7 Sensational Essay Hooks That Grab Readers’ Attention
by Suzanne Davis | Jul 14, 2022 | Writing Essays and Papers | 12 comments
Do you want people to feel excited when they read your essay?
The secret is to get them interested in reading your essay by making the first part of your introduction intriguing. The best way to do that is by using attention-grabbing essay hooks.
So, what is a hook? It’s a piece of writing at the beginning of your essay that engages your reading audience. Usually, a hook is a sentence or group of sentences that draw people into reading your essay or research paper. A hook sparks a person’s curiosity. You want whoever reads your essay to wonder what happens next. Hooks also make an introduction stand out (which raises your chance of getting a high grade on your essay).
If you want to see all the elements of great introductions for research papers check my post, How to Write a Strong Introduction to a Research Paper at https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/how-to-write-a-strong-introduction-to-a-research-paper/.
When you write essay hooks that make your rea ders curious, you’ve taken the first step toward making them fall in love with your writing. Let’s dive in and look at essay hooks that will elevate your writing style!
7 Types of Essay Hooks
Here are 7 writing hooks that make readers want to find out what you will say in the rest of your essay.
- Interesting Question Hook
- Strong Statement/Declaration Hook
- Fact/Statistic Hook
- Metaphor/ Simile Hook
- Description Hook
- Quotation Hook.
1. The Interesting Question Hook
An interesting question hook is when you ask a question that relates to your essay or paper. And the only way a person can know the answer to that question is by reading your writing.
People are inquisitive. When we hear or read a question we want to know the answer. If we don’t have an answer then we need to find out.
So, when you start your essay with a question hook, this signals to your readers that if they keep reading you’ll give them the answer.
Here’s an example of an interesting question hook on the topic of succeeding in college:
What is the difference between successful college students and unsuccessful college students?
The goal of this essay hook is to make you want to learn what students who succeed in college do, and what college students who don’t succeed in college do wrong.
2. The Strong Statement/Declaration Hook
A strong statement hook is a sentence that makes an assertive claim about your topic. It connects to the thesis statement and shows the importance of your essay or paper.
A strong statement is a great technique because it doesn’t matter if your reader agrees or disagrees with your statement. They will want to see how you support your statement.
This is an example of a strong statement on the topic of the vegan diet.
Vegans are the healthiest group of people in the world.
This statement either supports your point of view about the vegan diet, or it makes you want to argue against it (especially if you love meat). Either way, you are curious about what the writer says.
3. The Fact/ Statistic Hook
Facts and statistics hook your reader because they give real information about a topic. You can impress your reader with your knowledge and evidence from the very beginning of your essay. But, you need to include facts that are accurate, interesting, and reliable. Evaluate your information and make sure it comes from a credible source. Some places to visit for statistics are The Pew Research Center https://www.pewresearch.org/ , and The CIA World Fact Book, https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/.
Here’s an example of a factual hook about an essay on gun ownership in the United States.
Almost two-thirds of American adults at some point in their life lived in a home with at least one gun.
The Pew Research Center, “America’s Relationship With Guns: An In-Depth Look at the Attitudes and Experiences of US Adults” http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/americas-complex-relationship-with-guns/
4. The Metaphor / Simile Hook
The metaphor/simile hook engages your readers because it makes them think about a topic in a different way. Your audience wonders what you mean and how you compare a topic to something that seems unconnected.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that directly compares one thing to another, but these two things seem unrelated. An example of a metaphor is: Her boyfriend is a rat. The boyfriend is not really a rat, but he behaves like one.
If your essay topic is on business blogging you could write the metaphor hook:
A business blog is a magnet pulling clients to a company.
A simile is like a metaphor. Both compare two unrelated things to each other, but a simile uses the words like or as to connect them. A simile is less strong than a comparison in a metaphor. An example of a simile is : Writing a research paper is like running a marathon when it’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
A simile hook for the essay about business blogging could be:
A business blog is like a magnet that pulls clients to a company.
5. The Story Hook
This is a hook where you begin with a short story or episode that relates to your topic. Readers love stories, especially a well-written story that is memorable. The key to a great story hook is making sure the story directly connects to your essay or paper topic. Your story can be personal or someone else’s story.
