Writing Beginner

How to Write a Hook (40 Good Examples)

As a professional blogger who has crafted hundreds of hooks for stories, articles, blog posts, and more, I understand the power of a good hook.

Here is quick summary of how to write a hook:

Write a hook by capturing attention with a direct, concise statement or question. Use emotional triggers, strong imagery, or surprising facts to engage readers immediately and keep them intrigued. A story or snippet of dialogue are also good hooks.

In this guide, I’ll share everything I know about writing compelling hooks, from definitions to types, tips, and 40 good examples.

What Is a Hook?

A woman writes near cliff in bedroom, monster lurks in corner -- How to Write a Hook

Table of Contents

A hook is essentially the opening sentence or paragraph of your content.

Its job is to grab the reader’s attention so compellingly that they are drawn into reading more.

Think of it as the bait on a fishing line or the flashy headline on a magazine cover.

For instance, starting a blog post with “Last year, I doubled my income using this simple trick…” instantly piques interest because it promises an intriguing story and valuable information.

Types of Hooks

There are five major types of hooks:

  • Question hooks
  • Anecdotal hooks
  • Statistic hooks
  • Quotation hooks
  • Statement hooks

Question Hooks

Questions provoke thought and beckon readers to find answers. “Have you ever wondered what makes people truly happy?” This type of hook engages readers by directly involving them in the narrative.

Anecdotal Hooks

Sharing a short, personal story can connect emotionally with readers. “When I first started blogging, I made every mistake in the book – here’s what I learned…” This approach makes the hook relatable and builds a personal connection.

Statistic Hooks

Starting with a surprising statistic can shock or intrigue readers. “Did you know that 90% of startups fail within the first year?” Such hooks build credibility and set the stage for a discussion based on factual evidence.

Quotation Hooks

A well-chosen quote can lend authority or set the mood. “‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’ – Steve Jobs. This has been my guiding principle in over a decade of writing.”

Statement Hooks

Bold statements can spark curiosity and debate. “Most people are wrong about how to become a millionaire.” This type of hook challenges common beliefs and encourages readers to engage further.

11 Tips to Write a Hook

Writing a hook that captures attention and drives readers to continue is an art form.

Here’s how you can master it:

1) Know Your Audience

The effectiveness of your hook entirely depends on its ability to resonate with your audience.

Consider their demographics, interests, and challenges. For example, a hook for a teenage fashion magazine will differ vastly from one aimed at retirees interested in financial planning.

Understanding your audience’s expectations and crafting your hook accordingly can dramatically increase engagement.

2) Be Direct and Concise

A straightforward and concise hook is much more likely to catch attention than a rambling opener.

Keep it short and impactful.

Instead of saying, “In this article, I will discuss several ways that can possibly help you improve your productivity,” cut to the chase with, “Boost your productivity with these five unmissable tips!”

3) Evoke Emotions

Hooks that tap into emotions can compel readers to engage deeply with your content.

Whether it’s excitement, anger, sadness, or joy, emotional hooks create a psychological connection.

“I never thought a simple decision could bring me to tears every time I remembered it.” This kind of hook can make the reader eager to find out more about your personal story or the insight you offer.

4) Use Strong Imagery

Visual hooks can transport readers to a different place or situation, making your opening memorable.

“Imagine a world where every morning, you wake up to the sound of waves gently crashing against the shore.”

This not only sets a scene but also engages the senses, making your content more appealing.

5) Offer a Solution or Promise

People often read content looking for solutions.

A hook that promises a payoff can be highly effective. “Eliminate back pain forever with this one simple exercise!” promises a significant benefit, making it more likely that the reader will stick around to learn more.

6) Create a Sense of Urgency

Hooks that convey urgency push readers to act immediately, whether it’s reading a post or buying a product.

“Don’t miss out! Learn the secrets to instant stress relief available only for today.”

Such hooks make the content feel essential and time-sensitive.

7) Experiment with Different Hook Types

Each piece of writing is unique, and different hooks work for different types of content.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with various styles to find what best suits your piece.

A humorous anecdote might work better in some cases, while a shocking statistic might be more effective in others.

What Makes a Powerful Hook?

A powerful hook grabs attention, resonates emotionally, or intellectually stimulates the reader.

It’s precise, unexpected, and seamlessly transitions into the rest of your content. A good hook not only intrigues but also promises something that the rest of the text delivers.

Key Characteristics of a Powerful Hook:

  • Precision: A strong hook is clear and focused. It directly addresses something that is crucial to the reader, making it impossible for them to pass by without wanting to dive deeper.
  • Surprise: Incorporating an element of surprise in your hook can jolt the reader into paying attention. Whether it’s a startling statistic, an unusual fact, or an unexpected twist in phrasing, surprise makes your content stand out.
  • Seamless Transition: The best hooks are those that naturally lead the reader into the body of the text. They serve as a smooth segue that enhances the reader’s curiosity about what follows.

To create such effective hooks, consider tips:

  • Start with a conflict: Introduce a problem or conflict right away to create immediate tension and intrigue. This could be as simple as posing a dilemma or as complex as starting in the middle of an action sequence.
  • Invoke the senses: Use vivid language to tap into the reader’s sensory experiences. Describing a sound, a smell, or a tactile sensation can vividly pull readers into the scene.
  • Challenge common beliefs: Present a statement that contradicts common knowledge or popular opinion. This not only piques interest but also prompts readers to reconsider their assumptions.
  • Use dialogue: Opening with a snippet of dialogue can be an effective way to drop readers directly into the scene, providing immediate context and character insights.
  • Include a compelling character insight: Introduce a character in a way that showcases a unique trait or dilemma. This can make the reader immediately care about what happens to the character.

Hook Examples (for Different Types of Writing)

Here are some good hook examples.

Story Hooks

“Under the light of a blood-red moon, she vowed to uncover the truth, even if it led her into the heart of darkness itself.” This hook sets the stage for a thrilling mystery or adventure story.

“As the clock struck midnight, the statues in the garden whispered secrets of the old mansion’s past.” This hook immerses readers in a mysterious, possibly supernatural storyline.

“He woke up to find the city deserted, the silence an ominous prelude to the chaos that was about to unfold.” This opening sets a dramatic and suspenseful tone for a post-apocalyptic tale.

Article/Essay Hooks

“Scientists have discovered a revolutionary technology that could end global warming within the next decade.” This hook promises new, potentially world-changing information, drawing readers into the article.

“Recent studies show that the lifespan of the average person could increase by 20 years due to new genetic editing techniques.” This hook introduces groundbreaking scientific advancements, capturing the reader’s curiosity.

“A hidden environmental disaster bigger than the BP oil spill is silently unfolding in the Pacific.” This hook alerts readers to an urgent issue, leveraging the shock factor to engage them.

Blog Post Hooks

“I tried living without plastic for a month, and it changed my life. Here’s how you can do it too.” This hook combines personal experience with a guide, making it perfect for a lifestyle or environmental blog.

“Five years ago, I said goodbye to my 9-5 job; here’s why I’ll never go back.” This hook offers a personal testimony that resonates with many aspiring to escape the traditional workforce.

“How I traveled the world with just $100 in my pocket — the ultimate guide to budget backpacking.” This hook provides a tempting offer of adventure on a shoestring budget, ideal for travel enthusiasts.

Social Media Hooks

“This simple trick can save you hours on your daily chores. Click to see how!” This kind of hook works well on social media where users are looking for quick, practical advice.

“Double your workout results with this one little-known technique — tap to learn more!” This approach appeals to fitness enthusiasts eager for more efficient training methods.

“Are you making these five common makeup mistakes? Watch to find out and fix your routine today!” This hook uses curiosity and the promise of improvement to draw in viewers interested in beauty tips.

Marketing Copy Hooks

“Last chance to grab your dream vacation at half the price!” This hook uses urgency and the appeal of savings to encourage quick decisions and actions.

“Unlock the secrets to younger-looking skin with our new serum — first 50 customers get a 40% discount!” This hook combines the allure of exclusivity with a significant discount.

“This gadget cuts your energy bills in half—find out how and save big this season!” This hook promises financial savings and practical benefits, which are key selling points in marketing copy.

Speaking of story hooks, here is a good video about how to write them:

Final Thoughts: How to Write a Hook

Now, go write some hooks that no one can resist.

This guide should equip you with everything you need to start crafting hooks that not only catch attention but also transform casual browsers into engaged readers. Happy writing!

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73 Essay Hook Examples

essay hook examples and definition, explained below

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

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

Techniques for Good Essay Hooks

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

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

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

Essay Hook Examples

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

1. For an Essay About Yourself

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

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

2. For a Reflective Essay

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

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

For an Argumentative Essay

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

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

For a Compare and Contrast Essay

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

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

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

For a Psychology Essay

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

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

For a Sociology Essay

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

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

For a College Application Essay

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

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

Conclusion: The Qualities of a Good Essay Hook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Chris 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]

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Writing Hooks: How to Catch Your Reader’s Attention

Discover the power of writing hooks in this comprehensive guide. Learn about the different types of hooks, tips for writing effective hooks, common mistakes to avoid, and examples from literature and popular articles. Elevate your writing today with the help of this informative article.

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Have you ever been so captivated by a book, article, or blog post that it felt like time was standing still? Then chances are the writer had crafted an incredibly effective writing hook. But what is this magical tool, and how can we use it to ensnare our readers’ attention? Writing hooks aren’t just about snagging readers but rather creating intrigue for them with your content from the get-go! So let’s dive in and check out some tips on crafting masterful writing hooks.

A writing hook is a captivating phrase that entices the reader immediately and keeps them hooked until the end. It’s an effective tool to draw readers in with its magnetic appeal while creating interest in what lies ahead. In other words, it adds suspense and excitement like no other!

Ready to spellbind your readers? This article will reveal the key to an irresistible writing hook: one that’s sure to captivate and allure. Get ready for a wave of curiosity!

Key Takeaways:

  • A writing hook is a captivating phrase or sentence that entices the reader and keeps them engaged until the end.
  • The key to a successful hook is understanding your target audience and their interests, connecting with them through personal anecdotes, and captivating them with a hook that elicits emotions, raises questions, surprises them, relates to them, or draws upon statistics.
  • The five hooks are emotional, question, surprise, anecdote, and statistical.
  • To craft a successful hook, the writer must tailor it to their target audience and use it to create an unbreakable bond with the reader.

Connecting with Your Audience Through Writing Hooks 

Have you ever wondered why some writing can draw in readers and keep them captivated? The key is to create an impactful introduction, or ‘hook’, that will immediately grab their attention. Crafting the perfect hook requires understanding your audience; it should be tailored specifically for those who are most likely to read and enjoy your work!

Identifying the Target Audience 

A great writing hook starts with understanding your audience – the people who you’re hoping to engage and captivate.

Who will be reading? Is it potential customers looking for a new product or service solution, or are there certain readers in mind that could benefit from what you have to offer?

Knowing exactly who is on the other side of that message can make all the difference when crafting something worth taking notice of.

Understanding Reader Interests 

Got your target audience in mind? Great – it’s time to explore their interests and start brainstorming content ideas that’ll really get them talking.

What can you create that they won’t be able to resist? Brainstorm captivating topics and hooks, then watch as eager readers dive right into your material!

Creating a Connection with the Reader 

The key to captivating readers with your writing is creating an unbreakable bond between you and them. Showing off how passionate or knowledgeable you are about the topic can do wonders and provide personal stories that people from a similar background will appreciate.

It’s impossible not to be drawn in by someone who connects their piece on such levels – so don’t forget to make those connections for increased engagement!

Captivate Your Audience with Different Types of Writing Hooks 

Every writer knows the importance of a good hook. A hook is the first sentence or two that grabs the reader’s attention and convinces them to keep reading. It’s an effective tool for drawing readers in. This section will discuss five hooks you can use to capture your reader’s attention: emotional hooks, question hooks, surprise hooks, anecdote hooks, and statistical hooks. 

Emotional Hooks 

An emotional hook aims to draw on readers’ emotions to get them invested in what they’re reading. With this type of hook, you want to evoke strong feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, or joy in order to spur the reader into action.

For example, suppose you are writing about climate change and its effects on the environment. In that case, you could start your article with a sentence like “Every day, we hurtle closer towards a future where our planet will no longer be able to support life as we know it.”

This type of statement can elicit a powerful emotional response from readers and motivate them to take action against climate change. 

Question Hooks 

Using questions is another great way to get readers hooked on your writing. Asking provocative questions can make readers think more deeply about a topic and encourage them to read further to find more information or answers.

For instance, if you were writing an article about gun control reform in America, you could start off with a question like “Why do so many politicians refuse to take meaningful steps toward reforming our nation’s gun laws?” This question encourages the reader to delve deeper into your article in search of answers. 

Surprise Hooks 

Surprise hooks are a great way to draw readers in by making them curious about what comes next. You can surprise your audience by using unexpected words or phrases that force them out of their comfort zone and compel them to keep reading.

For example, if you are writing an article about Facebook censorship policies, you could begin with something like “Facebook has often been criticized for its draconian approach towards censorship.”

This type of statement may catch some readers off guard and make them want to learn more about how Facebook regulates content on its platform.  

Anecdote Hooks 

Anecdotes are short stories that illustrate a point or teach a lesson. When used as writing hooks, they can help engage readers by making complex topics more relatable and understandable.

