And you have to find perfect hooks for an essay even when you don’t know what to write about.
When you are asked to write an essay, it doesn’t mean that you don’t get to express your own thoughts and creativity. An essay shouldn’t be boring or too formal. As a writer, your first priority is to make sure that you are keeping your audience in mind and writing for them and to them. That means grabbing and keeping their attention so that they want to read every word.
This is exactly why the essay hook exists and is such an important tool.
The use of hooks in writing goes far beyond just essays and college papers. Every writer, copywriter, screenwriter, and storyteller uses this device to draw in readers and keep them hooked. For example, world-famous ad executive, David Ogilvy, relied on a list of 29 “magic words” that he used in titles in order to hook a client’s attention.
College essay hooks can be difficult to generate, especially when you are still working on clarifying what your essay is going to say. So, the very first step in writing a strong essay hook is to do some planning.
This type of hook is appropriate when you are writing about a particular author, story, literary phenomenon, book, etc. Using a quote will make your essay sound fresh and establish your authority as an author.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” These words of Nick Carraway perfectly describe…”
“Not all those who wander are lost.” And yes, indeed, every person is so…”
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” Agree or not, but these words from The Alchemist determine…”
Including a quote from an authoritative and influential person can help support your argument and create an intriguing hook. The key is to make sure that you clearly show how the quote is relevant to your essay.
“John Wooden once said, ‘Never mistake activity for achievement.'”
“Learn to laugh” were the first words from my kindergarten teacher after Ralph Thorsen spilled paint on my daffodil picture.
Don’t be afraid to employ this type of hook. Remember, even if you start with a humorous anecdote, it doesn’t mean that your entire essay has to be funny. A bit of humor can help you grab readers’ attention and spark their interest in the topic.
“As my cousin and I pedaled our new bikes to the beach, 6 years old, suntanned and young, we met an old, shaggy-haired man weaving unsteadily on a battered old bike.”
“When I was a young boy, my father worked at a coal mine. For 27 years, he made it his occupation to scrape and claw and grunt his way into the bowels of the earth, searching for fuel. On April 19, 2004, the bowels of the earth clawed back.”
Keep in mind that most essay assignments will ask you to avoid using the first person. Be sure to check any requirements before using “I” in your writing.
Almost nothing can attract interest better than a well-constructed question. Readers will want to continue reading your essay in order to discover the answer. Be sure to avoid simple “Yes” or “No” questions and try to pose questions that ask reader to consider the other side or engage in some critical thinking.
“What would you do if you could play God for a day? That’s exactly what the leaders of the tiny island nation of Guam tried to answer.”
“Have you ever wondered, whether Anna Karenina still loved Alexei if she hadn’t decided to commit a suicide?”
People respond well to visual cues. Taking the time to set a detailed scene will help your reader have a clear picture in their minds and create an effective hook. You can describe an incident or detail the particular features of a person or a character to help the readers become immersed in your writing.
“The day of his birth began with Hurricane Charlie pounding at our door in Charleston, South Carolina.”
“Deciding to attend Hampton Roads Academy, a private school, was one of my most difficult decisions.”
These types of hooks start by surprising the reader with something that may not have known. Provide an interesting fact about something you are going to discuss in your essay’s body and your audience will want to keep reading to learn more.
“Spain, though hardly a literary juggernaut, translates more books in one year than the entire Arab world has in the past one thousand years.”
“Amiable is the best way to describe Elizabeth’s personality: she was friendly and caring.”
There is no harm in getting right to the point. Start with your main argument and use the rest of your essay to support your point of view. If you have an interesting take on a subject, readers will want to see where you came up with your idea.
“It is time, at last, to speak the truth about Thanksgiving, and the truth is this. Thanksgiving is really not such a terrific holiday. . .”
“Humans need to invest more time and money into space exploration because Earth is on a certain path to destruction.”
The most interesting essays will teach the readers something new. If you start your introduction by showing that a commonly accepted truth is actually false, your readers will be instantly hooked.
“Any parent will tell you that goldfish are a great first pet for a child. They hardly need any attention, and they won’t be around for too long. Flushing a goldfish in its first week is pretty common—it even happened to my first goldfish. But it turns out that goldfish aren’t as helpless as we all think.”
“While most coffee enthusiasts would tell you that their favorite drink comes from a bean, they would be wrong. Coffee is actually made from a seed that is simply called a bean.”
By listing proven facts at the very beginning of your paper, you will create interest that can be carried throughout the rest of the essay.
“The average iceberg weighs over 100,000 metric tons.”
“70% of all jobs found today were got through different networking strategies”
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Depending on the style of essay you are writing (narrative, persuasive, personal, critical, argumentative, deductive, etc.), the type of hook you will want to use will vary. Remember, your essay hook is just a tip of an iceberg and it will not guarantee that the rest of your essay will work. Be sure to organize your research and start with an outline before deciding on the best hook to start your essay. The right choice can make your paper truly interesting and worth reading.
Written by Lesley J. Vos, our blog writer and essay proofreader. Lesley is a big fan of reading, and she is always ready to help students come up with good ideas for their papers and reach their academic goals. You can always find her on Facebook and Google+.
Creating texts is a complicated task for any person, but it is not really a talent – it is more of skill. If a person who is aware of nothing about writing, practices and reads the helpful articles how to improve their technics, writes a bit each day and carefully proofreads their text, they will 100% become a good writer soon. However, this skill requires a lot of work, patience, and the capacity and wish to revise and rewrite your text as many times as needed. Do you want to become a qualified essay writer? Then be ready to step on one of the most complicated paths.
