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73 Essay Hook Examples

essay hook examples and definition, explained below

An essay hook is the first one or two sentences of your essay that are used to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into your discussion.

It is called a hook because it “grabs” the reader and doesn’t let them go! It should have something in there that makes the reader feel curious and intrigued, compelling them to continue reading.

Techniques for Good Essay Hooks

Here are a few techniques that you can use to write a good essay hook:

  • Use a Quotation : Sometimes, a relevant quotation from a well-known author or expert can help establish the context or theme of your essay. Next time you’re conducting research for an essay, keep an eye out for a really compelling quote that you could use as your hook for that essay.
  • Start with a Statement that is Surprising or Unusual: A surprising or unusually statement will draw a reader in, making them want to know more about that topic. It’s good if the statement contradicts common knowledge or reveals an insight about your topic that isn’t immediately obvious. These can be particularly good for argumentative essays where you’re putting forward a controversial or compelling argument as your thesis statement .
  • Tell a Brief Anecdote : A short, interesting story related to your topic can personaize the story, making it more than just a dry essay, and turning it into a compelling narrative that’s worth reading.
  • Use Statistics or Facts: Interesting, surprising, or shocking facts or statistics work similarly to surprising statements: they make us want to know more about a topic. Statistics and facts in your introductions are particularly useful for analytical, expository , and argumentative essays.
  • Start with a Question: Questions that make the reader think deeply about an issue, or pose a question that the reader themselves has considered, can be really effecitve. But remember, questions tend to be better for informal and personal essays, and are generally not allowed in formal argumentative essays. If you’re not sure if you’re allowed to use questions in your essays, check with your teacher first.

Below, I’ll present some examples of hooks that you could use as inspiration when writing your own essay hook.

Essay Hook Examples

These examples might help stimulate your thinking. However, keep in mind that your essay hook needs to be unique to your essay, so use these as inspiration but write your own essay hook that’s perfect for your own essay.

1. For an Essay About Yourself

An essay about yourself can be personal, use “I” statements, and include memories or thoughts that are deeply personal to you.

  • Question: “Have you ever met someone who could turn even the most mundane events into a thrilling adventure? Let me introduce myself.”
  • Anecdote: “The smell of freshly baked cookies always takes me back to the day when I accidentally started a baking business at the age of nine.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “I’ve always believed that you haven’t truly lived until you’ve read a book upside down, danced in the rain, or taught a parrot to say ‘I love pizza.'”
  • Quotation: “As Mark Twain once said, ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ That’s a philosophy I’ve embraced in every aspect of my life.”
  • Humorous Statement: “I’m a self-proclaimed ‘professional chocolate tester’ – a title that’s not only delicious but also requires extreme dedication.”
  • Start with your Mission Statement : “My life motto is simple but powerful: be the person who decided to go for it.
  • Fact or Statistic: “According to a study, people who speak more than one language tend to be better at multitasking . As a polyglot, I certainly live up to that statistic.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life were a book, it would be a blend of an adventurous novel, a suspense thriller, and a pinch of romantic comedy.”
  • Personal Revelation: “Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an uncanny ability to communicate with animals. It’s an unusual skill, but one that has shaped my life in many ways.”
  • Narrative: “The day everything changed for me was an ordinary Tuesday. Little did I know, a single conversation would lead me to discover my true passion.”

2. For a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay often explores personal experiences, feelings, and thoughts. So, your hooks for reflective essays can usually be more personal, intriguing, and engaging than other types of essays. Here are some examples for inspiration:

  • Question: “Have you ever felt as though a single moment could change your entire life? This essay is going to explore that moment for me.”
  • Anecdote: “I was standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking at the vast emptiness, and for the first time, I truly understood the word ‘perspective’.”
  • Bold Statement: “There is a part of me that is still trapped in that room, on that rainy afternoon, holding the letter that would change everything.”
  • Personal Revelation: “The first time I truly felt a sense of belonging wasn’t in a crowded room full of friends, but in the quiet solitude of a forest.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “In my life, silence has been a teacher more profound than any words could ever be.”
  • Quotation: “Einstein once said, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’ Now, looking back, I realize how profound that statement truly is.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life is a tapestry, then that summer was the vibrant thread that changed the entire pattern.”
  • Narrative: “As the train pulled out of the station, I realized I wasn’t just leaving my hometown, I was leaving my old self behind.”
  • Philosophical Statement: “In the theater of life, we are both the actor and the audience, playing our part and watching ourselves simultaneously.”
  • Emotive Statement: “There is a sort of sweet sorrow in remembering, a joy tinged with a hint of sadness, like the last notes of a beautiful song.”

For an Argumentative Essay

Essay hooks for argumentative essays are often the hardest. This type of essay tends to require the most formal type of academic writing, meaning your hook shouldn’t use first person, and should be more based on fact and objectivity, often at the expense of creativity. Here are some examples.

  • Quotation: “Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.’ If Jefferson were alive today, he would likely feel that this meed for a well-informed citizenry is falling well short of where he would aspire.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite what romantic films may portray, love at first sight is merely a myth perpetuated by society. This essay will prosecute the argument that love at first sight is a myth.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading psychological disability worldwide. Yet, mental health is still stigmatized and often overlooked. This essay will argue that depression should be seen as a health issue, and stigmatization of depression causes serious harm to society.”
  • Comparison: “Much like an unchecked infection, climate change, if left ignored, can spread far beyond what it is today, causing long-term economic and social problems that may even threaten the longevity of humanity itself.”
  • Contradiction : “While we live in an era of unprecedented technological advancements, millions around the world are still denied basic internet access.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Animal testing is not only ethically unacceptable, but it also undermines the progress of medical research.”
  • Challenging Belief: “Despite popular belief, the automation of jobs is not a threat but an opportunity for society to evolve.”
  • Quotation: “George Orwell wrote in ‘1984’, ‘Big Brother is Watching You.’ In our modern society, with the advancement of technology, this is becoming more of a reality than fiction.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “Despite countless diet fads and fitness trends, obesity rates continue to rise. This argumentative essay will argue that this is because medical practitioners’ approaches to health and weight loss are fundamentally flawed.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Research reveals that over 90% of the world’s plastic waste is not recycled. This alarming figure calls for a drastic change in social attitudes towards consumption and waste management.”
  • Challenging Assumption: “Society often assumes that progress and growth are intrinsically good, but this is not always the case in the realm of economic development.”
  • Contradiction: “Western society upholds the value of freedom, yet every day, members of society cede personal liberties in the name of convenience and security.”
  • Analogy: “Like an overplayed song, when a news story is repeated too often, it loses its impact. In the era of digital media, society is becoming desensitized to critical issues.”
  • Relevant Anecdote: “In a village in India, the arrival of a single computer transformed the lives of the residents. This small anecdote underscores the importance of digital inclusion in today’s world.”
  • Call to Rethink: “In a world where success is often equated with financial wealth, it is time for society to reconsidered what truly constitutes a successful life.”

For a Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay examines two issues, looking at both the similarities and differences between them. A good hook for a compare and contrast essay will immediately signal to the reader the subjects that are being compared and why they’re being compared. Here are sine ideas for hooks for a compare and contrast essay:

  • Quotation: “As Charles Dickens wrote in his novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. This could equally apply to the contrasting dynamics of urban and rural living.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite popular belief, cats and dogs have more in common than society tends to think.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing being an only child to growing up with siblings is like contrasting a solo performance with an orchestral symphony.”
  • Contradiction: “While many view classic literature and contemporary fiction as worlds apart, they are more akin to two sides of the same coin.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Android and iPhone may compete in the same market, but their philosophies could not be more different.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Statistics show that children who grow up reading books tend to perform better academically than those who do not. But, the jury is out on how reading traditional books compares to reading e-books on screens.”
  • Quotation: “As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, ‘Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.’ This statement can be used to frame a comparison between short-term and long-term thinking.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Democracy and dictatorship are often seen as polar opposites, but are they are not as different as they seem.”
  • Comparison: “Climate change and plastic pollution are two major environmental issues, yet they demand different approaches and solutions.”
  • Contradiction: “While traditional classrooms and online learning are seen as separate modes of education, they can often blend into a cohesive learning experience.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Though both based on merit, the structures of capitalism and socialism lead to vastly different societal outcomes.”
  • Imagery: “The painting styles of Van Gogh and Monet can be contrasted as a stormy sea versus a tranquil pond.”
  • Historical Reference: “The philosophies of the Cold War-era – capitalism and communism – provide a lens to contrast economic systems.”
  • Literary Comparison: “The dystopian societies portrayed in George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ serve as contrasting visions of the future.”
  • Philosophical Question: “Individualism and collectivism shape societies in distinct ways, but neither one can truly exist without the other.”

See Here for my Guide on Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

For a Psychology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a psychology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in the human mind, behavior, or the specific psychology topic you’re discussing. Here are some stimulating hooks for a psychology essay:

  • Rhetorical Question: “How much control do we truly have over our own actions?”
  • Quotation: “Sigmund Freud once said, ‘Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.’ This essay will explore whether this is universally true.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Contrary to popular belief, ‘venting out’ anger might actually be fueling the fire of fury.”
  • Comparison: “Just as an iceberg reveals only a fraction of its bulk above water, conscious minds may only be a small piece of who humans truly are.”
  • Contradiction: “While it may seem counterintuitive, studies show that individuals who are more intelligent are also more likely to suffer from mental health issues.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Despite advances in technology, understanding the human brain remains one of the final frontiers in science.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to a study by the American Psychological Association, nearly one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness. Yet, mental health continues to be a topic shrouded in stigma.”

For a Sociology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a sociology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in social behaviors, cultural phenomena, or the specific sociology topic you’re discussing. Here are ideas for hooks for a sociology essay:

  • Quotation: “As Karl Marx once noted, ‘Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex.’ Sadly, society has not made much progress in gender equality.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Social media, initially created to connect people, is ironically leading society into an era of unprecedented isolation.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing society to a theater, where each individual plays a role, it is possible to start to see patterns and scripts embedded in daily interactions.”
  • Contradiction: “While people often believe that technology is bringing society closer together, evidence suggests that it’s actually driving a wedge between people, creating ‘digital divides’.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Human societies are constructed on deeply ingrained systems of inequality, often invisible to those benefiting from them.”
  • Statistical Fact: “A recent study found that women still earn only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. This stark wage gap raises questions about equality in the workforce.”

For a College Application Essay

A college essay is a personal statement where you can showcase who you are beyond your grades and resume. It’s your chance to tell your unique story. Here are ten potential hooks for a college essay:

  • Anecdote: “At the age of seven, with a wooden spoon as my baton, I confidently conducted an orchestra of pots and pans in my grandmother’s kitchen.”
  • Provocative Statement: “I believe that life is like a game of chess. The king might be the most important piece, but it’s the pawns that can change the entire course of the game.”
  • Personal Revelation: “It wasn’t until I was lost in a foreign city, armed with nothing but a map in a language I didn’t understand, that I truly discovered my love for adventure.”
  • Intriguing Question: “Have you ever wondered how it feels to be part of two completely different cultures, yet wholly belong to neither?”
  • Bold Declaration: “Breaking a bone can be a painful experience. Breaking stereotypes, however, is an entirely different kind of challenge.”
  • Unusual Fact: “I can recite the periodic table backwards while juggling three tennis balls. It’s a strange talent, but it’s a perfect metaphor for how I tackle challenges.”
  • Quotation: “As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ This quote has defined my approach to learning.”
  • Narrative: “It was a cold winter’s day when I first discovered the magic of turning a blank page into a world full of characters, stories, and ideas.”
  • Metaphor: “Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, my high school years have been a period of profound metamorphosis.”
  • Humorous Statement: “Being the youngest of five siblings, I quickly learned that the best way to be heard was to become the family’s unofficial lawyer.”

Conclusion: The Qualities of a Good Essay Hook

As I wrap up this article, I want to share a few last tips on qualities that a good essay hook should have. Keep these tips in mind when writing your essay hook and using the above essay hook examples:

First, relevance . A good hook should be directly relevant to the topic or theme of your essay. The hook should provide a preview of what’s to come without giving too much away.

Second, Intrigue. A great hook should make the reader want to continue reading. It should create a question in the reader’s mind or present a fascinating idea that they want to know more about.

Third, uniqueness. An effective hook should be original and unique. It should stand out from the many other essays that the reader might be going through.

Fourth, clarity. Even though a hook should be captivating and original, it should also be clear and easy to understand. Avoid complex sentences and jargon that might confuse the reader.

Fifth, genre conventions. Too often, my students try to be so creative in their essay hooks that they forget genre conventions . The more formal an essay, the harder it is to write the hook. My general approach is to focus on statistics and facts, and avoid rhetorical questions , with more formal essay hooks.

Keep in mind that you should run your essay hook by your teacher by showing them your first draft before you submit your essay for grading. This will help you to make sure it follows genre conventions and is well-written.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 15 Animism Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 10 Magical Thinking Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ Social-Emotional Learning (Definition, Examples, Pros & Cons)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ What is Educational Psychology?

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Guides • Perfecting your Craft

Last updated on Nov 09, 2023

Book Hook: 48 Examples of Irresistible Elevator Pitches

Formulas and advice aside, one of the best ways to learn how to craft a book hook is to immerse yourself in great ones. In this post, we've gathered examples of pitches for books (and book adaptations) from various platforms, including Amazon, Publishers Marketplace, and Netflix.

As you read each hook, take note of your gut reaction. Do you instinctively think: “Tell me more.” The greater your curiosity, the stronger the hook.

Let’s dive in and catch on to some book hooks. 

1. The Road To Tender Hearts by Annie Hartnett

“An elderly man plans to drive across the country to declare his love for his high-school sweetheart when he unexpectedly becomes the guardian of two recently orphaned children and an orange tabby cat who may or may not be able to predict death.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

“In the Fall of 1963, a Korean War veteran and criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rallies up the scared patients against the tyrannical nurse.” (IMDb)

3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.” (IMDb)

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4. playground by richard powers.

“[Playground follows] four lives—a marine biologist, an artist, a school teacher, and an AI pioneer—that intersect on an island in French Polynesia when it is chosen as a base for seasteading, humanity's next great adventure.”  (Publishers Marketplace) 

5. Fresh, Green Life by Sebastian Castillo

“A study of interiority unfolding over the course of a single, snowy night when the author's namesake protagonist breaks a year of silent self-improvement to attend a reunion.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

6. The Twitcher by Josh Selfe 

“Colin is the nation's 7th greatest competitive birder (by his own estimation) and has dedicated his life to his pursuit. When a virus hits the UK, and birdwatching is outlawed, Colin descends into paranoia and madness: what is a twitcher who cannot twitch?” (Reedsy Live)

Book hook example for American Psycho

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Historical Fiction

7. the other boleyn girl by philippa gregory .

“Two sisters, Anne and Mary, are driven to advance their family's power by courting the affections of the King of England and a ruthless rivalry develops between them.” (Prime Video)

8. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

“In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.” (IMDb)

9. Bridgerton: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

“By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister—the lovely and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it's all an elaborate ruse to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.” (Amazon)

10 . The Holiday Honeymoon Switch by Marissa Stapley

“Two best friends trade one's cabin Christmas vacation for the other's Hawaiian honeymoon after she's left at the altar, and both find love they weren't expecting.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

11 . To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

“When her secret love letters somehow get mailed to each of her five crushes, Lara Jean finds her quiet high school existence turned upside down.” (Netflix)

12. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

“Two teenage cancer patients begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam.” (IMDb)

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13. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

“France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.” (Amazon)

14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

“Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.” (IMDb)

15. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

“When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.” (IMDb)

16. The Third Rule of Time Travel by Philip D. Fracassi

“A scientist discovers a way for human consciousness to travel through time and relive moments of their life, but after one fateful experiment she returns to find her reality altered to a horrifying extent.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

17. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

“When the creator of a virtual reality universe called the OASIS dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world.” (Prime Video)

18. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

“In a utopia whose perfection hinges upon control of monogamy and privacy, members of the collective begin to question the rules, putting their regimented society on a collision course with forbidden love and revolution.” (IMDb)

Three cover concept examples for the book Brave New World

19. Over The Edge by Kathleen Bryant

“A failed reporter-turned-jeep tour guide finds a dead body in a backcountry canyon and must overcome PTSD-related memory loss to find the killer before he finds her.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

20. Death In The Downline by Maria Abrams

“A struggling millennial gets sucked into a multi-level marketing scheme by her BFF. When a distributor dies under mysterious circumstances, she must uncover the dark secret at the heart of the organization and save her best friend before it's too late.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

21. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

“A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.” (IMDb)

22. The Shining by Stephen King

“A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.” (IMDb)

23. The Bad Seed by William March

"Rhoda Penmark seems like your average, sweet eight-year-old girl. After her rival at school dies in mysterious circumstances at the school picnic, her mother starts to suspect that Rhoda was responsible." (IMDb)

24. The Colour Out of Space by H. P. Lovecraft

“After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner and his family find themselves battling a mutant extraterrestrial organism that infects their minds and bodies, transforming their quiet rural life into a technicolor nightmare.” (Google)

Book hook example for The Green Mile

25. Exit Black by Joe Pitkin

“Eight ultra-wealthy guests are taken hostage during the grand opening of the first hotel in space. The resident biophysicist on the space station must save them when the guests are pitted against each other and expelled into space one-by-one when they don't comply with the terrorists' demands.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

26. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

“With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.” (IMDb)

27. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

“A man with amnesia faces life on the run from shadowy enemies as he fights to piece together his identity — and his mysterious connection to the CIA.” (Netflix)

Book hook example for Silence of The Lambs

Young Adult

28. the maze runner by james dashner.

“Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.” (IMDb)

29. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“Katniss volunteers to replace her sister in a tournament that ends only when one participant remains [alive]. Pitted against contestants who have trained for this all their life, she has little to rely on.” (Google)

30. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

“When Bella Swan moves to a small town in the Pacific Northwest, she falls in love with Edward Cullen, a mysterious classmate who reveals himself to be a 108-year-old vampire.” (IMDb)

31. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

“Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king.” (IMDb)

Still from the movie Where The Wild Things Are with the protagonist running wild in his jump suit

32. Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

“A mouse named Wemberly, who worries about everything, finds that she has a whole list of things to worry about when she faces the first day of school.” (Google)

33. The Cat in The Hat by Dr. Seuss

“When Sally and her brother are left alone on a rainy day, they think they are in for a dull time 一 but then the Cat in the Hat steps onto the mat, bringing with him madness and mayhem.” (Amazon)

34. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

“After a cataclysmic shipwreck, young Pi Patel finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with only one other survivor 一 a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Bound by the need to survive, the two are cast on an epic journey.” (Prime Video)

A sill image from the movie Life of Pi with Pi and the tiger on the boat

35. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

“On a quest to find out what happened to his missing brother, a scientist, his nephew and their mountain guide discover a fantastic and dangerous lost world in the center of the earth.” (IMDb)

36. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

“Seconds before Earth is destroyed to make way for a new hyperspace express route, mild-mannered Arthur Dent is whisked into space by his best friend, an alien posing as an out-of-work actor.” (Prime Video)

37. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“A troubled young woman seeks to find herself and overcome her past by hiking the grueling Pacific Crest Trail.” (Prime Video)

38. The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner 

“A newly single father determined to lift himself and his son out of poverty works his way up from the bottom at a stock brokerage firm.” (Netflix)

39. Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

“With five loyal friends in tow, explorer Thor Heyerdahl sails a fragile balsa wood raft along an ancient path some 4300 miles across the Pacific to prove his theory on Polynesian ancestry.” (Netflix)

Autobiography/biography

40. a long way home by saroo brierley.

“A five-year-old Indian boy is adopted by an Australian couple after getting lost hundreds of kilometers from home. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.” (IMDb)

41. American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Jim DeFelice, and Scott McEwen

“Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home with his family after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.” (IMDb)

42. A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

“At the age of thirty-one, John Nash, a mathematical genius, suffered a devastating breakdown and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Yet after decades of leading a ghost-like existence, he was to re-emerge to win a Nobel Prize and world acclaim.” (Amazon)

Still from the movie a Beautiful Mind with John Nash in front of a dashboard

43. Say Hello To Strangers by Gillian Sandstrom

“Why connecting with the people you know least makes us more creative, less lonely, and less cynical.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

44. Beat The Bots! by Jane Cleland

“A writer's guide to leaning into their humanity and creativity to survive and thrive in the age of AI.” (Publishers Marketplace) 

45. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

“One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?” (Amazon)

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46. The Shack by William P. Young

“After the disappearance of his youngest child, Mack Phillips is severely depressed. His life takes an unlikely turn when he receives a mysterious letter asking him to visit a cabin.” (Google)

47. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

“Sold into prostitution as a child, Angel knows nothing but betrayal. Can her heart ever be mended?” (IMDb)

48. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

“A seasoned journalist chases down the biggest story in history一is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the son of god?” (Amazon)

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These examples should be enough to get you inspired. To truly master the craft, take out a pen and paper and try to deconstruct each hook in terms of character, conflict, stakes, as well as other elements like character arc and story details. 

Refining your pitch might be a tricky process, but it’ll help you gain a clearer understanding of what your novel is really about so you can feel more confident both when writing it and presenting your work to others. 

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Essay Writing Guide

Hook Examples

Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023

Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Feb 19, 2019

Hook Examples

Tired of getting poor grades on your high school or college essays? Feeling lost when it comes to captivating your professor's attention?

Whether you're a high school or college student, the constant stream of essays, assignments, and projects can be overwhelming. But fear not!

There's a secret weapon at your disposal: hooks. 

These attention-grabbing phrases are the key to keeping your reader hooked and eager for more. In this blog, we'll explore powerful essay hook examples that will solve all your essay writing concerns.

So let’s get started!

Hook Examples

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What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening sentence or a few sentences in an essay that grab the reader's attention and engage them from the very beginning. It is called a " hook " because it is designed to reel in the reader and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay.

The purpose of an essay hook is to:

  • Grab the reader's attention from the very beginning
  • Create curiosity and intrigue
  • Engage the reader emotionally
  • Establish the tone and direction of the essay
  • Make the reader want to continue reading
  • Provide a seamless transition into the rest of the essay
  • Set the stage for the main argument or narrative
  • Make the essay memorable and stand out
  • Demonstrate the writer's skill in captivating an audience

Check out our complete guide on how to start an essay here!

How to Write a Hook?

The opening lines of your essay serve as the hook, capturing your reader's attention right from the start. Remember, the hook is a part of your essay introduction and shouldn't replace it.

A well-crafted introduction consists of a hook followed by a thesis statement . While the hook attracts the reader, the thesis statement explains the main points of your essay.

To write an effective hook, consider the following aspects:

  • Understand the nature of the literary work you're addressing.
  • Familiarize yourself with your audience's preferences and interests.
  • Clearly define the purpose behind your essay writing.

Keep in mind that the hook should be directly related to the main topic or idea of your writing piece. When it comes to essays or other academic papers, you can employ various types of hooks that align with your specific requirements. 

Learn more about Hook Statements in this informative Video!

Hook Sentence Examples

To give you a better understanding of the different types of essay hooks, we will be discussing essay hook examples.

Question Hook

Starting your essay by asking a thought-provoking question can be a good way to engage the reader. Ask your reader a question that they can visualize. However, make sure to keep your questions relevant to the reader's interest. Avoid generalized, and yes or no questions.

Rhetorical questions make up good hooks.

  • “How are successful college students different from unsuccessful college students?”
  • “What is the purpose of our existence?”
  • “Have you ever wondered whether Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters would have been still together if he didn’t die of cancer?”
  • "Ever wondered what lies beneath the ocean's depths? Dive into an underwater adventure and uncover the wonders of the deep sea."
  • "Have you ever pondered the true meaning of happiness? Join us on a quest to unravel the secrets of lasting joy."
  • Ready to challenge your limits? How far would you go to achieve your dreams and become the best version of yourself?"
  • "Curious about the future of technology? Can you envision a world where robots and humans coexist harmoniously?"
  • "Are you tired of the same old recipes? Spice up your culinary repertoire with exotic flavors and innovative cooking techniques."
  • "Are you ready to take control of your finances? Imagine a life of financial freedom and the possibilities it brings."
  • "Ever wondered what it takes to create a masterpiece? Discover the untold stories behind the world's most celebrated works of art."

Quotation Hook

A quotation from a famous person is used to open an essay to attract the reader's attention. However, the quote needs to be relevant to your topic and must come from a credible source. To remove any confusion that the reader might have it is best to explain the meaning of the quote later.

Here are the quotes you can use to start your essay:

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
  • If your topic is related to hard work and making your own destiny, you can start by quoting Michael Jordan.
  • “Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.”
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs
  • "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein
  • "Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." - Sam Levenson
  • "Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
  • "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker
  • "The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Samuel Goldwyn
  • "Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." - Will Rogers

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Statistic Hook

Here you use statistical data such as numbers and figures, percentages, etc. to hook the reader. This is mostly used in informative writing to provide the reader with new and interesting facts. It is important to mention the source.

  • “Reports have shown that almost two-thirds of adults in the United States of America have lived in a place with at least one gun, at some point of their life.”
  • Another persuasive essay hook example about people’s psychology and lying is mentioned below:
  • “It is noted by Allison Komet from the Psychology Today magazine that people lie in every one out of five conversations that last for at least 10 minutes.”
  • "Did you know that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within their first year? Discover the secrets of the successful 20% and defy the odds."
  • "According to recent studies, people spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every day. Is it time to reevaluate our digital habits?"
  • "Did you know that over 75% of communication is non-verbal? Explore the power of body language and unlock the secrets of effective communication."
  • "Research shows that 1 in 4 adults suffer from mental health issues. It's time to break the stigma and prioritize our well-being."
  • "Did you know that nearly 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase? Build trust and boost your business with positive feedback."
  • "According to recent data, the global e-commerce industry is projected to reach $6.38 trillion by 2024. Don't miss out on the digital revolution."
  • "Did you know that 80% of car accidents are caused by distracted driving? Let's put an end to this dangerous epidemic."

Anecdotal Hook

An anecdote is a short story relevant to the essay topic, illustrated to gain the reader’s attention. This story can be derived from a personal experience or your imagination. Mostly, an anecdote is humorous; it makes the reader laugh and leaves them wanting to read more.

It is mostly used when writing narrative or descriptive essays.

If you are a non-English speaker and call the support department or the helpline and hear:

  • “If you want instructions in English, press 1. If you don't understand English, press 2.”
  • “ An elderly person came to buy a TV, asked the shopkeeper if they had colored TVs. When told that they are available, he asked to purchase a purple one.” 

Here are some more anecdotal hook examples:

  • "Picture this: It was a cold winter's night, the snowflakes gently falling from the sky, as I embarked on a journey that would change my life forever..."
  • "I still remember the day vividly, sitting in my grandmother's kitchen, the aroma of freshly baked cookies filling the air. Little did I know, that day would teach me a valuable lesson about the power of kindness..."
  • "It was a crowded subway ride during rush hour, everyone lost in their own world. But then, a stranger's act of generosity restored my faith in humanity..."
  • "As I stepped onto the stage, the spotlight shining down, my heart pounding with a mix of excitement and nerves. It was in that moment, I realized the transformative power of facing your fears..."
  • "In the heart of the bustling city, amidst the noise and chaos, I stumbled upon a hidden park, an oasis of serenity that reminded me of the importance of finding peace within ourselves..."
  • "The dusty attic held countless treasures, but it was the tattered journal that caught my eye. As I flipped through its pages, I discovered the untold story of my ancestors, and a connection to my roots I never knew I had..."
  • "Lost in the maze of a foreign city, unable to speak the language, I relied on the kindness of strangers who became my unexpected guides and lifelong friends..."
  • "As the final notes of the symphony resonated through the concert hall, the audience erupted in a thunderous applause. It was in that moment, I witnessed the pure magic that music can evoke..."

Personal Story

Starting with a personal story is the right way to go when writing a personal narrative or admissions essay for College.

There is no such rule that the story has to be yours. You can share your friends' story or someone you know of.

Remember that such hooks aren't suitable when writing a more formal or argumentative piece of writing.

  • “My father was in the Navy; I basically grew up on a cruise. As a young boy, I saw things beyond anyone's imagination. On April 15, 2001…”
  • "Growing up, I was the shyest kid in the classroom. But one day, a simple act of courage changed the course of my life forever..."
  • "I'll never forget the exhilarating rush I felt as I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, defying all odds and proving to myself that anything is possible..."
  • "At the age of 18, I packed my bags, bid farewell to familiarity, and embarked on a solo adventure across the globe. Little did I know, it would become the journey of self-discovery I had always longed for..."
  • "As a single parent, juggling multiple jobs and responsibilities, I faced countless obstacles. But my unwavering determination and the support of my loved ones propelled me towards success..."
  • "It was a rainy day when I stumbled upon an old, forgotten journal in my grandmother's attic. Its pages held untold stories and secrets that would unearth the hidden truths of our family history..."
  • "The sound of applause echoed through the auditorium as I stepped onto the stage, my heart pounding with a mix of nerves and excitement. Little did I know, that performance would be a turning point in my artistic journey..."
  • "After years of battling self-doubt, I finally found the courage to pursue my passion for writing. The moment I held my published book in my hands, I knew I had conquered my fears and embraced my true calling..."
  • "As a volunteer in a remote village, I witnessed the resilience and strength of the human spirit. The people I met and the stories they shared forever changed my perspective on life..."
  • "In the midst of a turbulent relationship, I made the difficult decision to walk away and embark on a journey of self-love and rediscovery. It was through that process that I found my own worth and reclaimed my happiness..."

In the next section we will be discussing hook examples for different kinds of essays.

Surprising Statement Hook

A surprising statement hook is a bold and unexpected statement that grabs the reader's attention and piques their curiosity. It challenges their assumptions and compels them to delve deeper into the topic. Example:

  • "Contrary to popular belief, spiders are our unsung heroes, silently protecting our homes from pesky insects and maintaining delicate ecological balance."
  • "Forget what you know about time management. The key to productivity lies in working less, not more."
  • "In a world where technology dominates, studies show that the old-fashioned pen and paper can boost memory and learning."
  • "You'll be shocked to discover that the average person spends more time scrolling through social media than sleeping."
  • "Contrary to popular belief, introverts possess hidden powers that can make them exceptional leaders."
  • "Prepare to be amazed: chocolate can actually be beneficial for your health when consumed in moderation."
  • "Buckle up, because recent research reveals that multitasking can actually make you less productive, not more."
  • "Did you know that learning a new language can slow down the aging process and keep your brain sharp?"
  • "Hold onto your hats: studies suggest that taking regular naps can enhance your overall productivity and creativity."
  • "You won't believe it, but playing video games in moderation can enhance problem-solving skills and boost cognitive function."

Argumentative Essay Hook Examples

The opening paragraph of an argumentative essay should be similar to the opening statement of a trial. Just as a lawyer presents his point with a logical system, you must do the same in your essay.

For example, you are writing about the adverse effects of smoking, and arguing that all public places should be turned into no smoking zones. For such essays, good hook examples will be statistical such as:

“According to the World Health Organization consumption of tobacco kills about five million people every year, which makes it more than the death rate from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria altogether.”

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Persuasive Essay Hook Examples

The main idea or aim for writing a persuasive essay is to convince and persuade the reader to do something. It is also written to change their beliefs and agree with your point of view.

Hook sentences for such essays are a shocking revelation that the reader is curious to learn more about.

“On average each year, humans release 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide approximately. Due to this, the level of carbon dioxide has increased significantly, more than it has been in centuries. If you think climate change is nothing to worry about then you are highly mistaken.”

Narrative Essay Hook Examples

Simply put, a narrative essay is just like a story. In other types of essays you need to pick a side, argue and prove your point with the help of evidence. A narrative essay gives you a freehand to tell your story however you may please.

It can be a story inspired by your life, something you may have experienced. If you feel like it isn’t exciting enough you can always transform it using your imagination.

Examples of a hook sentence for a narrative essay can be something like:

“I was riding the bus to school; the other kids were making fun of me thinking I couldn’t understand them. “Why are his eyes like that?” “His face is funny.” A Chinese kid in America is probably like a zoo animal.”

Subject-wise Hook Examples

Here are 20+ interesting hook examples across various subjects:

  • Technology: "Imagine a world where machines can read our thoughts. Welcome to the future of mind-reading technology."
  • Health and Wellness: "Did you know that a simple 10-minute meditation can change your entire day? Unlock the transformative power of mindfulness."
  • Environment: "The clock is ticking. Discover the urgent and astonishing truth behind the disappearing rainforests."
  • Travel: "Pack your bags and leave your comfort zone behind. Uncover the hidden gems of off-the-beaten-path destinations."
  • History: "Step into the shoes of a time traveler as we unravel the untold secrets of ancient civilizations."
  • Science: "Prepare to be amazed as we dive into the mind-bending world of quantum physics and its implications for our understanding of reality."
  • Education: "Traditional classrooms are a thing of the past. Explore the innovative and disruptive trends shaping the future of education."
  • Food and Cooking: "Savor the tantalizing flavors of a culinary revolution, where unexpected ingredient pairings redefine the boundaries of taste."
  • Psychology: "Unmask the hidden forces that drive our decision-making and explore the fascinating world of subconscious influences."
  • Art and Creativity: "Witness the collision of colors and ideas in a mesmerizing display of artistic expression. Unlock your inner creativity."
  • Finance: "Escape the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and discover the path to financial freedom. It's time to take control of your wealth."
  • Sports: "Feel the adrenaline surge as we uncover the captivating stories behind the world's most legendary sports moments."
  • Relationships: "Love in the digital age: How technology has transformed the way we connect, flirt, and navigate modern relationships."
  • Self-Improvement: "Embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn the life-changing habits that lead to personal growth and fulfillment."
  • Business and Entrepreneurship: "From startup to success story: Explore the rollercoaster ride of building and scaling a thriving business."
  • Fashion: "Step into the fashion revolution as we decode the latest trends and unveil the stories behind iconic designer collections."
  • Music: "Unleash the power of music: How melodies, rhythms, and lyrics can touch our souls and evoke powerful emotions."
  • Politics: "Behind closed doors: Delve into the intriguing world of political maneuvering and the impact on global affairs."
  • Nature and Wildlife: "Journey to the untouched corners of our planet, where awe-inspiring creatures and breathtaking landscapes await."
  • Literature: "Enter the realm of literary magic as we explore the profound symbolism and hidden meanings within beloved classics."

In conclusion, these were some catchy hook examples just to give you an idea. You can make use of any one of these types according to your paper and its requirements. Generate free essays through our AI essay writer , to see how it's done!

The key to making your essay stand out from the rest is to have a strong introduction. While it is the major part, there’s more that goes into writing a good essay.

If you are still unable to come up with an exciting hook, and searching “ who can write my essay ?”. The expert essay writers at 5StarEssays.com are just a click away.  Reach out to our essay writer today and have an engaging opening for your essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a visual hook.

The visual hook is a scene that captures the audience's interest by encapsulating something about the movie. It usually occurs around 15 minutes into it, and can be found in marketing or reviews of movies.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

4-minute read

  • 6th May 2023

Never underestimate the power of an essay hook . This opening statement is meant to grab the reader’s attention and convince them to keep reading. But how do you write one that’ll pack a punch? In this article, we’ll break this down.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the first thing your audience will read. If it doesn’t hook them right off the bat, they might decide not to keep reading. It’s important that your opening statement is impactful while not being too wordy or presumptuous.

It’s also crucial that it clearly relates to your topic. You don’t want to mislead your readers into thinking your essay is about something it’s not. So, what kind of essay hook should you write? Here are seven ideas to choose from:

1.   Story

Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example:

The key to a good story hook is keeping it short and sweet. You’re not writing a novel in addition to an essay!

2.   Fact

Another great essay hook idea is to lay out a compelling fact or statistic. For example:

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing this. Make sure it’s relevant to your topic, accurate, and something your audience will care about. And, of course, be sure to cite your sources properly.

3.   Metaphor or Simile

If you want to get a little more creative with your essay hook, try using a metaphor or simile . A metaphor states that something is something else in a figurative sense, while a simile states that something is like something else.

Metaphors and similes are effective because they provide a visual for your readers, making them think about a concept in a different way. However, be careful not to make them too far-fetched or overly exaggerated.

