What Are Hooks?
Just like a fishing hook, writing hooks are designed to grab the attention of your reader. While you can use hooks all throughout your essay, but your best hook should be on the introduction. A mark of a good hook compels the audience to read rest the rest of your essay just by reading the first or second sentence. This is why hooks are very important not only in the essay but also in other forms of writing such as storytelling, screenwriting and copywriting. If you want to have a future in writing, then mastering hooks is a great area to develop as it's applicable to almost any kind of writing category.
So How Do You Write An Essay Hook?
Like everything else, you should start with a plan. A good hook should not stand out from the rest of the essay just for the sake of grabbing the attention of the reader. This is a form of "click baiting", which is severely frowned upon.
To write a better hook, you can start asking these few simple questions:
- What kind of essay am I writing?
- What is my writing style and tone?
- Who is my intended audience?
- What writing structure will I be employing?
Answering these questions paves a way to a better hook; one that strikes a good balance between very compelling and yet avoiding the label clickbait.
Essay hook ideas to get started:
- Literary Quote - to employ this hook, you start your essay with a very well-known literary quote. To pull this off, the first thing that you need is a quote that your audience already knows; or something the reader can relate to. This kind of hook is often employed for writing essays about a particular book, literary phenomenon, story or author.
- Quotes From a Well-Known Person - this is similar to the literary quote, except your quoting a famous individual. The same guidelines, apply like ensuring beforehand that the audience is already familiar with the quote. Also, make sure that the quote is relevant to your essay's main topic.
- Anecdote - Never be afraid to use anecdotes for hooks. It doesn't mean that your essay starts with something funny, the rest of your essay should also be funny. Also, humor is a great way of grabbing attention and sparking interest.
- Start With a Question - when it comes to grabbing your reader's attention, there is almost nothing that can surpass a well-crafted question. Humans are naturally curious; thus most readers would want to explore the question further. One big key for writing this kind of hook is to ensure that your question is not answerable by "yes" or "no". Craft a question that stimulates critical thinking.
- Interesting Definition or Fact - this kind of hook is all about presenting a definition or fact which is surprising for the reader. Again, make sure the fact or definition is relevant to the main topic of your essay.
Statistics shows that if the first couple of sentences of your writing is not compelling enough, most readers would skip the rest. This is why hooks are important as most of your hard work won't even be read if you don't know how to use a good hook. Hence, practice the art of creating good hooks, and you will be rewarded handsomely.