For instance, if you were writing an article about mental health stigma in society today, you might open with something like, “When I was younger, I had difficulty understanding why people treated my mental illness differently than any other medical condition.”

By sharing personal experiences as anecdotes, writers can help foster empathy among their audiences and give insight into difficult topics from unique perspectives. 

Statistical Hooks  

Statistical hooks draw upon facts and figures related to your topic in order to provide context for readers and make complex topics easier for them to grasp quickly.

For instance, if you are writing an article about poverty rates around the world, starting off with something like “Nearly 1 billion people live below the global poverty line,” provides useful information that allows readers to see the magnitude of this issue at hand quickly.

This hook also gives credibility since it’s backed up by hard data, which helps persuade readers to learn more.    

No matter what type of hook you choose, it should always be creative, engaging, relevant, and thought-provoking. The key is finding one that works best for your particular topic. Whether it’s an emotional hook, question hook, surprise hook, anecdote hook, or statistical hook – there’s sure one out there that will captivate your intended audience!

Writing Catchy Hooks: Strategies to Get Your Readers’ Attention 

You only have a few seconds to capture your readers’ attention. That’s why it’s important to write effective hooks that draw readers in and make them want to read more. But how do you craft an effective hook? Here, we explore strategies for brainstorming hook ideas, choosing the right hook for your piece, using sensory details in hooks, and incorporating hooks into your writing. 

Brainstorming Hook Ideas 

Before writing a hook, you must get creative and brainstorm some ideas. To do so, think about who your intended audience is and what will be meaningful or relevant to them.

Ask yourself questions such as “What questions could I ask my readers?” or “What kind of story can I tell?”. These questions will help you come up with ideas for your hook that are tailored specifically to your audience.

Additionally, consider the tone of voice that will work best for your piece—you may find humor or shock useful in certain contexts. In contrast, something more serious and thoughtful may be better suited for other writing pieces. 

Choosing the Right Hook for Your Piece 

After coming up with a list of potential ideas, it’s time to choose the one that works best for your piece.

The most effective hooks are those that lead naturally into the rest of the article or book—they should give readers an idea of what the content is about while leaving enough out for readers to be curious about what comes next.

Consider how long your hook should be; if it’s too long-winded, it will lose its power since readers tend not to stay on one page very long these days. Aim for shorter hooks (1-2 sentences) whenever possible! 

Using Sensory Details in Hooks 

Incorporating sensory details into hooks—sight, sound, smell, taste, touch—can make them even more memorable and effective since they immediately create a vivid image in readers’ minds.

For example, imagine reading this hook: “The smell of freshly baked cookies filled the kitchen like a warm embrace.” Not only does this provide a clear picture immediately, but it also sets an emotional tone that makes readers want to know more about what is happening in this kitchen!

Incorporating sensory details into hooks can help draw readers in and make them want to read more. 

Good hooks don’t just appear out of thin air; they usually require multiple revisions before they go live! With practice and dedication, you’ll soon master this art form and have compelling hooks ready every time you sit down at your desk!

How to Avoid Writing a Hook That Flops 

A good hook can make or break your writing. It’s the first thing a reader sees when they open up your piece, setting the tone for everything that follows.

Because of this, trying to make it as eye-catching as possible can be tempting—but don’t let that temptation lead you astray! In order to write an effective hook, you must avoid certain pitfalls.

Let’s take a look at three that are particularly common. 

Being Too Vague 

Start off strong with your hook, but if you’re too vague, readers won’t know what you’re talking about and will move on before they get to the good stuff.

For example, a sentence like “There are things we need to consider in life” is too vague—it doesn’t give readers enough information and leaves them wanting more.

Instead, try something like, “We all need to consider the impact our decisions have on those around us and ourselves.” This gives readers a clear idea of what your piece will be about without giving away too much. 

Being Too Boring 

No one wants their writing to be dull—so why should your hook? If you don’t capture a reader’s attention quickly, they’ll likely put down whatever you’ve written without ever reading beyond the first line or two.

To avoid this pitfall, use vivid language and unexpected metaphors or similes to draw readers in. For instance, instead of saying, “Relationships are tricky,” try something like, “Navigating relationships is like walking through a minefield: one wrong step could spell disaster.” 

Being Too Predictable 

Hooks should grab attention—but not by being predictable! It’s easy enough for readers to figure out what’s going on in general if they know what genre of writing they’re looking at (for example, if they see the words “romantic comedy,” then they’ll likely have some idea of what’s coming).

But clichés can make your work seem stale and uninspired. Don’t rely on tired tropes; instead, think outside the box and come up with something unique that will really stand out from the crowd!  

Writing with a Hook: How to Make Your Content Stand Out 

The hook is the first sentence of your article, blog, or story. The opening line grabs readers’ attention and makes them want to read more. A great hook can make all the difference between a successful piece of writing and one that falls flat. In this section, we’ll look at examples of successful hooks from literature and popular articles and compare how hooks work in different genres. 

Analyzing Successful Hooks from Literature 

In literature, a hook often serves two purposes—to introduce characters and establish the setting. Take, for example, the opening line of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby: “In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”

This sentence instantly introduces us to the narrator, Nick Carraway, and gives us an idea of his character—as someone who takes his father’s advice seriously. We also get a sense of time and place—it’s likely set in America during the early 20th century. 

Examining Hooks from Popular Articles 

Hooks are just as important in articles as they are in literature. They serve as an introduction to your topic and help draw readers into your piece. Take this hook from an article about artificial intelligence (AI) : “For years, Artificial Intelligence has been firmly rooted in science fiction – but now it’s beginning to enter our daily lives.”

This hook immediately captures our attention by bringing up something familiar that most people know—science fiction—and contrasting it with something new—AI entering our daily lives. It sets up an interesting question that encourages us to keep reading to learn more about how AI impacts our lives today. 

Comparing Hooks in Different Genres 

Hooks come in many shapes and sizes depending on their purpose and genre. In non-fiction pieces such as blog posts or news articles, hooks tend to be factual or intriguing statements about the topic; for example, “The future of healthcare is here – but what does it mean for patients?”

In creative pieces such as stories or poems, hooks can be poetic descriptions or thought-provoking questions; for example, “What if love was like a game of chess? Would you still take risks when all you could lose was checkmate?” 

Whatever genre you write in, having an effective hook will help make sure your content stands out among the rest! 

Hooks in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Script Writing

Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or even a script, hooks are essential to any good piece of writing. In this section, we will explore how to use hooks in different forms of writing. 

Hooks in Fiction Writing 

Fiction writing is all about storytelling and creating believable characters and worlds. A well-crafted hook gives readers a window into the world you have created, tantalizing them and drawing them in for more.

Your hook should be short, but it should also be powerful enough to impact your readers. It could be a question that hints at something deeper or a statement that leaves your reader pondering what comes next—whatever it is, it should give your reader the compelling urge to keep reading! 

Hooks in Non-Fiction Writing 

Non-fiction writing relies heavily on facts and data, but it can still benefit from a strong hook. Your hook should introduce the article’s topic and provide just enough information to get readers interested without giving away too much information.

Think of it as an appetizer before the main course—it should whet your reader’s appetite for more! 

Hooks in Script Writing  

Script writing is all about dialogue and action scenes; therefore, it must have captivating hooks throughout each act to keep your audience engaged.

Every scene should start with some hook that introduces the plotline and hints at what will happen next—the goal here is to make sure viewers stay glued to the screen until they see how the story ends! 

A good script writer knows how to craft hooks that leave viewers wanting more without revealing too much information too soon.  

Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or scripts for TV shows or movies, make sure to include strong hooks throughout each act to keep your audience engaged until the very end! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to write captivating content every time!

In conclusion, writing hooks are a powerful tool for captivating your audience and keeping them engaged. By understanding your target audience, exploring their interests, and creating a connection with them, you can craft hooks that will make them eager to read more.

Whether you evoke emotions, pose questions, surprise them, tell anecdotes, or use statistics, the key is to make your hook memorable, impactful, and relevant to your audience. Remember, the hook is just the beginning of your story – the rest is up to you to make it as captivating and thought-provoking as possible.

Additional Resources

  • How to Write a Hook For Your Story [Video]
  • Writing Dynamite Story Hooks: A Masterclass in Genre Fiction and Memoir
  • Ten Secrets to Write Better Stories [Article]

108 Questions to Ask ChatGPT if You are a Writer

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Willow Tenny

When it comes to writing, Willow Tenny is a true pro. She has a wealth of experience in SEO copywriting and creative writing, and she knows exactly what it takes to produce quality content. On her blog, Willow Writes, Willow shares top writing strategies with both beginners and experienced writers.

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How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

Table of contents

creative writing hook ideas

Yona Schnitzer

Blank screen. Cursor blinks. Clock ticks. Brain freezes.

You stressfully wonder, “How will I ever finish this essay?”

I’ve been there. 

Every time you write an essay, you want to catch your readers’ undivided attention from the very first word. The opening hook has to be *perfect* — no compromises. 

But, instead of reeling under pressure to come up with this elusively perfect essay hook at the eleventh hour, I’ve found a better way to write great essay hooks. 

In this guide, I’ll tell you what it takes to write the most compelling and attention-grabbing hooks. I’ll also break down six awesome types of essay hooks you can experiment with and share examples to inspire your next opening statement.

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening statement of an essay, written to capture readers' attention and nudge them to learn more about the topic. Also known as a lede or lead, this hook introduces readers to the topic/theme of the essay and piques their curiosity to continue reading. 

The hook creates the entire narrative for your essay. It tells readers what to expect from the rest of the essay and creates context around your main argument or thesis statement. 

6 Types of Essay Hooks You Can Experiment With

I’ve created this handy list of six different types of essay hooks. You can choose the one that best fits your essay’s context and create a stellar opening statement within minutes. 

1. Compelling fact or statistic

Lead with evidence and use a powerful fact or statistic as your essay hook. It’s one of the best ways to capture readers’ attention from the start and keep them intrigued throughout your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about the importance of time management for freelancers, you have two options to create your opening sentence:

Generic : “Managing time as a freelancer is no easy feat.”

Impactful : “Nearly 70% of freelancers struggle to effectively divide and manage their time between multiple clients.” 

This data point, linked to the original research, sets a strong tone for your essay and draws people in to read more. It communicates  

Find a shocking statistic with AI

Finding relevant statistics for any topic is one of the hardest parts of the job. 

But you don't have to spend hours looking for these data points anymore. Wordtune can do this heavy lifting for you in three easy steps.

  • Open the Wordtune editor and add your essay title. 
  • Type in any content you've written, click on 'Add spice,' and select the 'Expand on' option.
  • Write 'statistics,' and Wordtune will add relevant data points to your content.

creative writing hook ideas

Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >

2. Bold claim hook

When working on an argumentative essay , I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish. So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people’s time. 

That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go, hmmm…

But remember, you can't open with a claim that people already know and accept as fact. It has to be something original and unique to make your readers tick, nudging them to dive deeper into your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about water crisis, you have two options to open your essay: 

‍ "In some regions, there is not enough clean water for people to use."
‍ "Imagine a world where every drop of water is a battle, a precious commodity fought over by scores of people and animals alike. This can become a reality as early as 2050."

This bold claim presents a convincing argument about the global water crisis. It also emphasizes the urgency of this argument with a research-backed statistic.

Create a bold claim suggestion using AI

Can’t think of a strong opening sentence for your essay? Wordtune can translate your thoughts into a bold claim and create a compelling essay hook. 

Open your Wordtune editor and write a few lines related to your topic. These sentences should have a consensus among your audience. Then, choose the 'Counterargument' option from the list of suggestions. 

And you’ll have a bold claim for your essay with no effort at all!

creative writing hook ideas

3. Story/Anecdote hook

In all my years of writing, I’ve noticed how stories have a unique effect on people. A good story can resonate with a bigger audience, pique their curiosity, and deliver a more personal message. 

That's why you can cite a personal anecdote or talk about a publicly known story as a good hook for your essay. This hook allows you to play with words and work in more storytelling . 

One of my favorite writing tips applies here: enter the scene as late as possible and leave as early as possible. You have to keep it crisp instead of rambling on and on. 

Consider these two examples:

creative writing hook ideas

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 stray into irrelevant details. 

Create a compelling story with AI

I get it—not all of us are natural storytellers. But you can use AI to your advantage to create a concise and exciting story for your essay.  

Wordtune can help you write a short story from scratch or trim down your writing into a quick anecdote. Click on the expand or shorten button to edit your story any way you like. 

creative writing hook ideas

4. Question Hook

Humans have a tendency to immediately look for answers every time they come across fascinating questions. Using questions as essay hooks can reel people into your essay and feed their curiosity.

But questions are also fairly overused in essays. You don't want to use a generic question that makes people say, " Not another question ." 

Instead, think of questions that approach your topic from a fresh angle. This means honing in on what was especially interesting or surprising from your research—and maybe even brainstorming different questions to find the most fascinating one.

For example, if you’re writing about the psychology behind why we buy, you have two options to open your essay:

‍ “Do you know what factors compel us to buy certain things?”

Plugged in :

“Before buying anything, have you ever taken a moment to pause and think about possible reasons driving you to this purchase?”

The latter is more descriptive and creates a realistic scenario for readers to truly think about the topic of the essay.

5. Description hook

A descriptive hook works best when writing an explanatory or opinion-led essay. Descriptive hooks, as the name suggests, illustrate a topic in detail to create context for the essay. It's a good way to build awareness for and educate readers on lesser-known themes.