4.   Question

Asking your audience a question is a great way to hook them. Not only does it make them think, but they’ll also want to keep reading because you will have sparked their curiosity. For example:

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Try to avoid using questions that start with something along the lines of “Have you ever wondered…?” Instead, try to think of a question they may never have wondered about. And be sure not to answer it right away, at least not fully. Use your essay to do that!

5.   Declaration

Making a bold statement or declaring a strong opinion can immediately catch people’s attention. For example:

Regardless of whether your reader agrees with you, they’ll probably want to keep reading to find out how you will back up your claim. Just make sure your declaration isn’t too controversial, or you might scare readers away!

6.   Common Misconception

Laying out a common misconception is another useful way to hook your reader. For example:

If your readers don’t know that a common belief is actually a misconception, they’ll likely be interested in learning more. And if they are already aware, it’s probably a topic they’re interested in, so they’ll want to read more.

7.   Description

You can put your descriptive powers into action with your essay hook. Creating interesting or compelling imagery places your reader into a scene, making the words come alive.

A description can be something beautiful and appealing or emotionally charged and provoking. Either way, descriptive writing is a powerful way to immerse your audience and keep them reading.

When writing an essay, don’t skimp on the essay hook! The opening statement has the potential to convince your audience to hear what you have to say or to let them walk away. We hope our ideas have given you some inspiration.

And once you finish writing your essay, make sure to send it to our editors. We’ll check it for grammar, spelling, word choice, references, and more. Try it out for free today with a 500-word sample !

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How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

Hannah Yang headshot

Hannah Yang

how to write a hook

How do you make people feel excited to read your work?

Well, for starters, you can write a great hook.

The “hook” refers to the first sentence, or first few sentences, of an essay, article, or story. That’s because these first few lines need to hook readers in, the same way fishermen use bait to hook fish in.

If you’re trying to figure out how to write a hook, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how to write a fantastic hook and to see some examples of successful ones.

What Is a Hook in Writing?

Top 5 tips for writing good hooks, great examples of hooks, is writing a hook in an essay different from a story hook, conclusion on how to write a hook.

We use the term “hook” to talk about the very beginning of a written work—specifically the part designed to grab readers’ attention. The hook can be as short as a single sentence or as long as a full paragraph.

Writing hooks is a necessary skill for all types of writing—narrative essays, research papers, fiction writing, and more.

definition of a hook in writing

What Makes a Good Hook Important?

Good hooks make your reader feel excited to keep reading.

If you’re writing a book, you need a great hook so people decide to actually buy your work, instead of putting it back on the shelf.

If you’re writing a blog post or article, you need a great hook so people read to the end, instead of scrolling or flipping to a different article instead.

And if you’re writing an essay for school, you need a good hook so you can practice the skill of writing well.

What Are the Different Types of Hooks?

There’s more than one way to write a great hook.

Here are six types of hooks that will grab your reader’s attention.

  • Question hook : a question that provokes the reader’s curiosity and makes them keep reading to find out the answer
  • Statement hook : a strong declaration related to your topic that makes the reader keep reading to see you defend this statement
  • Statistic hook : an interesting fact or statistic that makes you sound knowledgeable, so your reader trusts your expertise
  • Quote hook : a memorable quote, often by a famous person, that the reader will find interesting
  • Description hook : a vivid description that immerses your reader into a specific scene
  • Anecdotal hook : a personal story that relates to your topic and makes the reader feel personally connected to the story

Here are our top tips for writing a strong opening hook.

Tip 1: Surprise the Reader

Readers crave the unexpected. If you start your piece in a surprising way, they’ll be more likely to keep reading.

You can even say something controversial. Readers will want to keep reading to see how you prove your own statement.

Tip 2: Raise a Question

When starting an essay or a story, you should try to create a question that the reader wants answered.

This doesn’t have to be a literal question that ends with a question mark—instead, it can simply be an unusual statement or a weird situation. Make sure it’s something your target audience will find interesting.

Tip 3: Keep Your Promises

If you open your essay with an interesting hook, you need to be mindful of what you’re promising to the reader. If you don’t keep that promise throughout the piece, your reader will feel tricked.

For example, you’d probably be unhappy if you read a story that started with, “The monster was coming for me” and then, later in the first chapter, said, “Then I woke up and realized it was just a nightmare.”

The first sentence is a strong opening hook, but it promises a dramatic scene, which doesn’t get fulfilled, because the hook turns out not to be real.

An equivalent in an essay would be writing a controversial statement and then failing to prove why that statement is true, or asking an interesting question and then failing to answer it later.

Tip 4: Keep It Relevant

Some writers try so hard to choose an interesting hook that they end up using something irrelevant to their essay. Readers will get confused if you open with a random quote or statistic that only tangentially connects to your thesis.

If you’re choosing between a fascinating hook that doesn’t have much to do with your topic, or a decent hook that’s directly related to your thesis statement, you should go with the latter.

Tip 5: Don’t Stop at the Hook

Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong.

Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

One way to learn how to write hooks is to look at examples.

Here are examples of six hooks you could use to start a persuasive essay about artificial intelligence, plus three hooks you could use to start a sci-fi story.

Example 1: Question Hook

  • Will artificial intelligence someday become smarter than humans?

Example 2: Statement Hook

  • Artificial intelligence could become smarter than humans by 2050.

Example 3: Statistic Hook

  • As of 2022, the global AI industry is worth over $130 billion.

Example 4: Quote Hook

  • The scientist Stephen Hawking once said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Example 5: Description Hook

  • The Alexa AI blinks from the kitchen table, emitting a comforting blue light.

Example 6: Anecdotal Hook

  • Like many people of my generation, I used an AI for the first time when I was twelve years old.

Example 7: Sci-Fi Story Hooks

  • Samuel Gibson had friends. Sure, all his friends were AI robots that his parents had purchased for him, but they still counted as friends.
  • My father’s office is full of strange machines, which none of us are allowed to touch.
  • The AI revolt began on Christmas morning of the year 2068.

Both essays and stories require good hooks. After all, you’re still competing for your reader’s attention, no matter what kind of work you’re writing.

However, a story hook will look very different from an essay hook.

If you’re writing fiction, you most likely won’t use a statistic, question, or quote to hook your readers in. Instead, your best options will be a statement, a description, or an anecdote—or, or often, a sentence that combines a little bit of all three.

Just like with essays, you should try to raise a question in your reader’s head. This can be a strange character, an unusual setting, or a mysterious fact.

Here are some examples of strong hooks in novels:

“My first memory, when I was three years old, was of trying to kill my sister.”—Jodi Piccoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Once upon a time, on the coldest night of midwinter, in the darkest heart of the forest, Death and Fortune came to a crossroads.”—Margaret Owen, Little Thieves

“The women gather in a YMCA basement rec room: hard linoleum floors, half-windows along one wall, view of sidewalk and brick.”—Maria Adelmann, How to Be Eaten

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a rainy overcast day in 1975.”—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

“It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident.”—Kristen Cashore, Fire

There you have it—a complete guide to writing a fantastic hook.

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Good luck, and happy writing!

hook examples for essays about a book

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Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

Table of contents

hook examples for essays about a book

Yona Schnitzer

Blank screen. Cursor blinks. Clock ticks. Brain freezes.

You stressfully wonder, “How will I ever finish this essay?”

I’ve been there. 

Every time you write an essay, you want to catch your readers’ undivided attention from the very first word. The opening hook has to be *perfect* — no compromises. 

But, instead of reeling under pressure to come up with this elusively perfect essay hook at the eleventh hour, I’ve found a better way to write great essay hooks. 

In this guide, I’ll tell you what it takes to write the most compelling and attention-grabbing hooks. I’ll also break down six awesome types of essay hooks you can experiment with and share examples to inspire your next opening statement.

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening statement of an essay, written to capture readers' attention and nudge them to learn more about the topic. Also known as a lede or lead, this hook introduces readers to the topic/theme of the essay and piques their curiosity to continue reading. 

The hook creates the entire narrative for your essay. It tells readers what to expect from the rest of the essay and creates context around your main argument or thesis statement. 

6 Types of Essay Hooks You Can Experiment With

I’ve created this handy list of six different types of essay hooks. You can choose the one that best fits your essay’s context and create a stellar opening statement within minutes. 

1. Compelling fact or statistic

Lead with evidence and use a powerful fact or statistic as your essay hook. It’s one of the best ways to capture readers’ attention from the start and keep them intrigued throughout your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about the importance of time management for freelancers, you have two options to create your opening sentence:

Generic : “Managing time as a freelancer is no easy feat.”

Impactful : “Nearly 70% of freelancers struggle to effectively divide and manage their time between multiple clients.” 

This data point, linked to the original research, sets a strong tone for your essay and draws people in to read more. It communicates  

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hook examples for essays about a book

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2. Bold claim hook

When working on an argumentative essay , I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish. So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people’s time. 

That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go, hmmm…

But remember, you can't open with a claim that people already know and accept as fact. It has to be something original and unique to make your readers tick, nudging them to dive deeper into your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about water crisis, you have two options to open your essay: 

‍ "In some regions, there is not enough clean water for people to use."
‍ "Imagine a world where every drop of water is a battle, a precious commodity fought over by scores of people and animals alike. This can become a reality as early as 2050."

This bold claim presents a convincing argument about the global water crisis. It also emphasizes the urgency of this argument with a research-backed statistic.

Create a bold claim suggestion using AI

Can’t think of a strong opening sentence for your essay? Wordtune can translate your thoughts into a bold claim and create a compelling essay hook. 

Open your Wordtune editor and write a few lines related to your topic. These sentences should have a consensus among your audience. Then, choose the 'Counterargument' option from the list of suggestions. 

And you’ll have a bold claim for your essay with no effort at all!

hook examples for essays about a book

3. Story/Anecdote hook

In all my years of writing, I’ve noticed how stories have a unique effect on people. A good story can resonate with a bigger audience, pique their curiosity, and deliver a more personal message. 

That's why you can cite a personal anecdote or talk about a publicly known story as a good hook for your essay. This hook allows you to play with words and work in more storytelling . 

One of my favorite writing tips applies here: enter the scene as late as possible and leave as early as possible. You have to keep it crisp instead of rambling on and on. 

Consider these two examples:

hook examples for essays about a book

Either of these hooks could work fine if we were just writing a personal essay about a move to a new place. But if we’re specifically writing about the sky, the second example is better. It sticks to the point — the sky and the color of the sky — and doesn’t stray into irrelevant details. 

Create a compelling story with AI

I get it—not all of us are natural storytellers. But you can use AI to your advantage to create a concise and exciting story for your essay.  

Wordtune can help you write a short story from scratch or trim down your writing into a quick anecdote. Click on the expand or shorten button to edit your story any way you like. 

hook examples for essays about a book

4. Question Hook

Humans have a tendency to immediately look for answers every time they come across fascinating questions. Using questions as essay hooks can reel people into your essay and feed their curiosity.

But questions are also fairly overused in essays. You don't want to use a generic question that makes people say, " Not another question ." 

Instead, think of questions that approach your topic from a fresh angle. This means honing in on what was especially interesting or surprising from your research—and maybe even brainstorming different questions to find the most fascinating one.

For example, if you’re writing about the psychology behind why we buy, you have two options to open your essay:

‍ “Do you know what factors compel us to buy certain things?”

Plugged in :

“Before buying anything, have you ever taken a moment to pause and think about possible reasons driving you to this purchase?”

The latter is more descriptive and creates a realistic scenario for readers to truly think about the topic of the essay.

5. Description hook

A descriptive hook works best when writing an explanatory or opinion-led essay. Descriptive hooks, as the name suggests, illustrate a topic in detail to create context for the essay. It's a good way to build awareness for and educate readers on lesser-known themes.

But a descriptive hook can easily become too plain or unexciting to read. To make it work, you have to write an engaging description using imagery, analogies, and other figures of speech. 

Remember to make your hook reader-friendly by avoiding passive voice, mainstream cliches, and lengthy sentences.

Consider this example:

hook examples for essays about a book

Describing a sunset is too cliche, so cross that one off the list. Describing the sky as it is on a normal day wouldn't be shocking or unexpected, so scratch that one, too.

This example creates something unique by using analogies to describe the color of the sky and painting a beautiful picture. 

Write a gripping description with AI

Writing an exciting hook for a boring topic is more challenging than it looks. But Wordtune makes it a breeze with just two steps:

  • Open the Wordtune editor and write your essay topic.
  • Click on Explain or Emphasize and let it work its magic.

You can also change the tone of voice to make the text more in tune with your theme. 

hook examples for essays about a book

6. Metaphor hook

One of my favorite essay hooks is to open with a persuasive metaphor to contextualize the topic. Metaphors can help you approach the topic from a completely different lens and wow your readers with interesting insight. 

Metaphors are also super versatile to make your writing more impactful. You can write a one-line metaphor or create a scenario comparing one thing to another and linking it to your topic. 

For example, if you’re writing about the experience of working at a startup, you can open your essay with these two options:

Short & sweet: "Joining a startup is like strapping into a rollercoaster: be ready to witness thrilling highs and sinking drops."

Long & descriptive : “Picture a small sailboat navigating the unpredictable winds and tides in a vast ocean. That’s a startup operating in a massive market. And with the right vision, this journey is filled with risks and rewards.” 

Create a convincing metaphor with AI

Writing good metaphors takes up a lot of creative brain power. You can always use Wordtune to find some extra inspiration if you're out of creative ideas. 

Type your opening line in the Wordtune editor and click on the 'Give an analogy' option. You can ask for as many suggestions as you want till you find the best one! 

hook examples for essays about a book

What to Know About Your Essay (and Topic) Before You Write the Hook

Whether you’re writing a research paper on economics, an argumentative essay for your college composition class, or a personal essay sharing your thoughts on a topic, you need to nail down a few things before you settle on the first line for your essay.

‍ Let me break them down for you. 

1. Gain in-depth knowledge of your topic

hook examples for essays about a book

Before you start writing your essay, you need to know your topic — not just in name, but in-depth. You don't have to become a subject matter expert overnight. But you do need to research the topic inside out 

Your research will help you:

  • Narrow your focus
  • Build an argument
  • Shape the narrative

Your research insights determine your essay’s structure and guide your choice of hook. 

After organizing your research in a neat outline, think to yourself: ‍Did you uncover a shocking fact? A compelling anecdote? An interesting quote? Any of those things could be your hook.

⚡ ‍ Take action: After finishing your research, review your notes and think through your essay. Mark or make a list of anything compelling enough to be a good lead.

2. Type of essay

hook examples for essays about a book

In academic settings, there are generally three kinds of essays:

  • Argumentative: Making the case for a certain stance or route of action.
  • Expository: Explaining the who, what, when, where, why, and how of some phenomenon.
  • Narrative: Telling a true story as a way to explore different ideas.

‍ The type of essay you’re writing is key to choosing the best hook for your piece. 

A serious argumentative essay can start with a shocking statistic or a bold claim. And an expository essay can open with a descriptive hook while a metaphor hook would work best for a narrative essay.

⚡ ‍ Take action: Go through your list of potential hooks and cross out anything that doesn't fit the type of essay you're writing, whether it's persuasive , argumentative, or any other type.

3. Audience and tone

A best practice I often share with writers is to think of one reader and keep yourself in their shoes . This exercise can tell you so much about your audience — what kind of tone they like, what matters the most to them, what topics interest them, and so on. 

You can use these insights to create a compelling essay hook. Here’s how:

  • For an argumentative essay, you’re trying to convince someone who doesn’t agree with you that what you’re claiming is right or, at least, reasonable. You don’t want to turn them off with snarky or offensive language — but you do want to be authoritative. Your hook should match that tone and support your effort.
  • A narrative essay is likely to welcome more lyrical language, so starting with a colorful description or an anecdote might make more sense than, say, a bold claim or surprising fact. Whatever tone you choose for your narrative essay — comical or gentle or bold — should be used for your hook.
  • ‍ Expository essays can use all sorts of tones and be written to a variety of audiences, so think carefully about the tone that best fits your subject matter. An essay explaining how the human body shuts down when overdosed will likely require a different tone than one on the lives of circus masters in the late 1800s. 

⚡ ‍ Take action: Look at your list. Can you write these potential hooks in a tone that suits your subject and audience?

4. Length of essay

Are you writing a 10-page paper or a three-page reflection? Or is this your senior thesis, pushing over 100 pages?

‍ If you’re writing a shorter paper, you’ll want to keep your hook quick and snappy.  

Readers are expecting a quick read, and they don’t want to spend five minutes only going through the introduction. 

In contrast, you can approach a longer essay — like a senior thesis or a term paper — with a longer hook. Just make sure your hook relates to and supports the core point of your essay. You don’t want to waste space describing a scene that ultimately has nothing to do with the rest of your piece.

⚡ ‍ Take action: If you write out the items on your list, how long will they be? A sentence or paragraph? Perfect. Two to five paragraphs? Unless your essay is on the longer side, you may want to save that information for later in the piece.

‍ Now that you know the basic facts about what you’re writing, let’s look at some approaches you could use to catch those readers — and reel them in.

3 Approaches to Avoid When Writing Hooks 

I’ve read hundreds of essays — enough to recognize lazy writing from the first few words. It’s equally easy for readers to discard your essays as ‘poorly written’ just by reading the first line. 

So, I made a list of three types of essay hooks you want to avoid at all costs because these hooks can only disappoint your readers. 

1. Quotations

Quotes are probably the most overused type of hook in any form of writing. What's even worse is rinsing and repeating the same old quotes from Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela in your essays. 

No matter how powerful a quote sounds, you shouldn’t slap it at the opening of your essay. It doesn’t give readers the excitement of reading something original and looks lazy.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on productivity, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work” – Stephen King
Did you know that consuming 100 gms of sugar can slash your productivity levels by over 50% in a day?  

2. Definitions

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a hook as "a thing designed to catch people's attention." 

If I opened my article with this dictionary definition of a hook, you’d have either dozed off or left this page long back to find something more interesting. 

Here's the thing: definitions put people to sleep. Readers don't want to see a formal, jargon-heavy definition of a topic as the very first line of an essay. Your opening statement should have some personality in it to show readers they're in for an exciting read. 

For example, if you’re writing about happy hormones, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Happy hormones are known to boost the happiness levels in your body by creating positive feelings.
Ever wondered why cat videos make you instantly happy, and ice creams give you an extra dose of energy? It's all about how happy hormones control our brain chemistry.

