.

Also, don’t hesitate to use sensory language in essay hooks and throughout your text. They enhance your vocabulary and make your writing sound professional.

NB! Know your limit. Remember that you write an academic paper, not a blog post or a novel. So, consider the type and purpose of your essay, and add those lexical items only when appropriate.

Forget Redundant Adverbs

Tons of so-called -ly adverbs in essays or web texts make me cry. Not only do they weaken your writing, but they also signal a lack of vocabulary. Examples of such words are very, really, truly, extremely, absolutely, etc.

Filler words and redundant adverbs in essay hooks don’t work. They will make readers skeptical about your writing skills and knowledge at once. Remember:

You can always find a stronger verb or adjective to communicate your message.

Consider “intelligent” instead of “very smart,” or try “excellent” instead of “very good.” The same rule works for verbs: “Sprint” or “race” sounds better than “run quickly.” And “grin” is more descriptive and powerful than “smile happily.”

Ready to Grab Readers With a Catchy Essay Hook?

Hook ideas are many, and content writers find pros and cons in using each for reader engagement. Depending on the academic paper you write, some hooks can be more effective than others. Consider the message you want to convey with your essay — and craft your opening sentence.

Now that you know the most efficient types of hooks for an essay, it’s time to practice them! You’ll see which grabs the most interest. Statements, statistics, questions, stories, or quotations — all work when used right.

Do you use writing hooks in essays? Share your favorite hook type in the comments!

References:

  • https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/
  • https://business.fiu.edu/graduate/doctor-of-business-administration/2021/maribel-diz.pdf  
  • https://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Grads/Writing-Speaking-Guides/Alphabetical-List-of-Guides/Academic-Writing/Analysis/Rhetorical-Analysis
  • https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/chatgpt-threat-education

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How to Write a Good Hook for Your Essay: Tips and Examples

How to Write a Good Hook for Your Essay: Tips and Examples

So, how do you write a good hook? One way is to start with an original and interesting fact that relates to your essay’s topic. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the significance of loneliness in William Salingers novels, you could begin with a statistic like, “Did you know that 85% of readers report feeling a sense of loneliness while reading Salingers novels?” This hooks the reader’s interest immediately, as they want to know why this is the case and how it relates to the theme of loneliness in Salingers works.

Another way to create a captivating hook is to ask a thought-provoking question. For instance, in an essay about the character Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” you could start by asking, “Have you ever wondered why Holden is such an interesting and complex character? ❓ What makes readers like him and empathize with his struggles?” This not only engages the reader, but also gives them a reason to continue reading and explore the themes and ideas you will be discussing in your essay.

Ultimately, the key to a good hook is to be creative, original, and relevant to your essay’s topic. By implementing these tips and examples, you can effectively grab your reader’s attention from the very beginning and ensure that they will be hooked into your essay’s structure and ideas.

Tips and Examples for Writing a Good Hook for Your Essay

1. start with a thought-provoking question.

Asking a question related to your essay’s theme or topic can create curiosity in the reader’s mind. For example, “❓ What would you do if you had the power to change the world?” or “❓ Where do you draw the line between right and wrong?” These questions will make your readers think and want to know more.

2. Use a surprising fact or statistic

Sharing an unexpected or little-known fact can intrigue readers and make them want to continue reading. For instance, “📌 Did you know that over 85% of New York City’s residents live in apartments?” or “📌 William Salingers’ ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ was initially titled ‘The Lonely Moron’.” These surprising facts will immediately grab attention and encourage readers to delve deeper into your essay.

3. Tell a brief but interesting story

Humans are naturally drawn to stories, so incorporating a short, captivating anecdote or personal experience into your hook can be highly effective. For example, “Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ often wandered the streets of New York City, searching for something real in a world of phoniness.” This hook immediately piques the reader’s curiosity about Holden’s character and what he’s searching for.

4. Use a quote or an excerpt from a renowned source

Quoting a famous person, book, or speech can provide insight and credibility to your essay. For instance, “In the words of Holden Caulfield, ‘I’m sick of not having the guts to be an absolute moron.'” This quote introduces the reader to Holden’s unique and honest perspective, making them want to explore his character further.

