How to Write Good Hooks for Essays and Engage Your Readers

Writing guide
Posted on April 9, 2020

While at school, students have to write different types of essays: argumentative, informative, persuasive, and more. But no matter whether you are writing a personal essay or a speech, it’s important to start them with an attention grabber to engage your readers and motivate them to read your piece of writing till the end. The first impression really matters so you should always try to begin your paper with a strong and catchy hook sentence. Wondering how you can do it right? Keep reading.

What Is a Hook Sentence?

Actually, a hook is the first sentence of the introduction. Its goal is to catch the audience’s attention and persuade them that your academic paper is interesting and worth their time. Keep in mind that there are different types of hooks for essays and we will discuss them in this article. Besides, here you will also find some good essay hook examples.

Hook and Thesis: What Is the Difference?

The hook and thesis statement are both essential parts of the introductory paragraph and they should be interesting and highly specific. But they have different purposes.

  • Hooks for essays are essay starters and attention grabbers that are used to introduce the topic in an engaging way. You should be very creative to succeed in that.
  • Thesis statements must give answers to research questions and briefly outline the argument.

You have to create the thesis statement when you finish your research and start brainstorming key ideas for your essay. It can be a single sentence or 2 sentences that present your major point that you will argue in your essay. When you have a working thesis, you can begin to create a detailed outline and start thinking about the great hooks, transitions, the main points, evidence and examples that you will use to support your thesis. If you find it difficult to come up with your thesis, you can use online thesis generator.

Main Types of Hooks for Essays

You can use different types of good hooks for essays, but it’s important to remember that they should be relevant to the type of your paper and its topic. For example, if you have to write a medical essay, you can use some interesting research statistics or surprising facts that your reader may not know. It would be a bad idea to start such type of an essay with a metaphor or simile. Such hooks are good for more informal, creative topics and if you use them in an informative essay, your readers may not understand their meaning.

Many students find it difficult to come up with catchy hooks for essays and even start looking for essay hook generator. So here are some common types of hooks:

  • Quotation. You can use a quote from a credible source and then explain how it is related to the topic of your essay. It will be better if your quote is inspirational.
  • Description. You can use the approach “show, don’t tell” and start your paper with a vivid description.
  • Engaging story. You can tell an anecdote or a short episode from real life. This type of hook can be used only for some types of essays or speeches.
  • Shocking statistics. People typically like to see the number so if you use this type of hook to grab your readers’ attention, you should make sure that you use the credible source. It’s always better to use numbers from original research.
  • Rhetorical or provocative question. This approach is not easy because you will achieve your goal only if your question is really intriguing. You will need to do a thorough research on your topic and use your creativity to come up with the best questions.
  • Surprising fact. You should tell your readers some information that they really don’t know so you will need to read a lot about your topic.

How to Use Hook Ideas for Essays

If you want to write essays that can get you good grades, you learn to make the powerful first impression on your readers. So you should always think carefully about the structure of your first paragraph and make sure that you have included all the essential elements.

  • Try to use good attention grabbers to engage your audience.
  • Then use some transitional sentences to explain how your hook is relevant to your essay topic and why it is significant.
  • Next, introduce a strong thesis to present your argument and briefly outline the most important points that you are going to discuss. In this way, you will inform your audience about what they should expect from your essay.

But you should keep in mind that in some cases, you should avoid using hooks. For example, you don’t need a hook when you write a definition essay. In such a situation, you should start your paper with a short definition of your essay’s subject.

Looking for Essay Hook Examples?

To help you get started with creating engaging hook ideas for essays, let’s have a look at some good attention grabber examples. There are different types of essays and they will require using different types of hooks but here are some argumentative essay hook examples for your inspiration.

  • Is there the afterlife? (question)
  • 22 people were executed in the USA in 2019. (statistics)
  • Human bodies contain about 100 trillion cells. (fact)
  • Most wildland fires are caused by humans. (statement)
  • Can you imagine your life without a smartphone? (question)

When you start thinking about your own hook ideas for argumentative essays, you should come up with hooks that inspire critical thinking and provoke discussion. In other words, your hooks should be debatable.

How to Write Good Attention Grabbers

Writing a good hook is not easy and unfortunately, there are no strict rules on how to write strong hooks that will make your readers continue reading your essays. There are so many aspects to consider: your subject area, the topic of your essay, your audience, the type of writing, the length of your paper etc. So the main rule is to do an in-depth research on the topic and be creative. Still, here are some useful tips that can help you succeed.

  • Avoid clichés. Your goal is to engage your readers and not to make them bored to death. Never repeat the hook you have seen in any essay. Always try to be original and make your hook unique.
  • Use relevant hooks. Many students make the same mistake – they start their essays with statistics or facts that have nothing to do with their topics. In this way, they only confuse their readers and this approach is unlikely to motivate them to read essays carefully.
  • Read other essays for inspiration. You can find a lot of free essays on the internet. You should read those that are related to your topic or similar types to your assignment. Analyze them and try to determine the methods that their writers use to engage their readers.

We have discussed all the essential aspects of creating powerful essays hooks and provided you with examples for inspiration. We hope our tips will be useful for you and will help easily cope with different types of essays and make a great impression on your readers. If you have some writing problems, you may check other guides on our website or look for professional help from websites that write essays for you.

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