But a descriptive hook can easily become too plain or unexciting to read. To make it work, you have to write an engaging description using imagery, analogies, and other figures of speech. 

Remember to make your hook reader-friendly by avoiding passive voice, mainstream cliches, and lengthy sentences.

Consider this example:

creative writing hook ideas

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, so scratch that one, too.

This example creates something unique by using analogies to describe the color of the sky and painting a beautiful picture. 

Write a gripping description with AI

Writing an exciting hook for a boring topic is more challenging than it looks. But Wordtune makes it a breeze with just two steps:

  • Open the Wordtune editor and write your essay topic.
  • Click on Explain or Emphasize and let it work its magic.

You can also change the tone of voice to make the text more in tune with your theme. 

creative writing hook ideas

6. Metaphor hook

One of my favorite essay hooks is to open with a persuasive metaphor to contextualize the topic. Metaphors can help you approach the topic from a completely different lens and wow your readers with interesting insight. 

Metaphors are also super versatile to make your writing more impactful. You can write a one-line metaphor or create a scenario comparing one thing to another and linking it to your topic. 

For example, if you’re writing about the experience of working at a startup, you can open your essay with these two options:

Short & sweet: "Joining a startup is like strapping into a rollercoaster: be ready to witness thrilling highs and sinking drops."

Long & descriptive : “Picture a small sailboat navigating the unpredictable winds and tides in a vast ocean. That’s a startup operating in a massive market. And with the right vision, this journey is filled with risks and rewards.” 

Create a convincing metaphor with AI

Writing good metaphors takes up a lot of creative brain power. You can always use Wordtune to find some extra inspiration if you're out of creative ideas. 

Type your opening line in the Wordtune editor and click on the 'Give an analogy' option. You can ask for as many suggestions as you want till you find the best one! 

creative writing hook ideas

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 sharing your thoughts on a topic, you need to nail down a few things before you settle on the first line for your essay.

‍ Let me break them down for you. 

1. Gain in-depth knowledge of your topic

creative writing hook ideas

Before you start writing your essay, you need to know your topic — not just in name, but in-depth. You don't have to become a subject matter expert overnight. But you do need to research the topic inside out 

Your research will help you:

  • Narrow your focus
  • Build an argument
  • Shape the narrative

Your research insights determine your essay’s structure and guide your choice of hook. 

After organizing your research in a neat outline, think to yourself: ‍Did you uncover a shocking fact? A compelling anecdote? An interesting quote? Any of those things could be your hook.

⚡ ‍ Take action: After finishing your research, review your notes and think through your essay. Mark or make a list of anything compelling enough to be a good lead.

2. Type of essay

creative writing hook ideas

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 can start with a shocking statistic or a bold claim. And an expository essay can open with a descriptive hook while a metaphor hook would work best for a narrative essay.

⚡ ‍ 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 persuasive , argumentative, or any other type.

3. Audience and tone

A best practice I often share with writers is to think of one reader and keep yourself in their shoes . This exercise can tell you so much about your audience — what kind of tone they like, what matters the most to them, what topics interest them, and so on. 

You can use these insights to create a compelling essay hook. Here’s how:

  • 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?

4. Length of essay

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

‍ If you’re writing a shorter paper, you’ll want to keep your hook quick and snappy.  

Readers are expecting a quick read, and they don’t want to spend five minutes only going through the introduction. 

In contrast, you can approach a longer essay — like a senior thesis or a term paper — with 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.

3 Approaches to Avoid When Writing Hooks 

I’ve read hundreds of essays — enough to recognize lazy writing from the first few words. It’s equally easy for readers to discard your essays as ‘poorly written’ just by reading the first line. 

So, I made a list of three types of essay hooks you want to avoid at all costs because these hooks can only disappoint your readers. 

1. Quotations

Quotes are probably the most overused type of hook in any form of writing. What's even worse is rinsing and repeating the same old quotes from Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela in your essays. 

No matter how powerful a quote sounds, you shouldn’t slap it at the opening of your essay. It doesn’t give readers the excitement of reading something original and looks lazy.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on productivity, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work” – Stephen King
Did you know that consuming 100 gms of sugar can slash your productivity levels by over 50% in a day?  

2. Definitions

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a hook as "a thing designed to catch people's attention." 

If I opened my article with this dictionary definition of a hook, you’d have either dozed off or left this page long back to find something more interesting. 

Here's the thing: definitions put people to sleep. Readers don't want to see a formal, jargon-heavy definition of a topic as the very first line of an essay. Your opening statement should have some personality in it to show readers they're in for an exciting read. 

For example, if you’re writing about happy hormones, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Happy hormones are known to boost the happiness levels in your body by creating positive feelings.
Ever wondered why cat videos make you instantly happy, and ice creams give you an extra dose of energy? It's all about how happy hormones control our brain chemistry.

3. “Imagine this”

Opening your essay with "Imagine this" used to be an interesting way to put your readers in a scenario and set the context for your essay. But now, it's far too cliched and just another lazy attempt to write an essay hook. 

You can create a relatable scenario for users without asking them to imagine or picture it. Use the descriptive hook format with an interesting choice of words to convey the same ideas more creatively.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on preparing for higher studies abroad, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Imagine this: You’ve been applying to multiple universities, writing SOPs, and preparing for exams without guidance. Everything can go south any minute. 
College application season is officially here. But with each passing day, you’re under more and more stress to apply to your chosen colleges and tick all the items off your list.

‍Our Go-To Trick for Writing Catchy Hooks

This opening statement can make or break your entire essay. While I’ve broken down my best tips to create the best essay hooks, here’s a surefire way to write compelling openings :

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

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

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

Does your hook spark curiosity in you? 

Did that fact surprise you in the research stage? 

Chances are, your readers will have the same reaction.

And that’s exactly what you want.

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How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

Hannah Yang headshot

Hannah Yang

how to write a hook

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

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

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

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

What Is a Hook in Writing?

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

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

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

definition of a hook in writing

What Makes a Good Hook Important?

Good hooks make your reader feel excited to keep reading.

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

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

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

What Are the Different Types of Hooks?

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

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

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

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

Tip 1: Surprise the Reader

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

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

Tip 2: Raise a Question

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

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

Tip 3: Keep Your Promises

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

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

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

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

Tip 4: Keep It Relevant

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

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

Tip 5: Don’t Stop at the Hook

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

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

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

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

Example 1: Question Hook

  • Will artificial intelligence someday become smarter than humans?

Example 2: Statement Hook

  • Artificial intelligence could become smarter than humans by 2050.

Example 3: Statistic Hook

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

Example 4: Quote Hook

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

Example 5: Description Hook

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

Example 6: Anecdotal Hook

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

Example 7: Sci-Fi Story Hooks

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some examples of strong hooks in novels:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

creative writing hook ideas

What is a Hook for an Essay: Importance and Purpose

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

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

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

How to Write a Hook for Different Kinds of Writing

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

essay hooks

How to Write a Hook for a College Essay?

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

Set the Scene

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

Open with an Example

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

Open with an Anecdote

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

How to Write a Hook for an Argumentative Essay?

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

Use Statistics

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

Use a Common Misconception

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

How to Write a Hook for a Persuasive Essay?

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

Ask a Rhetorical Question

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

Use an Emotional Appeal

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

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

How to Write a Hook for a Literary Analysis Essay?

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

Use Literary Quotes

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

Employ Quotes from Famous People

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

How to Write a Hook for an Informative Essay?

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

Start with a Fact or Definition

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

Ask Questions that Relate to Your Topic

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

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Expert-Approved Tips for Writing an Essay Hook

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

good essay hook

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

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

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

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What Is A Good Hook For An Essay?

How to write a hook for an essay, what is a good hook for an argumentative essay.

Adam Jason

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

creative writing hook ideas

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Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Feb 19, 2019

Hook Examples

Tired of getting poor grades on your high school or college essays? Feeling lost when it comes to captivating your professor's attention?

Whether you're a high school or college student, the constant stream of essays, assignments, and projects can be overwhelming. But fear not!

There's a secret weapon at your disposal: hooks. 

These attention-grabbing phrases are the key to keeping your reader hooked and eager for more. In this blog, we'll explore powerful essay hook examples that will solve all your essay writing concerns.

So let’s get started!

Hook Examples

On this Page

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening sentence or a few sentences in an essay that grab the reader's attention and engage them from the very beginning. It is called a " hook " because it is designed to reel in the reader and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay.

The purpose of an essay hook is to:

  • Grab the reader's attention from the very beginning
  • Create curiosity and intrigue
  • Engage the reader emotionally
  • Establish the tone and direction of the essay
  • Make the reader want to continue reading
  • Provide a seamless transition into the rest of the essay
  • Set the stage for the main argument or narrative
  • Make the essay memorable and stand out
  • Demonstrate the writer's skill in captivating an audience

Check out our complete guide on how to start an essay here!

How to Write a Hook?

The opening lines of your essay serve as the hook, capturing your reader's attention right from the start. Remember, the hook is a part of your essay introduction and shouldn't replace it.

A well-crafted introduction consists of a hook followed by a thesis statement . While the hook attracts the reader, the thesis statement explains the main points of your essay.

To write an effective hook, consider the following aspects:

  • Understand the nature of the literary work you're addressing.
  • Familiarize yourself with your audience's preferences and interests.
  • Clearly define the purpose behind your essay writing.

Keep in mind that the hook should be directly related to the main topic or idea of your writing piece. When it comes to essays or other academic papers, you can employ various types of hooks that align with your specific requirements. 

Learn more about Hook Statements in this informative Video!

Hook Sentence Examples

To give you a better understanding of the different types of essay hooks, we will be discussing essay hook examples.

Question Hook

Starting your essay by asking a thought-provoking question can be a good way to engage the reader. Ask your reader a question that they can visualize. However, make sure to keep your questions relevant to the reader's interest. Avoid generalized, and yes or no questions.

Rhetorical questions make up good hooks.

  • “How are successful college students different from unsuccessful college students?”
  • “What is the purpose of our existence?”
  • “Have you ever wondered whether Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters would have been still together if he didn’t die of cancer?”
  • "Ever wondered what lies beneath the ocean's depths? Dive into an underwater adventure and uncover the wonders of the deep sea."
  • "Have you ever pondered the true meaning of happiness? Join us on a quest to unravel the secrets of lasting joy."
  • Ready to challenge your limits? How far would you go to achieve your dreams and become the best version of yourself?"
  • "Curious about the future of technology? Can you envision a world where robots and humans coexist harmoniously?"
  • "Are you tired of the same old recipes? Spice up your culinary repertoire with exotic flavors and innovative cooking techniques."
  • "Are you ready to take control of your finances? Imagine a life of financial freedom and the possibilities it brings."
  • "Ever wondered what it takes to create a masterpiece? Discover the untold stories behind the world's most celebrated works of art."

Quotation Hook

A quotation from a famous person is used to open an essay to attract the reader's attention. However, the quote needs to be relevant to your topic and must come from a credible source. To remove any confusion that the reader might have it is best to explain the meaning of the quote later.

Here are the quotes you can use to start your essay:

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
  • If your topic is related to hard work and making your own destiny, you can start by quoting Michael Jordan.
  • “Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.”
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs
  • "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein
  • "Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." - Sam Levenson
  • "Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
  • "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker
  • "The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Samuel Goldwyn
  • "Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." - Will Rogers

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Statistic Hook

Here you use statistical data such as numbers and figures, percentages, etc. to hook the reader. This is mostly used in informative writing to provide the reader with new and interesting facts. It is important to mention the source.

  • “Reports have shown that almost two-thirds of adults in the United States of America have lived in a place with at least one gun, at some point of their life.”
  • Another persuasive essay hook example about people’s psychology and lying is mentioned below:
  • “It is noted by Allison Komet from the Psychology Today magazine that people lie in every one out of five conversations that last for at least 10 minutes.”
  • "Did you know that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within their first year? Discover the secrets of the successful 20% and defy the odds."
  • "According to recent studies, people spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every day. Is it time to reevaluate our digital habits?"
  • "Did you know that over 75% of communication is non-verbal? Explore the power of body language and unlock the secrets of effective communication."
  • "Research shows that 1 in 4 adults suffer from mental health issues. It's time to break the stigma and prioritize our well-being."
  • "Did you know that nearly 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase? Build trust and boost your business with positive feedback."
  • "According to recent data, the global e-commerce industry is projected to reach $6.38 trillion by 2024. Don't miss out on the digital revolution."
  • "Did you know that 80% of car accidents are caused by distracted driving? Let's put an end to this dangerous epidemic."

Anecdotal Hook

An anecdote is a short story relevant to the essay topic, illustrated to gain the reader’s attention. This story can be derived from a personal experience or your imagination. Mostly, an anecdote is humorous; it makes the reader laugh and leaves them wanting to read more.

It is mostly used when writing narrative or descriptive essays.

If you are a non-English speaker and call the support department or the helpline and hear:

  • “If you want instructions in English, press 1. If you don't understand English, press 2.”
  • “ An elderly person came to buy a TV, asked the shopkeeper if they had colored TVs. When told that they are available, he asked to purchase a purple one.” 