5. Create a vivid picture or description

Painting a vivid image or describing a memorable scene in your hook can transport the reader into the world of your essay. For example, “Imagine standing on the edge of a cliff, the wind whispering through the tall grass, as you peer into the depths of your greatest fear.” This descriptive hook immediately sets the tone and atmosphere for your essay.

Remember, a good hook should be original, interesting, and relevant to your essay’s theme. Implementing these tips and examples will help you create a hook that grabs readers’ attention and entices them to keep reading.

Catcher in the Rye Essay Topics Ideas

The hook: grabbing the reader’s attention.

The hook is the first paragraph of your essay and it needs to be interesting enough to keep the readers hooked. Here are some original hook examples that can be used for an essay on “The Catcher in the Rye”:

1. “📌 Did you ever wonder what it feels like to be Holden Caulfield, a lonely teenager in 1950s New York?”

2. “They’re all phonies! Have you ever felt like Holden Caulfield, unable to stand the fake reality of the adult world?”

3. “Holden Caulfield and the significance of the red hunting hat: an exploration into the themes of innocence and alienation.”

Essay Topics: Exploring the Novel’s Themes and Characters

“The Catcher in the Rye” offers a great variety of essay topics that can be explored. Here are some ideas that can help you come up with a unique and interesting topic:

1. The character of Holden Caulfield: What makes him an interesting and relatable character?

2. The structure of the novel: How is it implemented to show the thoughts and experiences of Holden?

3. The themes of innocence and alienation: How are these themes portrayed in the novel?

4. The significance of the red hunting hat: What does it symbolize and why is it important?

5. The portrayal of New York City in the 1950s: How does the setting contribute to the overall atmosphere of the novel?

Essay Prompts: Guiding Students in Their Writing

Sometimes, having a specific prompt can help students focus their essay writing. Here are some essay prompts that can be used when writing about “The Catcher in the Rye”:

1. Discuss the theme of loneliness in the novel and how it affects Holden Caulfield.

2. Analyze the significance of the title “The Catcher in the Rye” and its connection to Holden’s character.

3. Explore the reasons why Holden Caulfield is often seen as a morally confused character.

4. Discuss the role of relationships in the novel, focusing on Holden’s relationship with his family and friends.

5. Analyze the use of profanity and controversial topics (such as sex and drugs) in the novel, and how they contribute to the overall themes and characterization.

Thesis Statement: Taking a Stand

Your essay should always have a clear thesis statement, which is the main argument of your essay. Here’s an example of a thesis statement for an essay on “The Catcher in the Rye”:

“Holden Caulfield’s rebellious attitude, marijuana use, and constant search for connection reveal a character who is both a misunderstood teenager and a symbol of the lost innocence of an entire generation.”

Remember to choose a topic that you’re interested in, and develop your ideas with original examples and supporting evidence from the novel. Good luck with your essay on “The Catcher in the Rye”!

Interesting Catcher in the Rye Essay Titles

These titles provide an idea of the different themes, characters, symbols, and settings present in the novel. They’re designed to pique the readers’ interest and make them want to delve into your essay further. Remember, an original and interesting title is worth the effort as it sets the tone for your entire essay. Now, it’s up to you to choose the right title that best fits your essay topic and structure.

Effective Hook Ideas for Your Catcher in the Rye Essay

When writing an essay on J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye , it’s important to start with a strong hook that captures the reader’s attention and sets the tone for the rest of your essay. A good hook can make your essay stand out and pique the interest of your readers. Here are some effective hook ideas to consider for your essay:

1. Start with a thought-provoking question:

❓ What makes Holden Caulfield such a relatable and iconic character?

❓ Can innocence truly be preserved in a corrupt and imperfect world?

By posing compelling questions that pique the readers’ curiosity, you can immediately engage them and make them eager to read further.

2. Use a powerful quote:

“I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.”

– Holden Caulfield

Quoting memorable lines from the novel can instantly hook readers and give them a glimpse into the complex mind of Holden Caulfield.

3. Provide an interesting fact or statistic:

Did you know that The Catcher in the Rye has sold over 65 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling novels of all time?

Sharing a surprising or little-known fact like this can grab the reader’s attention and immediately establish the significance and popular appeal of the novel.

