When your English language professor requires to write an essay, how do you begin your writing? Do you use any good hooks in the introductory paragraphs to grab readers' attention? Probably, you have discovered a secret, unique great hook which helps your paper stand out from other works. Different types of essay hooks exist. High school and college students along with creative writers use them to grab their readers' attention.
WHAT DO WE DEFINE AN ESSAY HOOK?
Before you learn how to write a good hook, you must learn what it is. A hook is an interesting and catchy sentence from the introduction of your high school or college essay which motivates people to read your work. Although it is a rather small element, a perfect hook is both informative and engaging. It has a deep meaning and helps a writer introduce his or her main idea.
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TIPS ON FINDING THE BEST HOOK
We decided to analyze some examples of essay openings to provide you with an idea of how effective hooks look like. First, we would like to discuss a number of important ideas you should keep in mind before you write a hook.
A common mistake is that students give a great starter...and forget that it's a part of a paper. Don't jump to discussing your paper topic without demonstrating a clear bonding between the opening lines and the rest of the paper. Words are powerful; yet, if they aren't related to your work, they can't support your argument.
Tone and style of your work mean everything. If you are working on a research paper in physics to offer it to a scientific journal, it is better not to start with a personal childhood story. The hook should be strong and appropriate. Yet, if you are writing for a magazine which is less official, then the childhood story will sound quite natural. Evaluate the situation first!
Consider your target audience. Obviously, you shouldn't write an essay for professionals in biology using teenage language. They understand the text, but they are unlikely to get the purpose of your writing.
These strategies to developing good hooks are the key because every author's main purpose is to make readers understand his or her opinion and enjoy the overall reading.
HOOKS TO USE IN ESSAYS
Mind where the good hooks come from. You might want to type in a curious fact on the topic which is unknown to most of the people. Find different facts in various sources such as:
- Textbooks and books
- Academic and scientific journals
- Official published reports
- Documentaries and films
Remember that the more recent and credible source you use, the more trustworthy your essay's hook sounds.
To help you better understand how hook sentences function in writing, we are going to discuss several really nice articles written by professional writers and journalists. We look only at the intros of our examples and describe the kind of hooks found in each one.
KEEP THEM READING BY STARTING WITH AN INTERESTING FACT
The first good example of high knowledge is the quote taken as a hook from the credible online resources that publish up-to-date information on the most critical and discussed topics within society. People find it intriguing that:
"Over 36% of mobile subscribers use iPhones or iPads to read email, and 34% of subscribers only use mobile devices to read emails."(Informz)
Such statistics help perspective business people to launch their own mobile solutions in the upcoming year. Not all teachers and professors support the active usage of internet/digital resources, so you must specify whether such way to introduce your hook and the first paragraph is OK. Then, you move to the discussion on why mobile applications are perspective products/business ideas.
"There are two distinct traditions in the literature regarding the proper analysis of predicate noun and adjective constructions..."
(John Bowers, The Syntax of Predication)
In the given example we have an official, scientific paper which cannot be humorous or start with a creative trope. On the contrary, this intro is rather straightforward. And, nevertheless, it contains a nice hook - a conflict. 'Two distinct traditions' means that we will see how the author either supports one of them or introduces the third solution to the existing problem. Presenting conflicting ideas is always an excellent way to start.
ANECDOTE OR A JOKE WOULD BE HELPFUL
ESL/EFL classroom offers many anecdotes on various subjects to help students cover any topic with a share of humor. The examples of essay hooks below catch an eye of the reader by making him laugh.
"A family of mice were surprised by a big cat. Father Mouse jumped and said, "Bow-wow!" The cat ran away. "What was that, Father?" asked Baby Mouse. "Well, son, that's why it's important to learn a second language."
Isn't it a great idea to start your paper on the importance of learning a secondary language? Mind that each country has its specific humor and forbidden jokes. Choose the hook sentences wisely!
POSING QUESTIONS IN THE BEGINNING
You may play with facts and statistics to combine them into the question. You may use rhetorical question too. It is a great way to start your writing and give an overall picture of what you'll be talking about. Make sure to provide an answer throughout your text or at the end.
"Have you ever thought how many people die of pneumonia every day in the United States?"
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HOW TO WRITE A HOOK OF THE MIXED TYPE
Here we go with the mixed example:
"As children's culture arose in the 1740s, the juvenile market was suddenly awash in age-appropriate clothing, toys, and reading material..."
(Megan A. Norcia, Puzzling Empire: Early Puzzles and Dissected Maps as Imperial Heuristics)
This beginning is a good example of how a fact can be used in an intro. Readers tend to pay attention to those works which provide them with new information, and starting with a date and an interesting fact is a brilliant hooking idea.
"Why some people choke and others panic."
(Malcolm Gladwell, The Art of Failure)
We definitely love this intro. Short, clear, and very powerful. Although there is no question mark at the end, the intro above belongs to the category of 'posing a question.' We mean that the author opened the essay with a statement which promises the answer if we keep reading. We know the article is on the failure and the ways people react to it. The rhetorical question-like intro is truly hooking because the majority of readers will want to know why some people choke and other people panic.