Here are some more anecdotal hook examples:

  • "Picture this: It was a cold winter's night, the snowflakes gently falling from the sky, as I embarked on a journey that would change my life forever..."
  • "I still remember the day vividly, sitting in my grandmother's kitchen, the aroma of freshly baked cookies filling the air. Little did I know, that day would teach me a valuable lesson about the power of kindness..."
  • "It was a crowded subway ride during rush hour, everyone lost in their own world. But then, a stranger's act of generosity restored my faith in humanity..."
  • "As I stepped onto the stage, the spotlight shining down, my heart pounding with a mix of excitement and nerves. It was in that moment, I realized the transformative power of facing your fears..."
  • "In the heart of the bustling city, amidst the noise and chaos, I stumbled upon a hidden park, an oasis of serenity that reminded me of the importance of finding peace within ourselves..."
  • "The dusty attic held countless treasures, but it was the tattered journal that caught my eye. As I flipped through its pages, I discovered the untold story of my ancestors, and a connection to my roots I never knew I had..."
  • "Lost in the maze of a foreign city, unable to speak the language, I relied on the kindness of strangers who became my unexpected guides and lifelong friends..."
  • "As the final notes of the symphony resonated through the concert hall, the audience erupted in a thunderous applause. It was in that moment, I witnessed the pure magic that music can evoke..."

Personal Story

Starting with a personal story is the right way to go when writing a personal narrative or admissions essay for College.

There is no such rule that the story has to be yours. You can share your friends' story or someone you know of.

Remember that such hooks aren't suitable when writing a more formal or argumentative piece of writing.

  • “My father was in the Navy; I basically grew up on a cruise. As a young boy, I saw things beyond anyone's imagination. On April 15, 2001…”
  • "Growing up, I was the shyest kid in the classroom. But one day, a simple act of courage changed the course of my life forever..."
  • "I'll never forget the exhilarating rush I felt as I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, defying all odds and proving to myself that anything is possible..."
  • "At the age of 18, I packed my bags, bid farewell to familiarity, and embarked on a solo adventure across the globe. Little did I know, it would become the journey of self-discovery I had always longed for..."
  • "As a single parent, juggling multiple jobs and responsibilities, I faced countless obstacles. But my unwavering determination and the support of my loved ones propelled me towards success..."
  • "It was a rainy day when I stumbled upon an old, forgotten journal in my grandmother's attic. Its pages held untold stories and secrets that would unearth the hidden truths of our family history..."
  • "The sound of applause echoed through the auditorium as I stepped onto the stage, my heart pounding with a mix of nerves and excitement. Little did I know, that performance would be a turning point in my artistic journey..."
  • "After years of battling self-doubt, I finally found the courage to pursue my passion for writing. The moment I held my published book in my hands, I knew I had conquered my fears and embraced my true calling..."
  • "As a volunteer in a remote village, I witnessed the resilience and strength of the human spirit. The people I met and the stories they shared forever changed my perspective on life..."
  • "In the midst of a turbulent relationship, I made the difficult decision to walk away and embark on a journey of self-love and rediscovery. It was through that process that I found my own worth and reclaimed my happiness..."

In the next section we will be discussing hook examples for different kinds of essays.

Surprising Statement Hook

A surprising statement hook is a bold and unexpected statement that grabs the reader's attention and piques their curiosity. It challenges their assumptions and compels them to delve deeper into the topic. Example:

  • "Contrary to popular belief, spiders are our unsung heroes, silently protecting our homes from pesky insects and maintaining delicate ecological balance."
  • "Forget what you know about time management. The key to productivity lies in working less, not more."
  • "In a world where technology dominates, studies show that the old-fashioned pen and paper can boost memory and learning."
  • "You'll be shocked to discover that the average person spends more time scrolling through social media than sleeping."
  • "Contrary to popular belief, introverts possess hidden powers that can make them exceptional leaders."
  • "Prepare to be amazed: chocolate can actually be beneficial for your health when consumed in moderation."
  • "Buckle up, because recent research reveals that multitasking can actually make you less productive, not more."
  • "Did you know that learning a new language can slow down the aging process and keep your brain sharp?"
  • "Hold onto your hats: studies suggest that taking regular naps can enhance your overall productivity and creativity."
  • "You won't believe it, but playing video games in moderation can enhance problem-solving skills and boost cognitive function."

Argumentative Essay Hook Examples

The opening paragraph of an argumentative essay should be similar to the opening statement of a trial. Just as a lawyer presents his point with a logical system, you must do the same in your essay.

For example, you are writing about the adverse effects of smoking, and arguing that all public places should be turned into no smoking zones. For such essays, good hook examples will be statistical such as:

“According to the World Health Organization consumption of tobacco kills about five million people every year, which makes it more than the death rate from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria altogether.”

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Persuasive Essay Hook Examples

The main idea or aim for writing a persuasive essay is to convince and persuade the reader to do something. It is also written to change their beliefs and agree with your point of view.

Hook sentences for such essays are a shocking revelation that the reader is curious to learn more about.

“On average each year, humans release 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide approximately. Due to this, the level of carbon dioxide has increased significantly, more than it has been in centuries. If you think climate change is nothing to worry about then you are highly mistaken.”

Narrative Essay Hook Examples

Simply put, a narrative essay is just like a story. In other types of essays you need to pick a side, argue and prove your point with the help of evidence. A narrative essay gives you a freehand to tell your story however you may please.

It can be a story inspired by your life, something you may have experienced. If you feel like it isn’t exciting enough you can always transform it using your imagination.

Examples of a hook sentence for a narrative essay can be something like:

“I was riding the bus to school; the other kids were making fun of me thinking I couldn’t understand them. “Why are his eyes like that?” “His face is funny.” A Chinese kid in America is probably like a zoo animal.”

Subject-wise Hook Examples

Here are 20+ interesting hook examples across various subjects:

  • Technology: "Imagine a world where machines can read our thoughts. Welcome to the future of mind-reading technology."
  • Health and Wellness: "Did you know that a simple 10-minute meditation can change your entire day? Unlock the transformative power of mindfulness."
  • Environment: "The clock is ticking. Discover the urgent and astonishing truth behind the disappearing rainforests."
  • Travel: "Pack your bags and leave your comfort zone behind. Uncover the hidden gems of off-the-beaten-path destinations."
  • History: "Step into the shoes of a time traveler as we unravel the untold secrets of ancient civilizations."
  • Science: "Prepare to be amazed as we dive into the mind-bending world of quantum physics and its implications for our understanding of reality."
  • Education: "Traditional classrooms are a thing of the past. Explore the innovative and disruptive trends shaping the future of education."
  • Food and Cooking: "Savor the tantalizing flavors of a culinary revolution, where unexpected ingredient pairings redefine the boundaries of taste."
  • Psychology: "Unmask the hidden forces that drive our decision-making and explore the fascinating world of subconscious influences."
  • Art and Creativity: "Witness the collision of colors and ideas in a mesmerizing display of artistic expression. Unlock your inner creativity."
  • Finance: "Escape the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and discover the path to financial freedom. It's time to take control of your wealth."
  • Sports: "Feel the adrenaline surge as we uncover the captivating stories behind the world's most legendary sports moments."
  • Relationships: "Love in the digital age: How technology has transformed the way we connect, flirt, and navigate modern relationships."
  • Self-Improvement: "Embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn the life-changing habits that lead to personal growth and fulfillment."
  • Business and Entrepreneurship: "From startup to success story: Explore the rollercoaster ride of building and scaling a thriving business."
  • Fashion: "Step into the fashion revolution as we decode the latest trends and unveil the stories behind iconic designer collections."
  • Music: "Unleash the power of music: How melodies, rhythms, and lyrics can touch our souls and evoke powerful emotions."
  • Politics: "Behind closed doors: Delve into the intriguing world of political maneuvering and the impact on global affairs."
  • Nature and Wildlife: "Journey to the untouched corners of our planet, where awe-inspiring creatures and breathtaking landscapes await."
  • Literature: "Enter the realm of literary magic as we explore the profound symbolism and hidden meanings within beloved classics."

In conclusion, these were some catchy hook examples just to give you an idea. You can make use of any one of these types according to your paper and its requirements. Generate free essays through our AI essay writer , to see how it's done!

The key to making your essay stand out from the rest is to have a strong introduction. While it is the major part, there’s more that goes into writing a good essay.

If you are still unable to come up with an exciting hook, and searching “ who can write my essay ?”. The expert essay writers at 5StarEssays.com are just a click away.  Reach out to our essay writer today and have an engaging opening for your essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a visual hook.

The visual hook is a scene that captures the audience's interest by encapsulating something about the movie. It usually occurs around 15 minutes into it, and can be found in marketing or reviews of movies.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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50+ Hook Examples: The Opening Lines That Make Your Essay Successful

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Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

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Writing a good paper starts with brainstorming a brilliant hook, which keeps your audience engaged with the text. There are many ways to formulate hooks, which will help your writing sound more original and compelling. Looking at some essay hook examples and tips on writing them is the first step to creating one of your own!

In this article:

What is a Hook?

Tips for creating a great hook, question hook examples, strong statement examples, fact/statistic hook examples, metaphor/simile hook examples, anecdotal hook examples.

A “hook” is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them interested in the outcome of your academic text or research paper. The hook is found in the first sentence or two in the opening paragraph in an academic text and serves both as an introduction and an attention grabber.

In literature, such sentences are often found in novels. A great personal favorite of mine is Christmas Carol’s first sentence: “Marley was dead: to begin with. ” This invites tons of interesting questions and piques your curiosity, making you want to read along.

We come across hook examples in our day-to-day lives, scrolling through YouTube video titles and website links. Clickbait can be considered the hook of the modern world, and there are tons of techniques to learn from it.

However, this article will focus on essay hooks for academic papers specifically. In the section below, we’ll be discussing tips on writing hook sentences and engaging your reader’s interest through a single opening sentence.

There are different types of hook sentences in an essay introduction. We’ll take a look at each type, and a few tips, so later on, you can start formulating your own essay hooks based on these few examples.

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  • Question Hook: If you’re writing an art essay, philosophy paper, or business coursework, choosing a compelling and interesting question will leave the readers pondering throughout your text. The reader will automatically try to look for the answer within your research paper.
  • Strong Statement: The opening lines can be controversial, a bold claim – the best hooks for argumentative essays are. This method can shock your audience, and they’ll be curious to learn how you defend your argument.
  • Fact/Statistic Hook: These hook examples are used for scientific and academic assignments, allowing you to use a lesser-known fact or statistic which will grab the reader’s attention.
  • Metaphor/Simile Hook: You can set up a scene by telling a short story for your readers to imagine before getting to your essay’s core. This metaphor hook can be highly compelling and relatable to your audience.
  • Anecdotal Hook: The trickiest essay hook used to diffuse the tension surrounding a heavy topic. This tricky opening line should be carefully thought out and guaranteed to make the reader laugh and only used in the right circumstances.

If you’re using the fact/statistic hook, always make sure you quote a credible source. The same goes for the interesting facts hook type. Include those sources in the body of your essay.

It also helps to think of a hook you came across recently that made an impression on you. Was it a controversial blog post? A captivating personal story? A thesis statement that made you ponder?

Once you finish reading our article, it’s helpful to test your hook and introductory paragraph out to an audience. Have another student, tutor, or parent read it. See if it’s doing its purpose – is the reader engaged? What did they understand from your hook? Is the essay topic clear?

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Writing is a long process and requires a lot of rewriting. Take a small break and give it another go.

How to Write a Great Hook + Examples

There are two crucial points to follow when you write a hook:

  • Keep your sentences short – don’t overstuff your sentences or let them run longer than two rows.
  • Use simple, comprehensive language – the ultimate essay can be read and understood by anyone, even people outside your academic course.

It’s time to get to the examples!

  • What if I told you the world has an unlimited energy resource?
  • How much screen time is too much for elementary school children?
  • Is online education the best way to learn in the middle of a pandemic?
  • Did you know women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression than men?
  • Are your evening habits keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep?
  • Do jobs that require degrees have a higher earning potential?
  • How important is it for YouTubers to use search engine optimization strategies?
  • Will the consumption of meat products become a luxury in the year 2050?
  • Has reading become more challenging due to our short attention span?
  • Have you ever wondered why traffic builds up on no-stop roads?
  • Why we should feel sorry for high achievers?
  • Why you don’t need to be exceptional?
  • How much sugar do you think you consume?
  • The effects of global warming are irreversible, so what can we do to optimize our living now?
  • Should fireworks be banned due to noise pollution and its effect on animals?
  • Has television died in place for streaming services?
  • Is our hatred of certain foods and flavors a direct result of our genetic heritage?
  • Android app development will die out in the next twenty years.
  • You’ll always marry the wrong person.
  • Why is ordinary life not good enough anymore?
  • Why are romantics ruining love?
  • “The wicked tend to win” Machiavelli
  • The hardest person in the world to break up with.
  • Some imaginary friends can cultivate independence in a child.
  • Did you know that space smells like seared steak?
  • The human body houses 10 times more bacteria than it does cells.
  • The longest war in the world is between the Netherlands and Sicily and here’s what happened.
  • “A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security” H. Kissinger
  • Cat purring can be beneficial to your health.
  • There is a scientific explanation behind boredom.
  • The average drunk driver drives under the influence more than 80 times before they get arrested for the first time.
  • 1/3 of adults still sleep with a comfort toy in bed.
  • The average American generates nearly 4.5 pounds of trash each day.
  • The global rate for keeping good hygiene after using the toilet is 20%.
  • Americans read for pleasure for less than 10 minutes every day.
  • The average American eats around 13 pounds of ice cream each year.
  • More than 1/2 million people experience homelessness each night.
  • Approximately 90% of people who experience a cardiac arrest outside of hospitals die.
  • Farmers and ranchers make up less than 2% of Americans.
  • Approximately half of Americans will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
  • My cousin Joanna went to a party with red lipstick all over her teeth. I couldn’t help myself to tell her.
  • I dressed up as a werewolf last Halloween. That’s when everything started.
  • As a child my grandfather gave my grandma her favorite flower- a rose on every holiday. Does this kind of love still exist?
  • Last year my parents dragged me to Paris six times. I had the most dreadful time – I just couldn’t understand how such a historic city can be so dirty, or why.
  • The cause and effect example – when talking about the importance of safety, tell a story with an important moral.
  • Imagine sitting by the fire with the love of your life…
  • I have a four-year old baby – my publishing business I started in 2018.
  • The picture of… brought back memories of…
  • It’s difficult to talk about… because…
  • If you were a famous person, would you…
  • When I was 6, I was given a pet hamster for Christmas. Needless to say, little Zach is gone now, but I wonder how long he could have lived if I had been given it at 12?
  • One reason I decided to switch to a healthy diet is… well it’s cheaper than buying a whole new set of clothes!
  • I like talking to myself. Sometimes I have these seemingly clever and long conversations. I hardly have a clue what I’m talking about.