3. “Imagine this”

Opening your essay with "Imagine this" used to be an interesting way to put your readers in a scenario and set the context for your essay. But now, it's far too cliched and just another lazy attempt to write an essay hook. 

You can create a relatable scenario for users without asking them to imagine or picture it. Use the descriptive hook format with an interesting choice of words to convey the same ideas more creatively.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on preparing for higher studies abroad, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Imagine this: You’ve been applying to multiple universities, writing SOPs, and preparing for exams without guidance. Everything can go south any minute. 
College application season is officially here. But with each passing day, you’re under more and more stress to apply to your chosen colleges and tick all the items off your list.

‍Our Go-To Trick for Writing Catchy Hooks

This opening statement can make or break your entire essay. While I’ve broken down my best tips to create the best essay hooks, here’s a surefire way to write compelling openings :

Go through your notes and either outline your essay or write the whole thing. This way, you’ll know the central thread (or throughline) that runs throughout your piece. 

Once your essay or outline is complete, go back through and identify a particularly compelling fact, claim, or example that relates to that central thread.

‍Write up that fact, claim, or example as the hook for your essay using any of the methods we’ve covered. Then revise or write your essay so the hook leads smoothly into the rest of the piece and you don’t repeat that information elsewhere.

Does your hook spark curiosity in you? 

Did that fact surprise you in the research stage? 

Chances are, your readers will have the same reaction.

And that’s exactly what you want.

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hook examples for essays about a book

Hook Examples (For Essays, Stories, Articles, and More)

hook examples

What are good hook examples to get my creative writing inspiration flowing? Many elements go into an effectively written piece of work. Using these elements to your advantage will help you write better essays, assignments, articles, stories, and more. The hook is one of these elements. It is what “hooks” the reader onto your work. The skill to write a compelling hook will decide whether people want to read your writing or not.

Learn about hooks and see examples in this comprehensive guide…

What is a hook?

What Is Hook?

A hook is a first statement (opening statement) in your writing that attempts to get the reader’s attention. It grabs their interest, making them want to read more.

In essence, make your hook catchy . Readers should be motivated to continue reading the whole piece.

To achieve this, read your material multiple times and understand the central theme. The hook must follow that theme. It cannot be random for the sake of being catchy.  

For making your hooks catchy, there are multiple things at your disposal. Use humor, state relevant and shocking facts, ask rhetorical questions or borrow a famous quote to develop good hooks.

Hook Examples

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple types of hooks . Choose the type that best suits the written material based on the nature of your essay or article.

In a nutshell, hooks come in 5 varieties – Sentences, Questions, Story Openings, Facts or Statistics, and Quotations.

Sentence hook example

Sentence Hook Examples

Start your article with a convincing opening statement or sentence. The first sentence will act as your hook if it is sensational or catchy enough. When you make a strong statement, you create a powerful impression on the reader.

Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with you is not the question. If they find your statement compelling, the readers will be intrigued to learn more about what you have to say. It will make them read your article or essay.

Here are some excellent sentence hook examples:

  • When we focus less on spending money and more on spending time with our loved ones, we create lasting family memories.
  • Modern families can achieve food security by growing a vegetable garden in these unpredictable times.
  • When you bring a pet home, you also positively impact your safety, happiness, and health.
  • A gig economy can be brutal unless you are willing to master the art of living to work rather than working to live.
  • Traveling to other places, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures inspire people to view the world from a new perspective.
  • For the people of Washington, DC, paying federal income tax despite the lack of federal government representation is a sad reality.
  • Wildfires engulf the forests of California each year, burning down many houses and leaving burnt patches of once-fertile land in their wake. 
  • A foster child’s complaint is not about going to school every day but having to change their homes and family frequently. 
  • The United States of America has topped another list. But it is no cause for celebration as an average American consumes 25 teaspoons of sugar daily, making the US a world leader in added sugar consumption per capita. 

Question hook example

Question Hook Examples

If you do not wish to assert yourself, ask the readers a question instead. People instinctively feel the need to respond when posed with a question, even if it is through writing.

But how do you hook the readers through a question? The trick lies in balancing the overall message of your work with a relatable but thought-provoking question.

Pose a question that is connected to your written material and triggers a reader’s curiosity. Ask a shocking, probing, or universal question whose answer a reader wants.  

Here are some question hook examples for your reference:

  • How much screen time is enough for elementary school kids before it starts harming them?
  • How important are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies for budding and existing YouTubers?
  • Will the presidential election see a record-breaking voter turnout this year?
  • If commercial or RTE (Ready To Eat ) food goes out of stock for a prolonged period , will your family manage to eat well?
  • Are online classes a comparable alternative to attending school?
  • Do degree-based jobs offer more potential to earn than skill-based trades?
  • Do you know the likelihood of women suffering from depression is twice that of men?
  • How much junk food do you eat in a day?
  • Are your poor sleeping habits preventing you from feeling fresh in the morning?
  • Would you be able to perform your daily activities if you suffered from never-ending chronic joint pain?

Question hook example

Story Hook Examples

A hook is as important in fiction as it is in non-fiction writing. Without a good opening, your story will begin with a rocky start. In the worst-case scenario, readers may not even finish the first paragraph before picking up another story (with a much better hook, presumably).

In short, a story hook creates questions, triggers curiosity, and promises a satisfying read.

Here are some story hook examples :

  • It sounds like a resounding epiphany, bursting through the clouds, rattling the window panes of seemingly empty houses. “All survivors report to base. We have food here,” – the epiphany says. But the ghost town always responds with silence.
  • This is not how she had imagined her date. It was Valentine’s , the festival of red. But she’d rather wear that color than wash it off her hands after examining the murdered victim with her forensics team.
  • Around 50 people had gathered around Tom. Some of them were shouting, some were shrieking. It was all gibberish to Tom’s ears, who stood far atop the derelict bridge, looking down at the cliff under his feet.
  • I like to play with my food. Today they gave me peas with mashed potato. The potato still had lumps, so I made small potato balls and arranged them with the peas. When the master likes my work, he gives me two meals daily.

Statistical hook example

Statistical or Factual Hook Examples

Honesty is often the best policy. Statistical or factual hooks represent this notion.

Instead of writing something clever, witty, shocking, or sentimental, hit your readers with essential facts from the get-go.

Interesting insights and facts relevant to the article can make a reader interested in gaining more knowledge. This method is particularly useful for essays, reports, and articles. But even stories can begin with a fact, depending on how to paraphrase it.

Here are some statistical hook examples :

  • Scientists estimate that 99 percent of all the species that ever walked the Earth have become extinct.
  • 43 to 54 percent of pilots confess they have fallen asleep while flying. A third of them reported waking up next to a sleeping co-pilot.
  • Posts on Twitter will likely get 35 percent more retweets if they include a picture.  
  • Roughly 80 percent of the males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 died in the Second World War.
  • Around 28 percent of the IT sector employees never tell their friends and family about it for fear of being requested to fix their computers.

Quotation Hook Examples

Lastly, using someone else’s quote is an exciting way to write a hook. The quote need not be famous. However, when you look for a quote, ensure it is interesting and related to your written material.

Pick the quote you like. The quote can be from an article, movie, speech, interview, etc.

Assertion Sources – Cite Them Properly

When it comes to statistical/factual hooks and quotation hooks, pay special attention to the following:

  • Always state the information or quote accurately. Reconfirm and revise it to avoid grammatical or typographical errors.
  • After stating the information or quote, cite the sources if it is a quotation, and mention who said it and where they said it. If it is a statistic, mention the original source (research paper, article, etc.).

No, the hook must appear in the beginning . Otherwise, it will not manage to grip the reader.

There are 5 types of hooks – statements, questions, statistical, quotation and story.

Definitely! Your title should be as catchy as the first statement of your written material. 

Inside this article

hook examples for essays about a book

Fact checked: Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. Learn more.

hook examples for essays about a book

About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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hook examples for essays about a book

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Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

Now here’s the clue.

If you want to wow your teacher, polish the introduction. Add something interesting, funny, shocking, or intriguing. Good essay hooks help you build an emotional connection right from the start. Think of an essay hook as bait for your readers.

Our expert team has prepared numerous examples of hooks for essays. You’ll find hook examples for an argumentative essay, personal story, history essay, and other types of papers.

For 100% clarity, we provided examples using each hook tactic. And a short part about how to write a good hook.

Teacher: "I won't forgive you for this essay."  Student: "But you gave me an A. What's wrong with it?"  Teacher: "I couldn't stop reading it, and I burned my dinner."

  • 💎 What Exactly Is a Hook & How to Write a Good One
  • 📜 Examples of Classical Essay Hooks
  • 💡 Try Some Informative Essay Hooks
  • 🦄 Here are the Most Uncommon Essay Hooks

✅ Good Hooks for Essays: Bonus Tips

  • 🔗 References for More Information

We highly recommend reading all the methods and examples, so you don’t have any questions.

💎 How to Write a Hook That Will Work for Your Essay?

The hook of your essay usually appears in the very first sentence.

The average length of an essay hook should be 3-7 sentences, depending on the topic.

But first, let’s quickly go through the key questions.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook (or narrative hook) is a literary technique that writers use to keep their readers engaged. It shows that the content below is worth reading.

The hook can have different lengths. Some writers make it last for several pages. Though, it better be a short paragraph or even a sentence.

Why Do You Need a Good Essay Hook?

Writing the right hook is essential for a few reasons:

  • It heats up your readers’ interest. If you did it right, they read the whole piece.
  • It shows off your skills . A right hook presents you as an expert in your field.
  • It attracts target audience. Only the readers you want will keep reading.
  • It keeps the tension on the right level. Use an intriguing question, and a reader dies to find out the answer.
  • It makes a good introduction. Starting your essay off a boring fact is simply not a good idea.

How to Write a Good Hook: Ideas and Examples

Next, we will discuss these hook types in more detail. We’ll also provide essay hook examples of less common yet intriguing types: dialogue, story, contradiction, comparison, definition, metaphor, puzzle, announcement, and background information hooks.

💬 The Famous Quote Hook

Use a famous quote as a hook for your essay on history, literature, or even social sciences. It will present you as an established writer. It shows how knowledgeable you are and motivates the readers to engage in the text.

⬇️ Check out examples below ⬇️

Quote Hook Example: Political Science

Hilary Clinton once said that "there cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard." Which creates a discussion about how perfect democracy should look like. If it is a form of government that considers all opinions, why are women silenced so often even nowadays? The truth is that we need to ensure completely equal opportunities for women in politics before we talk about establishing the correct version of democracy. And even the most developed and progressive countries are still struggling to get to that level of equality. It can be achieved by various methods, even though they might only work in certain countries.

Social Sciences

"Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." These words of wisdom from John Kennedy reflect the perspective we need to teach the younger generations. For some reason, it has become popular to blame the government for any problem arising in society. Is it their fault that we don't think about waste and keep trashing our home? Social responsibility is a real thing. The well-being of our countries starts with the actions of every separate individual. It is not entirely right to wait until the government fixes all the issues for us. The best strategy is to start thinking about what we can do as a community to make our home even a better place.

And excellent sources of quotes for you:

  • Brainyquote.com – you can search quotes by topic or by author.
  • Goodreads.com is not only a great collection of e-books but also quotes.
  • Quoteland.com has plenty of brilliant words for all imaginable situations.
  • Quotationspage.com – more than 30,000 quotations for unique essay hooks.

❓Rhetorical Question Essay Hooks

It doesn’t have to be rhetorical – any type of question addressed to your audience will do its job. Such a universal kind of hook can spike the interest of your readers immediately.

Some useful patterns of rhetorical questions:

  • What could be more important than…?
  • What if there was only one… (chance/day/hour)?
  • Who wouldn’t like to… (be a cat/turn visitors into clients)?
  • Why bother about… (inequality/imperfect education system)?
  • Which is more important: … (making money or realizing potential)?

And more in examples:

Example of a Question Hook on Education

Wouldn't free access to education for everyone be wonderful? The answer would most likely be positive. However, it is not as simple as it seems. As much as the governments try to achieve this goal, there are still many uneducated people. On the bright side, in the era of technology, learning has never been so easy. Of course, some young adults just prefer the shortcut option of taking a student loan. Other ways are much more challenging and require a lot of responsibility and patience. Finding free educational resources online and gaining experience with the help of video tutorials might sound unprofessional. Still, you will be surprised how many experts hired in different fields only received this type of education.

Question Hook Example: Health

Is there anything that can help you lose weight fast? You have probably heard of this magical keto diet that is getting more and more popular worldwide. People claim that it helps them shred those excess pounds in unbelievably short terms. But how healthy is it, and does it suit anyone? The truth is that no diet is universal, and thanks to our differences, some weight-loss methods can even be harmful. Keto diet, for example, leads your body into the state of ketosis. What happens is that you don't receive carbohydrates, and in this state, fat is used as the primary source of energy instead them. However, it carries potential threats.

😂 Anecdotal Essay Hooks

This type would usually be more suitable for literary pieces or personal stories. So, don’t use it for formal topics, such as business and economics. Note that this hook type can be much longer than one sentence. It usually appears as the whole first paragraph itself.

It wouldn't be Kate if she didn't do something weird, so she took a stranger for her best friend this time. There is nothing wrong with it; mistakes like that happen all the time. However, during only five minutes that Kate spent with the stranger, she blabbed too much. Thinking that she sat down at the table that her friend took, Kate was so busy starting on her phone that she didn't notice that it wasn't her friend at all. Sure enough, the naive girl started talking about every little detail of her last night that she spent with her date. It was too much for the ears of an old lady. Kate realized she took the wrong table only when it was too late.

Literature (personal story)

Do not ever underestimate the power of raccoons! Those little furry animals that may look overly cute are too smart and evil. It only takes one box of pizza left outside your house by the delivery person for the disaster to begin. When they smell that delicious pizza, no doors can stop them. They will join the forces to find a hole in your house to squeeze into. Even if it's a window crack four feet above the ground, they know how to get to it. Using their fellow raccoons as the ladder, they get inside the house. They sneak into the kitchen and steal your pizza in front of your eyes and your scared-to-death dog. Not the best first day in the new home, is it? 

📈 Fact or Statistic Hook

Looking deeper into your essay topic, you might find some numbers that are quite amusing or shocking. They can serve as perfect hooks for economics- and business-oriented writings. Also, it is better if they are less known.

Business/social sciences

The UAE workforce is culturally diverse since around 20% of employees (usually called expatriates) come from different countries. Ex-pats tend to take managerial positions, which makes communication within companies quite tricky. The training focused on raising cultural awareness is getting more common, but such educational strategies as games (or gamification) are still rarely applied in the UAE companies. Yet, gamification was a useful tool in other places, making it an attractive UAE team building method. It can significantly help integrate ex-pats and create a more culturally aware environment.

Statistic Hook Example in Economics

The United Arab Emirate's debt has been rising drastically in past years, from about US$17 billion in 2003, which is almost 19 percent of GDP, to US$184 billion in 2009. Only a small proportion of the debt can be tracked directly to the public sector. A report by UBS bank shows that most of the debt comes from the corporate sector. Most of the companies that hold the main section of the debt are financial institutions. The public sector partly owns them. Banks in the UAE have been accumulating their debt amounts in the years mentioned above and could now account for 75 percent of the total foreign debt. The discussion is about the reasons why the UAE debt has been rising at an alarming rate.

Some good sources for statistics

  • Finance.yahoo.com is perfect for business papers.
  • Usa.gov/statistics is an easy-to-use governmental engine for searching data and stats.
  • Unstats.un.org provides a massive collection of statistics published by UN organizations
  • Oecd-ilibrary.org is the online library of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), featuring its books, papers, and statistics and is a gateway to the OECD’s analysis and data.

🤯 Shocking Facts are Very Good Hooks for Essays

Very similar to a statistical hook, a fact can serve as a perfect engaging introduction. Search your field for some shocking phenomenon and gently insert it in the beginning.

Don’t forget to include a reliable source reinforcing your words!

Fact Hook Example in Economics

Nowadays, much attention is paid to the problem of shark finning around the world. Millions of sharks are killed annually for their fins, and many of them are dropped back to the ocean finless, where they die because of suffocation. In many countries, the idea of shark finning remains illegal and unethical, but the possibility of earning huge money cannot be ignored (Dell'Apa et al. 151). Regarding available technologies, market economies, trade relations, and cheap employment, it does not take much time to organize special trips for shark hunting. The Trade of shark fins is alive and well developed in countries like the United States and China. However, the number of people who are eager to try shark fin soup has considerably decreased during the last several years because of the popularity of anti-shark fin soup campaigns and laws supported worldwide (Mosbergen). The situation continues to change in China.

Daniel Stacey and Ross Kelly observed that long lines and a new gray market trend for bigger screen phones marked Apple's new iPhones debut. As expected, new phone models drew Apple fans outside retail stores (Stacey and Kelly). Global critics, however, noted that this year's lines were generally longer relative to previous periods mainly because of the developing gray market for Apple products. The new Apple's iPhones have larger screens than the previous models. Also, they boast of improved battery life, faster processors, and an enhanced camera. Tim Cook called them "mother of all upgrades" (Stacey and Kelly).

Sources to look for reliable facts:

  • Buzzfeed.com – news, videos, quizzes.
  • Cracked.com – a website full of funny stuff, like articles, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Webmd.com – an incredible collection of medical facts you will love.
  • Livescience.com – discoveries hitting on a broad range of fields.
  • National Geographic – needs no introduction.
  • Mental Floss answers life’s big questions, a compilation of fascinating facts and incredible stories.

🗣️ Dialogue as a Catchy Hook for Essays

Dialogue is another type of hooks that goes perfectly with pieces of literature and stories. It can even make your short essay stand out if you include it at the beginning. But don’t forget that it only concerns specific topics such as literature and history.

Here it is:

Dialogue Hook Example in Literature

– Why did you do it? – I don't know anymore… That's why I'm leaving for a little bit right now. I need time to think.

With these words, Anna stepped back into the train car and waved goodbye to Trevor. She couldn’t even find the right words to explain why she ran away on her wedding day. It wasn’t that she didn’t love Trevor, but there was this deep, natural, and unexplored feeling that told her it wasn’t time yet. But the only thing Anna realized was that the city made her sick. That day, she took off her wedding dress, bought a ticket on the next flight leaving that afternoon, and hopped on the train taking her to the airport. She couldn’t even remember the country’s name she was going to so blurry everything was from her tears.

