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How to Write a Hook for an Essay

In order to be remembered, you need not only to be listened to, but also to be heard. You need to learn how to hook readers and make them addicted, happy slaves of your essays. How do you do it? Your task is to stir them up, make them feel “alive” at least for a minute, and make them breathe deeply. Become for them a god who will give them a keen sense of life. Make them wake up.

This should be done in stages. First of all, you should ask yourself, “what is a hook in writing an essay and how to write my paper with it?”

What is a hook in writing

A hook is a kind of statement in an essay, the goal of which is to grab readers’ attention and make them read on. Before working on this statement, it is important not only to know what is a hook in essay writing, but also to remember that there are different type of hooks, such as a quote, question, statistic, or anecdote. In addition, you should keep in mind that a hook should relate to the topic fully. Let’s consider different types of hooks you can choose from.

Types of hooks for essays infographic

how to write a hook

Question hook

One of the most interesting types of hooks in writing is a question. The goal of an essay with a question hook is to provide an answer to that question.

Example: Is Vitamin C really important for the health and proper functioning of the body?

Hook with a strong statement

There are different types of hooks for essays, but only this one can show the importance of your paper. The agreement or disagreement of a reader is not significant while using a strong statement hook. Nevertheless, you need to support your statement. Make readers curious about what you are going to say in your essay.

Example: When buying organic products in supermarkets or eco shops, we pay for the fact that their production requires large money investments and labor efforts.

Statistic or fact hook

This is a great type of hook because it give some valuable information to readers. From the very beginning, you will amuse the audience with your knowledge. Keep in mind that your data should be reliable and interesting. Use only credible sources while creating this type of hook. Also, your information should relate to the topic.

Example: Starting this year, students from a specialized London school will play Minecraft and other video games on par with other subjects.

Simile or metaphor hook

This type of hook makes your readers think about your topic in a different way. When you compare something, the reader wonders what you mean, and that makes them read further. A metaphor usually includes a comparison of two things which are not related to each other, and it makes your essay interesting to readers.

Example: Spending time with her is worse than swimming in a sea of sharks.

Story hook

Some type of episode or interesting story can be a great hook for your essay. A memorable story is what each reader likes to read.

Example of starting a story hook: Julie met her old friend. He was still as ugly as she remembered. But the main thing in a man is not beauty. The main thing is what’s inside…

Description hook

To draw your readers’ attention, include a vivid description in your hook. Such a technique will make your readers interested in what comes next in your paper. This hook is usually used in descriptive and narrative essays. Nevertheless, you always should check whether your hook is acceptable to your particular paper.

Example: It’s worth acknowledging: no one is able to give as much love, devotion, and warmth as our pets give us.

Quotation hook

A quotation taken from a famous person will be a great hook. However, it is not necessary to quote a famous person.

Example: Lars von Trier said, “Political correctness kills discussion.”

How to write a hook for an essay: techniques

Have you ever thought why your essays don’t get high grades? Sometimes the reason is in the first paragraph of the text. These few suggestions may interest the reader or make him or her read your essay further. What is the secret to the hook? How to write a good hook for an essay? Read on.

Why a hook often becomes reduntant

Professional editors recommend discarding the hook. In most cases, this is a fair assessment. In pursuit of logic, authors often make the hook of an essay uninteresting. As a result, the first paragraph does not fulfill the main function: it does not grab the audience. This happens when the author uses the following unsuccessful tricks:

  • The essay begins with an explanation of the author’s intentions. You probably came across such examples:

– The purpose of this essay is to talk about …
– In this essay we will talk …
– I faced … and decided to consider this in the essay.

Such techniques are not absolutely taboo. They can be used at the end of the first paragraph, when you have already captured the interest of the audience. However, you should not include them in a hook.

  • The essay begins with a definition. Look at this example:

– The extra person in the classic works of English literature refers to …

This is irrelevant in the context of essay writing, even if you are writing a definition essay. First of all, you need to interest readers and only then present your definition.

  • The author begins from afar. Readers want to receive the necessary information immediately. If the hook does not confirm that the essay contains the necessary data, the reader leaves.
  • The author shows uncertainty. If the reader doubts the author’s expertise, he or she will not read the essay. Avoid the following hooks in the beginning:

– It seems to me…
– I’m not completely sure, but…
– I apologize for…

Usually such words at the beginning of the hook are inappropriate.