4. Create a vivid description:

Imagine a world where you can’t trust anyone, where everyone seems phony and superficial, and where the struggle to find one’s place in society feels overwhelming.

By painting a picture that taps into the themes and atmosphere of the novel, you can evoke readers’ emotions and make them curious to find out more.

When crafting your hook, remember to keep it relevant to your thesis and overall essay idea. A great hook can set the stage for a compelling essay that explores the themes, characters, and significance of The Catcher in the Rye .

What are some tips for writing a good hook for an essay?

When writing a hook for an essay, it’s important to grab the reader’s attention right from the start. Some tips for writing a good hook include starting with a quote or an interesting fact, using a question to engage the reader, or telling a captivating story. The key is to make the hook relevant to the topic of the essay and to create a strong emotional or intellectual response from the reader.

How do I write a good hook for my essay?

Writing a good hook for your essay is crucial as it helps to capture the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading further. There are several ways to create a strong hook, such as starting with a surprising fact or statistic, asking a thought-provoking question, or using a vivid description or anecdote. It’s important to choose a hook that is relevant to your topic and sets the tone for your essay.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California , and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.

hook for essay

How to Write a Hook for an Essay?

how to start hook for essay

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.

how to start hook for essay

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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Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

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How to Write an Effective Essay

Writing an essay for college admission gives you a chance to use your authentic voice and show your personality. It's an excellent opportunity to personalize your application beyond your academic credentials, and a well-written essay can have a positive influence come decision time.

Want to know how to draft an essay for your college application ? Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing.

Tips for Essay Writing

A typical college application essay, also known as a personal statement, is 400-600 words. Although that may seem short, writing about yourself can be challenging. It's not something you want to rush or put off at the last moment. Think of it as a critical piece of the application process. Follow these tips to write an impactful essay that can work in your favor.

1. Start Early.

Few people write well under pressure. Try to complete your first draft a few weeks before you have to turn it in. Many advisers recommend starting as early as the summer before your senior year in high school. That way, you have ample time to think about the prompt and craft the best personal statement possible.

You don't have to work on your essay every day, but you'll want to give yourself time to revise and edit. You may discover that you want to change your topic or think of a better way to frame it. Either way, the sooner you start, the better.

2. Understand the Prompt and Instructions.

Before you begin the writing process, take time to understand what the college wants from you. The worst thing you can do is skim through the instructions and submit a piece that doesn't even fit the bare minimum requirements or address the essay topic. Look at the prompt, consider the required word count, and note any unique details each school wants.

3. Create a Strong Opener.

Students seeking help for their application essays often have trouble getting things started. It's a challenging writing process. Finding the right words to start can be the hardest part.

Spending more time working on your opener is always a good idea. The opening sentence sets the stage for the rest of your piece. The introductory paragraph is what piques the interest of the reader, and it can immediately set your essay apart from the others.

4. Stay on Topic.

One of the most important things to remember is to keep to the essay topic. If you're applying to 10 or more colleges, it's easy to veer off course with so many application essays.

A common mistake many students make is trying to fit previously written essays into the mold of another college's requirements. This seems like a time-saving way to avoid writing new pieces entirely, but it often backfires. The result is usually a final piece that's generic, unfocused, or confusing. Always write a new essay for every application, no matter how long it takes.

5. Think About Your Response.

Don't try to guess what the admissions officials want to read. Your essay will be easier to write─and more exciting to read─if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about your subject. Here’s an example: If all your friends are writing application essays about covid-19, it may be a good idea to avoid that topic, unless during the pandemic you had a vivid, life-changing experience you're burning to share. Whatever topic you choose, avoid canned responses. Be creative.

6. Focus on You.

Essay prompts typically give you plenty of latitude, but panel members expect you to focus on a subject that is personal (although not overly intimate) and particular to you. Admissions counselors say the best essays help them learn something about the candidate that they would never know from reading the rest of the application.

7. Stay True to Your Voice.

Use your usual vocabulary. Avoid fancy language you wouldn't use in real life. Imagine yourself reading this essay aloud to a classroom full of people who have never met you. Keep a confident tone. Be wary of words and phrases that undercut that tone.