Dialogue Hook for History Essay

– If we still had inquisition, we could probably set him on fire. – Some dark magic, indeed, my friend! It would have probably been a real dialogue if we knew who was the first automobile inventor for sure. People were undoubtedly shocked to see the cars moving by themselves without horses. However, since they started appearing around the globe around the same time, it is almost impossible to identify who was the original creator of the idea and the first automobile itself. The credit was usually given to Karl Benz from Germany, who created a gasoline car in 1885-1886. But there are also much earlier records of a gentleman named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built the first vehicle powered by steam in France in 1769.

🔮 A Story Looks Like an Extremely Good Essay Hook

A universal essay hook is a story. You can use this trick pretty much anywhere. The main challenge is to be as authentic as possible, try to tell something fresh and engaging. The more specific and narrow the story, the more chances for a successful introduction.

Story Hook Example for an Essay on Business

Dell started fast and strong. The original company was founded in 1984 when the founder was only a 19-year-old student at the University of Texas. Four years after the inception of the company, Michael Dell became the Entrepreneur of the Year. Eight years after he started the company from his dorm room's comfort, Dell was chosen as the Man of the Year by PC Magazine. […] The company was acknowledged as the world's leading direct marketer of personal computers. At the same time, Dell was known as one of the top five PC vendors on the planet (Hunger 9). […] However, the company's journey encountered a major hurdle down the road. Even after recovering from an economic recession in 2010, the company continued to experience declining sales.

🦚 Contradictory Statement – Queen of Good Hooks

Everybody loves to start an argument by contradicting some facts. Therefore, you simply need to add a controversial statement at the beginning of your essay. People of all ages and beliefs will not be able to stop reading it!

Challenging your readers works well for social sciences, business, and psychology topics.

Examples of contradictory statements essay hooks:

If you think being a manager is a calm and relatively easy task, try surviving on five cups of coffee, a sandwich, and two packs of cigarettes a day. You would rather believe that managers only walk around the office and give their staff orders, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, the reality is much harsher than such rainbowy dreams. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. A whole set of personal qualities and professional skills must keep up with the successful strategic planning, assessment, and development. All the tasks the managers need to attend to are nerve-wracking and sometimes almost impossible to do. The stress from the demanding managerial position is often overlooked or underestimated.

Social sciences

Video games have been ruining our kids' lives and leading to an increase in crime. Since the gaming industry's development in recent years, the fear of its adverse effects on the younger generations' brains has become a significant concern. There is such a wide variety of games, ranging from educational to violent shooters and horrors. Almost immediately, caring parents jumped on the latter category, claiming that its impact is too significant and children become more aggressive and uncontrollable. Some supporters of this theory went even further. They decided to link real-life crimes to the effects of violent video games on child and adult behavior. However, as we will see later in this article, there is no or little scientific evidence supporting those ideas.

🔁 Vivid Comparison Essay Hook

Introducing your topic with an engaging, vivid comparison is a universal strategy. It is suitable for any kind of writing. The main idea is to grab your readers’ attention by showing them your unique perspective on the topic. Try to make the comparison amusing and exciting.

Comparison Essay Hook Options:

  • Comparison with daily chores (e.g., Proofreading your essays is like cleaning your teeth.)
  • Comparison with something everyone hates (e.g., Learning grammar is like going to the dentist.)
  • Comparison with something everyone loves (e.g., John was happy like a child eating a free vanilla ice cream.)
  • Comparison of modern and old-school phenomena (e.g., Modern email has much in common with pigeon post.)
  • Funny comparison (e.g., Justin Bieber is the Michael Jackson of his time)

Check out examples:

Environment

For many people, flying feels like a dream come true. More and more people take their first-ever flight thanks to the rapidly developing aviation technologies. Aircraft and airports are advancing, and air traveling is getting cheaper. However, except for transporting eager travel addicted and business people, planes are used in other ways. It appears that the whole economies across the world depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of airlines. Import and export demand this kind of transportation to work at all times. Aviation development seems like a great thing. However, just like any other technological breakthrough, it comes with a price. Environmental issues did not wait too long to show up.

Social sciences/psychology

Leaving home for the first time as a freshman can only be compared to the level of stress you had in childhood when your mother left you in the line at the checkout for too long. Indeed, becoming a student and moving out of the parent's house comes with a great deal of stress. All the unknown that lies ahead makes youngsters too anxious. Then, the difficulties of financial planning and increased academic pressure come as additional sources of worries. However, it does not have to be such a negative experience. Particular techniques can help students overcome their stress related to the separation from their parents.

📄 Definitions = Easy & Good Hooks for Essays

Another versatile essay hook option is introducing a qualitative definition. Try to make it capacious, and don’t fall into verbal jungles. This narrative hook is perfect for short scientific papers where there is only one focus subject.

Business Ethics

White-collar crime refers to the peaceful offense committed with the intention of gaining unlawful monetary benefits. There are several white-collar crimes that can be executed. They include extortion, insider trading, money laundering, racketeering, securities fraud, and tax evasion. Enron Company was an American based energy company. It was the largest supplier of natural gas in America in the early 1990s. The company had a stunning performance in the 1990s. Despite the excellent performance, stakeholders of the company were concerned about the complexity of the financial statements. The company's management used the complex nature of the financial statements and the accounting standards' weaknesses to manipulate the financial records. The white-collar crime was characterized by inflating the asset values, overstating the reported cash flow, and failure to disclose the financial records' liabilities. This paper carries out an analysis of the Enron scandal as an example of white-collar crime as discussed in the video, The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Motivation is the act of influencing someone to take any action to achieve a particular goal (Montana& Chanov, 2008). Employees' motivation depends on the job's nature, the company's organizational culture, and personal characteristics. In this case study, various theories influence and show how employees can be motivated in the workplace.

📚 Metaphor Hook for Essays

Naturally, using a metaphor as a hook for your essay comes with some limitations. You should only use this type in literature and sometimes in psychology. However, it serves as a great attention grabber if it’s engaging enough.

Let’s see how you can use a metaphor:

When life gives you dirt, don't try to squeeze the juice out of it. It's better to leave it alone and let it dry out a bit. Kate decided to follow this philosophy since nothing else seemed to work. After the painful divorce process, last week's ridiculous work assignments and managing two kids alone almost drove her crazy. No polite discussions, arguing, or bribing helped take care of seemingly a million tasks these little women had to deal with. Even letting out the anger just like her phycologist recommended did not help much. Instead, Kate referred to the last remedy. She put all the issues aside with the hope that it would get better later.

The recipe is relatively easy – take a cup of self-respect, two cups of unconditional love, half a cup of good health, a pinch of new positive experiences, and mix it all for a perfect state of happiness! We all wish it would be possible, right? However, the mystery of this state of being happy is still unsolved. The concept and its perception considerably change depending on time and values. Happiness is so complicated that there is even no universal definition of it. Besides, humans are social creatures, so associating your level of success with others is not unusual. Therefore, being happy means achieving a certain level of several aspects.

🧩 Puzzle? Yes! Amazing Hook for Your Essay

Doesn’t a good riddle grab your attention? Sometimes you just want to find out the answer. The other times, you want to figure out how it is related to the topic. Such a hook would be great for writings on psychology and even economics or business.

Here are the examples:

How many Google office employees you need to destroy a box of fresh donuts? Google is indeed famous for some of the most accommodating and unique working places around the whole world. However, the success of the company does not only appear from treats for employees. It seems that the organizational culture has many effects on business decisions and overall performance. All the staff working in Google share the same visions and values, helping them cooperate and lead the company to success. However, there is one aspect to consider. The organizational culture needs to be adapted to the ever-changing business environment.

Who survives on dirt-like substance, is never joyful, and only returns to the cave to sleep? It sounds horrible, but the correct answer is human. Nowadays, the demands for any kind of workers are rising, which brings tremendous effects on people. As the number of duties increases, it is getting harder for employees not to chug on coffee and come back home in time for a family dinner. The work-life balance is disturbed, leading to anxiety, relationship issues, and even health problems. Social life appears to be as important as making money. Therefore, the correct distribution of time between personal life and work duties is necessary for happiness.

📢 Announcement Is Also a Good Essay Hook Option

Announcements could be suitable for literary pieces and historical essays.

Such a hook doesn’t have to be too long. It should be significant enough to persuade your readers to stick to your writing. Make sure it aligns with your topic as well.

Ways to use announcements as essay hooks:

It was a revolution! The Beatle's first song came out in 1962, and almost immediately, hordes of fans pledged their loyalty to this new band. Nearly all youngsters became obsessed with their music. No one can deny that the Beatles are still considered the creators of some of the best songs in history. However, the arrival of the British band influences culture as well. Many photos depict girls going crazy on live concerts and guys shaping their haircuts after the Beatles' members. The revolution that the band brought left an impact, evidence that we can still trace in modern British culture and music.

I will never go to Starbucks again! Oh, no, mind me. I love their coffee. At some point in my life, I even thought I had an addiction and had to ask my friends to watch my consumption of Pumpkin Spice Latte. Then, the wind of change turned everything upside down. On my usual Starbucks morning run, I noticed a homeless man holding a paper cup begging for money. At first, I didn't pay much attention since it's a usual occurrence in our area. However, one day, I recognized my old neighbor in him. The only cash I had on me, I usually spent on my cup of coffee, but I decided it was not much of a sacrifice. From that moment, I only showed up on that street to shove a few bucks into that poor guy's cup. One day, to my surprise, he talked to me.

ℹ️ Background Information Essay Hook

Last but not least, give background information on your subject to make a good intro. Such an essay hook is effortless and suitable for practically any paper. Try to find the most unobvious angle to the background information. At the same time, keep it short and substantive.

Here are the ways to use background information essay hooks:

Air Arabia is among the leading low-cost carriers in the global airline industry. The airline is mainly based at the Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Air Arabia, 2012). The airline came into inception in 2003 after His Highness Dr. Sheik Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emiri Decree. Later, Air Arabia was transformed into a limited liability company. For nearly a decade, Air Arabia has witnessed tremendous growth, resulting in increased fleet size and improved sales revenues. At the same time, Air Arabia has created a renowned brand that offers reliable and safe services (Dubai Media Incorporated, 2012). Air Arabia identifies itself as a low-cost carrier by providing low fares in the industry. Some of the key strengths of the airline include punctuality and safety. This aims to ensure that the airline serves its customers most efficiently by observing its safety requirements and adhering to the landing and takeoff schedules (De Kluyver, 2010).

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in the Arkansas United States in 1962 as a grocery store. The company, which operates a chain of over 8,000 stores in fifteen countries, is estimated to employ over two million employees from diverse backgrounds. Wal-Mart was incorporated in 1969 and started trading in the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. […] Although the company can leave its consumers with a saving due to its low-price policy, it has faced some sharp criticisms over how it treats its employees and other stakeholders. Wal-Mart boasts of its ability to save its customers' money, an average of $950 per year. This, however, has been criticized as harming the community. Also, the feminists' activists have focused on Walmart's misconduct in offering low prices. (Fraedrich, Ferrell & Ferrell 440)

Now we won’t keep you for long. Let’s just go through simple points of essay hook writing.

Someone may think that you have to write your hook first. It comes first in the paper, right?

In reality, though, you can wait until your entire essay is nearly finished. Then go back and rewrite the very first paragraph. This way, you can have a fresh look at what you’ve written in the beginning.

Here’s a simple plan you can follow.

  • First, write a basic version of your thesis statement.
  • Then, provide supporting evidence for your thesis in every body paragraph.
  • After that, reword your thesis statement and write your concluding paragraph.
  • Finally, search for an attention-grabbing fact, statistic, or anything from the list above to serve as an engaging essay hook.

Add this essay hook to the beginning of your introduction. Make sure that your ideas still flow naturally into your thesis statement.

⚠️ Pro tip: choose various hooks and play around, adding each hook to your introduction paragraph. Like this, you can determine which one makes the most impressive beginning to your paper.

Some of your choices may sound interesting but may not lead to your essay’s main point. Don’t panic! Paper writing always involves trial and error. Just keep trying your essay hook ideas until one fits perfectly.

That’s it 😊

Good luck with your work!

🔗 References

  • Hook – Examples and Definition of Hook
  • How to Engage the Reader in the Opening Paragraph – BBC
  • Hooks and Attention Grabbers; George Brown College Writing Centre
  • Hook Examples and Definition; Literary Devices
  • What Is a Narrative Hook? Video
  • How to: Writing Hooks or Attention-Getting Openings-YouTube

Research Paper Analysis: How to Analyze a Research Article + Example

Film analysis: example, format, and outline + topics & prompts.

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50+ Hook Examples: The Opening Lines That Make Your Essay Successful

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The Opening Lines That Make Your Essay Successful intro image

Writing a good paper starts with brainstorming a brilliant hook, which keeps your audience engaged with the text. There are many ways to formulate hooks, which will help your writing sound more original and compelling. Looking at some essay hook examples and tips on writing them is the first step to creating one of your own!

In this article:

What is a Hook?

Tips for creating a great hook, question hook examples, strong statement examples, fact/statistic hook examples, metaphor/simile hook examples, anecdotal hook examples.

A “hook” is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them interested in the outcome of your academic text or research paper. The hook is found in the first sentence or two in the opening paragraph in an academic text and serves both as an introduction and an attention grabber.

In literature, such sentences are often found in novels. A great personal favorite of mine is Christmas Carol’s first sentence: “Marley was dead: to begin with. ” This invites tons of interesting questions and piques your curiosity, making you want to read along.

We come across hook examples in our day-to-day lives, scrolling through YouTube video titles and website links. Clickbait can be considered the hook of the modern world, and there are tons of techniques to learn from it.

However, this article will focus on essay hooks for academic papers specifically. In the section below, we’ll be discussing tips on writing hook sentences and engaging your reader’s interest through a single opening sentence.

There are different types of hook sentences in an essay introduction. We’ll take a look at each type, and a few tips, so later on, you can start formulating your own essay hooks based on these few examples.

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  • Question Hook: If you’re writing an art essay, philosophy paper, or business coursework, choosing a compelling and interesting question will leave the readers pondering throughout your text. The reader will automatically try to look for the answer within your research paper.
  • Strong Statement: The opening lines can be controversial, a bold claim – the best hooks for argumentative essays are. This method can shock your audience, and they’ll be curious to learn how you defend your argument.
  • Fact/Statistic Hook: These hook examples are used for scientific and academic assignments, allowing you to use a lesser-known fact or statistic which will grab the reader’s attention.
  • Metaphor/Simile Hook: You can set up a scene by telling a short story for your readers to imagine before getting to your essay’s core. This metaphor hook can be highly compelling and relatable to your audience.
  • Anecdotal Hook: The trickiest essay hook used to diffuse the tension surrounding a heavy topic. This tricky opening line should be carefully thought out and guaranteed to make the reader laugh and only used in the right circumstances.

If you’re using the fact/statistic hook, always make sure you quote a credible source. The same goes for the interesting facts hook type. Include those sources in the body of your essay.

It also helps to think of a hook you came across recently that made an impression on you. Was it a controversial blog post? A captivating personal story? A thesis statement that made you ponder?

Once you finish reading our article, it’s helpful to test your hook and introductory paragraph out to an audience. Have another student, tutor, or parent read it. See if it’s doing its purpose – is the reader engaged? What did they understand from your hook? Is the essay topic clear?

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Writing is a long process and requires a lot of rewriting. Take a small break and give it another go.

How to Write a Great Hook + Examples

There are two crucial points to follow when you write a hook:

  • Keep your sentences short – don’t overstuff your sentences or let them run longer than two rows.
  • Use simple, comprehensive language – the ultimate essay can be read and understood by anyone, even people outside your academic course.

It’s time to get to the examples!

  • What if I told you the world has an unlimited energy resource?
  • How much screen time is too much for elementary school children?
  • Is online education the best way to learn in the middle of a pandemic?
  • Did you know women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression than men?
  • Are your evening habits keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep?
  • Do jobs that require degrees have a higher earning potential?
  • How important is it for YouTubers to use search engine optimization strategies?
  • Will the consumption of meat products become a luxury in the year 2050?
  • Has reading become more challenging due to our short attention span?
  • Have you ever wondered why traffic builds up on no-stop roads?
  • Why we should feel sorry for high achievers?
  • Why you don’t need to be exceptional?
  • How much sugar do you think you consume?
  • The effects of global warming are irreversible, so what can we do to optimize our living now?
  • Should fireworks be banned due to noise pollution and its effect on animals?
  • Has television died in place for streaming services?
  • Is our hatred of certain foods and flavors a direct result of our genetic heritage?
  • Android app development will die out in the next twenty years.
  • You’ll always marry the wrong person.
  • Why is ordinary life not good enough anymore?
  • Why are romantics ruining love?
  • “The wicked tend to win” Machiavelli
  • The hardest person in the world to break up with.
  • Some imaginary friends can cultivate independence in a child.
  • Did you know that space smells like seared steak?
  • The human body houses 10 times more bacteria than it does cells.
  • The longest war in the world is between the Netherlands and Sicily and here’s what happened.
  • “A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security” H. Kissinger
  • Cat purring can be beneficial to your health.
  • There is a scientific explanation behind boredom.
  • The average drunk driver drives under the influence more than 80 times before they get arrested for the first time.
  • 1/3 of adults still sleep with a comfort toy in bed.
  • The average American generates nearly 4.5 pounds of trash each day.
  • The global rate for keeping good hygiene after using the toilet is 20%.
  • Americans read for pleasure for less than 10 minutes every day.
  • The average American eats around 13 pounds of ice cream each year.
  • More than 1/2 million people experience homelessness each night.
  • Approximately 90% of people who experience a cardiac arrest outside of hospitals die.
  • Farmers and ranchers make up less than 2% of Americans.
  • Approximately half of Americans will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
  • My cousin Joanna went to a party with red lipstick all over her teeth. I couldn’t help myself to tell her.
  • I dressed up as a werewolf last Halloween. That’s when everything started.
  • As a child my grandfather gave my grandma her favorite flower- a rose on every holiday. Does this kind of love still exist?
  • Last year my parents dragged me to Paris six times. I had the most dreadful time – I just couldn’t understand how such a historic city can be so dirty, or why.
  • The cause and effect example – when talking about the importance of safety, tell a story with an important moral.
  • Imagine sitting by the fire with the love of your life…
  • I have a four-year old baby – my publishing business I started in 2018.
  • The picture of… brought back memories of…
  • It’s difficult to talk about… because…
  • If you were a famous person, would you…
  • When I was 6, I was given a pet hamster for Christmas. Needless to say, little Zach is gone now, but I wonder how long he could have lived if I had been given it at 12?
  • One reason I decided to switch to a healthy diet is… well it’s cheaper than buying a whole new set of clothes!
  • I like talking to myself. Sometimes I have these seemingly clever and long conversations. I hardly have a clue what I’m talking about.