We have prepared an article for the writers who already have some skills, but need to learn how not only to make texts that are readable but that also truly attract the readers’ attention. This article is going to introduce you to the so-called “essay hooks” that will make your essay more intriguing and piquant. You might have never heard of this term that is why we are going to explain to you how your essay hook has to look like and what it is.
Read also: Do you have someone to write my paper for me?
What is an Essay Hook?
Just like in boxing, the hook is a punch that knocks down the opponent, in writing, it is the sentence whose effect is so fast that the reader is so captured, they find themselves lost in the world of words and phrases. The hook sentences are the ones that attract your attention by offering some clinging information that intrigues you and you wish to read a bit more to find out what that sentence was supposed to mean. In the result, you end up reading the whole article, and the aim of a writer is achieved. You might wish to be aware of how to write a hook – there are several rules that will help you in mastering this skill. Do you wish to find out more? Then keep on reading!
Identify Your Audience
It does not matter for which resource you are creating an article it always has an audience. Whether it is for the school, your own blog, or the random website, there have to be particular features that unite the people who are going to examine your essay. Knowing well your readers will aid you to invent how to attract their attention and surprise them. If your audience is an intelligent type, you might wish to use the literary quote as the hook sentence. If your readers are mostly kids and young people, the simple anecdote will be a perfect match. Just imagine your readers in your mind and start writing for them – the creation of the text will be easier because you are aware of whom you are addressing.
Identify a Purpose of Your Writing
You will be aware of how to write a hook for an essay if you fully understand the purpose of your writing. Do you wish to make your reader be afraid? Then the hook sentence has to be some fact that will terrify your audience. Do you want to put your reader in the playful mood? Then provide an anecdote for the hook sentence. You need to realize why you are creating this article and how you wish your narratees to feel about it. You have to be aware of what you wish your readers to take away from your article – cheer up, question the facts, or become frightened. This will help you to formulate the hook sentences much better. When you know the reason why you are creating the essay, your flow of words and sentences will be even.
Create the Hooks
Here, you are very welcome to turn in your imagination, and having in mind who your audience is and why you are creating your article, you can create the powerful hook sentences. You have to start your essay with the hook sentence already because if the audience reads the first couple of sentences from the article, and they are not attracted, they will not give your text another chance by reading it till the end. They will simply switch to another article. You need to divide your essay into several paragraphs and start each paragraph with the hook sentence. Your reader will thus be motivated to read the text until the end.
Essay Hook Types to Use
Do you understand now what the hook sentences are and how to make them? Very well. The next thing we want to try to explain to you is what types of hooks exist. Of course, it is pretty difficult to define the types because as long as your imagination works, the hooks will keep on appearing making your writing technics better. But let us be honest – the types still exist, and we will show you the most basic ones so that you are aware of what we mean based on the elementary examples. Are you still interested? Then do not close the article and keep on reading!
There is something about the literary quotes that makes the audience read it until the end (if it is not five lines, of course). It has a magical effect because as soon as you find that the name of the author is famous, you want to find out what they thought about one thing or another. Writing an essay hook like this is pretty easy – you take the topic, search for the quote that seems attractive to you, and add to your article. The following paragraph needs to explain what the quote says and be a natural continuation of it.
A perfect essay hook for the text aimed to entertain your reader would be a short anecdote. Even if you do not intend your paragraph to be funny, a bit of humor in its beginning will attract the audience’s attention. The only thing you have to pay attention to is whether your essay does or does not have to contain the first person narration. The majority of anecdotes are told from the first person – if it is not allowed to use “I,” just find an anecdote that is told from the third person.
Here, you have to be careful because the question needs to be truly intriguing. It has to be well-constructed and clear to the reader – you have to make them want to find out the answer to it by reading the following paragraph. It is not easy to write a good hook especially if it is a question. Before inventing the question, check if the answer to it is neither “Yes,” nor “No” – the best option here would be to ask the question that offers the choice. In the paragraph, you are not obliged to choose sides and indeed choose something. You only have to mention the pros and cons of both and allow your reader to decide themselves what to choose.
Fact or Definition
There is no better way to grab your reader’s attention than to provide some curious fact or the definition of the word they have never heard of. The best essay hook examples here would be: “The US has more people with mental disorders than any other country in the world” or “Kakorrhaphiophobia is a fear of failure.” See? You were yourself interested when you read this! Using these technics will guarantee your article would be popular among your audience.
Another hit that would make any article attractive to your reader. For some reason, when people see the numbers, they feel the need to read the sentence until the end. If your sentence is short and clear, and it provides interesting and useful statistical data about something, the audience will read it. Do you not believe us? Check yourself: “41% of the children in Africa are engaged in child labor aged between 5 and 14.” We bet you not only read the sentence until the end but also took a moment and thought how terrible this is to hear. We bet you would read the following paragraph to find out more about this horrifying statistics.
What is a hook in an essay? Now you know. Do you understand now what we meant when we said it is a difficult path to choose? Unfortunately, writing readable texts is not enough. You have to keep your audience on their toes. You have to make it want to read the text until the end. You have to make it feel sorry when the article is over. You have to make it want to read more of your articles. And here, the knowledge of how to write the hook sentences will come in handy.
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What we offer you is to relax and let the professionals do their job as perfectly as you never would. Our writing experts have written hundreds of essays with the correctly inserted hook sentences that have impressed dozens of professors. Occupy yourself with the much more important thing and allow us to help you. We will provide an excellent essay in the short time.
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