How to Write a Hook for an Essay

December 02, 2016 How To Write
How to Write a Hook for an Essay

An essay hook is a good way to start an essay, because it will affect how your reader will interact with your piece as a whole. If they find that your introduction is boring, it will be very difficult to convince your audience to keep reading! Good hooks are not too long, but draw your reader in and convince them that your work is worth reading.

What is a hook?

There is an idiom that goes “hook, line, and sinker,” inspired by fishing culture and usually used to connote that the subject has been completely captured. That’s similar to the goal that you would like to have a great essay - to be able to fully immerse your reader in your work. Once they start reading, they cannot stop until they’re done! That is how you know an essay will be read well and will probably get a great grade!

Developing a sentence

Hook sentences should be good enough to grab reader’s attention.
What are the qualities of good hooks?

  • Uses simple language. Staring out an essay with words you will need to grab a dictionary for is not a good idea. While it is always great to have a wide vocabulary, leave the fancy words for the important parts of your essay, perhaps in the body of the work itself.
  • Colorful and descriptive. Use your words to take advantage of human senses. If you can be as descriptive as possible, you will be able to get you reader to see and read with your perspective, first and foremost.
  • Tries to get on the side of the reader. Make the writing hook relatable and relevant to the reader. Maybe not everyone has the same experience as you, but you can bring up a general nuance that will influence your audience - for example, talking about national holidays or Hollywood celebrities.
  • Gets the reader to want to try to understand your topic more. The hook for essay is best when it leaves some questions in your reader’s minds. This is a good way for them to keep reading on, as they will believe that they will be able to find the answers to their queries within your text.

Writing a Good Hook: Best Tips

Struggling to find out how to begin an essay? You can use our help or check this comprehensive guide to good hook sentences and hook your audience!

A. How to Make a Hook in an Essay

A good way to start an essay has a writing process all on its own - that’s how important the introduction is! You need to prepare the usual materials for a regular essay. This includes:

  • Your essay outline
  • Online research materials
  • Library resources

Sometimes, the essay introduction is easiest to write last. This will help you prepare for the succeeding parts of our guide and come back to the beginning of your essay if you feel it can be improved upon.

B. Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Think about your essay’s main topic and audience.
    To come up with a great hook, you will need to think of who you want to read your essay and what message you want them to get from your work. You will need an essay hook that will be relevant to their interests and knowledge. This will need research if you find that you, yourself are not part of the target market of readers. Trust that research will go a long way for your writing process, especially when you want to speak the language of your reader. This is a promise!
  2. Brainstorm for ideas.
    Use your brain to focus on great ideas! Don’t focus on making them all top-tier and amazing - you can always edit yourself later. Just keep writing any ideas that come out as they will all prove to be helpful for the final product. Don’t worry about it being not witty or eye-catching enough. Sometimes, coming back to rewrite your essay hook is an inevitable step of writing an essay!
  3. Choose the style of your hook and make sure it fits your essay.
    You may have found the best essay hooks, but if they are not relevant to your piece at all, then don’t even bother to write it! This is where you can edit and swap out ideas you feel are not good enough. You can come back as much as you need to so that your introduction can bring out the power of your message.

C. Good Hooks for Essays

Anecdotes. Making your hooks true-to-life and relevant to the modern audience is a surefire way of getting your reader’s attention. Whether it is an inspiring, embarrassing, or horrifying anecdote, if it will interest the reader in wanting to know more, than your writing hook as succeeded!

Historical Events. Going with historical events is always a good way to go because your reader will most likely understand what you are talking about. History is a mandatory course in schools so they will be able to use what they learned and compare that to your understanding of the historical event. You can even reveal little known facts about history here are change the perception of your reader about the world’s story as they know it - provided that you use legitimate sources and can back up your claims, of course.

Famous Quotations. Quotes are everywhere - in books and in social media. We have a culture that is very quote-focused, not just because of the personalities who make their views known through these quotes but because we can relate and even use them to describe how we feel. If you are not as verbose as your favorite writers, then use a quotation (with appropriate citation) to start off your essay in a poetic manner.

Rhetorical Question. A startling question is a good way to get your readers thinking even before they get to the meat of the essay. If you can work a real head-scratcher as your essay hook, they will become more engaged to your essay as a whole. That is an exciting prospect for writing, don’t you think?

Argumentative Essay Hook Examples

Cold, Hard Facts and Numbers

It’s been said that numbers don’t lie, and it’s hard to argue against statistics. While these figures are good, they would not be able to tell the story all on their own. This is where your writing skills will utilize these facts to make a great argument.

Ex. “In 2015, according to the American Association of University Women, women are paid 20% less than men - a statistic that has only improved by one percentage point from 2014. Why do women of the same education level and employment standing keep getting paid less - and why is change equally slow?”

News Articles.

This is slightly different from historical events as we are using recent news articles to state facts about the argument at hand. These kinds of news are fresh in the reader’s mind and remind them that these problems or issues are still relevant to this day.

Ex. “The 2016 Orlando Nightclub Shooting is the worst incident of violence against the LGBT community. This proves that homophobia is still rampant today and we need to take steps to protect our community against these hate crimes.”

The Comparison.

Using your logical reasoning, you can use comparisons to be able to draw out conclusions for your arguments. Oftentimes you can use controversial statements to really grab your audience - as long as you don’t try too hard and reach too far, this is an effective way to get readers to see from your point of view.

Ex. “Trump’s statements on race and religion bring to mind parallels with Italy’s Mussolini.”

Related: How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Hook for College Essay

It’s a good idea to use good essay hooks in your work for college for the following reasons.

  • Finding good essay hooks for college assignments can help you get amazing grades. Since you have a method for writing that is encouraging you to really research and think about your audience, the effectivity of your essay will only follow.
  • Thinking outside of the box is always a good way to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Your university classes will be full of many other students, and you have to think about how to set your own work apart.
  • A hook for a college essay is not that hard to figure out because you have a multitude of tools to use - from history to social media. After all, you are not just a student in your classroom, but a citizen of the world as well. Prove that you are not just sheltered in your student life, but are able to make a stand and learn from reality as well.

Related: Writing a College Essay

Professional Hook Writers can Help You

Still can’t quite get the hang of the hook? No problem! Good hooks are hard to come by, but if you work with EssayHelp’s network of professional freelance writers, your assignment will be off to a swell start. Visit our website for a real custom essay writing service that will hook your readers!

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