Mastering the hook sentence is something you might end up using in your day-to-day life, especially if you go into academia, publishing, or journalism as a career choice. But that’s not it – we use hooks to communicate on social media. The title of our blog post or recent youtube video are examples of well-formulated hooks. The quicker you start practicing them the easier they’ll become to use.

If you’re having any other academic trouble, like coming up with essay topics , or you want to learn the outlines of the different essay types, we can help you with that! You’ll become an essay writing pro in no time! We’ve got some good and interesting research paper topics we’re proud of, as well as demonstration speech topics ! Hook sentence examples are just the start!

We hope this article has helped you master the art of essay writing, and you now find the reader agrees with your point of view! Let us know of any good hook examples you came up with!

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Writing Hooks: How to Catch Your Reader’s Attention

Discover the power of writing hooks in this comprehensive guide. Learn about the different types of hooks, tips for writing effective hooks, common mistakes to avoid, and examples from literature and popular articles. Elevate your writing today with the help of this informative article.

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Have you ever been so captivated by a book, article, or blog post that it felt like time was standing still? Then chances are the writer had crafted an incredibly effective writing hook. But what is this magical tool, and how can we use it to ensnare our readers’ attention? Writing hooks aren’t just about snagging readers but rather creating intrigue for them with your content from the get-go! So let’s dive in and check out some tips on crafting masterful writing hooks.

A writing hook is a captivating phrase that entices the reader immediately and keeps them hooked until the end. It’s an effective tool to draw readers in with its magnetic appeal while creating interest in what lies ahead. In other words, it adds suspense and excitement like no other!

Ready to spellbind your readers? This article will reveal the key to an irresistible writing hook: one that’s sure to captivate and allure. Get ready for a wave of curiosity!

Key Takeaways:

  • A writing hook is a captivating phrase or sentence that entices the reader and keeps them engaged until the end.
  • The key to a successful hook is understanding your target audience and their interests, connecting with them through personal anecdotes, and captivating them with a hook that elicits emotions, raises questions, surprises them, relates to them, or draws upon statistics.
  • The five hooks are emotional, question, surprise, anecdote, and statistical.
  • To craft a successful hook, the writer must tailor it to their target audience and use it to create an unbreakable bond with the reader.

Connecting with Your Audience Through Writing Hooks 

Have you ever wondered why some writing can draw in readers and keep them captivated? The key is to create an impactful introduction, or ‘hook’, that will immediately grab their attention. Crafting the perfect hook requires understanding your audience; it should be tailored specifically for those who are most likely to read and enjoy your work!

Identifying the Target Audience 

A great writing hook starts with understanding your audience – the people who you’re hoping to engage and captivate.

Who will be reading? Is it potential customers looking for a new product or service solution, or are there certain readers in mind that could benefit from what you have to offer?

Knowing exactly who is on the other side of that message can make all the difference when crafting something worth taking notice of.

Understanding Reader Interests 

Got your target audience in mind? Great – it’s time to explore their interests and start brainstorming content ideas that’ll really get them talking.

What can you create that they won’t be able to resist? Brainstorm captivating topics and hooks, then watch as eager readers dive right into your material!

Creating a Connection with the Reader 

The key to captivating readers with your writing is creating an unbreakable bond between you and them. Showing off how passionate or knowledgeable you are about the topic can do wonders and provide personal stories that people from a similar background will appreciate.

It’s impossible not to be drawn in by someone who connects their piece on such levels – so don’t forget to make those connections for increased engagement!

Captivate Your Audience with Different Types of Writing Hooks 

Every writer knows the importance of a good hook. A hook is the first sentence or two that grabs the reader’s attention and convinces them to keep reading. It’s an effective tool for drawing readers in. This section will discuss five hooks you can use to capture your reader’s attention: emotional hooks, question hooks, surprise hooks, anecdote hooks, and statistical hooks. 

Emotional Hooks 

An emotional hook aims to draw on readers’ emotions to get them invested in what they’re reading. With this type of hook, you want to evoke strong feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, or joy in order to spur the reader into action.

For example, suppose you are writing about climate change and its effects on the environment. In that case, you could start your article with a sentence like “Every day, we hurtle closer towards a future where our planet will no longer be able to support life as we know it.”

This type of statement can elicit a powerful emotional response from readers and motivate them to take action against climate change. 

Question Hooks 

Using questions is another great way to get readers hooked on your writing. Asking provocative questions can make readers think more deeply about a topic and encourage them to read further to find more information or answers.

For instance, if you were writing an article about gun control reform in America, you could start off with a question like “Why do so many politicians refuse to take meaningful steps toward reforming our nation’s gun laws?” This question encourages the reader to delve deeper into your article in search of answers. 

Surprise Hooks 

Surprise hooks are a great way to draw readers in by making them curious about what comes next. You can surprise your audience by using unexpected words or phrases that force them out of their comfort zone and compel them to keep reading.

For example, if you are writing an article about Facebook censorship policies, you could begin with something like “Facebook has often been criticized for its draconian approach towards censorship.”

This type of statement may catch some readers off guard and make them want to learn more about how Facebook regulates content on its platform.  

Anecdote Hooks 

Anecdotes are short stories that illustrate a point or teach a lesson. When used as writing hooks, they can help engage readers by making complex topics more relatable and understandable.

For instance, if you were writing an article about mental health stigma in society today, you might open with something like, “When I was younger, I had difficulty understanding why people treated my mental illness differently than any other medical condition.”

By sharing personal experiences as anecdotes, writers can help foster empathy among their audiences and give insight into difficult topics from unique perspectives. 

Statistical Hooks  

Statistical hooks draw upon facts and figures related to your topic in order to provide context for readers and make complex topics easier for them to grasp quickly.

For instance, if you are writing an article about poverty rates around the world, starting off with something like “Nearly 1 billion people live below the global poverty line,” provides useful information that allows readers to see the magnitude of this issue at hand quickly.

This hook also gives credibility since it’s backed up by hard data, which helps persuade readers to learn more.    

No matter what type of hook you choose, it should always be creative, engaging, relevant, and thought-provoking. The key is finding one that works best for your particular topic. Whether it’s an emotional hook, question hook, surprise hook, anecdote hook, or statistical hook – there’s sure one out there that will captivate your intended audience!

Writing Catchy Hooks: Strategies to Get Your Readers’ Attention 

You only have a few seconds to capture your readers’ attention. That’s why it’s important to write effective hooks that draw readers in and make them want to read more. But how do you craft an effective hook? Here, we explore strategies for brainstorming hook ideas, choosing the right hook for your piece, using sensory details in hooks, and incorporating hooks into your writing. 

Brainstorming Hook Ideas 

Before writing a hook, you must get creative and brainstorm some ideas. To do so, think about who your intended audience is and what will be meaningful or relevant to them.

Ask yourself questions such as “What questions could I ask my readers?” or “What kind of story can I tell?”. These questions will help you come up with ideas for your hook that are tailored specifically to your audience.

Additionally, consider the tone of voice that will work best for your piece—you may find humor or shock useful in certain contexts. In contrast, something more serious and thoughtful may be better suited for other writing pieces. 

Choosing the Right Hook for Your Piece 

After coming up with a list of potential ideas, it’s time to choose the one that works best for your piece.

The most effective hooks are those that lead naturally into the rest of the article or book—they should give readers an idea of what the content is about while leaving enough out for readers to be curious about what comes next.

Consider how long your hook should be; if it’s too long-winded, it will lose its power since readers tend not to stay on one page very long these days. Aim for shorter hooks (1-2 sentences) whenever possible! 

Using Sensory Details in Hooks 

Incorporating sensory details into hooks—sight, sound, smell, taste, touch—can make them even more memorable and effective since they immediately create a vivid image in readers’ minds.

For example, imagine reading this hook: “The smell of freshly baked cookies filled the kitchen like a warm embrace.” Not only does this provide a clear picture immediately, but it also sets an emotional tone that makes readers want to know more about what is happening in this kitchen!

Incorporating sensory details into hooks can help draw readers in and make them want to read more. 

Good hooks don’t just appear out of thin air; they usually require multiple revisions before they go live! With practice and dedication, you’ll soon master this art form and have compelling hooks ready every time you sit down at your desk!

How to Avoid Writing a Hook That Flops 

A good hook can make or break your writing. It’s the first thing a reader sees when they open up your piece, setting the tone for everything that follows.

Because of this, trying to make it as eye-catching as possible can be tempting—but don’t let that temptation lead you astray! In order to write an effective hook, you must avoid certain pitfalls.

Let’s take a look at three that are particularly common. 

Being Too Vague 

Start off strong with your hook, but if you’re too vague, readers won’t know what you’re talking about and will move on before they get to the good stuff.

For example, a sentence like “There are things we need to consider in life” is too vague—it doesn’t give readers enough information and leaves them wanting more.

Instead, try something like, “We all need to consider the impact our decisions have on those around us and ourselves.” This gives readers a clear idea of what your piece will be about without giving away too much. 

Being Too Boring 

No one wants their writing to be dull—so why should your hook? If you don’t capture a reader’s attention quickly, they’ll likely put down whatever you’ve written without ever reading beyond the first line or two.

To avoid this pitfall, use vivid language and unexpected metaphors or similes to draw readers in. For instance, instead of saying, “Relationships are tricky,” try something like, “Navigating relationships is like walking through a minefield: one wrong step could spell disaster.” 

Being Too Predictable 

Hooks should grab attention—but not by being predictable! It’s easy enough for readers to figure out what’s going on in general if they know what genre of writing they’re looking at (for example, if they see the words “romantic comedy,” then they’ll likely have some idea of what’s coming).

But clichés can make your work seem stale and uninspired. Don’t rely on tired tropes; instead, think outside the box and come up with something unique that will really stand out from the crowd!  

Writing with a Hook: How to Make Your Content Stand Out 

The hook is the first sentence of your article, blog, or story. The opening line grabs readers’ attention and makes them want to read more. A great hook can make all the difference between a successful piece of writing and one that falls flat. In this section, we’ll look at examples of successful hooks from literature and popular articles and compare how hooks work in different genres. 

Analyzing Successful Hooks from Literature 

In literature, a hook often serves two purposes—to introduce characters and establish the setting. Take, for example, the opening line of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby: “In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”

This sentence instantly introduces us to the narrator, Nick Carraway, and gives us an idea of his character—as someone who takes his father’s advice seriously. We also get a sense of time and place—it’s likely set in America during the early 20th century. 

Examining Hooks from Popular Articles 

Hooks are just as important in articles as they are in literature. They serve as an introduction to your topic and help draw readers into your piece. Take this hook from an article about artificial intelligence (AI) : “For years, Artificial Intelligence has been firmly rooted in science fiction – but now it’s beginning to enter our daily lives.”

This hook immediately captures our attention by bringing up something familiar that most people know—science fiction—and contrasting it with something new—AI entering our daily lives. It sets up an interesting question that encourages us to keep reading to learn more about how AI impacts our lives today. 

Comparing Hooks in Different Genres 

Hooks come in many shapes and sizes depending on their purpose and genre. In non-fiction pieces such as blog posts or news articles, hooks tend to be factual or intriguing statements about the topic; for example, “The future of healthcare is here – but what does it mean for patients?”

In creative pieces such as stories or poems, hooks can be poetic descriptions or thought-provoking questions; for example, “What if love was like a game of chess? Would you still take risks when all you could lose was checkmate?” 

Whatever genre you write in, having an effective hook will help make sure your content stands out among the rest! 

Hooks in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Script Writing

Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or even a script, hooks are essential to any good piece of writing. In this section, we will explore how to use hooks in different forms of writing. 

Hooks in Fiction Writing 

Fiction writing is all about storytelling and creating believable characters and worlds. A well-crafted hook gives readers a window into the world you have created, tantalizing them and drawing them in for more.

Your hook should be short, but it should also be powerful enough to impact your readers. It could be a question that hints at something deeper or a statement that leaves your reader pondering what comes next—whatever it is, it should give your reader the compelling urge to keep reading! 

Hooks in Non-Fiction Writing 

Non-fiction writing relies heavily on facts and data, but it can still benefit from a strong hook. Your hook should introduce the article’s topic and provide just enough information to get readers interested without giving away too much information.

Think of it as an appetizer before the main course—it should whet your reader’s appetite for more! 

Hooks in Script Writing  

Script writing is all about dialogue and action scenes; therefore, it must have captivating hooks throughout each act to keep your audience engaged.

Every scene should start with some hook that introduces the plotline and hints at what will happen next—the goal here is to make sure viewers stay glued to the screen until they see how the story ends! 

A good script writer knows how to craft hooks that leave viewers wanting more without revealing too much information too soon.  

Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or scripts for TV shows or movies, make sure to include strong hooks throughout each act to keep your audience engaged until the very end! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to write captivating content every time!

In conclusion, writing hooks are a powerful tool for captivating your audience and keeping them engaged. By understanding your target audience, exploring their interests, and creating a connection with them, you can craft hooks that will make them eager to read more.

Whether you evoke emotions, pose questions, surprise them, tell anecdotes, or use statistics, the key is to make your hook memorable, impactful, and relevant to your audience. Remember, the hook is just the beginning of your story – the rest is up to you to make it as captivating and thought-provoking as possible.

Additional Resources

  • How to Write a Hook For Your Story [Video]
  • Writing Dynamite Story Hooks: A Masterclass in Genre Fiction and Memoir
  • Ten Secrets to Write Better Stories [Article]

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Willow Tenny

When it comes to writing, Willow Tenny is a true pro. She has a wealth of experience in SEO copywriting and creative writing, and she knows exactly what it takes to produce quality content. On her blog, Willow Writes, Willow shares top writing strategies with both beginners and experienced writers.

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hook examples for essays about a book

8 story hook examples (how to grab attention)

A ‘hook’ in a story promises intrigue, entertainment and answers to the questions it raises. Far from the trickery of a bait and switch, a hook gives a true sense of what your reader can expect of your story’s pleasures. Explore great story hook examples and what they teach us about starting strong:

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  • 20 Comments on 8 story hook examples (how to grab attention)

hook examples for essays about a book

A literary ‘hook’ in a story promises intrigue, entertainment and answers to the questions it raises. Far from the trickery of a bait and switch, a hook gives a true sense of what your reader can expect of your story’s pleasures. Explore great story hook examples and what they teach us about starting strong

Story hook examples

A literary ‘hook’ in a story promises intrigue, entertainment and answers to the questions it raises. Far from the trickery of a bait and switch, a hook gives a true sense of what your reader can expect of your story’s pleasures. A brilliant hook also also grabs a reader’s attention from the get go, to encourage them to read on. A hook can also show a strong voice from the start. Explore great story hook examples and what they teach us about starting strong. Here are eight types of hooks.

These hooks in narrative writing a hook should: Raise curiosity, create questions and promise eventful action with them.

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

At dusk they pour from the sky. They blow across the ramparts, turn cartwheels over rooftops, flutter into the ravines between houses. Entire streets swirl with them, flashing white against the cobbles. Urgent message to the inhabitants of this town , they say. Depart immediately to open country . Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See (2014), p. 3.

2. Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

When the team reached the site at five-thirty in the morning, one or two family members would be waiting for them. And they would be present all day while Anil and the others worked, never leaving; they spelled each other so someone always stayed, as if to ensure that the evidence would not be lost again . Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (2000), p. 5.

3. Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Those who saw him hushed. On Church Street. Liberty. Cortlandt. West Street. Fulton. Vesey. It was a silence that heard itself, awful and beautiful. Some thought at first that it must have been a trick of the light, something to do with the weather, an accident of shadowfall. Others figured it might be the perfect city joke – stand around and point upward, until people gathered, tilted their heads… Colum McCann, Let The Great World Spin (2009), p. 3.

4. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

It’s 1851. I’ll be twenty-four years old next birthday. I’ve been shut up in here since the age of sixteen. I am a model prisoner, and give no trouble. That’s what the Governor’s wife says, I have overheard her saying it. I’m skilled at overhearing. If I am good enough and quiet enough, perhaps after all they will let me go; but it’s not easy being quiet and good… Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace (1996), p. 5

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Villon-sur-sarthe, France, July 29, 1714 A girl is running for her life. The summer air burns at her back, but there are no torches, no angry mobs, only the distant lanterns of the wedding party, the reddish glow of the sun as it breaks against the horizon, cracks and spills across the hills, and the girl runs, skirts tangling in the grass as she surges toward the woods, trying to beat the dying light. V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020), p. 3.

6. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Let me begin again. Dear ma, I am writing to reach you-even if each word I put down is one word further from where you are. I am writing to go back to the time, at the rest stop in Virginia, when you stared, horror-struck, at the taxidermy buck hung over the soda machine by the restrooms, its antlers shadowing your face. Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019), p. 3

7. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened. It didn’t take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs to realize something was wrong. Really wrong. Toni Morrison, God Help the Child (2015), p. 3

8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

On the morning of October 30, 1969, the body of Chase Andrews lay in the swamp, which would have absorbed it silently, routinely. Hiding it for good. A swamp knows about death, and doesn’t necessarily define it as tragedy, certainly not a sin. Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing (2018), p. 6

The examples of hooks from novels above illustrate what effective hooks do:

How to write good hooks for stories:

Great story hooks do one or more of the following. They:

  • Build urgency
  • Prompt pressing questions
  • Involve intriguing contexts
  • Introduce striking voices
  • Show a glimpse of a vivid world
  • Imply past or future conflicts
  • Build narrative tension
  • Share relevant backstory
  • Set the story’s tone

Let’s explore each of these ideas in brief with reference to the story hook examples given above.

Story hook examples - Ovid on the advantages of always having a hook cast

Ways to write hooks:

1. build urgency.

A girl running for her life; a dead body lying in a swamp; a crowd gathering to point into the sky.

Each of these actions or images create a kind of urgency that hooks a reader into the story.

