How to Write a Hook for an Essay
We know the feeling. You’re at your desk, staring at a blank screen and thinking, “I’m just not feeling it today.” You wish you could take a break or go to Starbucks, or even just get up right now and walk outside. But you can’t do any of those things: You have work to do! (There’s no time to slack off while you wait for holidays.) Well then, friends—it looks like we’re going to have to get into the right mood and give those essays a great start. We will show you how to write a hook for an essay that will both get you started and impress your professor.
Why Every Essay Needs a Hook
You want your readers to look at your paper and think, “I have got to read this.” If they lose interest during their first paragraph, they’re more likely not only not finish reading, but also not recommend it if they do get around to reading all of it.
It can also help explain what you’re going to talk about in more detail later on in an essay or article — this may come as a surprise, but many people will actually read an entire piece of writing before deciding whether they like what’s being said! So if someone sees a great title then reads the first few paragraphs (which might include some kind of explanation), they’ll have more context regarding the actuality of the ideas discussed in the essay.
Efficient Hooks for an Essay
Hooks should be relevant to your writing, quite specific and as short as it logically can be. The best hooks are specific and concrete, not general and abstract. For example, “The government of my country” is too broad; it refers to an organization that encompasses many subgroups of people. In contrast, “the Department of Education” or “my local school board” describes an identifiable group of people who might be affected by your argument or analysis in some way.
Avoid using clichés as hooks—they’ve been done before! Instead of saying something like “It’s a jungle out there,” try coming up with something more original and interesting than this overused line from British singer Lily Allen: “Life’s not fair.” Offer your own unique perspective on the issue at hand (see below).
Start with a quote
No matter where you get it – it can be from a book, movie, song or person. The quote should answer your essay’s topic and should be short and memorable—think of it as an attention grabber for your reader.
Don’t go too far with this one though—you don’t want to make your reader doubt what you’re saying. You also don’t want to try too hard and make it seem like you’re just trying to get their attention in any way possible. At the same time, it’s important that your hook be interesting enough so that people read on without thinking about the content of what they’ve just read!
Ask a question
The best way to hook your audience is to ask them a question. This can be a general or specific one, but it should be something that relates to the topic and will get people thinking about it in new ways. Make sure your opening line is specific and clear. If you’re writing about how bad cell phones are for kids, for example, don’t just say “What do you think about cell phones?”—that’s too vague. Instead, try something like “Do you believe that cell phones have negative effects on children?” or “Do you think modern technology has made us more distracted as individuals?”
Set the scene
When writing your hook, make sure to set the scene. This means describing where and when the story takes place. Use sensory details and metaphors or similes to bring the setting alive for your reader. For example:
- “The sun was rising over a small village in Afghanistan, slowly painting its buildings golden as daylight broke through the windows of homes scattered across hillsides.”
- “I remember watching my dog sleep on my bedroom floor, her paws tucked under her chin, like they were always when she slept.”
If you want to be really specific about what’s happening in this scene, try using some descriptive verbs as well (e.g., “ran,” “stood,” etc.). In other words, instead of just saying something like: “It was cold outside,” use a more descriptive verb like: “It was frigid outside.”
When writing an informative essay, it’s important that you know your audience and write accordingly. If you’re writing for people who don’t know much about the topic at hand, then make sure that they are caught up on all of their facts by the time they get to your paper (they may need some background information).
On the other hand, if you’re writing for experts in a particular field—finance professionals, for example—then feel free to assume that these readers will already be familiar with everything covered in your paper; therefore there’s no need to rehash anything from earlier sections of your essay as part of a hook at its beginning (unless doing so would be helpful or necessary). If the perspective of writing an essay for specialized professionals scares you, address writing experts for help. Delegate your academic writing piece to a reliable essay service, such as Smart Writing Service, and ten to other tasks in your to-do list. You will have a chance to learn from the best and the brightest, and come up with a great essay.
How to Write an Essay hook: Technicalities
Place your hook right in the opening. The definition of “hook” is a catchy, attention-grabbing phrase or statement that makes the reader want to read more. A good hook should also be relevant to your topic. Your topic sentence will usually not be as interesting as the opening paragraph, so make sure that it does not discourage the reader from continuing on to read about what you have written about in more detail.
With a good hook, you can grab your reader’s attention and make them want to read your essay. However, it’s not just about writing an interesting sentence or two. Instead of simply telling the reader what they should know by the end of your paper, give them something that inspires curiosity and makes them want more information in order to complete the task set out by your topic prompt.