8. Be Specific and Factual.

Capitalize on real-life experiences. Your essay may give you the time and space to explain why a particular achievement meant so much to you. But resist the urge to exaggerate and embellish. Admissions counselors read thousands of essays each year. They can easily spot a fake.

9. Edit and Proofread.

When you finish the final draft, run it through the spell checker on your computer. Then don’t read your essay for a few days. You'll be more apt to spot typos and awkward grammar when you reread it. After that, ask a teacher, parent, or college student (preferably an English or communications major) to give it a quick read. While you're at it, double-check your word count.

Writing essays for college admission can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. A well-crafted essay could be the deciding factor─in your favor. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll have no problem creating memorable pieces for every application.

What is the format of a college application essay?

Generally, essays for college admission follow a simple format that includes an opening paragraph, a lengthier body section, and a closing paragraph. You don't need to include a title, which will only take up extra space. Keep in mind that the exact format can vary from one college application to the next. Read the instructions and prompt for more guidance.

Most online applications will include a text box for your essay. If you're attaching it as a document, however, be sure to use a standard, 12-point font and use 1.5-spaced or double-spaced lines, unless the application specifies different font and spacing.

How do you start an essay?

The goal here is to use an attention grabber. Think of it as a way to reel the reader in and interest an admissions officer in what you have to say. There's no trick on how to start a college application essay. The best way you can approach this task is to flex your creative muscles and think outside the box.

You can start with openers such as relevant quotes, exciting anecdotes, or questions. Either way, the first sentence should be unique and intrigue the reader.

What should an essay include?

Every application essay you write should include details about yourself and past experiences. It's another opportunity to make yourself look like a fantastic applicant. Leverage your experiences. Tell a riveting story that fulfills the prompt.

What shouldn’t be included in an essay?

When writing a college application essay, it's usually best to avoid overly personal details and controversial topics. Although these topics might make for an intriguing essay, they can be tricky to express well. If you’re unsure if a topic is appropriate for your essay, check with your school counselor. An essay for college admission shouldn't include a list of achievements or academic accolades either. Your essay isn’t meant to be a rehashing of information the admissions panel can find elsewhere in your application.

How can you make your essay personal and interesting?

The best way to make your essay interesting is to write about something genuinely important to you. That could be an experience that changed your life or a valuable lesson that had an enormous impact on you. Whatever the case, speak from the heart, and be honest.

Is it OK to discuss mental health in an essay?

Mental health struggles can create challenges you must overcome during your education and could be an opportunity for you to show how you’ve handled challenges and overcome obstacles. If you’re considering writing your essay for college admission on this topic, consider talking to your school counselor or with an English teacher on how to frame the essay.

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I Love You, Not Your Mess

When people with different tolerances for clutter live together, things can get tense. Experts offer ways to find peace amid the piles.

how to start hook for essay

By Catherine Pearson

Last year, Tracy McCubbin — who has been a professional declutterer for two decades and lives by the motto “don’t put it down, put it away” — married a man she described as “very messy.”

Both acknowledged the “cosmic joke” of their unlikely pairing. Ms. McCubbin put blue painter’s tape on every drawer and cupboard in the kitchen when the pair first moved in together, offering a map to what goes where. But she has also learned to practice what she preaches to her clients, staying cool and calm about messes that don’t affect her day-to-day functioning. Like his night stand, which is buried under books, charging cables and remotes to TVs she is fairly certain they no longer own.

Or the jumble of tools her husband, an avid gardener, tends to leave in the yard. “It’s all over the place,” Ms. McCubbin sighed. “But you know what? We have a beautiful garden. Our fruit trees are fruiting. It’s really been about understanding: This part doesn’t matter.”

Ms. McCubbin, and other experts in organizing as well as psychology, said there were a few practical strategies that could help pack rats and neatniks cohabitate in relative harmony.

Improve your organization systems.

“Oftentimes when one person is more cluttered, the underlying thesis is that they’re wrong, that they’re doing it the wrong way, that they’re bad,” Ms. McCubbin said. But in many cases, household clutter is simply an indication you don’t have solid systems in place.

