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How to Write a Hook for Essay

October 9, 2019
HandMadeWritings Staff

Want to know how to write a hook for an essay? Lack of ideas for a mind-blowing attention grabber? Don’t worry – we’ll guide you through the stern path of ignorance.

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writing a hook for essay

How to Write a Hook for an Essay

The primary intention of any writer is to make a strong impression on readers right from the first sentence. After all, there’s nothing better than engaging pieces of writing that preserve attention more intensely than Marvel movies. And that’s a great hook which makes them so easily digestible and memorable. Of course, the process of generating ideas that spark interest is not as challenging as climbing the Everest mountain, but it does require some brainstorming anyway. If your dream is to learn the skill of creating original hooks for essays, then this article is for you.  

What is a hook?

If you wonder how to start an essay, consider beginning with an attention grabber. A hook is a way of reaching your reader by means of capturing their attention to the writing piece. It’s an art of its own; only words is the main weapon here instead of brushes. Long story short, a hook is something alluring, something that makes readers fall in love with your text, forcing them to read every word with excitement. Sounds perplexing? Let’s move to examples.

Good attention grabbers

There are different types of hooks which you can use at the beginning of your paper, depending on the topic. The most commonly used ones include questions, quotes, statistics, or anecdotes. Each of the methods works equally well for any essay, but keep in mind that the way you construct your essay hook will affect the essence of your overall work. Hence, make sure that your attention grabber is totally related to the paper topic. 

Also, a good introduction doesn’t have to be a lip-smacking opening or a jaw-dropping revelation. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, make great hooks that are simple for readers’ understanding and devoid of blatant gibberish, and don’t forget to add cherry on top to catch the interest of your audience. Now, let’s review some examples of good attention getters to get you started:

As you can see, this hook contains a joke, and it is deeply related to the pain most people feel when given a writing task. Therefore, such sentence starters for essays hook from first sight and make readers say “that’s so me!”. Got the idea? Let’s move to the next examples. 

exhibit2This hook questions readers and provides food for thought from the very first sentence. Also, this opening sentence invites to give an answer to the question and thus intensifies suspense. Ultimately, it makes readers eager to compare their response with that of an author.

exhibit3

This is an example of starting an essay with a quote, in which the introductory sentence begins with a famous quotation related to success. It calls for attention immediately and proves to readers that the text they are about to read will be not just interesting but also informative.

exhibit4

This is a statistic hook which introduces readers to the text with numbers right away. That’s because figures are the most reliable means of keeping attention. This way, the author encourages readers to think in terms of global dimensions and imagine the effect of a single number on the current working conditions. 

exhibit5

From this extract, readers can learn a new, surprising fact they have never thought of before. Such a method of implementing a hook is called misconception revelation. The primary goal of using such a hook is to break one’s beliefs in half and glue them back with a fresh outlook on their previous perception of things.

exhibit6

This is an example of a fact hook. It’s most frequently used in informative pieces of writing, where the critical element of disclosing information is facts. In this case, the author starts the paper by stating a surprising fact which most readers have never heard of. This once again makes the audience wonder what information will follow, and inspires to read the text till the end.

Bonus tips for creating good attention grabbers

There are many different ideas you can use if you’re curious about how to make a right hook. Let’s review the most effective ones: 

  1. Write your hook after the whole essay is done. 

Should the hook necessarily come before the main text? Nothing of the kind. It might sound a little weird, but this approach will help you decide on a hook that’ll best reflect the idea of your essay. For this, you can make a couple of easy steps:

  • Write a raw version of a thesis statement
  • Back up your thesis with evidence using examples for everybody paragraph
  • By the end of a paper, restate the thesis and write a conclusion
  • Look for ideas for your hook: statistic, anecdote, quotation, facts, etc. 
  • Add the hook to the beginning of the introduction, keeping in mind that it should always relate to your essay topic.
    2. Play with several versions of a hook for one essay.

Who said you have to limit yourself with one chosen attention grabber? Look for as many paragraph starters as you need, and then play with them, adding each one to check if they suit or not. It’s just like with shopping – you put on several things to decide on the best color, size, and model. In the case of essay writing, you can jot down a couple of facts or jokes and add each to the introduction until you see that one is the best fit for your work. 

Conclusion

People are hardwired to seek originality in trivial things. Otherwise, their brains refuse to perceive information which they are well aware of. That’s why, as an author of your masterpiece, you should strive to engage readers into the discussion from the start to the end. Remember – hook sentences are not meant to reduce the causes of boredom. They are a treatment for it. So it’s up to you to decide whether to create a catchy hook for your essay or whether to leave readers with nothing to think about.

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