5 ways (with the examples) to hook your readers

Ask a question. Questions can help shape expectations and manage the needs of readers. Asking a thought-provoking question is another effective way to grab the reader’s attention.

question essay hook example

Shock, surprise, or interest readers. This can be done with facts, provocative comparisons, or an unusual analogy.

shocking fact in hook examples

Start with a quote or proverb. The words of famous people or folk wisdom always attract attention.

quotation hook example

Tell a story. Remember that this is the first paragraph. Therefore, the story should fit in several sentences.

essay hook examples

Use a description. Starting with a vivid description of a scene or an object can also be an effective hook.

description essay hook

The perfect first paragraph formula

A good first paragraph consists of several sentences. The first sentence contains a hook that captivates readers and makes them pay attention to the essay. The following two or three sentences are informative: they formulate the problem, tell the reader about what the essay will talk about, etc. The final sentences explain to the audience the idea of essay, talk about its effects, and promise benefits. Use this formula to always write a good first paragraph with a hook. Use the described techniques to attract readers from the first words and make them read your essay.

Rules on how to write a hook

As you know, the most important part of the essay is the beginning. Indeed, it is in the first paragraphs that the reader judges whether he or she is ready to continue reading the essay. If you did not interest the reader on the first page, it is quite possible that you have lost the chance to ever interest this reader. Today we can see essays of varying degrees of quality, so it is important to interest people from the first lines. “How to write a good hook?” is a difficult question.

  • Do not write platitudes

You should not tell once again that time goes on, life does not stand still, leaves fall in autumn, and in winter it snows. To describe what everyone already knows is boring to the reader. Leave the truths known to everyone, or at least save them for other parts of your essay.

  • Do not include too much philosophy

The presence of philosophical reasoning in the essay is a good phenomenon. However, philosophy is the salt of the essay. If you serve the dish unsalted, nobody will like it, but no one will eat salt separately. In addition, for lovers of philosophy in the form of stories, there are hundreds of sites with parables and similar works.

  • Avoid cliches

If you have seen a hook in at least two essays, it is safe to say that you will see it in another ten essays as well. The reader gets bored of reading the same thing. Try to make your hook as original as possible.

  • Match your essay

Do not include descriptions or details in the hook that are completely unnecessary to your essay and will never be found again. In an ideal hook, you should touch on everything that comes after in your essay, but don’t tell everything. The first lines are a reflection of your entire paper. They are as dynamic as the essay itself, and they reflect the data present in the essay itself. But remember, the hook is not an annotation. You should not explain everything that will happen later.

  • Read other essays

Search for other essays on the internet. Look for essays of the same type and the hooks used there. How do the authors start their essays? However, do not blindly copy your favorite hook. It is worth remembering that if you read a hundred hooks, you can create something of your own, something original on this basis.

Examples of hooks for essays

In our post, you can also find hooks for essays that will give you a clear understanding of how you should deal with your hooks. One can find a hook for different types of essays. Don’t pass these hooks by because you can get a fresh idea for your own hooks here.

Argumentative essay hook examples

  1. Only a few people can come up with witty answers when necessary (statement).
  2. A few days ago, Reni Jensen from New Jersey discovered a strange toy on her porch. It was a soft toy of Pennywise from the movie “It.” The doll’s mouth was smeared with red paint, and someone wrote a strange code on its forehead (story).
  3. How often have you called the police in your life (question)?
  4. Every year there are more and more forest fires (statement).
  5. Each crime should have a motive (statement).
  6. Do you know who cryptanalysts are (question)?
  7. Many old people have problems with their cardiovascular system (statement).
  8. Do you believe in evil spirits and curses (question)?
  9. Molecular genetics is an important field of knowledge for biologists (statement).
  10. What does the term “Black Widow” mean (question)?

Hooks for persuasive essays

  1. There are a lot of people who are interested in ufology and paranormal phenomena (statement).
  2. There are five paradoxical explanations of the movie “The Matrix” worth knowing (statement).
  3. What are the most dangerous sport games (question)?
  4. A person is ready to accept the rules of the game only when he or she is given a choice (statement).
  5. There are lots of theories which are rejected by many people (statement).
  6. Robots should be created for combat (statement).
  7. How often do you get the wrong information which you blindly believe (question)?
  8. Have you yourself made incredible guesses about the Earth’s creation (question)?
  9. There are 15 literary characters in whom psychiatrists found signals of mental illness (fact).
  10. With the help of books, people could understand themselves and find a solution to certain problems (statement).