Some of the solutions she offers to clients are almost too obvious, she said. For instance, she has worked with frustrated parents whose children toss backpacks and coats in what she calls the “landing strip” just inside the front door. Hanging a few hooks that they can easily reach helps.

Ms. McCubbin also recommends adding sufficient shelving for an avid reader’s books. (“The line in the sand is they have to be on a shelf. They can’t be in stacks on the floor.”) At home, she put a dish by the front door, so her husband wasn’t “losing his mind for 10 or 15 minutes every day” looking for his wallet and keys.

“It’s always important to explain that these systems are being put in place to help,” she said, “not because ‘you’re wrong.’”

Focus on functionality.

Ms. McCubbin said it’s most important to consider the practical implications of clutter.

“The goal in getting organized is to make your home work for you,” she said. “It’s not about rainbow bookshelves or making things look perfect, it’s about getting control of clutter so that you can cook in your kitchen and actually use your garage.”

Pour most of your energy into common spaces, Ms. McCubbin advises her clients. For example, she and her husband like to cook, so the kitchen must function well for both of them, she said. But he has an office and a bathroom that she rarely steps foot in so she does not have to see the mess. (Many people don’t have that much space, she acknowledged.)

Focusing on function can be especially helpful for parents who don’t want to battle their children over messy bedrooms. Antonia Colins, who runs the website Balance Through Simplicity, has two adolescent daughters, one of whom struggles with neatness. So Ms. Colins has set basic ground rules, she said. For instance, she insists on clutter-free floors and a desk that is clear enough to study from. (She also expects her daughters to put their dirty laundry next to the washing machine, and return any plates or glasses to the kitchen.) But she looks the other way if the bed isn’t made perfectly or if there is a pile of clean clothes in the corner.

Consider the deeper issues at play.

Sometimes clutter piles up because someone is unwilling to put in the effort to clean and organize. Other times, it is because they have mental or physical roadblocks, explained Michael A. Tompkins, a psychologist and co-author of “Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding and Compulsive Acquiring.”

Perhaps the most obvious example is hoarding disorder , but there are other links between mental health and messiness . For instance, those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.) or other executive functioning issues often struggle with excess clutter. In those instances, patience and understanding can go a long way, he said.

Physical limitations can also be a factor. “I’m 73, so I can speak to this personally,” Dr. Tompkins said. “My ability to maintain my living environment has degraded as my physical capacity has degraded, not because I’m not still interested in keeping my living environment tidy and organized.”

He said that it is important to note any sudden or drastic changes in a person’s household cleanliness (or if they seem to be accumulating an unhealthy amount of stuff) and flag them to a primary care physician, as they can indicate an underlying health issue.

If a person is simply unwilling to compromise on clutter, that may also be cause for concern. There could be more foundational relationship problems at play.

“It’s never just about the socks,” said Kiaundra Jackson, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles. “It’s really about poor communication skills, or other needs, or gender roles — or something way deeper.”

If one person in the household is especially rigid about clutter, that may be more about control than cleanliness, she said, and is something he or she may need to work on in individual therapy. Couples therapy or simply working with an organizer can also help you come to a better understanding if you have reached a stalemate, Ms. Jackson said.

Be strategic in how you talk about it.

Though outside support can help, learning new communication tactics can sometimes be enough to defuse conflict, Ms. Jackson said. Don’t broach the topic of clutter when anyone involved is hungry or tired, she said. And beware of nagging, which she characterized as repeating the same thing over and over in the same way.

“Try a different avenue, try a different tone, try a different time of day,” Ms. Jackson urged, like perhaps writing an email rather than squabbling about messes at the end of a long workweek.

Be deliberate about voicing your expectations, Ms. Jackson said, and revisit them often, because regular check-ins can prevent resentment from building. She declined to offer a specific time frame for those conversations, as it varies from household to household, but she encouraged anyone moving into a new season in life (after a new baby or a job change, for instance) to talk about household expectations.

“Even if there’s just been a shift in preferences,” she said, “that needs to be vocalized.”

Catherine Pearson is a Times reporter who writes about families and relationships. More about Catherine Pearson

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Opinion Outlawing abortion is just the start for some conservative judges

how to start hook for essay

More proof that the assault on reproductive freedom doesn’t stop with abortion : Now teens in Texas can’t obtain contraceptives without their parents being informed and granting approval. The inevitable result will be more unintended pregnancies and more desperate girls in a state where almost all abortions are banned.