A fact or question works well with the analysis paper. Find out how to write an analysis essay which deserves A+.
A LITERARY QUOTE AS THE WAY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF
Another great essay hook might be an original philosophical or social phrase to grab the attention. Think of any sentence or paragraph which can force your readers to think. Try to help arise necessary questions and social problems by your speech.
"Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity."
(Joan Didion, After Life)
If the style of writing allows you to be creative, look for an unusual, original way to express the main theme of your paper with the help of such good hooks for essays. Here, Joan Didion starts with her own poem which 'tunes' readers and let them know in advance what the whole text is about.
Mind the way you format quotes depends on different academic writing styles.
SET A SCENE
Try to memorize an example of a very brief story from famous people to capture the attention of your reader. Such essay's hook points to the importance of the topic or question with the help of a real-life example. The best examples include recalling the story of Helen Keller who managed to write beautiful books being blinded from her birth. You may use a story of some celebrity like Bon Jovi to stress the importance of helping disabled people financially and morally by attending them in the hospitals. When you write an essay, you are not supposed to recall only examples from your life. You are encouraged to share stories of people who figure as your role models. They don't have to be very famous, but their stories should serve as the perfect essay hook related to your chosen topic.
"After smiling brilliantly for nearly four decades, I now find myself trying to quit. Or, at the very least, seeking to lower a wattage a bit."
(Amy Cunnigham, Why Women Smile)
Reader deals with a perfect personal story. Readers want to know more about each story's main character because they try to find new emotions and new knowledge. Do you know why she has no intention to smile anymore? Is it hooking enough? We think so. Such beginnings are always attention grabbing and exciting.
In case you write an essay on such trait as jealousy, you may quote a well-known book by Shakespeare, "Othello," which is primarily focused on the problems caused by this feeling. Show how Othello is afraid of losing Desdemona, his wife, because of the color of his skin, religion, and other stereotypes.
I crave fit disposition for my wife.
Due reference of place and exhibition
With such accommodation and besort
As levels with her breeding"(Act1.Scene 3)
In Act 2, Scene 1, we discover more about the topic of jealousy from the character of Iago who has an evil mind due to his friend's Othello's success.
QUOTES FROM FAMOUS PEOPLE
Actually, many of the essay hook examples quoted above can be put into this category. However, there are phrases well-known by the entire world. Once something critical happens, famous people always have their point of view. They share it with the society via mass media. It is your chance to find another great essay hook. The first example appears below:
"The problem with environmentalists, Lynn Margulis used to say, is that they think conservation has something to do with biological reality."
(Charles C. Mann, State of the Species)
Another clever way to hook people is to use quotes from famous people. With a quote, your writing makes a certain statement and helps you establish your authority as a writer. You demonstrate your connection with the community and show great interest in the field history and respect towards people who have made a large contribution to its development.
GOOD HOOKS FOR ESSAYS IN THE SHAPE OF SIMILE OR METAPHOR
You should practice using metaphors and similes as the way to start your essay with an interesting hook. Watch out - many people do not tend to get the meaning of metaphors and similes from the first time, so it is better to add a description or explanation of what it means. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience instead of grabbing its attention. A good metaphor helps enrich one's speech and make the writing more powerful in terms of words.
As written by Dan Wakefield,
"I feel as much of a stud as... I can't come up with a metaphor. That's how lacking in studliness I am."
A simile is a literary tool often used as an essay hook. It also shows writer's ability to express feelings and ideas in many different, original ways rather than being straightforward all the time. To understand similes better, a student has to read a lot of plays, poems, song lyrics, and take part in everyday conversations.
The several examples below are helpful when writing your essay hook:
- "as cute as a puppy" (contrasting something to the adorableness of a puppy)
- "as busy as a bee" (describing very industrious people)
- "as snug as a bug in a rug" (meaning tucked up tight)
OTHER GREAT WAYS TO START YOUR SENTENCE
There are other ways to begin you writing such as stating a thesis and using statistics and numbers. You are the one to decide which option is the most effective. Don't forget to take the preparatory steps and figure out which kind of hook is the most beneficial.
Although we have added some great sentences which you can use as a topic hook, it is still not easy to grab attention to your story from the first essay's line. Thus, we would like you to remember there is an immediate solution to any academic writing problem in the shape of our website with services for high school, college, and university students. When you don't have time to type the whole paper or think of the relevant anecdote or scene to begin with, our writing services are always ready to help with your learning process. Order a custom essay or research paper with the most effective hooks you've ever seen!
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Creating texts is a complicated task for any person, but it is not really a talent – it is more of skill. If a person who is aware of nothing about writing, practices and reads the helpful articles how to improve their technics, writes a bit each day and carefully proofreads their text, they will 100% become a good writer soon. However, this skill requires a lot of work, patience, and the capacity and wish to revise and rewrite your text as many times as needed. Do you want to become a qualified essay writer? Then be ready to step on one of the most complicated paths.