Narrative essay hook examples

  1. A post-traumatic stress disorder occurs after a traumatic event and causes feelings of intense fear and helplessness (fact). There has been a time in my life when I could feel it.
  2. If I lived in Victorian England, it would be a difficult life for me (statement).
  3. I have a friend who suffers from dyslexia. It is always difficult for him to read and write (description).
  4. Each of us wants to get love and respect from loved ones (statement). I am not an exception.
  5. I know a guy, a teenager from a wealthy family, who deliberately violates all social norms. He smokes, drinks alcohol, and fails exams (description).
  6. No one likes parents’ round-the-clock control (statement). It really annoys me.
  7. Brothers and sisters are some of the closest people (statement). I’m glad that I have an older sister.
  8. Often people do not think about the consequences of their actions (statement). One day I got into this situation as well.
  9. I have never had problems with self-esteem (statement).
  10. “Where can I find someone normal?” “Nowhere,” said cat, “normal does not happen” (quotation). These words from “Alice in Wonderland” are directly related to my life.

Examples of hooks for expository essays

  1. “All grownups were once children…but only a few of them remember it.” (quotation).
  2. What? You don’t like crunchy caterpillars on your pizza (question)?
  3. Some events can greatly influence our lives (statement).
  4. Now you are a pickle. No food, no water, no shelter. What do you do (idiom)?
  5. Sometimes it is not easy to recognize a lie (statement).
  6. I was living in Arkansas the first time I met prejudice face to face (anecdote).
  7. Do you have the ability to solve financial issues (question)?
  8. Hyperbole means extreme exaggeration. I found out it was easier to say than use (definition).
  9. Eating disorders are a big problem for any person (statement).
  10. “Give me liberty or give me death” (quotation).

Good hook sentences for compare and contrast essays

  1. People who have experienced domestic violence in childhood are more unhappy in adulthood than those who have not (statement).
  2. Alcohol and drugs have different effects on the human body (statement).
  3. Emotional people have more problems while getting a job than those who are less emotional (statement).
  4. The dangers of television and the internet are different (statement).
  5. Reading books is more beneficial than surfing the internet (statement).
  6. Taking care of cats is much easier than taking care of dogs (statement).
  7. Living in a poor family will prepare you for adult life better than growing up in a wealthy one (statement).
  8. Eating junk food is less harmful than drinking alcohol (statement).
  9. It is better to live in a marriage than being single (statement).
  10. What has had the largest affect on a person in adulthood: not having friends in childhood or being raised by bad parents (question)?

Hooks for personal essays

  1. In one way or another, we all look like our moms and dads (fact). I am not an exception.
  2. Many women at least once in their life face a choice: choosing career or childbirth (statement). I face this choice as well.
  3. Can everyone combine work and study (question)? I found out how to do it right.
  4. I admire my mom. She is beautiful, strong, and always ready to help (description).
  5. At the age of 18, I began to think that I should get a higher education. I wanted to be a famous therapist (story).
  6. “Forest Gump” is considered one of the best movies ever (fact). Watching this movie was impactful for me.
  7. I was born in a creative family (statement).
  8. I am 31 years old and I have a lot of achievements (statement).
  9. It would seem that a student cannot find a place for family relationships in such a busy schedule (statement). However, I manged to do it.
  10. Victoria Beckham bursted into show business at the age of 20. The first single of the Spice Girls broke records in the music charts of not only Britain, but also the rest of the world. This all-women band was the most popular in the 1990s (story). I want to tell you why this woman has had a huge influence on me.

Hook writing help from the experts

We hope that this guide on how to write a hook sentence is useful for you. We have already talked about the most important things for writing a good hook, but we also want to offer you even more help. EssayShark paper writing service can solve all writing problems that students may have. We have helped students for a long time and know how to do it right.

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22 thoughts on “How to Write a Hook for an Essay

  1. Denise

    It’s my first time on his site and it already helped me. What a luck! Special thanks for examples of expository hooks!

  2. Keane

    Instead of writing a hook without any good thought, I read thorugh this post and it was a good idea. I specially like examples of argumentative hooks.


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