Here’s an example of a story hook for an essay about the differences between British and American English. I used my own story about a trip to England.
I got off the train and pulled my luggage behind me. A cab pulled up to the curb, and the driver got out. He lifted my luggage and said, “Miss, I’m just going to put your stuff in the boot.” I didn’t know what he meant until I saw him open the car’s trunk. Then I realized the boot means car trunk. I got in the cab, wondering how many other words would be different in England.
You’ll see this sto ry hook is longer than other types of essay hooks. That’s okay. Your hook can be longer, but it shouldn’t be a large part of your essay or paper. Compare the length of your hook to the length of the essay.
Also, consider your audience (especially an academic audience). Ask yourself, “Will a story hook be acceptable in this course?” If you’re unsure you can ask your teacher or professor or you could select a different type of hook.
6. The Description Hook
This is a hook where a vivid description of a scene draws your readers into your writing. A good description hook will make your reader want to know what comes next in your writing. It’s most popular in narrative essays, but you can use a description hook with any type of writing (yes even academic papers). But, like the story hook ask yourself, “Will this description hook be acceptable in this course?”
Here’s an example of a description hook for a personal narrative essay about saving a dog:
The dog howled in pain and limped along the side of the road. His leg was cut and blood streamed down his leg.
Doesn’t this scene make you curious about what will happen to the dog?
7. The Quotation Hook
This is a hook where you begin your essay with a quotation. The quotation could be from a famous person, but it doesn’t have to be. You can quote anyone if it connects to what you’re writing about.
If you write an essay on the topic of education you could start
Nelson Mandela said, “ Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world .”
If you want to use a quotation for a hook, make sure you quote the words exactly. Choose quotations where the words are striking, powerful, and/ or memorable.
Writing Challenge: Write 2 Essay Hooks
Essay hooks are a great way to intrigue all your readers. Select your favorite 2 types of essay hooks. Then write a hook for each kind you choose. Comment below and share your favorite one!
Have fun and be creative.
Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash
I find that switching it up makes my content better. My favorite is to start with a question or a strong statement. I love this infographic. Well done!
Thanks Joanne! Question and strong statement hooks are great for getting readers to wonder what’s in your essay. I’m so glad you liked the infographic.
This is a great article, showing the variety of openings you can use in writing. Thank you for the tips!
I’m glad you liked it. I think hooks are great for writing.
[…] For more information about essay hooks see-https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/7-sensational-types-of-essay-hooks/ […]
Very good blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
Any suggestions? Many thanks!
Hi Cindy, Those are great questions about blogging. I think the beginning point with starting a blog is determining your niche/focus, goals and your ideal readers. The next piece of advice is to really learn the style of writing blog posts. It’s a craft, so you should really start with a good grasp of the formatting, style, and techniques, etc. Since I don’t know your blog’s focus I can’t offer you more specific advice.
If you can afford it, I suggest paying for a domain name and hosting. There are free ones like WordPress.com etc. These will get you started, but if you want to use your blog for a business I really recommend starting with a paid option. I hope this helps you. Good luck blogging!
Thank you for this informative Eda’ya. My favorite hooks are question, strong statement and the fact. I think these are the best for an academic paper. Your infographic is excellent and memorable. Thank you! ??
Mehmet, Those are all great hooks! I think they would each be a great way to begin an academic paper too. I’m glad the infographic is useful to you. Thank you for the compliment.
These are great. I’ll have to file this away for my next writing student (and my next blog post!). For research papers, I used to use the fact/statistic hook a lot.
Beth, I’m glad you liked these essay hooks. I like the fact/statistic hook a lot too, and you’re right it is a great one for research papers.
I like question hooks & metaphoric ones…
I need to write to essays for tomorrow at English (preparing for Baccalaureate) & I’ll choose “success is not about luck” & “the importance of music in our lives” …
For the first one I’ll choose the first type of hook (for me it’s the easiest): “How can you be sure that when it comes to success, luck isn’t so important” or sth like this.
But for the second essay I’ll choose a metaphoric hook “music is the spot of light who makes shine in gray tones” or sth like this.
For the first one I was also thinking about sth statistically but idk not a kind of statistics about luck help in success or sth like this…
Ik, you can’t give me advices till tomorrow but I’ll be OK. Thx for this gorgeous inform. God bless you. All the best!