Mastering the hook sentence is something you might end up using in your day-to-day life, especially if you go into academia, publishing, or journalism as a career choice. But that’s not it – we use hooks to communicate on social media. The title of our blog post or recent youtube video are examples of well-formulated hooks. The quicker you start practicing them the easier they’ll become to use.

If you’re having any other academic trouble, like coming up with essay topics , or you want to learn the outlines of the different essay types, we can help you with that! You’ll become an essay writing pro in no time! We’ve got some good and interesting research paper topics we’re proud of, as well as demonstration speech topics ! Hook sentence examples are just the start!

We hope this article has helped you master the art of essay writing, and you now find the reader agrees with your point of view! Let us know of any good hook examples you came up with!

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How to Write a Hook: 6 Tips to Use Narrative Hooks to Surprise Readers

by Joslyn Chase | 0 comments

In real life, some folks love surprises and others hate them. But one thing is certain—in fiction, you need them to write a book readers can't put down. One way to deliver is through a narrative hook. But what is a narrative hook and how can you write a hook to captivate readers? 

How to Write a Hook by Shocking Your Reader With Surprise

The purpose of a narrative hook is to pull your reader through to the next page, paragraph, or sentence where you’ll have planted another hook to keep him going.

In this article, we’ll answer what is a narrative hook and look at how to write hooks that present surprising situations or something unexpected to rivet reader attention.

What is a hook?

A narrative hook is the element of your story that grabs the attention of your reader and makes them want to keep reading. It’s often an unexpected situation or character, but it can also be a surprise twist or a cliffhanger.

Think of it like a fishing line with a tantalizing bait—once you’ve got your reader hooked, they won’t be able to help themselves but keep reading.

Why do you need a strong hook?

In her fabulous book Wired for Story , Lisa Cron tells a personal story about a manuscript she read that was boring and difficult to get through but had an exciting twist at the end. The writer was afraid he’d give away the surprise and wanted to hide all traces of the ending until it was time to spring it.

The trouble was, there was nothing to pull readers through to the thrilling conclusion. As writers, we know when we have something sensational up our sleeve for our story idea.

But if we don’t let readers know about it, they won’t keep turning pages to find out what it is.

So how can we do that and still surprise them?

Instead of keeping readers in the dark, think misdirection. Like an illusionist who draws attention to one hand while concealing or maneuvering with the other. And using hooks is one way of drawing that attention.

Choose the type of hook

You can craft an effective hook that is a surprise to the character, a surprise to the reader, or both.

When the reader knows more than the character does, it creates dramatic irony, a delicious brand of suspense. As readers, we look forward to the revelation that will surprise the character.

Recently, I came across an example of a fun hook that was a surprise to me, as reader, but didn’t faze the character. In Lee Child’s short story James Penney’s New Identity, the title character is on the run from authorities after setting a fire that raged out of control.

Toward the end of the story, he is picked up by a motorist who introduces himself as Jack Reacher! Suddenly my attention is riveted by surprise. I know the character Jack, but didn’t expect to see him here. Why is he in this story? How is he involved in the whole mess?

Using a character from another book created a hook that kept me reading. 

Use the right bait

Remember, reader expectation is key. Always write to your core audience and bait your hook appropriately. 

For instance, I write mysteries and thrillers so my target readers will expect elements of danger, death, crime, sorrow, and vengeance to come into play. This bait won’t necessarily attract a reader of sweet romance or hard science fiction. The best way to know what your readers expect is to read a lot of books in the genre you plan to write in.

And don’t forget, you should be threading multiple hooks through the scenes and sentences of your story, according to the taste and expectations of your ideal reader, as I discussed in my article on writing danger hooks .

6 Hook Writing Tips to Surprise the Reader

Now that you know the surprise can be for either the character, the reader, or both and that you should use the right bait, let’s take a look at six techniques for how to write a hook that surprises your reader.

1. Question

Remember how we looked at baiting a story hook with questions in an earlier article? When crafting a surprising situation hook, it has to be more than an ordinary question. It has to be—what the !?!?!

Essentially, you're planting questions that the reader wants to have answered so much that they turn the page. 

2. Contrast

Your narrative leads your reader’s expectations. Instead of showing them what they anticipate seeing, reveal something entirely unexpected instead. This is that magician’s trick of misdirection we talked about earlier.

Just remember to stay true to your story conflict and story goal. Don’t tack something on just for effect—it must grow organically from the seeds of your entire story.

To write a contrast hook, write out what the reader expects and then play with the exact opposite. How can you incorporate that contrast? 

3. Work up to the punchline

If you read my article on using humor in your writing , you’ll know that surprise acts in much the same way. Start out with a sentence that delivers the “normal,” layering in detail and leading your reader down a path to the punchline where you deliver the surprise.

Using a suspensive sentence structure (also known as the periodic) is great for this. This type of sentence saves the main clause for last, keeping your reader guessing as to where it will all end. It’s also an example of the classic setup and payoff.

4. Don’t bury the hook

In order to be effective, the hook should stand alone or be placed either at the beginning of the sentence/paragraph or at the end. Placement is important. Burying it in the middle will blunt the hook and your reader will miss it.

5. Alter a cliché

As writers, we’re taught to avoid clichés . But you can actually make a worn-out clause work in your favor if you use it to set up reader expectation and then twist it with a surprise.

6. Use a surprise hook at the end of a chapter

Most readers pick up a book at bedtime, planning to get a chapter in before turning out the light. If you throw in a surprise hook as your reader is reaching for the light switch, you may be able to pull them into the next chapter, where you’ll have a series of new hooks waiting.

Let’s take a look at some story hook examples

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.” Red Wind , Raymond Chandler

This is one of my all-time favorite story openers, and it’s a good example of leading readers down a path, setting up expectations, and then throwing a curve right at the end. Here’s another in that same vein:

“High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour.” Changing Places , David Lodge

And look at these beauties:

“Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.” Waiting , Ha Jin
“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” I Capture the Castle , Dodie Smith
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous insect.” The Metamorphosis , Franz Kafka

These three are superb examples of sharp, clear standalone hooks that pose such a strong and compelling question that it constitutes surprise.

How to craft a surprise story hook

Remember, you don’t have to whip these out during your first draft. The revision process is the perfect time to look for opportunities to strengthen your writing with hooks. Let’s pretend this is my first draft:

A shadow loomed out of the darkness and Rick hit the brake, finding himself surrounded by llamas.

This is the end of chapter 58, and occurs after a drive through a distressed forest area near Seattle where Rick earlier had a near-miss with a deer in the road. So, while the herd of llamas is certainly an unexpected event, it lacks the punch it might have with some revision. Let me try again.

Another deer loomed out of the darkness, or so Rick believed. To his surprise, it was a llama and there were more of them.

Okay, so now I’m tipping my hat to surprise, telling my reader that Rick expected to see another deer and was startled to see the llamas. But instead of telling, why don’t I try getting inside Rick’s head so the reader can experience his dismay as it progresses from caution to creeped-out to incredulity? Here’s the published version:

“Another deer loomed out of the darkness and Rick nudged the brake, slowing to a crawl. It wasn’t a deer, and it wasn’t alone. A veritable herd of creatures swarmed him, forcing the car to a halt, creating a barrier between him and the house. He’d been captured by a phalanx of llamas.” Nocturne In Ashes, Joslyn Chase

A toolbox full of hooks

Are you having fun adding some hooks to your writer’s toolbox? If you want to learn more about how to write a hook, Mary Buckham has several books on the subject that are very instructive.

Remember to use a combination of hooks as a fail-safe system in case some of your hooks don't work, and always tailor your hooks to your core audience. So go bait your hooks, cast out your line, and catch your ideal reader!

How about you? Do you like surprises in real life? In fiction? Do you see the value in a surprise hook? Tell us about it in the comments .

Let’s work on crafting a surprise hook. Choose one of the scenarios below and write a “first draft” straightforward opening sentence. Then revise, using the techniques discussed in the article, until you have a focused and powerful surprise hook. Show your progression and have fun!

Martha gets a letter from her foreign pen pal that shows he’s not who she thought he was.

Darren takes the bags of groceries into the kitchen to put them away and finds something totally unexpected in one of the bags.

After using the restroom aboard a trans-Atlantic flight, Jenny takes the wrong seat by mistake and overhears something she never thought she’d hear.

Write, revise, and craft your hooks for fifteen minutes , then post your work in the Pro Practice Workshop here.  Be sure to provide feedback for your fellow writers! Not a member?

Come join us here and practice writing hooks and other story skills.,

How to Write Like Louise Penny

Joslyn Chase

Any day where she can send readers to the edge of their seats, prickling with suspense and chewing their fingernails to the nub, is a good day for Joslyn. Pick up her latest thriller, Steadman's Blind , an explosive read that will keep you turning pages to the end. No Rest: 14 Tales of Chilling Suspense , Joslyn's latest collection of short suspense, is available for free at joslynchase.com .

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  • How to Write a Hook by Capturing Your Reader With Emotion - […] about how action is not necessarily danger—it has to go farther than that. In the article on Surprise hooks,…

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creative writing hook ideas

8 story hook examples (how to grab attention)

A ‘hook’ in a story promises intrigue, entertainment and answers to the questions it raises. Far from the trickery of a bait and switch, a hook gives a true sense of what your reader can expect of your story’s pleasures. Explore great story hook examples and what they teach us about starting strong:

  • Post author By Jordan
  • 20 Comments on 8 story hook examples (how to grab attention)

creative writing hook ideas

A literary ‘hook’ in a story promises intrigue, entertainment and answers to the questions it raises. Far from the trickery of a bait and switch, a hook gives a true sense of what your reader can expect of your story’s pleasures. Explore great story hook examples and what they teach us about starting strong

Story hook examples

A literary ‘hook’ in a story promises intrigue, entertainment and answers to the questions it raises. Far from the trickery of a bait and switch, a hook gives a true sense of what your reader can expect of your story’s pleasures. A brilliant hook also also grabs a reader’s attention from the get go, to encourage them to read on. A hook can also show a strong voice from the start. Explore great story hook examples and what they teach us about starting strong. Here are eight types of hooks.

These hooks in narrative writing a hook should: Raise curiosity, create questions and promise eventful action with them.

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

At dusk they pour from the sky. They blow across the ramparts, turn cartwheels over rooftops, flutter into the ravines between houses. Entire streets swirl with them, flashing white against the cobbles. Urgent message to the inhabitants of this town , they say. Depart immediately to open country . Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See (2014), p. 3.

2. Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

When the team reached the site at five-thirty in the morning, one or two family members would be waiting for them. And they would be present all day while Anil and the others worked, never leaving; they spelled each other so someone always stayed, as if to ensure that the evidence would not be lost again . Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (2000), p. 5.

3. Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Those who saw him hushed. On Church Street. Liberty. Cortlandt. West Street. Fulton. Vesey. It was a silence that heard itself, awful and beautiful. Some thought at first that it must have been a trick of the light, something to do with the weather, an accident of shadowfall. Others figured it might be the perfect city joke – stand around and point upward, until people gathered, tilted their heads… Colum McCann, Let The Great World Spin (2009), p. 3.

4. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

It’s 1851. I’ll be twenty-four years old next birthday. I’ve been shut up in here since the age of sixteen. I am a model prisoner, and give no trouble. That’s what the Governor’s wife says, I have overheard her saying it. I’m skilled at overhearing. If I am good enough and quiet enough, perhaps after all they will let me go; but it’s not easy being quiet and good… Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace (1996), p. 5

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Villon-sur-sarthe, France, July 29, 1714 A girl is running for her life. The summer air burns at her back, but there are no torches, no angry mobs, only the distant lanterns of the wedding party, the reddish glow of the sun as it breaks against the horizon, cracks and spills across the hills, and the girl runs, skirts tangling in the grass as she surges toward the woods, trying to beat the dying light. V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020), p. 3.

6. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Let me begin again. Dear ma, I am writing to reach you-even if each word I put down is one word further from where you are. I am writing to go back to the time, at the rest stop in Virginia, when you stared, horror-struck, at the taxidermy buck hung over the soda machine by the restrooms, its antlers shadowing your face. Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019), p. 3

7. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened. It didn’t take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs to realize something was wrong. Really wrong. Toni Morrison, God Help the Child (2015), p. 3

8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

On the morning of October 30, 1969, the body of Chase Andrews lay in the swamp, which would have absorbed it silently, routinely. Hiding it for good. A swamp knows about death, and doesn’t necessarily define it as tragedy, certainly not a sin. Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing (2018), p. 6

The examples of hooks from novels above illustrate what effective hooks do:

How to write good hooks for stories:

Great story hooks do one or more of the following. They:

  • Build urgency
  • Prompt pressing questions
  • Involve intriguing contexts
  • Introduce striking voices
  • Show a glimpse of a vivid world
  • Imply past or future conflicts
  • Build narrative tension
  • Share relevant backstory
  • Set the story’s tone

Let’s explore each of these ideas in brief with reference to the story hook examples given above.

Story hook examples - Ovid on the advantages of always having a hook cast

Ways to write hooks:

1. build urgency.

A girl running for her life; a dead body lying in a swamp; a crowd gathering to point into the sky.

Each of these actions or images create a kind of urgency that hooks a reader into the story.

The reader wants to know why a girl is running for her life. We need to find out who murdered Chase Andrews. We want to know what the crowds are staring up at in Let The Great World Spin (an urban tightrope walker).

To build urgency in your story’s hook, you could:

  • Describe an action with a time limit: For example, having ten minutes to get to a crucial interview
  • Share actions with high stakes: A girl running for her life; a tightrope walker between NY skyscrapers
  • Imply a situation requiring urgent investigation: A murder, a mystery – a vital piece of missing information for one or more characters

What needs to happen at the start of your story (or scene, or chapter) that is of utmost priority for your characters?

Watch this brief video on how to write hooks and keep reading for more ideas:

Story Hook Examples: How to grab attention

2. Prompt pressing questions

Good story openings include meandering beginnings that take time getting to the point (this is especially common in literary novels that do not necessarily require the brisk pace of a thriller).

Yet even if your story opening is gentler, more tone-and-mood-setting, a question hook, rather than full-tilt action, how can you prompt pressing questions, creating elements of a hook?

In the opening hook to Anil’s Ghost , for example, we wonder what evidence is being sought that could be ‘lost again’.

A good story makes us ask ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ at several junctures. The hook is a crucial place to set up these questions. Tweet This

For the above story hook examples, readers may have questions such as:

  • What are people gathering to point at? ( Let The Great World Spin )
  • What or who is the girl running from? (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue )
  • Why does the narrator think something is gravely wrong with her newborn (God Help the Child )
  • When will the prisoner be released, if ever? ( Alias Grace )

What thought-provoking questions does your hook give your reader? You can also use a rhetorical question as a hook. Or, use a statistic hook, quoting facts and figures to grip a reader’s attention.

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3. Involve intriguing contexts

The best story hooks don’t only grab our attention. They tell us (often in a highly compressed way) a lot about the world we’re about to enter. Why we’re in for a good story .

We begin to understand aspects of con text such as place , era, scenario and situation. That a wartime city is about to be evacuated, for example ( All the Light We Cannot See ). Or that there is a wedding party, somewhere in the periphery, that may be relevant to a character’s current situation ( The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue ).

What makes context intriguing? Elements such as:

  • Implied recent, imminent or eventual conflicts
  • Interesting, compelling relationships (e.g. the man writing to his mother at the start of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous )
  • Interesting facts (for example, Delia Owens’ description of the swamp’s peculiarities as a biome opening Where the Crawdads Sing )

How can you involve your characters’ contexts at the start of a novel, chapter or scene so that your reader pricks up their ears?

4. Introduce striking voices

We tend to think of hooks strictly in terms of ‘Plot’ with a capital ‘P’. Yet a hook may be something as simple as teasing the reader with introduction to an interesting character (or multiple characters).

For example, in the opening to Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (written as a Vietnamese-American man’s letters to his abusive mother), there is an immediate, intimate sense of a connection between two characters. A connection that has its own complex history filled with vignettes such as the rest stop scene the narrator describes.

We have an immediate sense of voice through the wording of the man’s letter.

A hook thus is not only made up of the pressing or intriguing questions it inspires. It can also be something as simply compelling as a lone, specific voice reaching out to us from the written page.

You could also consider using a quotation hook. This, as the name implies, means using a quote from a notable or famous person. This will serve introduce the topic of your story, or lead into it. A quote hook will can be effective in reeling your reader in from the word go.

What makes your viewpoint narrator’s voice compelling from the first line? What fragment of their experiences, beliefs, fears or desires may invite your reader into their narrative?

Ted Naifeh on the importance of a story hook

5. Show a glimpse of a vivid world

Many novels start with story hooks that describe and define place, a descriptive hook. Delia Owens’ swamp facts at the beginning of Where the Crawdads Sing , for example. Or Ondaatje’s description of a forensic archaeological site in Sri Lanka.

To hook readers in, you could show a glimpse of what is extraordinary about this place. The dead body in the swamp with its already remarkable properties. The strange hunting trophy on the rest stop wall that fills the narrator’s mother with horror in On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous . These are all examples of vivid descriptions of scenes that create a picture  in a reader’s mind.

What detail is typical of your story’s era, time or primary location? Or else, your hook could begin with something out-of-the-ordinary – the tightrope walker between towers of Let The Great World Spin , for example.

6. Imply past or future conflicts

Stories are about change, at root. Nothing is an agent of change like conflict (as the evacuation order leaflets at the start of All the Light We Cannot See show).

As an example, on the first page of God Help the Child by Toni Morrison, we wonder what is so wrong about the narrator’s newborn.

We quickly learn that her worry is driven by colorism, a by-product of racism. The narrator’s child has been born ‘midnight black, Sudanese black’ (p. 3), the mother’s surprise being because she has lighter skin tone herself.

From the first page, this story hook example suggests conflicts at the heart of racism; its comparative prejudices and violences. We wonder how others will treat this child due to a mother’s concern, thus her anxious focus creates narrative suspense.

What past or anticipated conflicts might feature strongly in the opening pages of your story? Find ways to build a hook around their suspense.

7. Build narrative tension

The best story hook examples teach us how to build narrative tension from the start. It may be something as simple as Addie LaRue running for her life from the wedding party. Or else the hush of a crowd craning their necks at a terrifying, aerial spectacle.

To build narrative tension in your hook, you could use just such an attention-grabbing hook:

  • Describe high-stakes events (e.g. a man walking a tightrope between skyscrapers)
  • Imply an immediate struggle or obstacle (for example, the implied hurdles of being ‘other’ in the opening to God Help the Child )
  • Suggest a situation whose outcome could go either way (for example, whether the protagonist will be released from prison or not in Alias Grace )

8. Share relevant backstory

Beginning with a large chunk of backstory that is irrelevant to the main events of your story is not a good way to begin. Your reader may quickly become bored, as writing coach Romy Sommer explains:

An issue I see with a lot of beginner writers is they tend to write the backstory as the story itself. So the first few chapters will be, ‘This thing happened, and then this thing happened…’ Understanding Character Arcs: How to write characters, preview on YouTube

Good story hook examples instead of giving all the backstory tell the reader backstory that is relevant to the current situation.

For example, the petty crime that lead a character to be currently incarcerated. Or the evacuation order that lead to your character’s current hurrying from their home city. This type of hook is useful for revealing just as much as you want to in a few simple sentences.

Relevant backstory tells us just enough to give the present scene context, history, and fuller narrative purpose .

9. Set the story’s tone

Many of the story hook examples listed above set the tone for the story. Addie LaRue’s bid for freedom, to not ‘just’ be anybody’s wife, for example. Or Little Dog’s difficult, complex relationship with his mother in On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous .

How can your story’s hook hint at your story’s primary subjects, themes and symbols?

Writing exercise: ‘Toning’ your hook

Find three adjectives for a hook sentence you’d like to write. For example:

  • Tense, unsettling, eerie
  • Lyrical, languid, mysterious
  • Gritty, fast, loud
  • Silly, quirky, unexpected

Write a sentence to a paragraph while thinking about your three adjectives. How many questions out of the 5 (‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘when’) can you make your reader ask?

Start finessing your story idea now so you have the foundation for a brilliant hook.

Related Posts:

  • Grabbing attention with scene beginnings: 5 tips
  • 10 dialogue tips to hook readers
  • How to start a novel: Hook readers from page one
  • Tags how to write a hook , story openings

creative writing hook ideas

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

20 replies on “8 story hook examples (how to grab attention)”

Another excellent and practical article, Jordan. Thank you!

Thank you for the kind feedback, MJ! Have a lovely week.

Hi Jordan, so glad I stumbled on this article while researching Hook / Concept! Excellent information and I’ve printed it off (for an anti-clutter frugal printer, that is quite high praise lol). Now off to read your other articles. Thanks!!

Hi Regan, thank you so much for your kind feedback and taking the time to share it. I am only happy to contribute to print-clutter 🙂 It’s a pleasure, have a good week.

Thanks Jordon you help me a lot I am writing a non fiction article I needed to find out about a good hook how to try to hook reader in the first sentence I got it thanks to your explanations if you ever teach writing lessons on how write short stories for children I ready to enlist thanks for your help

Hi Scooter, it’s a pleasure. Penguin has a useful article by Alan Durant on how to write a children’s picture book here that you may find interesting. Happy holidays!

Thank you, Jordan. I found this very helpful! People so often talk about a ‘hook’ and it’s interesting to really break it down to see what makes it work.

Hi Rebecca, it’s a pleasure. I’m glad to hear that! Thank you for reading our blog and have fun working on your story’s hook 🙂

Very helpful. Thanks. Although, I noticed that you use ‘their’ to refer to the woman giving birth, but ‘him’ to the person writing to the mother, whose gender was not revealed in the sentence. sigh. why do we need to erase women? Other than that small observation, very useful info.

Thank you for your feedback and my apologies, definitely no erasure intended. I think the spur-of-the-moment rationale was probably to use the neutral ‘their’ due to the ungendered reference in the immediate sentence (‘the narrator’). Yet since the narrator in question is indeed a woman, I’ve changed it to ‘her’. I’m glad you found this article useful, thank you for reading and sharing.

If you had to pick one story hook, which would you pick, having something blow up or a tiny man shrinking?

Hi Alex, thank you for your question about story hooks. Explosions are fairly standard for action stories, but depending on the context it could be a safe in medias res starting point. But if a man is tiny already, why would he be shrinking? Thanks for reading our blog.

Great article. It helped me a lot with my writing. thanks

So glad to hear that, Sule. It’s a pleasure, thank you for your feedback and for reading our blog.

Excellent examples and a well written article.

Hi Debra, thank you for your kind feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed this article.

I hope this doesn’t annoy you, I’m compelled to rearrange wording until its more clear to me of what’s being said.

We tend to think of hooks strictly in terms of ‘Plot’ with a capital ‘P’. Yet a hook is just as often made from an inviting ‘who’—or compellingly repulsive anti-hero.

Hi Meka, not at all, thank you. I appreciate all help from our readers in making my articles better, especially when feedback is constructive like this. I’ve rewritten that sentence for clarity (I’m always updating articles here thanks to readers’ helpful suggestions). Thanks for sharing.

I’ve struggled for ages to understand hooks and inciting incidents! I’m autistic, and despite having a great logical brain, sometimes it takes the right kind of teaching by breaking down a concept into steps, then “steplets” lmao. I’ve been writing for years, but never actually LEARNED how, if you know what I mean. Now I want to write a proper fanfiction that’s not for kids. I want it to be as scary and spine tingling as possible without being heavy handed. This article helps a ton!!! I’m definitely gonna check out any others and watch the linked videos! Thank you very much for the help! ^–^ ♡♡♡

Thanks Rose. That’s wonderful to hear, so pleased that this is so helpful. Enjoy the videos and the rest of our varied blog posts.

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Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

Now here’s the clue.

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

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

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

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

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

✅ Good Hooks for Essays: Bonus Tips

  • 🔗 References for More Information

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

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

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

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

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

What Is an Essay Hook?

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

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

Why Do You Need a Good Essay Hook?

Writing the right hook is essential for a few reasons:

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

How to Write a Good Hook: Ideas and Examples

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

💬 The Famous Quote Hook

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

⬇️ Check out examples below ⬇️

Quote Hook Example: Political Science

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

Social Sciences

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

And excellent sources of quotes for you:

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

❓Rhetorical Question Essay Hooks

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

Some useful patterns of rhetorical questions:

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

And more in examples:

Example of a Question Hook on Education

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

Question Hook Example: Health

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

😂 Anecdotal Essay Hooks

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

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

Literature (personal story)

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

📈 Fact or Statistic Hook

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

Business/social sciences

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

Statistic Hook Example in Economics

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

Some good sources for statistics

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

🤯 Shocking Facts are Very Good Hooks for Essays

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

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

Fact Hook Example in Economics

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

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

Sources to look for reliable facts:

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

🗣️ Dialogue as a Catchy Hook for Essays

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

Here it is:

Dialogue Hook Example in Literature

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

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

Dialogue Hook for History Essay

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

🔮 A Story Looks Like an Extremely Good Essay Hook

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

Story Hook Example for an Essay on Business

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

🦚 Contradictory Statement – Queen of Good Hooks

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

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

Examples of contradictory statements essay hooks:

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

Social sciences

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

🔁 Vivid Comparison Essay Hook

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

Comparison Essay Hook Options:

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

Check out examples:


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

Social sciences/psychology

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

📄 Definitions = Easy & Good Hooks for Essays

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

Business Ethics

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

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

📚 Metaphor Hook for Essays

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

Let’s see how you can use a metaphor:

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

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

🧩 Puzzle? Yes! Amazing Hook for Your Essay

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

Here are the examples:

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

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

📢 Announcement Is Also a Good Essay Hook Option

Announcements could be suitable for literary pieces and historical essays.

