When asked to write an essay most students ignore the need to express their own creativity and thoughts. Essays that are too formal or boring are often not read. As such, your priority as a writer is to ensure that your audiences are catered for and that the essay is written for them. This implies grabbing and maintaining the audience’s attention to make them want to read every word. One way of achieving this is by using an essay hook.
An essay hook can be understood in the same way as a fishing hook. It is something that grabs the attention of the reader and reels them in. The hook could be a sentence or set of sentences that capture and maintain the attention of readers.
For those still wondering whether essay hooks warrant this much attention, here is a general explanation. An essay hook is essentially the first thing your readers come across when they look at your text. It is the moment your readers decide whether to keep reading or to stop. In other words, the opening sentence of your paper (the hook) must be something special.
Five decades ago, the amount of information for reading was limited, and people were not as spoilt for choice as they presently are. Even in the assignment context, your instructor is likely to have scores of other papers to go through. If you fail to interest your reader within the two sentences of your essay, it is highly likely that they may stop reading altogether.
Before we look at the different ways you can start your essay with an attention grabber, let us look at some tips on structuring a hook.
How Do You Write a Strong Hook Sentence?
When starting off your essay, keep the main purpose of the essay in mind. Your choice of hook ought to relate to that purpose, and should underline the central idea. For instance, if the purpose is to present some fresh facts on a certain topic, it could be a good idea to begin your essay with some staggering statistics.
Part of writing a great hook is considering it as an integral component of the introduction, and the whole essay. Please note that, while the introduction does not present any major findings or facts, it plays a role in setting the mood for the entire paper. Part of the introduction is the thesis statement and the hook. The hook evokes emotions, while the thesis statement orients the readers on what to expect.
As you begin your essay, it helps to be substantial and interesting. To achieve this, you must have a clear picture of the main points you intend to make within the paper. Create an outline to ensure that no important information is left out. If possible, leave the writing of the introduction until after you have finished writing the body of the paper. This way, you are sure of what to write in the introduction. Writing the introduction after the body also helps you to pick hooks that are appropriate for the text.
So, What is a Good Hook for an Essay?
A scintillating hook immediately makes the reader want to go on reading. The art of picking the right information for your hook and turning into an amazing opening for your essay is something that you have to learn. Start by considering what you suppose your reader would find interesting about the topic of your essay.
Hooks can be quite challenging to generate, especially if you are still not clear on the contents of your essay. As such, the very first step in writing your hook is to conduct some planning, where you consider these presentation elements of your work:
- The type of essay you are writing
- The tone and writing style you intend to use
- Your intended audience
- The structure you plan to establish
It is customary for the hook to appear at the very beginning of the essay. Here are some options to consider as you choose your hook:
- An anecdote
An anecdote is simply a short story. When used as an essay hook, anecdotes can be used to make a point or gain the attention of the reader. Just remember to make sure that the short story used relates to the primary idea of the paper. The writer must establish relevance between the story and the topic.
- A quote
Another option for starting your essay in a captivating manner is through the use of a quote from an authoritative source. A quote is particularly useful when writing an essay based on a story, book, or author. Including a quote from a reliable source at the beginning of your essay can lend credence to your text, and helps to strengthen your thesis.
- A general statement
You could also set the tone for your entire essay using a uniquely written general statement of your main claim. The beauty of this is that you get right to the point, and is good when working with a restrictive word count limit.
A proven fact or interesting statistic at the beginning of your essay is another bright way to start your essay. Statistical hooks attract the reader to wanting to know more about the startling figures. This type of hook is more appropriate for the informational kind of writing. The Implications of the statistics must be further explained in the paper, just in case the reader fails to notice the link.
This article highlights some useful strategies for creating an entertaining and attention-grabbing hook to start your essay. You could choose to use a quote, statistic, fact, or any other type of hook, as long as it suits the purpose and style of your paper. You could also finish up with the body of your paper before going back to complete the introduction and the hook. The most important thing is to make sure that each segment of your writing is interconnected, and aimed at supporting the thesis statement.