The reader wants to know why a girl is running for her life. We need to find out who murdered Chase Andrews. We want to know what the crowds are staring up at in Let The Great World Spin (an urban tightrope walker).

To build urgency in your story’s hook, you could:

  • Describe an action with a time limit: For example, having ten minutes to get to a crucial interview
  • Share actions with high stakes: A girl running for her life; a tightrope walker between NY skyscrapers
  • Imply a situation requiring urgent investigation: A murder, a mystery – a vital piece of missing information for one or more characters

What needs to happen at the start of your story (or scene, or chapter) that is of utmost priority for your characters?

Watch this brief video on how to write hooks and keep reading for more ideas:

Story Hook Examples: How to grab attention

2. Prompt pressing questions

Good story openings include meandering beginnings that take time getting to the point (this is especially common in literary novels that do not necessarily require the brisk pace of a thriller).

Yet even if your story opening is gentler, more tone-and-mood-setting, a question hook, rather than full-tilt action, how can you prompt pressing questions, creating elements of a hook?

In the opening hook to Anil’s Ghost , for example, we wonder what evidence is being sought that could be ‘lost again’.

A good story makes us ask ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ at several junctures. The hook is a crucial place to set up these questions. Tweet This

For the above story hook examples, readers may have questions such as:

  • What are people gathering to point at? ( Let The Great World Spin )
  • What or who is the girl running from? (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue )
  • Why does the narrator think something is gravely wrong with her newborn (God Help the Child )
  • When will the prisoner be released, if ever? ( Alias Grace )

What thought-provoking questions does your hook give your reader? You can also use a rhetorical question as a hook. Or, use a statistic hook, quoting facts and figures to grip a reader’s attention.

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3. Involve intriguing contexts

The best story hooks don’t only grab our attention. They tell us (often in a highly compressed way) a lot about the world we’re about to enter. Why we’re in for a good story .

We begin to understand aspects of con text such as place , era, scenario and situation. That a wartime city is about to be evacuated, for example ( All the Light We Cannot See ). Or that there is a wedding party, somewhere in the periphery, that may be relevant to a character’s current situation ( The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue ).

What makes context intriguing? Elements such as:

  • Implied recent, imminent or eventual conflicts
  • Interesting, compelling relationships (e.g. the man writing to his mother at the start of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous )
  • Interesting facts (for example, Delia Owens’ description of the swamp’s peculiarities as a biome opening Where the Crawdads Sing )

How can you involve your characters’ contexts at the start of a novel, chapter or scene so that your reader pricks up their ears?

4. Introduce striking voices

We tend to think of hooks strictly in terms of ‘Plot’ with a capital ‘P’. Yet a hook may be something as simple as teasing the reader with introduction to an interesting character (or multiple characters).

For example, in the opening to Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (written as a Vietnamese-American man’s letters to his abusive mother), there is an immediate, intimate sense of a connection between two characters. A connection that has its own complex history filled with vignettes such as the rest stop scene the narrator describes.

We have an immediate sense of voice through the wording of the man’s letter.

A hook thus is not only made up of the pressing or intriguing questions it inspires. It can also be something as simply compelling as a lone, specific voice reaching out to us from the written page.

You could also consider using a quotation hook. This, as the name implies, means using a quote from a notable or famous person. This will serve introduce the topic of your story, or lead into it. A quote hook will can be effective in reeling your reader in from the word go.

What makes your viewpoint narrator’s voice compelling from the first line? What fragment of their experiences, beliefs, fears or desires may invite your reader into their narrative?

Ted Naifeh on the importance of a story hook

5. Show a glimpse of a vivid world

Many novels start with story hooks that describe and define place, a descriptive hook. Delia Owens’ swamp facts at the beginning of Where the Crawdads Sing , for example. Or Ondaatje’s description of a forensic archaeological site in Sri Lanka.

To hook readers in, you could show a glimpse of what is extraordinary about this place. The dead body in the swamp with its already remarkable properties. The strange hunting trophy on the rest stop wall that fills the narrator’s mother with horror in On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous . These are all examples of vivid descriptions of scenes that create a picture  in a reader’s mind.

What detail is typical of your story’s era, time or primary location? Or else, your hook could begin with something out-of-the-ordinary – the tightrope walker between towers of Let The Great World Spin , for example.

6. Imply past or future conflicts

Stories are about change, at root. Nothing is an agent of change like conflict (as the evacuation order leaflets at the start of All the Light We Cannot See show).

As an example, on the first page of God Help the Child by Toni Morrison, we wonder what is so wrong about the narrator’s newborn.

We quickly learn that her worry is driven by colorism, a by-product of racism. The narrator’s child has been born ‘midnight black, Sudanese black’ (p. 3), the mother’s surprise being because she has lighter skin tone herself.

From the first page, this story hook example suggests conflicts at the heart of racism; its comparative prejudices and violences. We wonder how others will treat this child due to a mother’s concern, thus her anxious focus creates narrative suspense.

What past or anticipated conflicts might feature strongly in the opening pages of your story? Find ways to build a hook around their suspense.

7. Build narrative tension

The best story hook examples teach us how to build narrative tension from the start. It may be something as simple as Addie LaRue running for her life from the wedding party. Or else the hush of a crowd craning their necks at a terrifying, aerial spectacle.

To build narrative tension in your hook, you could use just such an attention-grabbing hook:

  • Describe high-stakes events (e.g. a man walking a tightrope between skyscrapers)
  • Imply an immediate struggle or obstacle (for example, the implied hurdles of being ‘other’ in the opening to God Help the Child )
  • Suggest a situation whose outcome could go either way (for example, whether the protagonist will be released from prison or not in Alias Grace )

8. Share relevant backstory

Beginning with a large chunk of backstory that is irrelevant to the main events of your story is not a good way to begin. Your reader may quickly become bored, as writing coach Romy Sommer explains:

An issue I see with a lot of beginner writers is they tend to write the backstory as the story itself. So the first few chapters will be, ‘This thing happened, and then this thing happened…’ Understanding Character Arcs: How to write characters, preview on YouTube

Good story hook examples instead of giving all the backstory tell the reader backstory that is relevant to the current situation.

For example, the petty crime that lead a character to be currently incarcerated. Or the evacuation order that lead to your character’s current hurrying from their home city. This type of hook is useful for revealing just as much as you want to in a few simple sentences.

Relevant backstory tells us just enough to give the present scene context, history, and fuller narrative purpose .

9. Set the story’s tone

Many of the story hook examples listed above set the tone for the story. Addie LaRue’s bid for freedom, to not ‘just’ be anybody’s wife, for example. Or Little Dog’s difficult, complex relationship with his mother in On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous .

How can your story’s hook hint at your story’s primary subjects, themes and symbols?

Writing exercise: ‘Toning’ your hook

Find three adjectives for a hook sentence you’d like to write. For example:

  • Tense, unsettling, eerie
  • Lyrical, languid, mysterious
  • Gritty, fast, loud
  • Silly, quirky, unexpected

Write a sentence to a paragraph while thinking about your three adjectives. How many questions out of the 5 (‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘when’) can you make your reader ask?

Start finessing your story idea now so you have the foundation for a brilliant hook.

Related Posts:

  • Grabbing attention with scene beginnings: 5 tips
  • How to start a novel: Hook readers from page one
  • 10 dialogue tips to hook readers
  • Tags how to write a hook , story openings

hook examples for essays about a book

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

20 replies on “8 story hook examples (how to grab attention)”

Another excellent and practical article, Jordan. Thank you!

Thank you for the kind feedback, MJ! Have a lovely week.

Hi Jordan, so glad I stumbled on this article while researching Hook / Concept! Excellent information and I’ve printed it off (for an anti-clutter frugal printer, that is quite high praise lol). Now off to read your other articles. Thanks!!

Hi Regan, thank you so much for your kind feedback and taking the time to share it. I am only happy to contribute to print-clutter 🙂 It’s a pleasure, have a good week.

Thanks Jordon you help me a lot I am writing a non fiction article I needed to find out about a good hook how to try to hook reader in the first sentence I got it thanks to your explanations if you ever teach writing lessons on how write short stories for children I ready to enlist thanks for your help

Hi Scooter, it’s a pleasure. Penguin has a useful article by Alan Durant on how to write a children’s picture book here that you may find interesting. Happy holidays!

Thank you, Jordan. I found this very helpful! People so often talk about a ‘hook’ and it’s interesting to really break it down to see what makes it work.

Hi Rebecca, it’s a pleasure. I’m glad to hear that! Thank you for reading our blog and have fun working on your story’s hook 🙂

Very helpful. Thanks. Although, I noticed that you use ‘their’ to refer to the woman giving birth, but ‘him’ to the person writing to the mother, whose gender was not revealed in the sentence. sigh. why do we need to erase women? Other than that small observation, very useful info.

Thank you for your feedback and my apologies, definitely no erasure intended. I think the spur-of-the-moment rationale was probably to use the neutral ‘their’ due to the ungendered reference in the immediate sentence (‘the narrator’). Yet since the narrator in question is indeed a woman, I’ve changed it to ‘her’. I’m glad you found this article useful, thank you for reading and sharing.

If you had to pick one story hook, which would you pick, having something blow up or a tiny man shrinking?

Hi Alex, thank you for your question about story hooks. Explosions are fairly standard for action stories, but depending on the context it could be a safe in medias res starting point. But if a man is tiny already, why would he be shrinking? Thanks for reading our blog.

Great article. It helped me a lot with my writing. thanks

So glad to hear that, Sule. It’s a pleasure, thank you for your feedback and for reading our blog.

Excellent examples and a well written article.

Hi Debra, thank you for your kind feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed this article.

I hope this doesn’t annoy you, I’m compelled to rearrange wording until its more clear to me of what’s being said.

We tend to think of hooks strictly in terms of ‘Plot’ with a capital ‘P’. Yet a hook is just as often made from an inviting ‘who’—or compellingly repulsive anti-hero.

Hi Meka, not at all, thank you. I appreciate all help from our readers in making my articles better, especially when feedback is constructive like this. I’ve rewritten that sentence for clarity (I’m always updating articles here thanks to readers’ helpful suggestions). Thanks for sharing.

I’ve struggled for ages to understand hooks and inciting incidents! I’m autistic, and despite having a great logical brain, sometimes it takes the right kind of teaching by breaking down a concept into steps, then “steplets” lmao. I’ve been writing for years, but never actually LEARNED how, if you know what I mean. Now I want to write a proper fanfiction that’s not for kids. I want it to be as scary and spine tingling as possible without being heavy handed. This article helps a ton!!! I’m definitely gonna check out any others and watch the linked videos! Thank you very much for the help! ^–^ ♡♡♡

Thanks Rose. That’s wonderful to hear, so pleased that this is so helpful. Enjoy the videos and the rest of our varied blog posts.

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How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Published: November 24, 2023

Learning the secrets behind an effective essay starts with understanding the power of a hook. Your hook is the opening statement of your introduction and ultimately acts as an invitation to your readers. It invites them to explore the ideas you’re presenting, while also engaging their attention for a long enough time to read your work.

With a great hook, you can improve your writing skills and set the stage for a masterfully written essay. But what else is a good hook able to do? And what kind of hook can you use to write an incredible essay?

This guide (complete with hook sentence examples) will help walk you through the steps of writing a hook and how to use it to boost your grades and make your work more compelling than ever!

What Is An Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening sentence or paragraphs of your essay and is designed to pique the curiosity of your reader while also holding their attention long enough to read the rest of your work. Think about it – would you want to read an essay if the first sentence is long-winded and boring?

Generally, writers use an effective hook to set the tone for the rest of the work and give you a quick look ‘behind the curtain’. The hook tells you exactly what the essay is about in a thoughtful and thought-provoking way that leaves you hungry for more.

For example: “ Did you know that the average person eats around five pounds of shark meat every year? In a shocking study by the Shark Lovers World Organization, it was revealed that around 4% of all fish-based products contain shark meat. ”

Of course, this isn’t true (at least, we hope not!). But it did capture your interest and make you want to find out more. That’s exactly what a hook does.

A good essay hook can keep your readers interested and helps to engage them in what you’re saying. It also leaves a lasting impression on them, which means you’ve accomplished your goal of starting a conversation about your essay topic.

Types Of Essay Hooks

With the many types of essays and writing structures you can use for your work, there are just as many hooks to suit your topic. But which ones are relevant? And which one should you use to effectively introduce your writing?

Below, we’ve listed some of the most common types of essay hooks to help you narrow down your search.

Question hook

If you start your essay with a thought-provoking question, you have a great chance of engaging your readers from the get-go. This is because a question can encourage them to actively think about what you’re saying and spark curiosity about what the real answer to the question is.

It’s important to ensure that your question is relevant and intriguing, but it’s even more important that it aligns with the theme of your essay. Usually, your readers will want to keep reading to find the answers in the body of your essay.

Quotation hook

When you open your essay with a quote from a notable person or reputable organization, you add credibility to your work. This can be particularly important when you’re discussing a topic that needs expertise to build trust.

After you use a relevant quote, you’ll also need to explain why it’s relevant to set the stage for the discussion or argument that you’re presenting.

Statistic hook

Introducing your topic with a compelling statistic or data is another great way to add credibility to your paper. It shows your reader that you’ve done your research, and you have proof to back up the claims that you may be making in the body of your essay.

It’s essential to use statistics that are accurate, though, and they should come from credible sources. Otherwise, you may be undermining your work, which could lead to losing the trust of your reader.

Anecdote hook

The last time I started an essay with an anecdote, my professor gave my work a stellar review and I got the best grades in my class .

Did we grab your attention? Good. That’s how an anecdote hook works. An anecdote is a short personal story that establishes trust with your reader and creates an emotional connection. It can also add a layer of interest to narrative or descriptive essays.

In some essays, you can write an anecdotal hook from the perspective of a fictional character. As long as it sounds like a personal experience, it should reel your readers in.

Surprising statement hook

If you can, try to capture your reader’s attention with a bold or unexpected statement. When you catch them off guard, you can stimulate their curiosity. They’re going to want to keep reading to see how you address or support your surprising statement.

You can use this type of hook in several different ways. Whether you’re challenging a common misconception, giving counterintuitive insights, or presenting intriguing facts that will wow or shock your reader, you can start your essay off on the right note.

Description hook

A description hook helps to engage readers by painting an image or setting a scene using descriptive language. Typically, it appeals to the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) and describes something in enough detail that it makes the reader feel as if they’re actually experiencing it for themselves!

This type of hook is suited for narrative or descriptive essays because it allows you to set the tone, establish a certain atmosphere, and even evoke an emotional response in your reader. In turn, the reader becomes fully immersed in the scene that you’re setting.

How To Write A Great Essay Hook

Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to put your pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and write a hook that will draw readers in and keep them reading. If you follow the steps we’ve outlined below, you’re sure to craft a hook that will reel in your audience – hook, line, and sinker .

1. Know your audience

Knowing your audience is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when you’re writing an essay hook. Are you writing for your teachers, peers, or a broader audience? Once you know that, you can move on to understanding their motives, and values, and how their emotions will affect how impactful your hook is.

Creating a connection with your audience grabs the reader’s attention and encourages them to keep reading your essay. And, by fostering this connection, you can make them more receptive to the message you’re trying to convey.

2. Understand the purpose of your essay

Before you can write your hook, you’ll need to know what the purpose of your essay is. Generally, your essay will try to inform, persuade, or narrate your subject. Either way, narrowing down the motivation behind writing the essay will help you on your quest to write a hook that suits your writing.

Your hook should always align with the concept of your essay since it’s used to introduce the main theme or argument. You can think of it as a preview of what you’re going to talk about – it gives your readers a glimpse into the direction of your written work and sets expectations for what your essay will cover.

3. Choose the right type of hook

The type of essay hook you choose significantly impacts your essay’s style and whether it will keep your reader’s interest. You can pick from a question, quotation, anecdotal hook, or any of the others we’ve listed.

By carefully selecting what types of hook sentences will captivate your reader and establish the right tone for your essay, you’re guaranteed to have a compelling introduction. You just need to make sure that your hook suits the essay you’re writing.

For example, if you’re writing a personal story hook as an introduction to a historical essay that relies on a chronological structure, it wouldn’t be very impactful. Instead, a quotation or statistic hook may be better suited to an academic essay like this.

4. Make sure your hook is relevant

Relevance is the key to creating a compelling essay hook. The hook should always connect to the topic of your essay, and the link between the two needs to be clear from the get-go.

This does mean, however, that you need to avoid unrelated information in your hook. Keeping with the example of writing a historical essay, we can illustrate this point perfectly.

Say you’re writing an essay on World War II, and you’ve chosen a statistical hook to open your writing. Adding statistics about coffee sales during the same time period is completely irrelevant and won’t have much of an impact.

Unrelated hooks can confuse your audience and completely lose the reader’s interest. On the other hand, a focused and relevant hook can grab the reader’s attention and make your essay more exciting.

5. Spark curiosity

The way that you phrase your essay hook is just as important as the type of hook you use. Ideally, your hook should excite the reader and spark curiosity that makes them want to keep reading.

A poorly worded hook can be confusing or – let’s face it – boring! And you don’t want to bore your audience before they even get past your introduction. Whether you’re asking a question or introducing the topic for your ideas, your hook should set the stage for the rest of your essay.

You may need to use some creativity for this step. But putting yourself in the shoes of your reader can help. Ask yourself ‘What would make me want to keep reading?’. Your answer is usually a good place to start!

6. Keep it short

Although an attention-grabbing hook is ideal, it’s essential to keep it short. You should focus on using impactful language that can effectively convey your message. This is mainly because a shorter hook can keep your reader’s attention without overwhelming them with too much information.

Remember, it’s all about balance. When it comes to essay hooks, you want to strike a balance between capturing your audience’s attention and giving them a concise overview of what your essay is about.

7. Tweak the tone

The tone of your hook sets up the tone for the rest of your essay – so it’s pretty important that you align your tone with the topic. To do this, you first have to ask yourself what the tone is . Is it serious? Or perhaps you want to come across as humorous? Either way, you’ll want to maintain a consistent tone throughout.

A good example of this would be when writing a personal essay. In this case, an anecdote hook would be a great way to kick off your writing. However, if your personal story is serious, a funny anecdote isn’t necessarily the best choice. Instead, you’ll want to pick an anecdote that matches the seriousness of what you’re discussing in the body of your work.