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

Ways to use announcements as essay hooks:

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

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

ℹ️ Background Information Essay Hook

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

Here are the ways to use background information essay hooks:

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a simple plan you can follow.

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

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

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

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

That’s it 😊

Good luck with your work!

🔗 References

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

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

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

  • Writing Prompts

60+ First Line Writing Prompts

Did you know that the opening line of a story is one of the hardest parts of writing a great book? Spark your imagination with these 100+first line writing prompts for all ages! These simple one-liners are the perfect way to get those creative juices flowing and find inspiration for your next big short story or flash fiction . 

We have a mix of first-line writing prompts, ranging from fantasy prompts to non-fictional and realistic events. As well as prompts written in the first and third-person view. The one-line writing prompts in this post are a great way to challenge yourself to write something new. In fact, you can even set yourself a challenge to write at least 300 words every day for each of these cool prompts!

60+ Random First Line Writing Prompts

Here are over 60 one-line opening sentences to help you write your next big story:

  •  “Er… I hate this song. Why is it always playing on the radio?”
  • Every story has a hero and I’m the hero of this one.
  • Thunder rattled outside, as Emily tossed and turned trying to sleep.
  • Life wasn’t great at all for Mr Pea. It wasn’t even mildly good. 
  • They keep calling me “special”, but what’s so special about me?
  • Gavin was always getting the best presents. For once I wish I could be like him.
  • Balloons popping, confetti dropping and food flying. That’s how Katie spent her birthday each year. 
  • Every night, Peter went out to save the world in his own little way. 
  • If dogs could speak, then Spike would be thanking Chris right now.
  •  Money is everything. 
  •  Was it really Jane’s fault?
  •  Every day the same thing keeps happening.
  •  For the first time in her life, Janie felt powerful.
  •  5 AM and still no phone call.
  •  Mom’s always telling me to come straight home. 
  •  There’s an old legend that talks about magical fairies living in the forest. 
  •  Snow fell, as Clarissa made her way home.
  •  After the accident, Nelson never felt safe again.
  •  Katie’s living the dream up in the hills of Hollywood.
  •  The world seemed like such a big place, until the recent discovery in Antarctica. 
  •  “Dear diary, today I learned something about myself…” Katie mumbled to herself. 
  •  Blinded by a bright light outside his window, Jake jumped up in horror.
  •  Sitting at his computer, Martin noticed something odd about his favourite computer game.
  •  Rain trembled down the window, as the car radio played in the background. 
  •  “Ready or not, here I come!” shouted Millie in the distance. 
  • Once upon a time, there lived a young prince with extraordinary powers. 
  •  James had it all, but still, it was not enough.
  •  Her red hair glistened in the sun, as she walked across the car park. 
  •  Mel was always haunted by her dreams. 
  •  “Shhhh! It’s your turn now” whispered Kelly. 
  •  The room was a dump, as Jack frantically searched every corner. 
  •  This time daddy brought a strange teddy bear home.
  •  There’s no cure for a beast like me. 
  •  People ran inside their homes, as the alarm rang. 
  •  Tracking through the woods, Christian found something strange. 
  •  Home. What is home anyway?
  •  Legend says that if you breathe in and out ten times in front of a mirror something strange happens.
  •  Tick… tock… tick… tock… time was going so slow. 
  •  The pain was too much, he had to leave right now.
  •  Slipping out of reach, she lost it forever.
  •  Money, clothes, food, everything you need for a quick getaway. 
  •  In the faraway kingdom of Rainbow Popsicles, everything was sweet, apart from one strange-looking thing. 
  •  In the damp streets of Manhattan, there lived a fierce little cat. 
  •  Being the ‘odd one out’, the ‘weird’ one wasn’t fun at all.
  •  “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” Shelly screamed in her sleep.
  •  Some say the number 7 is unlucky, but to me, it wasn’t.
  •  Every Saturday, Joe went to his Grandma’s house, but something was very different this week. 
  •  Chores, chores and more chores.
  •  For once I wish I could get my way.
  •  The sun shone brightly on Oakland farm, but not all was bright.
  •  “I got one! I got one!” shrieked Sally, jumping up and down in excitement.
  •  She was everything I wanted to be and more. 
  •   The same words over and over again scattered all over the floor. 
  •  The scariest creatures lived deep in the forest where no-one ever went. 
  •  “Abra Kadabra, turn these ripped trainers into the fastest trainers in the world!” exclaimed Victor. 
  •  The desert-like sun burned his skin as he lay scorching in the sand. 
  •  The sound of rustling leaves turned George’s heart to stone. 
  •  Sunny Slimeville was just a normal town with a funny name. 
  •  The phone did not stop ringing all week.
  •  Another tea party, another game. 
  •  How’s a country girl like me ever going to survive the big city?
  •  Did you know that not all zombies eat brains?

How To Use These One-Line Writing Prompts

There are a number of ways you can use these first-line writing prompts to inspire your story writing , such as:

  • Pick one of the opening sentences and free-write for at least 60 seconds. Don’t stop to think, just keep on writing whatever comes to mind! 
  • Don’t keep skipping through all of the prompts above. Challenge yourself and give the ‘hard’ or ‘boring’ ones a go! You never know how they’ll inspire you unless you give them a go. 
  • Feel free to adapt these first-line writing prompts in any way you like. You can change the character names, point of view and any other details you feel like.
  • Explore your imagination. Don’t be afraid to add more characters, add conflict, add dialogue , add anything you like to really have fun with these prompts!

For more inspiration, check out this list of over 150 story starters . Now go and choose an opening sentence from the above list! And if it inspires you to write something cool, let us know in the comments! You can even publish your story online – Just sign-up to create your free account .

60 First Line Writing Prompts

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.

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Creative writing hooks – 5 powerful techniques to try

Creative writing hooks can grab your readers’ attention! Here are some tips and strategies for creating powerful hooks.

Writing hook 1 – Flip normality

Jesse was deeply in love with a tree. The woman walked across the water. It had unusually large wings for a dog.

Why does this technique work? Because we’re wired to notice the unusual, the stand-out, the difficult, rather than what’s everyday and familiar.

So, if you start an sentence with normality and take it somewhere unexpected, your reader will be jolted and wake up.  

Disruption is one of of the most powerful techniques for creative writing hooks, and a great way to start a story.

Writing hook 2 – Disrupt the status quo

The mechanic scratched the key the whole length of the Mercedes. The princess’s hair was matted and stank of rot. When the kids took over the government…

Why? As well as being unusual, this inverts the typical social order, and shows familiar characters or archetypes in an unexpected situation.

We’re more likely to be curious, and wonder what happens next.

Writing hook 3 – Ask a question

What’s the difference between a cudgel and a truncheon? When’s the best time to murder your company boss? Why are you staring with that weird expression?

Why? A question implies an answer to follow, so a reader is more likely to follow along. This harnesses the powerful Zeigarnik Effect – the need for closure.

Writing hook 4 – Use ‘you’

What’s your problem, dude? Are you a sheep or a dog? When are you coming this way?

Why? The direct address “you” captures attention.

Even if you only use it rhetorically, people feel directly addressed. Since they’re interested in themselves, they’re more likely to notice a direct address “you”.

As a fiction technique, this establishes a certain intimacy and familiarity with the narrator, bringing the reader closer.

Writing hook 5 – Paint a picture

Leaves crunched underfoot as we stumbled down the avenue. The car was huge, red and shiny, its windscreen smashed and the front door swinging wide. Out in the field, the cows chewed peacefully in the sunset.

Why? If you create a clear visual image, readers are more likely to picture it in their mind’s eye and become engaged.

Next, draw them further into the story with mental “travel” into the picture you’ve just created.

Some creative writing hooks are more subtle. They draw readers in through seduction, rather than shouting.

Trying painting pictures to immerse your readers more fully in the world of your story.

Exploring creative writing hooks in this methodical way is an example of deliberate practice . It’s one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve your writing technique.

Read about Deliberate practice for writers . Read about Ray Bradbury’s deliberate practice .

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You are currently viewing Writing Effective Hooks: A Comprehensive Guide for Teachers and Students

Writing Effective Hooks: A Comprehensive Guide for Teachers and Students

The power of an engaging introduction cannot be overstated in the writing world. Whether you’re a teacher striving to inspire your students or a student looking to ace your next essay, the ability to hook your readers right from the start is a valuable skill. After all, the first few lines of your writing can make or break the reader’s interest. This comprehensive guide will delve into the art of crafting effective introductions that captivate your audience and keep them engaged throughout your piece.

Understanding the Importance of a Strong Introduction

  • Setting the Tone: An introduction sets the tone for the entire piece. It prepares the reader for what’s to come, making it essential to grab their attention and align their expectations with your content.
  • Hooking the Reader: It’s helpful to consider their psychology to understand why hooks work. Hooks tap into the reader’s natural curiosity and desire for resolution. By introducing an intriguing question, a compelling story, or an unexpected fact, you create a sense of anticipation and curiosity that compels readers to keep going. A well-crafted introduction is a literary hook, pulling the reader into your narrative, argument, or story. It sparks curiosity and encourages them to continue reading.
  • Establishing Credibility: For writers, a strong introduction can establish your expertise and credibility in the classroom. For students, it showcases your understanding of the topic and ability to communicate effectively.

Techniques for Crafting Effective Introductions

Now, let’s explore some tried-and-true techniques to help you create introductions that leave a lasting impression:

1. Start with a Relevant Story

Begin your introduction with a relatable and compelling story or anecdote. This can be a personal teaching experience for teachers, while students can draw from their own life stories. Connecting on a personal level immediately engages your audience.

2. Ask Thought-Provoking Questions

Pose a thought-provoking question in your introduction. This encourages critical thinking and draws readers into your topic. It can be a question related to the subject matter or questions that relate to the essay’s focus.

A common struggle, especially among amateur writers, is finding a question that won’t have a simple answer. One tip – who says it has to be one question? Ask a series of questions that draw the reader in. For example, “Why is the sky blue? Why did the chicken cross the road? What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?” A series of questions can lead your reader’s brain in your desired direction.

3. Use Powerful Quotations

Incorporate relevant quotations from experts or well-known figures. This can add credibility and real-world application for your readers. However, not just any quote will do. When using quotations, make sure they align with your topic and argument. Analyze the quote briefly to demonstrate its relevance.

4. State a Surprising Fact

Share an odd fact or shocking statistic that relates to your topic. This can be particularly effective in capturing your audience’s attention and making them curious to learn more.

5. Employ Vivid Imagery

Paint a vivid picture with your words. Use descriptive language to create a mental image for your readers. This technique can be equally powerful for teachers and students in setting the scene for your content. For example,

“Amelia stood at the crossroads of her life, torn between two paths that stretched before her like diverging destinies. One path was bathed in the warm, golden hues of familiarity, where the comfort of the known beckoned her with open arms. The other, shrouded in mist and dappled with tantalizing glimmers of the unknown, whispered promises of adventure and growth. As she hesitated, her heart pounded like the erratic flutter of a trapped bird, caught between the safety of the cage and the allure of the boundless sky.”

In this brief description, the reader can vividly imagine Amelia’s inner struggle and the tension between her choices, conveyed through descriptive language and imagery.

Tailoring Introductions for Different Types of Writing

Depending on your writing goals, you must adapt your introduction accordingly. Here’s how you can tailor your introductions for various types of content:

1. Academic Essays

To hook a reader effectively in academic writing, focus on presenting a clear and compelling thesis statement right from the start. Provide context for the topic’s significance and briefly outline your approach or key arguments. Emphasize the relevance of your work within the academic field and reference important literature when applicable. Keep your introduction concise and purposeful, ensuring it offers a roadmap for the reader, guiding them through your academic essay with clarity and engagement.

2. Creative Writing

Your introduction can be more experimental in creative writing, such as storytelling or poetry. Engage the reader’s imagination, perhaps with an intriguing character or setting description.

Example 1 – Novel Introduction: “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville

“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.”

In this iconic opening of “Moby-Dick,” the narrator, Ishmael, immediately draws readers into his world with a distinctive first-person voice and a hint of mystery. The simple phrase “Call me Ishmael” invites readers to connect with the narrator personally, while the desire to “see the watery part of the world” sparks curiosity and sets the stage for the adventurous journey that follows.

Example 2 – Poem Introduction: “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore – While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door – Only this and nothing more.'”

In the opening stanza of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” readers are immediately transported into a dark and mysterious atmosphere. The use of vivid and eerie imagery and the repetition of the word “tapping” creates a sense of foreboding and anticipation. The introduction sets the tone for the poem’s exploration of sorrow and the unknown.

