How to Write a Hook to Grab Readers’ Attention Instantly

When you see a person for the first time, you decide whether you would like to talk to that person in a few seconds. When you bite a sandwich, you decide whether it’s tasty almost instantly. The same applies to a piece of writing when you start reading it: after two or three sentences, you already understand whether you are interested in reading further. This fact is important not only for readers, but also for writers. They have to impress their audience and grab attention as quickly as possible.

How to Write a Hook

Below, you’ll find an exhaustive guide on how to write a good hook. We will tell you about the main principles of writing a hook for an essay, about different pieces of writing where you can use hooks, and, of course, about various types of hooks. In our article, you’ll also be able to find examples of a hook for an essay provided by our experienced writers.

What Is a Hook for an Essay?

Actually, writing a hook is more about marketing than content. Today, the amount of information is so vast that it is quite difficult to stand out in this endless flow. It applies especially to internet users who would not waste a minute of their time if your essay or article is not catchy enough. As a writer, you have to grab their attention only with the help of the first sentence. That’s why it is so important to know how to write a good hook.

A hook for an essay is like a beautiful dress: attractive and shiny, but not necessarily meaningful. Remember that your main goal while writing a hook is not to inform your readers about something, but to interest and intrigue them.

Don’t confuse a hook with your thesis statement: they have totally different functions in your piece of writing! The thesis provides your readers with general information about the content of your writing, while the hook is aimed only at grabbing their attention. We can compare these terms with a plot summary and a tagline. The plot summary includes the most significant data: main characters, cast, director, genre, awards, etc. As a rule, the tagline catches our attention but doesn’t give us any additional information about the movie. For example, the tagline, “life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get,” tells you nothing about the plot of the well-known film “Forrest Gump” (1994). Still, it sounds really intriguing and mysterious and makes us watch the entire film.

That’s the secret of a good hook for an essay: it tells you enough to interest you, but not enough to lay all the cards on the table.

Writing a Hook for Different Types of Writing

A hook for an essay sets up certain expectations and makes you look forward to reading the entire piece of writing. No doubt, your hook should give direction to your writing. You have to choose the proper tone, style, and content in order to write a good hook sentence for an essay. By the way, essays are not the only pieces of writing where you can use a hook. Let’s figure out what types of hooks would be appropriate for creative writing, academic papers, and newspaper articles.

Creative writing

For different types of writing, you should use different hooks. If we talk about creative writing, your hook can be funny or mysterious. However, we strongly recommend you not to start your novel or poem with some “interesting” statistics. Really, you shouldn’t. Instead of boring numbers, impress your readers with a bright description, unusual comparison, or good quote.

Academic paper

On the other hand, if you start your academic paper, dissertation, or research proposal with an anecdote, we can promise that your work won’t be taken seriously. Academic papers are exactly the right place for statistics or dispelling common misconceptions.

Newspaper article

The most appropriate hook for a newspaper article depends on the content. You probably shouldn’t start an article about poverty or refugees with a hilarious story from your childhood. At the same time, a contradictory statement is a perfect hook if you are going to provide your readers with provocative material.

15 Awesome Methods of Hook Writing

We offer you 15 good methods of hook writing. We also will provide you with examples in order to simplify your life and writing process. Remember that every type of a hook can be used for a certain type of writing. Enjoy our list and learn how to write a hook and impress any reader in the blink of an eye!

1. Inverted pyramid

This type of hook writing is catchy and original. You start with an abstract statement that has something in common with your specific topic. Then, you create a logical connection or transition between the general statement and your thesis statement. In this way, you can grab the attention of your readers with a meaningful and philosophical phrase and, the moment later, shift focus to a particular theme. Example of a hook for an essay:

Abstract statement: Love is the greatest and the most beautiful thing in life.
Transition: Still, sometimes it can take rather abominable forms.
Thesis: In the novel Lolita written by Vladimir Nabokov, the love of middle-aged Humbert Humbert for 12-year-old Lolita is represented as an irresistible obsession.

2. Piece of advice

If you say that you don’t like to give advice, you’re a liar. Sometimes, we even don’t have the necessary experience or skills to counsel someone, but we are still eager to look like we know everything. Despite this, a piece of advice is still a good method to start your essay. However, make sure that your writing doesn’t cause any trouble.

Example of a hook for an essay: If you find yourself sitting in front of your laptop incapable of typing the first sentence of your academic paper, you should take a break and eat some chocolate. The usefulness of this product for cognitive performance was proved by Georgina Crichton, a nutrition researcher.

3. Interesting comparison

This way of writing a hook can be really attractive for those who are good at thinking outside the box. A well-trained imagination will provide you with a dozen unusual comparisons that can sound strange, but intriguing. Of course, this hook is appropriate for creative writing.

Example of an interesting hook for an essay:

Good headhunters are like sharks: they smell the opportunity of getting the perfect candidate a mile away.
Makeup is like painting on your face.

4. Mystery

Taking into account the popularity of the TV series about Sherlock Holmes created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. A detective story seems to be a great way to start your piece of writing. Don’t forget that sooner or later you’ll have to answer the tricky question that you’ve started your essay with, so make sure that you know the response. Don’t get caught in your own hook!

Example of a mysterious hook for an essay:

Humans launch rockets, write novels, and develop nanotechnologies. Cats get food, toys, love, and a house for free. So, who is cleverer?