You can thank the state of Texas and the ultraconservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit for this situation. The sensible thing to do to prevent unwanted pregnancy is to make access to contraceptives as easy and risk-free as possible. Forcing children to have children is not in anyone’s interest.

I have experienced this debate from both sides now — as a teenager and as a mother of teenagers. And while I agree that parental involvement is preferable and think it’s understandable that parents want a say in their children’s medical decisions, I also know those discussions are not always going to happen. In many families, the consequences could be far worse than invasions of privacy and uncomfortable conversations.

Congress understood this, too, when it provided federal funding for family planning clinics and, in 1978, worried about the explosion in teen pregnancy, explicitly amended the Title X law to include contraceptive coverage for adolescents. In 1981, it further changed the law to “encourage family participation,” to “the extent practical.”

The Reagan administration tried to seize on this language a few years later to require that parents be notified when their children sought contraception from federally funded clinics. This so-called squeal rule was struck down by two federal appeals courts. In addition, every appeals court to address the conflict between state parental consent rules and Title X has found that the state rules conflict with Title X and can’t be enforced.

how to start hook for essay

In short, for four decades now, the rules have been clear: Teenagers can obtain contraception in confidence. Or so we thought. Texas law gives parents the right to consent before their children get contraceptives. Alexander Deanda, who said he was raising his three daughters to conform to his Christian beliefs that they should abstain from premarital sex, filed suit to challenge the administration of Title X as a violation of Texas law and of his constitutional right to direct his children’s upbringing. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump nominee famous for his ruling against the abortion drug mifepristone , agreed.

Last week, the 5th Circuit sided with Deanda . The all-Republican panel — two George W. Bush nominees and Trump nominee Stuart Kyle Duncan — brushed aside the Biden administration’s argument that Deanda lacked standing because he hadn’t shown any real risk of being harmed by the confidentiality policy. There was no assertion that his daughters had obtained contraceptives from a Title X clinic or were inclined to do so.

That didn’t concern the 5th Circuit, in an opinion written by Duncan. (You may recall him from being shouted down by Stanford Law School students unhappy with his position on LGBTQ+ rights.) “The Secretary’s policy is to spend millions to get contraceptives to minors without telling their parents,” Duncan wrote. “It should not come as a shock that there could be a correspondingly large number of parents who can challenge it in court.”

Duncan said the federal law didn’t interfere with — and therefore didn’t preempt — the Texas rule. Really? One — the federal law, the one that’s supposed to take precedence — says that family participation should be “encourage[d],” so far as “practical.” The other — the Texas law, which is supposed to give way under the supremacy clause — mandates parental consent.

Duncan looked at the two laws and said he discerned “no conflict between Title X’s objectives and Texas’s.” Both want to encourage family participation — Texas, he said, just “establishes a specific means of achieving that goal.” So much for paying attention to the statutory text.

Still, the 5th Circuit didn’t go as far as Kacsmaryk, something that’s becoming a trend with this extremist judge . Having concluded that the federal law didn’t preempt the Texas consent requirement, the appeals court didn’t answer the broader constitutional question of whether Title X violated Deanda’s rights as a parent to control his children’s upbringing.

One additional wrinkle: In 2021, after Deanda’s lawsuit was filed, the Biden administration issued a regulation providing that recipients of Title X funds can’t require parental consent or notify parents that minors have requested contraceptive services. Kacsmaryk declared the new rule unlawful. But the appeals court said that went too far because Deanda hadn’t properly challenged it.

In other words, watch this space. But don’t sleep easy. As we’ve seen with interference with in vitro fertilization in Alabama , and as we see with contraceptives in Texas, outlawing abortion is just the start.

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how to start hook for essay

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  1. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Guide, Tips, and Examples

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  2. 7 Sensational Essay Hooks That Grab Readers’ Attention

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  3. Help Writing A Hook For An Essay

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  4. 20 Compelling Hook Examples for Essays

    how to start hook for essay

  5. The Ultimate Guide To Writing Great Hooks For Essays

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  6. How to Write a Catchy Hook for an Essay: 5 Types of Essay Hooks (With

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  1. Instructions for Essay #3

  2. Argumentative essay writing

  3. Instructions for Essay #2

COMMENTS

  1. 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:

  2. 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.