These examples illustrate how creative writing introductions can captivate readers by establishing a unique narrative voice, creating an atmosphere, and introducing elements that pique curiosity and set the stage for the following story or poem.

3. Informative Writing

A successful hook should begin with a compelling opening that captures the reader’s attention. Start with an engaging fact, a thought-provoking question, or a relevant anecdote that immediately connects to your topic. Communicate the value of your writing by highlighting the benefits readers will gain, solving a problem, or offering valuable insights. Preview the key points you’ll cover to provide a roadmap and empathize with the reader’s concerns to establish a relatable connection. A concise, impactful hook will engage readers and draw them into your informative content.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q1: How long should an introduction be? A1: The length of an introduction can vary, but a good rule of thumb is to keep it concise. In most cases, aim for 5-10% of your total word count.

Q2: Can I change my introduction after writing the rest of the piece? A2: Absolutely! It’s common to revisit and revise your introduction once you’ve completed your work. Sometimes, the best introduction becomes clearer after you’ve developed your content.

Q3: Should students use personal anecdotes in academic writing? A3: While personal anecdotes can be effective in some cases, they should be relevant and appropriate for the context. Ensure that they enhance your argument or illustrate a point.

Q4: How can teachers maintain student engagement beyond the introduction in the classroom? A4: Engaging introductions are just the beginning. To maintain student engagement, incorporate interactive activities, discussions, and real-world examples related to the topic.

In conclusion, crafting a compelling introduction is a skill teachers and students can benefit from. It’s a tool that not only captivates your audience but also sets the stage for the success of your writing. By employing the techniques outlined in this guide and tailoring your introductions to your specific needs, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master of the captivating opening. So, whether leading a classroom discussion or penning an essay, remember that your introduction is your first and most crucial opportunity to make a lasting impression.

If you enjoyed this or found anything useful, please join our  Facebook Group , watch our content on our  YouTube Channel , peruse classroom resources at our  TeachersPayTeachers Store , or rep’ some merchandise from our  Redbubble Store .

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Chatgpt prompts to produce content consistently (outperform everyone).

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ChatGPT prompts to produce content consistently (outperform everyone)

There are an infinite number of things to write about and an infinite number of ways to write about them. But when you’re hit with writer’s block, it can feel like every topic has been exhausted. Change that for good with ChatGPT, for more actionable and relevant ideas than you know what to do with.

ChatGPT doesn’t write my content, but I use it to produce consistently. Here are the five prompts I personally use to produce every day, resonate with my audience, and keep the ideas flowing. Copy, paste and edit the square brackets in ChatGPT, and keep the same chat window open so the context carries through.

Never be stuck for content ideas with ChatGPT: prompts to overcome writer’s block

Find new titles.

The headline is the most important component of any blog or article. Get the title right, and the rest almost writes itself. But it’s tough to think of compelling titles on tap. You need a system, and ChatGPT can help. Use this prompt to get new titles on tap, while learning from your best work to keep improving.

“Here are [number] titles that performed comparatively well over the last [duration]: [enter titles]. Here are some that didn’t: [enter titles]. Analyze the results and suggest: 10 new titles that will work well, then 10 rewrites of the titles that didn’t do well, to make them more compelling.”

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, understand audience pains.

The more you know your dream client, the more you can create work that speaks directly to them. Get on a deeper level with the people you create for and dig into their challenges and problems for ideas on how to solve them. Unless there’s a compelling reason for them to consume your content, they’ll go elsewhere. Get their attention and make them stay.

“My target audience, [describe your target audience], has problems including [describe target audience’s biggest problems]. Suggest 5 topics they want to read about to solve their problems, including any underlying or less obvious ones, within my swimlane of [your business or writing area].”‌

Champion their desires

Your social media content should demonstrate to your dream audience that you understand them like no one else does. They should feel as though you’re one of them; fighting their corner, representing their needs, understanding their vibe. Use this prompt to let your audience know you’re one of them, reinforcing that message with everything you create.

“My target audience deeply wants [describe target audience’s deepest desires]. Create 10 punchy phrases that they will agree with, that I could incorporate into social media posts. These should not be questions, but simple statements.”

Re-work hooks

The hook is the most important part of any social media post. Don’t underestimate the power of this opening line. Give your words more chance of being read by rewriting the hook until it’s perfect. With this prompt, it doesn’t need to take all day. Once you have your options, read each one out loud. Which sparks intrigue? Which grabs attention as a standalone line? Use the most compelling opener to draw people in every time.

“Here’s a social media post I’m going to send. Re-work the first line to grab attention. The opening line should not be a question. It should be 5-7 words long, create an information gap and create intrigue. Suggest 10 new opening lines. [Insert social media post].”

Ideate wildcards

Content creation is a system, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Incorporate some crazy into your process. Use this prompt to experiment with off-the-wall ideas you would never have thought of. So don’t think, just do. Be hungry for the data these new ideas will bring. You can always delete them if it really doesn’t work.

“Given what you know about my target audience’s biggest problems and deepest desires, as well as article titles that have performed well, suggest 5 new article titles that are more left field, that I can create as an experiment. For each one explain what the article should include and why it could perform well.”

Produce consistent work with ChatGPT: content creation prompts

Information is everywhere, and there’s no excuse to not get started. Use these prompts to make content creation a breeze, by knowing exactly what to create for your audience and brand. Get ideas for new headlines, understand your audience on a deep level, and re-work how you open posts so they’re set up for success. Finally, ideate wildcards by asking for crazy ideas. Creativity is a habit you can cement today.

Jodie Cook

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The Best Student Writing Contests for 2023-2024

Help your students take their writing to the next level.

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When students write for teachers, it can feel like an assignment. When they write for a real purpose, they are empowered! Student writing contests are a challenging and inspiring way to try writing for an authentic audience— a real panel of judges —and the possibility of prize money or other incentives. We’ve gathered a list of the best student writing contests, and there’s something for everyone. Prepare highly motivated kids in need of an authentic writing mentor, and watch the words flow.

1.  The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

With a wide range of categories—from critical essays to science fiction and fantasy—The Scholastic Awards are a mainstay of student contests. Each category has its own rules and word counts, so be sure to check out the options  before you decide which one is best for your students.

How To Enter

Students in grades 7-12, ages 13 and up, may begin submitting work in September by uploading to an online account at Scholastic and connecting to their local region. There are entry fees, but those can be waived for students in need.

2.  YoungArts National Arts Competition

This ends soon, but if you have students who are ready to submit, it’s worth it. YoungArts offers a national competition in the categories of creative nonfiction, novel, play or script, poetry, short story, and spoken word. Student winners may receive awards of up to $10,000 as well as the chance to participate in artistic development with leaders in their fields.

YoungArts accepts submissions in each category through October 13. Students submit their work online and pay a $35 fee (there is a fee waiver option).

3. National Youth Foundation Programs

Each year, awards are given for Student Book Scholars, Amazing Women, and the “I Matter” Poetry & Art competition. This is a great chance for kids to express themselves with joy and strength.

The rules, prizes, and deadlines vary, so check out the website for more info.

4.  American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest

If you’re looking to help students take a deep dive into international relations, history, and writing, look no further than this essay contest. Winners receive a voyage with the Semester at Sea program and a trip to Washington, DC.

Students fill out a registration form online, and a teacher or sponsor is required. The deadline to enter is the first week of April.

5.  John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

This annual contest invites students to write about a political official’s act of political courage that occurred after Kennedy’s birth in 1917. The winner receives $10,000, and 16 runners-up also receive a variety of cash prizes.

Students may submit a 700- to 1,000-word essay through January 12. The essay must feature more than five sources and a full bibliography.

6. Bennington Young Writers Awards

Bennington College offers competitions in three categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), and nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). First-place winners receive $500. Grab a poster for your classroom here .

The contest runs from September 1 to November 1. The website links to a student registration form.

7. The Princeton Ten-Minute Play Contest

Looking for student writing contests for budding playwrights? This exclusive competition, which is open only to high school juniors, is judged by the theater faculty of Princeton University. Students submit short plays in an effort to win recognition and cash prizes of up to $500. ( Note: Only open to 11th graders. )

Students submit one 10-page play script online or by mail. The deadline is the end of March. Contest details will be published in early 2024.

8. Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students

The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in 11th grade. Prizes range from $100 to $500.

Students in 11th grade can submit their poetry. Contest details will be published this fall.

9. The New York Times Tiny Memoir Contest

This contest is also a wonderful writing challenge, and the New York Times includes lots of resources and models for students to be able to do their best work. They’ve even made a classroom poster !

Submissions need to be made electronically by November 1.

10.  Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

The deadline for this contest is the end of October. Sponsored by Hollins University, the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest awards prizes for the best poems submitted by young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school. Prizes include cash and scholarships. Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.

Students may submit either one or two poems using the online form.

11.  The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers is open to high school sophomores and juniors, and the winner receives a full scholarship to a  Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop .

Submissions for the prize are accepted electronically from November 1 through November 30.

12. Jane Austen Society Essay Contest

High school students can win up to $1,000 and publication by entering an essay on a topic specified by the Jane Austen Society related to a Jane Austen novel.

Details for the 2024 contest will be announced in November. Essay length is from six to eight pages, not including works cited.

13. Rattle Young Poets Anthology

Open to students from 15 to 18 years old who are interested in publication and exposure over monetary awards.

Teachers may choose five students for whom to submit up to four poems each on their behalf. The deadline is November 15.

14. The Black River Chapbook Competition

This is a chance for new and emerging writers to gain publication in their own professionally published chapbook, as well as $500 and free copies of the book.

There is an $18 entry fee, and submissions are made online.

15. YouthPlays New Voices

For students under 18, the YouthPlays one-act competition is designed for young writers to create new works for the stage. Winners receive cash awards and publication.

Scroll all the way down their web page for information on the contest, which accepts non-musical plays between 10 and 40 minutes long, submitted electronically. Entries open each year in January.

16. The Ocean Awareness Contest

The 2024 Ocean Awareness Contest, Tell Your Climate Story , encourages students to write their own unique climate story. They are asking for creative expressions of students’ personal experiences, insights, or perceptions about climate change. Students are eligible for a wide range of monetary prizes up to $1,000.

Students from 11 to 18 years old may submit work in the categories of art, creative writing, poetry and spoken word, film, interactive media and multimedia, or music and dance, accompanied by a reflection. The deadline is June 13.

17. EngineerGirl Annual Essay Contest

Each year, EngineerGirl sponsors an essay contest with topics centered on the impact of engineering on the world, and students can win up to $500 in prize money. This contest is a nice bridge between ELA and STEM and great for teachers interested in incorporating an interdisciplinary project into their curriculum. The new contest asks for pieces describing the life cycle of an everyday object. Check out these tips for integrating the content into your classroom .

Students submit their work electronically by February 1. Check out the full list of rules and requirements here .

18. NCTE Student Writing Awards

The National Council of Teachers of English offers several student writing awards, including Achievement Awards in Writing (for 10th- and 11th-grade students), Promising Young Writers (for 8th-grade students), and an award to recognize Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines.

Deadlines range from October 28 to February 15. Check out NCTE.org for more details.

19. See Us, Support Us Art Contest

Children of incarcerated parents can submit artwork, poetry, photos, videos, and more. Submissions are free and the website has a great collection of past winners.

Students can submit their entries via social media or email by October 25.

20. The Adroit Prizes for Poetry & Prose

The Adroit Journal, an education-minded nonprofit publication, awards annual prizes for poetry and prose to exceptional high school and college students. Adroit charges an entry fee but also provides a form for financial assistance.

Sign up at the website for updates for the next round of submissions.

21. National PTA Reflections Awards

The National PTA offers a variety of awards, including one for literature, in their annual Reflections Contest. Students of all ages can submit entries on the specified topic to their local PTA Reflections program. From there, winners move to the local area, state, and national levels. National-level awards include an $800 prize and a trip to the National PTA Convention.

This program requires submitting to PTAs who participate in the program. Check your school’s PTA for their deadlines.

22. World Historian Student Essay Competition

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international contest open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, as well as those in home-study programs. The $500 prize is based on an essay that addresses one of this year’s two prompts.

Students can submit entries via email or regular mail before May 1.

23. NSHSS Creative Writing Scholarship

The National Society of High School Scholars awards three $2,000 scholarships for both poetry and fiction. They accept poetry, short stories, and graphic novel writing.

Apply online by October 31.

Whether you let your students blog, start a podcast or video channel, or enter student writing contests, giving them an authentic audience for their work is always a powerful classroom choice.

If you like this list of student writing contests and want more articles like it, subscribe to our newsletters to find out when they’re posted!

Plus, check out our favorite anchor charts for teaching writing..

Are you looking for student writing contests to share in your classroom? This list will give students plenty of opportunities.

You Might Also Like

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Competitions in STEM, ELA and the arts, and more! Continue Reading

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  26. The Big List of Student Writing Contests for 2023-2024

    The $500 prize is based on an essay that addresses one of this year's two prompts. How To Enter. Students can submit entries via email or regular mail before May 1. 23. NSHSS Creative Writing Scholarship. The National Society of High School Scholars awards three $2,000 scholarships for both poetry and fiction.

  27. Creative Writing Hour

    Event Details. This event will take place in-person at Great Kills Library. Join us for an hour of writing! Come work on poetry, short stories, personal essays, or any other form of writing you'd like. Prompts will be provided for inspiration and time to share will be included in the hour. All skill levels are welcome! No registration is required.