I think those are 2 great hooks to use with those essays. I love the metaphoric hook you came up with–it’s beautiful. I hope you do well with your essays. Good luck!
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How to Write a Great Essay Hook, With Examples
When you’re writing an essay , you naturally want people to read it. Just like the baited hook on a fishing line entices fish, your essay’s hook engages readers and makes them want to keep reading your essay.
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What is an essay hook?
An essay hook is a sentence or two that piques the reader’s interest, compelling them to continue reading. In most cases, the hook is the first sentence or two, but it may be the entire opening paragraph. Hooks for essays are always in the first section because this is where the essay needs to hook its reader. If the reader isn’t engaged within the first few lines, they’ll likely stop reading.
An essay hook also sets the tone for the rest of your essay. For example, an unexpected statistic in an essay’s first line can tell the reader that the rest of the essay will dispel myths and shed light on the essay’s topic .
6 types of essay hooks
1 rhetorical questions.
Rhetorical questions are popular essay hooks because they make readers think. For example, an essay might start with the question “Is it ethical to eat animals?” Before reading the rest of the essay, the reader answers the question in their mind. As they continue to read, the writer’s arguments challenge the reader’s answer and may change their mind.
When an essay discusses scientific subjects, social issues, current events, or controversial subjects, a fact or statistic related to the essay’s topic can be a compelling hook. For example, an essay about elementary student literacy might hook readers with a statistic about the percentage of fourth graders that are proficient readers.
The hook could be a fact or statistic that’s well-known and frames the topic in a relatable way, or it could be a completely unexpected or seemingly unintuitive one that surprises the reader. In any case, they set the tone for the rest of the essay by supporting the writer’s position from the outset.
Quotes are often used as essay hooks because they’re succinct, often recognizable, and when they’re from an expert source, they can support the writer’s position.
For example, an analytical essay comparing two books might hook readers with a quote from one of the books’ authors that sets the tone for the rest of the essay and gives a glimpse into that author’s work.
Anecdotes are often used as hooks in personal essays. A personal story makes the essay relatable, creating familiarity with the reader that makes them want to read more. An example of an anecdote hook is a persuasive essay about rerouting traffic on campus that starts with a personal story of a vehicular close call.
A description focuses on specific imagery related to the essay’s subject. For example, an argumentative essay in support of new recycling policies might hook readers with a bleak description of what happens to batteries and other hazardous materials when they aren’t recycled.
6 Common misconception
Similar to an unexpected fact, a hook that dispels a common misconception surprises the reader and educates them about something they likely misunderstood. For example, a compare-and-contrast essay about different mindfulness strategies might start with a common misconception about how mindfulness works.
Creating a hook for different writing prompts
Strong hooks for essays align with the essays’ tones, types, and topics. As you start working on an essay, think about your topic and goals for the essay. Are you trying to persuade the reader? Dispelling a common misconception can be the hook you need. Are you telling an entertaining personal story with bigger themes about your life experience? Start it off with an engaging anecdote. Are you defending a position? Share an unexpected fact and let the truth speak for itself.
Sometimes, it’s not easy to tell which kind of hook your essay needs. When this is the case, it can be helpful to write the rest of your essay, then come back to your introduction and write the kind of hook that would make you want to read that whole essay. Refer to your essay outline to ensure that it fits your essay goals.
Essay hook examples
- Is it too late to save our planet from climate change?
- Before I could speak, I sang.
- “If we are truly a great nation, the truth cannot destroy us.” —Nikole Hannah-Jones
- Contrary to popular belief, rats are among the most fastidious animals.
- I can’t be late for class—this could be the most important day of my life!
Essay hook FAQs
An essay hook is a sentence or two that grabs the reader’s attention and piques their interest, enticing them to continue reading.
What are the different types of essay hooks?
- Rhetorical questions
- Common misconception
Why is it important to have a good essay hook?
It’s important that hooks for essays be well crafted, because in many cases, the reader won’t continue reading an essay if it doesn’t hold their interest. The hook grabs their attention and makes them want to read on.
How to Write a Hook
- Writing Studio
- Handout Guides
- Current: How to Write a Hook
A hook is an opening statement (which is usually the first sentence) in an essay that attempts to grab the reader’s attention so that they want to read on.