  3. Essay Hook Examples That Grab Attention (Formula for Better ...

    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 ...

  4. Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

    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.

  5. How to Write a Hook for an Essay

    One possible approach to this hook is the classic: "if you can't beat'em, join'em.". For example, you could always begin your literary analysis with a quote from the literature in question. You then follow this up with interesting commentary that helps to contextualize the rest of your intro.

  6. 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.

  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 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.

  9. 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.

  10. How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay

    5. Just Start Writing. Sometimes the hook of your college essay isn't clear. Rather than getting hung up, start developing your essay and see if it adds clarity as to how to best implement a hook. Some students even find that it's easiest to write a hook last, after writing the body of the personal statement.

  11. How to Write an Essay Hook

    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 ...

  12. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction Here's a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: Start with a Hook: Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic.The hook should pique the reader's interest and encourage them to continue reading.

  13. How to Write a Hook

    Anecdotal Hook. When a writer uses a short story to relate to the topic and gain the reader's attention, they are using an anecdote. This story can be a short, personal story or one that is a figment of your imagination. Make sure that it relates to the main idea of the paper. Show the relevance that it has to the topic of the paper.

  14. How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

    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.

  15. How to Write a Hook for an Essay ️ Step-By-Step Instructions

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads

    1: HOW TO START AN ESSAY WITH "THE ATTENTION-GRABBING ANECDOTE". Anecdotes are an effective way for the student to engage the reader's attention right from the start. When the anecdote is based on the writer's personal life, they are a great way to create intimacy between the writer and the reader from the outset.

  18. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Practical Tips & Examples

    What are the Different Types of Essay Hooks. There are different kinds of hooks that can be used while writing essays. Each kind of hook is different but has the same principal purpose: to get the reader's attention so they are hooked from the start and continue reading with the desire to learn more, not just because they are tasked with the assignment to read the essay.

  19. How to Write a Catchy Hook for an Essay: 5 Types of Essay Hooks (With

    Story. It's the perfect hook for narrative writing: storytelling, blog posts, social media, etc. Start your paper with a short episode that relates to the essay topic. It can be a real-life or fictional story with a hero to gain the reader's attention and reflection.

  20. How to Write a Good Hook for Your Essay: Tips and Examples

    When writing an essay on J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, it's important to start with a strong hook that captures the reader's attention and sets the tone for the rest of your essay. A good hook can make your essay stand out and pique the interest of your readers. Here are some effective hook ideas to consider for your essay:

  21. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Practical Guide

    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.

  22. How to Start a Narrative Essay

    A good hook sentence grabs your audience and refuses to let go. It sets the tone for the rest of your story. It gets under your reader's skin right from the beginning and starts to stir those feelings that your narrative essay intends to address. 16 Awesome Hooks to Start a Narrative Essay

  23. Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

    Follow these tips to write an impactful essay that can work in your favor. 1. Start Early. Few people write well under pressure. Try to complete your first draft a few weeks before you have to turn it in. Many advisers recommend starting as early as the summer before your senior year in high school. That way, you have ample time to think about ...

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    Rising super lightweight prospect Dalton Smith will take a step up against Jose Zepeda today in Sheffield, England, with the show streaming live and exclusive on DAZN.

  25. Zepeda vs Hughes: Live streaming results, RBR, how to watch, start time

    Wil Esco will have your live coverage starting at 8 pm ET, with highlights, results, and updates in the stream below: Related Bet on Zepeda vs Hughes and more boxing with DraftKings Sportsbook!

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    But while a poem strives for precision of language, the essay strives for precision of thought, even argument. In a poem, you can build (or approximate) an argument by plopping two images next to ...

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    Here's how to start fresh. We asked 14 psychologists, counselors and therapists for book recommendations that can help nourish relationships. These seven titles rose to the top of the list .

  29. Opinion

    You can thank the state of Texas and the ultraconservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit for this situation. The sensible thing to do to prevent unwanted pregnancy is to make access to ...