We have prepared an article for the writers who already have some skills, but need to learn how not only to make texts that are readable but that also truly attract the readers’ attention. This article is going to introduce you to the so-called “essay hooks” that will make your essay more intriguing and piquant. You might have never heard of this term that is why we are going to explain to you how your essay hook has to look like and what it is.
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What is an Essay Hook?
Just like in boxing, the hook is a punch that knocks down the opponent, in writing, it is the sentence whose effect is so fast that the reader is so captured, they find themselves lost in the world of words and phrases. The hook sentences are the ones that attract your attention by offering some clinging information that intrigues you and you wish to read a bit more to find out what that sentence was supposed to mean. In the result, you end up reading the whole article, and the aim of a writer is achieved. You might wish to be aware of how to write a hook – there are several rules that will help you in mastering this skill. Do you wish to find out more? Then keep on reading!
Identify Your Audience
It does not matter for which resource you are creating an article it always has an audience. Whether it is for the school, your own blog, or the random website, there have to be particular features that unite the people who are going to examine your essay. Knowing well your readers will aid you to invent how to attract their attention and surprise them. If your audience is an intelligent type, you might wish to use the literary quote as the hook sentence. If your readers are mostly kids and young people, the simple anecdote will be a perfect match. Just imagine your readers in your mind and start writing for them – the creation of the text will be easier because you are aware of whom you are addressing.
Identify a Purpose of Your Writing
You will be aware of how to write a hook for an essay if you fully understand the purpose of your writing. Do you wish to make your reader be afraid? Then the hook sentence has to be some fact that will terrify your audience. Do you want to put your reader in the playful mood? Then provide an anecdote for the hook sentence. You need to realize why you are creating this article and how you wish your narratees to feel about it. You have to be aware of what you wish your readers to take away from your article – cheer up, question the facts, or become frightened. This will help you to formulate the hook sentences much better. When you know the reason why you are creating the essay, your flow of words and sentences will be even.
Create the Hooks
Here, you are very welcome to turn in your imagination, and having in mind who your audience is and why you are creating your article, you can create the powerful hook sentences. You have to start your essay with the hook sentence already because if the audience reads the first couple of sentences from the article, and they are not attracted, they will not give your text another chance by reading it till the end. They will simply switch to another article. You need to divide your essay into several paragraphs and start each paragraph with the hook sentence. Your reader will thus be motivated to read the text until the end.
Essay Hook Types to Use
Do you understand now what the hook sentences are and how to make them? Very well. The next thing we want to try to explain to you is what types of hooks exist. Of course, it is pretty difficult to define the types because as long as your imagination works, the hooks will keep on appearing making your writing technics better. But let us be honest – the types still exist, and we will show you the most basic ones so that you are aware of what we mean based on the elementary examples. Are you still interested? Then do not close the article and keep on reading!
There is something about the literary quotes that makes the audience read it until the end (if it is not five lines, of course). It has a magical effect because as soon as you find that the name of the author is famous, you want to find out what they thought about one thing or another. Writing an essay hook like this is pretty easy – you take the topic, search for the quote that seems attractive to you, and add to your article. The following paragraph needs to explain what the quote says and be a natural continuation of it.
A perfect essay hook for the text aimed to entertain your reader would be a short anecdote. Even if you do not intend your paragraph to be funny, a bit of humor in its beginning will attract the audience’s attention. The only thing you have to pay attention to is whether your essay does or does not have to contain the first person narration. The majority of anecdotes are told from the first person – if it is not allowed to use “I,” just find an anecdote that is told from the third person.
Here, you have to be careful because the question needs to be truly intriguing. It has to be well-constructed and clear to the reader – you have to make them want to find out the answer to it by reading the following paragraph. It is not easy to write a good hook especially if it is a question. Before inventing the question, check if the answer to it is neither “Yes,” nor “No” – the best option here would be to ask the question that offers the choice. In the paragraph, you are not obliged to choose sides and indeed choose something. You only have to mention the pros and cons of both and allow your reader to decide themselves what to choose.
Fact or Definition
There is no better way to grab your reader’s attention than to provide some curious fact or the definition of the word they have never heard of. The best essay hook examples here would be: “The US has more people with mental disorders than any other country in the world” or “Kakorrhaphiophobia is a fear of failure.” See? You were yourself interested when you read this! Using these technics will guarantee your article would be popular among your audience.
Another hit that would make any article attractive to your reader. For some reason, when people see the numbers, they feel the need to read the sentence until the end. If your sentence is short and clear, and it provides interesting and useful statistical data about something, the audience will read it. Do you not believe us? Check yourself: “41% of the children in Africa are engaged in child labor aged between 5 and 14.” We bet you not only read the sentence until the end but also took a moment and thought how terrible this is to hear. We bet you would read the following paragraph to find out more about this horrifying statistics.
What is a hook in an essay? Now you know. Do you understand now what we meant when we said it is a difficult path to choose? Unfortunately, writing readable texts is not enough. You have to keep your audience on their toes. You have to make it want to read the text until the end. You have to make it feel sorry when the article is over. You have to make it want to read more of your articles. And here, the knowledge of how to write the hook sentences will come in handy.
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