It can be done by using a few different types of hooks, which are a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote. Be mindful that the hook has to be related to the overall topic of the paper. Here are a few examples of each type of hook.
A question hook is when you ask the reader something that they can visualize and try to think of in their own minds. Then, the writer answers the question.
- Example: Have you ever watched the high-flying, jump shooting, slam dunking, ankle breaking players that play in the NBA? Every time I catch a game on television and I witness the thrill of the game, I can’t help but watch another one.
A quotation hook is when a quote is used and explained that has relevance to the topic at hand. Make sure this quote comes from a credible source. Also, talk about the quote’s meaning afterwards to ensure that the reader isn’t confused.
- Example: “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen” said Michael Jordan, arguably the best player to ever play in the NBA. Here, Jordan talks about how people want, dream, wish, and pray that they will one day make it to the big stage. These are usually the people that never make it. It is only when these dreamers and wishers take matters into their own hands and strive to be the best that they actually get to play professional basketball in the NBA.
A statistic hook can be used for more informational pieces of writing. The writer uses a quote from a source that relates to the main idea of the paper, but the quote must have some type of statistics, such as numbers, decimals, or and/or percentages. The meaning and relationship of the quote to the paper needs to be explained afterwards just in case the reader does not quite understand
- Example: “Just 0.00545 percent of the 550,000 boys playing high school basketball each year in the United States become a first-round draft pick — 1 in 18,333” stated Jeff Rabjohns, a writer for The Indianapolis Star, in an article titled “Prep players face long odds of making it to NBA.” Basically, only a few high school players will make it to the NBA. Even though there are many that strive, play, train, practice, and fight to be great, a huge majority of them do not make it.
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.
- Example: When I was in high school, I remember playing in an AAU basketball league. We had to travel to downtown Philadelphia on the weekends for basketball practice. Each and every time we had basketball practice (which was at 8 a.m.), there was a boy around my age in the gym by the time we arrived. He was always covered in sweat, throwing up shots, practicing his layups, practicing his dribbling, and running laps around the gym. He was in such great shape. One day, I mustered up the courage to ask his about his ambitions, and he told me that he gets up at 5:30 a.m. to go to the gym and practice hard until my team comes in for practice. A few years later, this guy was entering the NBA draft from high school. When I saw him get drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, I knew exactly why. All that hard work had paid off for him. This is the hard work ethics and mindset that everyone that wants to make it to the NBA should have.
Have more questions? Visit the Writing Studio, and we’ll be happy to help!
6 Types of Hook Examples For Essays
Discover the art of writing an irresistible hook sentence and captivate your readers from the very first word. Learn how in this informative article.
Aug 4, 2023
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Have you ever read a paragraph that grabs your attention, and find yourself reading the entire essay or blog post? If you have such an experience, you have come across a powerful hook.
Powerful hooks quickly catch readers' attention and persuade them to read the entire essay. Regardless of what type of hook you are writing, you can use them to enable your target audience to read your essay.
In this article, we will explore what hook sentences are and their types.
- Hooks are sentences at the beginning of an essay that grab readers' attention and persuade them to read on.
- Question hooks can engage readers by asking a relevant question and answering it later in the essay, while statement hooks argue a claim about the topic with evidence and arguments.
- Statistic hooks using reliable data can attract readers to informative essays.
- Metaphor hooks connect two unrelated things by indicating a common feature.
- Story hooks start with anecdotes or personal experiences about the topic.
- Quotation hooks use relevant quotes from respected individuals.
- To write attention-grabbing hooks for essays, start by researching your topic thoroughly.
- Creating an outline of hook sentences with focus words and main points helps speed up the process while also deciding on tone and target audience.
- ZenoChat by TextCortex is a great tool for generating any type of essay hooks about any topic with the option to build your own academic AI persona.
What is a hook?
A hook is a mix of sentences at the beginning of your essay that grabs the reader's attention. In other words, it is an introduction statement in an essay that encourages the target audience to read on. It can be done by using different types of essay hooks.
Why is it important?
A powerful hook will increase your readers' interest in your essay and spark their curiosity. Thus, you can increase the number of reads of your essay and convey your arguments to readers.