5. Anecdote

Oh, these jokes… They are a perfect way to break ice or lighten up the atmosphere. Moreover, an anecdote is a good way to start a speech in order to establish a connection between the speaker and his or her listeners. You can also use a joke as a hook for an essay if you’ve chosen a funny topic or if your targeted audience is loyal enough. One more thing about humor: remember that a dark sense of humor is appropriate during face-to-face talks with trusted friends.

Example of an anecdotal hook for an essay:

A priest asks one of his parishioners, “Where would you like to go after death: to heaven or to hell?” The man answers: “There is a good climate in heaven, but there is interesting company in hell.”

6. Real-life example

References to real events or personal experiences always sound persuasive. If you want to create a hook for an essay that is connected with a historical personality or event, check thoroughly the credibility of your source. If you want to mention some episode from your own life, ask for additional instructions from your professor. The use of personal pronouns (I, me, my, etc.) may be inappropriate for certain pieces of writing.

Example of a hook for an essay:

When I was young, I used to quarrel with my parents. After reading the novel Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, I understood that my childhood was not that bad.

7. Quote

Starting your writing from a quote may add some weight to the whole text, especially if the aphorism belongs to a famous person. Don’t forget to check your sources thoroughly! Be careful with internet sources: their credibility is quite low. Such a hook for an essay is widely used, so if you want to impress an admissions board with your essay, you’d better use your personal voice.

Example of a hook with a quote for an essay:

Famous designer Coco Chanel once said: “Fashion changes, but style endures.” Is this statement still accurate?

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain’s aphorism perfectly reflects the main idea of the movie The Bucket List.

8. Rhetorical question

This type of hook for an essay has become so popular lately that we can even call it a banal one. Still, if you feel like you are able to compose a really intriguing rhetorical question, don’t hesitate. It should be a debatable question with a few variants of answers. Try not to use yes/no questions; they won’t interest your readers.

Example of a rhetorical hook for an essay:

What is the most important thing in life for children in comparison to adults?
Why do we need history lessons if we keep making the same mistakes?

9. Daring statement

This type of hook is only for risky writers. It will impress your readers, no doubt. Still, you can’t know in advance what reaction it will provoke. Maybe you’ll hurt someone else’s feelings. Think properly if it’s worth this risk. No guts, no glory!

Example of a hook for an essay:

Humans are animals: intelligent, dressed animals. And you are an animal too.
If you say that you’ve never felt hatred, you’re a liar.

10. Common Misconception

Actually, people don’t like to feel stupid. At the same time, living life in the darkness of ignorance also doesn’t sound great either. In such a case, a good hook for an essay is a helpful method to fight the lack of education. You’ll remove the scales from the eyes of your readers and create a hook for an essay in one stroke. Dispel a common misconception and interest the audience!

Example of a hook for an essay:

Do you know that Chinese fortune cookies were invented in Japan?
Do you know that bats are not actually blind?

11. Funny phrase

A funny phrase is not the same thing as an anecdote. The latter is a story with a short plot, while having a single hilarious phrase is not aimed at telling a story. It can be sarcastic or ironical, and its unique purpose is to make your readers smile. A good sense of humor is a great tool for writing a hook.

Example of funny hook for an essay:

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a cup of delicious coffee. That’s pretty much the same thing.
Every person brings joy to your life: some when they enter, and some when they leave.

12. Contradictory statement

Make your readers use their head and logical reasoning from the very beginning of your essay! Riddles and contradictions look attractive for those who like to think. We are 100% sure that your targeted audience is smart enough to understand your statement.

Example of a contradictory hook for an essay:

“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” (George Orwell)
“Men work together whether they work together or apart.” (Robert Frost)

13. Description

Descriptive words will help you to compose a good hook for an essay that will immerse the readers in your piece of writing. Don’t use generic words, as they won’t impress anyone. Be original and use extraordinary, exotic, and vivid expressions. They will help your readers to feel the mood of your creative writing.

Example of a descriptive hook for an essay:

The most incredible picture we can see in autumn is of reddish and golden leaves dancing in the air to the musical howl of the wind.

14. Facts or statistics

Numbers can be quite boring, especially when it comes to your math assignment. In fact, a good presentation matters. A startling fact or terrifying statistics can become an excellent example of a hook for an essay in capable hands.

Example of a hook for an essay:

Bath tubs kill about 340 people annually. Don’t you think that this fact is a strong argument for taking a shower?
A lit candle causes more than 15,000 house fires every year. Why does it happen?

15. Setting

“All the world’s a stage” is a well-known phrase from the most famous English poet of all time – William Shakespeare. If reality is just a theater, why shouldn’t you create your own setting in an essay? Let your words take your readers to the imaginary world of your writing. As you’ve already guessed, this style of hook writing will be good to start a novel, a descriptive essay, or a narrative essay. For academic papers, you should use a more concise and formal style.

Example of a hook for an essay:

The mysterious castle appeared from nowhere. It was an obscure, ominous building covered with terrifying sculptures of dreadful, monstrous creatures. Only a true hero would dare enter its gates.

We hope that you learned how to write a good hook without any difficulties with it. Our service is always ready to help you with solving your writing problems. Anonymous-essay.com is a place where you can find 24/7 support, as well as many experienced writers who will start working as soon as you place your order.

You are welcome to use their works as a template for your own academic papers or as a trustworthy source of information. However, additional motivation, ideas, and inspiration never hurt. Don’t hesitate to contact our team!

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