Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a paper or article and had no idea how you reached there? The only thing you can recall is looking at the first sentence, then suddenly, you were several paragraphs deep into the text. My friend, you were hooked!
We were all taught in the fishing class that a hook is used to catch fish. The same concept applies to a hook in an essay. In writing, a hook catches the attention of the readers. And if you want to be a master in hooking your readers, there is no better guide than this one.
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A hook is the first part of an essay (or any text) that is short and emotion-packed to attract readers’ attention. It captivates the readers by telling them something interesting, and through our natural curiosity, we get hooked.
A hook is found in the introduction and is usually 1-2 sentences long. After the hook, the following sections of an introduction are:
This article will focus on the first part of the essay, which is the hook. If you desire to know about the last part of an essay, consider reading how to end a college essay.
Without much ado, let’s now give out the secrets of how to write an effective hook for an essay. Follow the three steps below, and you’ll never again write a boring essay hook.
Can you write a good essay without comprehending the essay question? No, you can’t. So, you should know the essay's goal before you put pen to paper and write the hook, the other parts of an introduction, and the entire essay.
Take the essay question or instructions and go through them well. Ensure you understand the essay's purpose, the audience, and other aspects such as formatting.
Now you know what your essay is about, but you are not there yet. You need to understand what makes an excellent hook before you can call yourself a hook-writing master. So, what are the features of a good hook?
There are several types of essays, each of which has its specific style of hook. Some prevalent essay types are narrative, argumentative, descriptive, and process. Thus, be mindful of the kind of essay when writing a hook.
To simplify the process, just google:
Research the same way for all the other essay types. Read our graduate essay writing service article to find out how we can help you with college essays.
We have come across papers with very captivating hooks, though they don’t connect with the thesis. What’s the point of doing this? You will momentarily attract your readers, but they won’t read past the thesis statement.
The bottom line is that the hook should be relevant. You should ensure that the hook strongly connects with the thesis statement, and not only has a tangential connection. If we were given the option to choose between two essays. One has an amazing hook that connects slightly with the thesis statement, and the other has a basic hook that has a strong connection with the thesis; we will quickly select the essay with the basic hook.
The best bet is to make the hook short. Why? A short hook makes readers continue reading the text much more quickly. Readers don’t have much time to think about whether they should read or not read the next text. They just find themselves reading the following section when the hook is short.
When the hook is long, readers have a lot of time to think. And the end result is that they may tell themselves not to continue reading.
The effect of a hook plays a big role in captivating the readers. Do you want to intrigue, surprise, or shock your audience?
The rule of thumb is to provide an effect that is related to the tone of the essay.
These are the four key features of an excellent essay hook. A bonus tip you can use to improve your hook is mentioned below.
In some instances, you’ll find out that you can’t come up with a good hook while you are starting to write. Don’t worry when you reach this point. It’s perfectly normal. You can write an essay hook after you finish the writing process. There is even a high chance that you may come across an excellent hook while writing the essay.
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The last step of becoming an expert in writing essay hooks is learning all about the hook types. This section will thus look at the types and hook examples for essays. There are 7 broad categories of essay hooks. Namely:
In a statistic hook, you provide a fact related to the topic. It is common in informative essays. The fact arouses the readers' interest, making them attached to your paper. Also, it makes them trust you more because of being objective.
The best way to express the fact is by using percentages, numbers, or decimals. For instance, a statistic hook you may use when discussing the effects of covid-19 on the economy is:
“According to a survey by Pennsylvania economists, Covid-19 has resulted in a 7% increase in inflation….”
If you use a short story that connects to the topic of your essay to draw your readers, it is called an anecdotal hook. The story can be your personal story, your imagination, or someone’s else story. This hook is, on average lengthier than the other hook types. Thus, you must be careful when utilizing this hook; the length of it needs to be relative to that of the essay.
Let’s say you’re writing an essay that compares the way of life between Chinese and Americans. Your anecdotal hook can be:
“Late last year I traveled to China from the U.S. for a business errand. I was shocked to the core on arrival. The majority of families live together with their other generations, which is uncommon in my home country. Due to this, I embarked on research to discover other cultural differences….”
Another type of hook is asking a question. People are naturally inquisitive. Thus, when asked a question that they don’t know the answer to, they will want to read more to get the answer. A question hook promptly captures readers’ attention. The best questions to ask are open-ended and must relate to the topic.
A question hook that you can use when describing the effects of tobacco smoking is:
“Regulation policies for tobacco need to be stricter. Do you know the dangers of tobacco smoking?”
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A statement or declaration hook is when you assertively make your stand or position known in the first sentence. Readers who support or are against your stand will be intrigued by your declaration and want to learn more. They will want to know your arguments that back up your position.
If you are writing an argumentative essay on the topic of cryptocurrency, your declaration hook may look something like the following:
“Cryptocurrency should be embraced and be regulated by the federal and state governments.”
Another hook you can use to grab your readers by the throat is by providing a vivid explanation of an event. This hook type is common in narrative essays, but it can as well be applied in other academic papers.
A description hook example in an essay about pollution can read as:
“The barefooted children go to a distressing field in the boroughs on weekends to play soccer. Every corner of the field is completely filled with household and farm wastes, but this is not a concern to the marginalized youngsters.”
You can also use a quote as an attention-grabbing tool. Make sure it relates to the topic, and give an attribute and its meaning. Explaining its meaning will reduce confusion among the readers. Try to use quotes that are not clichés.
If you are a psychology student and are writing an essay about the power of a positive mindset, you may use a quotation hook such as follows:
“Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things. Epictetus was trying to say that the perspective held by the human mind is the key determinant to human happiness.”
One of the rarest hook types to be used, though effective at captivating readers’ attention, is the simile/metaphor hook. A metaphor or simile is a figure of speech whereby a comparison is made to an unrelated item to bring about a vivid description,
Using this type of hook makes your readers think about your topic differently. A good example of hooks for essays that is a metaphor can be seen below:
“Using SEO (search engine optimization) strategies on your websites in this era will make your brand’s popularity spread like a bushfire...”
Those are the three steps you need to write a great hook for an essay. Now, what is left is to work on your creativity to brainstorm a hook quickly. So, how do you enhance your creativity in hook writing? Read on to know.
No one is born great at writing. We all learn it one way or another. If writing amazing hooks is not your strong suit, don’t worry. We’ll get you into shape. Just follow the below tips to become more creative:
All through this guide, you have learned diverse tactics for starting an essay. Do you know any creative ways of initiating a paragraph? Go through words to start a paragraph article to learn some.
An excellent hook has the power to capture your readers’ attention instantly. It gives your readers a reason to read your essay and stay focused. It is thus essential to add a hook to all your essays.
A good hook sentence:
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This article shows you the steps on how to write a good hook for an essay. The steps are three, and from them, you get insightful information. For instance, you learn about the key features of an effective hook and the types of hooks together with their examples. If you encounter an issue while writing an essay hook, know that we are here for you. Place an order with us, and we’ll gladly offer you the needed help, even if it is writing your full essay from scratch. Do not let your grades dip when we are around.
Melanie is a seasoned writer with more than 8 years of experience. She is passionate about academia and works off the clock to ensure she write the topnotch content for her readers.