6 Types of Essay Hooks
As there are different essay types, there are also different hook types that you can use in each essay. While some of these hooks are suitable for any essay type, some are more effective for specific essays. Let's take a closer look at the essay hook types.
The most effective way to engage readers is to ask them a question they can think about. In other words, by asking a question in your hook sentences, you can catch the interest of the readers and encourage them to read your entire essay. Such hooks are called question hooks, and there are a few things you need to consider creating an effective one. First, your question must be relevant to your topic. Second, you must answer your question in one section of your essay.
Statement hook, a form of hook that is effective to use in argumentative essays, refers to a sentence that argues a claim about your topic. It doesn't matter if your readers agree or disagree with your claim, the important thing is to provide evidence and arguments about your claim to the readers.
When writing an informative essay, incorporating reliable data, and using statistical hooks can help attract readers. To make a strong start, it is recommended to include reliable statistics about the topic in the hook sentences. However, it is important to ensure that the statistics used are reliable and properly cited. By doing so, it increases the credibility of the essay and makes it a useful source for other essays.
Another type of hook that you can use in every essay type is metaphor hooks. The metaphor hook engages your readers because it makes them think about your topic from a different point of view. The main purpose of the metaphor hook is to indicate a common feature that connects two unrelated things.
In all essay types, you can use story hooks to encourage the target audience to read your entire essay. You can start your essay by telling an anecdote or story about your topic and quickly grab readers' attention. This method is effective and efficient, as all readers enjoy catchy short stories. Your story may consist of your personal or other people's experiences.
To create a quotation hook, it is important to use a quote from a well-known and respected individual that is relevant to your topic and has the potential to attract readers. However, it is important to exercise caution when doing so. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the quote is seamlessly integrated into the sentence flow, making it a natural part of the writing.
How to Write Attention Grabbing Hooks?
Now that we've talked about essay hook types, it's time for you to create high-quality hooks. Writing powerful and engaging hooks takes a lot of time and practice. However, prioritizing quality over quantity, we will share hacks that can accelerate the process for you and help you create powerful hooks in less time!
Research Your Topic
No matter what type of essay you are writing, you should first research your essay topic in depth. The more knowledge you have about your topic, the more high-quality hooks you can create. During your research, you may encounter an engaging story, statistic, or quote related to your topic!
Create An Outline
You can make the process effective and speed up by creating an outline of your hook sentences. In this outline, you can list the words you will focus on, the main points of your topic, the purposes of your hook sentences, and the target audience. So, you can decide which hook type to use and your tone of voice.
Utilize AI Tools
If you found the process of writing hook sentences complex and difficult, you can get help from AI tools. Remember, AI tools don't generate a completed output; they give you a base you can work on. For this reason, we recommend that you use the outputs received from AI tools by editing and customizing them.
Best AI Tools to Create Engaging Hooks
But how do you decide which one is best for you when there are hundreds of AI writing tools on the market? Don't worry because we've researched this topic for you and listed the best AI tools for generating hook sentences!
ZenoChat by TextCortex
Do you want to turn your existing texts into a powerful and catchy hook or create engaging hook sentences from a few words? Using ZenoChat , you can generate any type of essay hooks about any topic. Simply type a prompt into ZenoChat and watch it work its magic.
ZenoChat has a tone of voice feature that is critical for your essays. You can also build your own AI persona using TextCortex's "Individual Personas" feature and have ZenoChat generate output using your tone of voice.
Using ZenoChat's "Knowledge Bases" feature, you can upload your previous essays. ZenoChat will then use the uploaded files as a dataset while generating output. This way, you can generate specific outputs with your own tone of voice and data.
When it comes to generating engaging hook sentences, ChatGPT is a powerful option. Since ChatGPT is trained with a massive amount of internet data, it can generate any hook type in seconds. You need detailed prompts to generate hooks via ChatGPT.
Bing AI has an AI chatbot that operates with the GPT-4 language model. Users are provided with a daily limit of 30 creations. With Bing AI, you can easily generate powerful hooks by leveraging the latest online data. All you need to do is provide a prompt to Bing AI and let it do the work for you.
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Essay Hook Examples That Grab Attention (Formula For Better Grades)
Table of contents.
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.
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 >
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
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
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.
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 'Statistical fact'. You can scroll through different AI-suggested stats that relate to your subject at hand.
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.
3. Story/Anecdote hook
In an anecdote hook, you use a story to establish a connection between the topic and the reader to gain their attention. The story must be direct and concise, and relate to the main topic quite directly.
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.
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
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.
3 Approaches to Avoid
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.
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.
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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73 Essay Hook Examples
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 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/admin/ 10 Critical Theory Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 13 Social Institutions Examples (According to Sociology)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 71 Best Education Dissertation Topic Ideas
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 11 Primary Data Examples
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Essay Writing Guide
20+ Hook Examples to Grab Reader’s Attention
15 min read
Published on: Oct 10, 2017
Last updated on: Nov 22, 2023
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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!
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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.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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. (Literature, Marketing)
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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6 Types of Writing Hooks
What are writing hooks?
Writing hooks are a set of words that encourage a reader to keep reading what someone has written. All writing must have some sort of hook to it, otherwise most readers are going to stop reading after a few sentences. This is because as a reader reads, they are also judging the experience, expertise, and capabilities of the writer.
The goal is simple: to bring the reader into the world of the writer. The outcome is not as simple. With a few choice words, however, it is possible to convert even the most skeptical reader to finish reading what they’ve started.
Knowing how to do that as a writer means being aware of the different types of hooks that are available for inclusion. Here are six writing hooks that you can begin using in your written work today.
Writing Hook #1: The Startling Statement
A good hook is sometimes something that is completely unexpected. The fact is that humans are capable of many incredible atrocities against one another. By outlining the “evil” part of your narrative first before contrasting it with the “good” components of what you’re offering, the reversal can often capture the imagination of the reader.
Writing Hook #2: The Anecdote Memoir
Sharing a personal memory can be a great hook, but only when you’ve been descriptive enough to immediately transport the reader into the memory. “I sat at the table and waited for my drink. I was thirsty.” That’s not a good hook. Try transforming it like this.
“The day was the hottest of the season. My skin saw the sun and instantly tried to hide underneath my clothing. The back of my throat was so parched. It was like my body was begging for a drink of water. An unavailable table at a local diner became available. I immediately sat down and begged the waitress to bring me a glass of cold water. She smiled at me but didn’t say a word. Would she bring me that glass of water?”
It takes a little more time to write descriptively , but at this point in the story, you’re looking to establish a world more than you are looking to establish facts. As long as the narrative draws the reader in, your words keep driving the narrative further.
Writing Hook #3: The Inspirational Quote
If you can find an inspirational quote that works well for the story that you’re writing, then it might be a good idea to start with it. By including it, the reader is able to subtly see how you’ve done some research for your writing and will be more inclined to keep reading. Take this quote about writing hooks from Stephen King:
“The best writers hook their readers with voice, not just action.”
Writing Hook #4: The Rhetorical Question
This is the type of hook you see on most blog posts these days. It’s a direct question that attempts to draw the reader into what has been written already. If this content were to start with a rhetorical question, it would be something like this.
“How would you feel about reading a story that didn’t have a writing hook included with it?”
Writing Hook #5: Shocking Statistics
Sometimes creating anger or depression can be a good writing hook as well because you’re promising relief of those feelings at the end of what you’ve written. Promise Keepers, a religious organization geared toward men, used to lead with this statistic as a hook.
“In surveys of self-identified evangelical men who attend church weekly, 90% admitted to accessing pornography within the last 30 days.”
A shocking statistic draws battle lines. It also offers solutions. If readers are interested in those solutions, then they’ll keep reading.
Writing Hook #6: The Musing
Musings are just thoughts that you have as a writer. There are two primary musings that can work as a writing hook: philosophical and humorous. Which you choose depends on the “attitude” you’re trying to put into the book. A philosophical musing is good for books about encouraging self-awareness. Humorous musings are better for stories that are trying to achieve conformity.
Any thought you have can be amusing. The only thing to remember with this writing hook is that you’ve got to turn that thought into a question. If you’ve always wondered what it would be like if no one had a nose on their face, the musing would be this: “What if no one had a nose?”
Short, simple, and a potentially great writing hook.
These are the 6 primary writing hooks that are used by all writers today. Choose the one that makes sense for your writing and the content you’re writing about and you’ll be able to have more readers reach the finish line.
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