8. Revise your hook with Smodin

After you’ve written your hook, it might still need a little nip and tuck to go from almost perfect to perfectly polished. To do this, you can use several different techniques to rewrite it.

But the easiest way to ensure that your hook is bulletproof is to use Smodin’s AI Paraphrasing tool . It can spin your words to sound like it was crafted by an expert – in a matter of seconds. It’s also a good way to avoid plagiarism and check your text to see how well it performs (the flow, tone, and relevance).

You can also use our free AI Writer to generate a unique, plagiarism-free, and professional essay in just a few prompts. This can help you draft a rough copy of your work before making any adjustments or modifications to your final product.

Catchy Hook Examples For Your Essay

With a better understanding of the types of essay hooks, and how to use them, you are well on your way to crafting an effective and attention-grabbing introduction to your writing. But, if you still need a little help with tailoring hook types to suit your writing structure, take a look at some of these examples of hooks for different types of essays:

Argumentative essay hook examples

Statistical hook: “ According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate around 4.48 pounds of trash every day. This highlights the urgent need for recyclable products and packaging to address this pressing issue. ”

Question hook: “ Have you ever wondered how our experiences as children impact our daily lives and our resulting choices as adults? This critical question has prompted us to explore the topic of childhood trauma and the profound implications that it could have on our futures. ”

Persuasive essay hook examples

Statistic hook: “ Did you know that over 1.3 million tons of plastic waste are dumped into our oceans every year? This alarming statistic demands our attention and immediate action to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution. ”

Surprising statement: “ In a world that’s run by technology, it’s shocking to realize that the average person spends more time in their day scrolling through social media than sleeping. The digital age has not only revolutionized communication but has also left us questioning the true value of our time and relationships. ”

Narrative essay hook examples

Anecdotal hook: “ Raindrops tapped lightly on the window pane, and the slight rustling of the leaves seemed to whisper secrets in the wind. Little did I know that this ordinary evening would soon become an extraordinary chapter in the story of my life. It all began with a letter—an old, weathered envelope that held the key to a long-buried family mystery .”

Question hook: “ Have you ever wondered what it feels like to stand at the edge of a cliff, staring into the vast unknown below? The adrenaline coursing through your veins, the wind tousling your hair—each moment pregnant with the possibility of adventure. What if I told you that such a moment would change the course of my life forever? ”

Compare and contrast essay hook examples

Quotation hook: “ In the words of Aristotle, ‘Excellence is an art won by training and habituation’. As we delve into the realms of two seemingly disparate subjects, we must consider how their unique qualities and shared traits contribute to the pursuit of excellence in their own distinct ways. ”

Anecdote hook: “ As the sun went down, the city lit up with its busy streets, and I stood there, feeling stuck between two different places—the lively city and the peaceful countryside. In that moment, I noticed how city life and rural living are alike in some ways but also have their unique features. ”

Can I use the same type of hook for different essays?

While some hooks are versatile, it’s best to tailor your hook to the specific essay you’re writing and the topic you’re covering. You’ll need to consider the audience, purpose, and nature of your writing before choosing a hook.

Can I use a combination of different types of hooks in one essay?

Yes, you can experiment with combining different types of essay hooks in your writing, especially if your topic allows for different approaches. However, you should always make sure to include a smooth transition between the hooks and keep them simple. Otherwise, you risk confusing your reader.

Writing catchy hooks is more than just finding something clever to say at the opening of your essay. It’s about leaving an impression on your reader that will carry through the body of your work and leave them hanging on every word you say. Ultimately, your hook can make or break your essay.

With Smodin, coming up with, writing, and revising your hook is as simple as one, two, three. So why not try out our tools to streamline your writing process? There’s nothing to lose – and everything to gain!

Definition of Hook

Have you ever read a book that could not grab your attention after reading a couple of sentences? On the contrary, you would have definitely read a book that has immediately captured your attention, after which you were unable to put it down. Some books are magnetic, while others are really boring. One of the reasons could be the narrative hook.

Knowing this, authors share an important literary technique to keep their readers engaged in their stories, which is hook , or Narrative hook , which keep readers’ interest alive in the book. It appears at the beginning of the story , and may contain several pages of a novel , several paragraphs of a short story , or it might be only an opening sentence , or a single line.

Types of Hook

There are several types of hook:

  • dramatic action,
  • mysterious setting ,
  • engaging characters ; and
  • thematic statements.

Examples of Hook in Literature

Example #1: ragweed (by avi).

We come to know, from the very first line of Avi’s novel Ragweed , that this story will be a comical reading experience, as it reads:

“ Ma, a mouse has to do what a mouse has to do. “

A young countryside mouse named Ragweed leaves his big family behind and sets out to live an adventurous life in the big city. There he encounters some cool dudes and dudettes from the mouse family. Ragweed also faces extreme danger from cats, especially the founding member of F.E.A.R., Willy Silversides.

Willy, along with the vice president, decides to go to any length in order to defeat their arch-nemeses to the point of devastating the Cheese Squeeze Club. Now it is the time for Ragweed to come up with a cunning strategy and muster the courage to defeat the Felines First Brigade. However, this hook has played an important role in making the story attractive.

Example #2: Pride and Prejudice (By Jane Austen)

The first sentence of Jane Austen ’s novel Pride and Prejudice , is one of the most famous first lines in literature, saying:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

This line sets the plot ’s mood , and captures the attention of readers due to its contrariness and notoriety. It also tells about the marriage theme of this novel, and introduces ironic tone , which Austen uses structurally and verbally throughout the novel. The Author presents a thematic statement about the value of love and marriage in a society where women have difficulty finding husbands amid class prejudice and financial snobbery.

Example #3: A Tale of Two Cities (By Charles Dickens)

One of the most famous and brilliant opening lines in all of literature occurs in Charles Dickens ’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities :

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …”

This line hints at the central tension that occurs between family and love, and between oppression and hatred. These opposing ideals show prominent structural figures, like Paris and London , Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, and Madame Defarge and Miss Pross. The tone of the entire novel is set by this famous sentence.

Example #4: Feed (By M. T. Anderson)

Readers cannot resist an alarmingly satirical line of M. T. Anderson’s novel Feed, which reads:

“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”

This line helps to set the stage for the novel’s plot about a futuristic world, which is overrun by uncontrolled consumerism, and where humans implant computer chips in most of the infants at birth. Children do not need to go to schools, since they can Google to get information that they might need, and people need not converse with anyone, as they can IM instantly. Hence, the first catchy line gives an indication about the theme of this narrative, and hooks the readers’ attention.

Function of Hook

Authors use hook as a critical component of their writing, as it allows them to demonstrate to readers how their literary works are worth reading within the first minute. This literary technique hooks the attention of readers and appeals to their minds. Readers also get a great sense of entertainment through strong and meaningful opening lines that might stick in their heads forever. We frequently find the use of narrative hook in mystery fiction and suspense thrillers . Besides, authors use it in a number of ways, such as by employing thematic statements and mysterious settings, or using characters.

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hook examples for essays about a book

hook examples for essays about a book

How to Write a Hook: Start Off Your Essay Strong with This Guide

hook examples for essays about a book

What is a Hook for an Essay: Importance and Purpose

Which section of your essay can make your readers dip their toes into your writing? Is it the body paragraphs where all the analysis is laid out? Or maybe the introduction, where you present your thesis statement and voice your perspective on the subject? Well, if you think it is the latter, then we must agree with your decision. However, let's get more specific; if we take the introductory paragraph to pieces, which piece gets the most recognition? You must have guessed from the article's title that we're talking about a hook. But first, let's define what is a hook for an essay before we walk you through the reasons why it deserves our pat on the back.

The hook is the initial sentence in a written work. Whether you're asking how to write a hook for a song, blog post, or term paper, know that the purpose of any effective hook is to seize the reader's attention. It can be one sentence long, often for shorter pieces, or composed of several lines - usually for larger pieces. Making the reader want to keep reading is what an essay hook accomplishes for your paper, just as an intriguing introduction does for any piece.

Our main emphasis in this guide is on creating a good hook for an essay. Nonetheless, these fundamental guidelines apply to nearly every format for communicating with your audience. Whether writing a personal statement, a speech, or a presentation, making a solid first impression is crucial to spur your readers into action.

How to Write a Hook for Different Kinds of Writing

Although it is a tough skill to master, understanding how to write a hook is crucial for academic writing success. By reviewing the most prevalent kinds of essay hooks, you can discover how to effectively captivate readers from the start and generate a hook that is ideal for your article. To do so, let's head over to the following sections prepared by our dissertation writers .

essay hooks

How to Write a Hook for a College Essay?

By mastering how to write a hook for a college essay, you have the opportunity to stand out from the hundreds of applicants with identical academic portfolios to yours in your college essay. It should shed light on who you are, represent your true nature, and show your individuality. But first, you need an attention-grabbing start if you want the admissions committee to read more of yours than theirs. For this, you'll require a strong hook.

Set the Scene

When wondering how to write a good hook for an essay, consider setting the scene. Open in the middle of a key moment, plunge in with vivid details and conversation to keep your essay flowing and attract the reader. Make the reader feel like they are seeing a moment from your life and have just tuned in.

Open with an Example

Starting with a specific example is also a great idea if you're explaining how you acquired a particular skill or unique accomplishment. Then, similar to how you established the scenario above, you may return to this point later and discuss its significance throughout the remaining sections.

Open with an Anecdote

Using an anecdotal hook doesn't necessarily mean that your essay should also be humorous. The joke should be short and well-aimed to achieve the best results. To assist the reader in visualizing the situation and understanding what you are up against when tackling a task or overcoming a challenge, you might also use a funny irony. And if this sounds too overwhelming to compose, buy an essay on our platform and let our expert writers convey your unmatched story!

How to Write a Hook for an Argumentative Essay?

If you write a strong hook, your instructor will be compelled to read your argument in the following paragraphs. So, put your creative thinking cap on while crafting the hook, and write in a way that entices readers to continue reading the essay.

Use Statistics

Statistics serve as a useful hook because they encourage research. When used in argumentative writing, statistics can introduce readers to previously undiscovered details and data. That can greatly increase their desire to read your article from start to finish. You can also consider this advice when unsure how to write a good hook for a research paper. Especially if you're conducting a quantitative study, a statistic hook can be a solid start.

Use a Common Misconception

Another answer to your 'how to write a hook for an argumentative essay' question is to use a common misconception. What could be a better way to construct an interesting hook, which should grab readers' attention, than to incorporate a widely held misconception? A widespread false belief is one that many people hold to be true. When you create a hook with a misinterpretation, you startle your readers and immediately capture their interest.

How to Write a Hook for a Persuasive Essay?

The finest hooks for a persuasive essay capture the reader's interest while leading them to almost unconsciously support your position even before they are aware of it. You can accomplish this by employing the following hook ideas for an essay:

Ask a Rhetorical Question

By posing a query at the outset of your essay, you may engage the reader's critical thinking and whet their appetite for the solution you won't provide until later. Try to formulate a question wide enough for them to not immediately know the answer and detailed enough to avoid becoming a generic hook.

Use an Emotional Appeal

This is a fantastic approach to arouse sympathy and draw the reader into your cause. By appealing to the reader's emotions, you may establish a bond that encourages them to read more and get invested in the subject you cover.

Using these strategies, you won't have to wonder how to write a hook for a persuasive essay anymore!

How to Write a Hook for a Literary Analysis Essay?

Finding strong essay openers might be particularly challenging when writing a literary analysis. Coming up with something very remarkable on your own while writing about someone else's work is no easy feat. But we have some expert solutions below:

Use Literary Quotes

Using a literary quote sounds like the best option when unsure how to write a hook for a literary analysis essay. Nonetheless, its use is not restricted to that and is mostly determined by the style and meaning of the quotes. Still, when employing literary quotes, it's crucial to show two things at once: first, how well you understand the textual information. And second, you know how to capture the reader's interest right away.

Employ Quotes from Famous People

This is another style of hook that is frequently employed in literary analysis. But if you wonder how to write a good essay hook without sounding boring, choose a historical person with notable accomplishments and keep your readers intrigued and inspired to read more.

How to Write a Hook for an Informative Essay?

In an informative essay, your ultimate goal is to not only educate your audience but also engage and keep them interested from the very beginning. For this, consider the following:

Start with a Fact or Definition

You might begin your essay with an interesting fact or by giving a definition related to your subject. The same standard applies here for most types mentioned above: it must be intriguing, surprising, and/or alarming.

Ask Questions that Relate to Your Topic

Another solution to 'How to write a hook for an informative essay?' is to introduce your essay with a relevant question. This hook lets you pique a reader's interest in your essay and urge them to keep reading as they ponder the answer.

Need a Perfect Article?

Hire a professional to write a top-notch essay or paper for you! Click the button below to get custom essay help.

Expert-Approved Tips for Writing an Essay Hook

Are you still struggling with the ideal opening sentence for your essay? Check out some advice from our essay helper on how to write a hook sentence and make your opening stand out.

good essay hook

  • Keep your essay type in mind . Remember to keep your hook relevant. An effective hook for an argumentative or descriptive essay format will differ greatly. Therefore, the relevancy of the hook might be even more important than the content it conveys.
  • Decide on the purpose of your hook . When unsure how to write a hook for an essay, try asking the following questions: What result are you hoping to get from it? Would you like your readers to be curious? Or, even better, surprised? Perhaps even somewhat caught off guard? Determine the effect you wish to accomplish before selecting a hook.
  • Choose a hook at the end of the writing process. Even though it should be the first sentence of your paper, it doesn't mean you should write your hook first. Writing an essay is a long and creative process. So, if you can't think of an effective hook at the beginning, just keep writing according to your plan, and it will eventually come into your head. If you were lucky enough to concoct your hook immediately, double-check your writing to see if it still fits into the whole text and its style once you've finished writing.
  • Make it short . The shorter, the better – this rule works for essay hooks. Keeping your hook to a minimum size will ensure that readers will read it at the same moment they start looking at your essay. Even before thinking if they want or don't want to read it, their attention will be captured, and their curiosity will get the best of them. So, they will continue reading the entire text to discover as much as possible.

Now you know how to write a good hook and understand that a solid hook is the difference between someone delving further into your work or abandoning it immediately. With our hook examples for an essay, you can do more than just write a great paper. We do not doubt that you can even write a winning term paper example right away!

Try to become an even better writer with the help of our paper writing service . Give them the freedom to write superior hooks and full essays for you so you may learn from them!

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What Is A Good Hook For An Essay?

How to write a hook for an essay, what is a good hook for an argumentative essay.

Adam Jason

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

hook examples for essays about a book

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Learn How to Write an Essay Hook, With Examples

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Are your essays failing to keep readers interested? Struggling to maintain engagement throughout? 

If you don't grab attention from the start, readers might click away or never even begin. But how can we make sure that does not happen? 

An essay hook is what you need to meet this challenge. It is an attention grabber that hooks your reader’s interest. 

In this blog, we'll explain how to write an essay hook and explore several engaging examples of hooks in writing. Additionally, we'll look at different types of hooks and offer tips for writing engaging hook statements in your essays.

So, let’s start with the blog!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is an Essay Hook?
  • 2. How to Write a Good Essay Hook?
  • 3. Different Types of Hook
  • 4. Hook Examples for Types of Essays
  • 5. Tips to Choose a Good Hook

What is an Essay Hook?

Hooks for essays, often found at the beginning of an essay introduction , serve as an opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. These hooks are a common feature in high school, college, and various academic assignments.

Keep in mind that hooks are not the same as introductions; they complement introductions and make them engaging. A good hook should be self-contained, avoiding the pitfalls of being dull or predictable.

Purpose of Hook in Writing

An effective hook serves two primary purposes. 

  • Firstly, it sets the tone for the essay by giving a sneak peek into what it's about.
  • Secondly, it creates an engaging start that makes the reader want to explore the essay further.

How to Write a Good Essay Hook?

Here are the points that you need to keep in mind to write a hook for your essay. 

Step#1 Know the Kind of Literary Work

First, it is important to have a clear vision in mind of the literary work you have selected for your paper. Here you need to describe what a certain essay type demands and what types of techniques you require to support your arguments in your essay. 

Step#2 Create an Outline

Always create an essay outline to see how the information can be organized better and which points need to be highlighted. Try to find an attention grabber that adds to the significance of that point. 

Step#3 Who are You Writing for? 

Know your target audience and choose a way in which you want to develop your work. Your hook statement should be according to it. If you are writing for students, write in simple language. If you are writing for professionals, take the specific language into account. 

Step#4 Know the Purpose of Writing Your Essay

Choose hooks that fit your paper. Know the type of essay you are writing and its purpose. You can go for funny hooks if you are writing a paper on a light topic. If you are writing a conference paper, then you should be more formal. 

Step#5 Revise and Refine

After writing your hook, revise it to ensure it's polished and impactful. Ask yourself if it effectively grabs attention and sets the stage for your essay. 

Different Types of Hook

Let’s take a look at different types of essay hooks and explain them briefly with examples. 

Type 1: Question Hook

A question hook is when you start something, like a story or an essay, by asking a question. It's a way to immediately get people thinking about what you're going to say next. It's like hooking their attention by making them wonder and want to find out the answer.

When posing a question, think about the interest of the reader and the things they would want to learn more about. Avoid making your question generalized or simple Yes or No questions. 

For example, asking a general question such as “Do you watch television?” won’t grab their attention and make them think it over. 

Always use rhetorical questions!

Question Hook Example

 Here are some hook question examples:

Type 2: Anecdotal Hook

An anecdotal hook is like starting your essay with a short, interesting story or personal experience. It catches someone's attention by sharing a real-life example or a funny incident before getting to the main topic.

This type of hook should be directly related to the central theme of the paper, showing its relevance and connection to the main idea.

Anecdotal hooks shouldn't contain cliched phrases or unrealistic scenarios that feel fake or unrelated to the essay topic.

Anecdote Hook Example

Let’s take a look at the anecdotal hook example: 

Type 3: Quotation Hook

A "quote hook" is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay with a quotation from a notable person, a famous author, or a respected source. The purpose of a quote hook is to instantly capture the reader's attention and establish the relevance of the topic by providing an authoritative statement.

A well-chosen quote can add credibility to your writing, evoke emotion, or introduce a key theme that you intend to explore in your essay. It can also set the tone for the piece, whether it's persuasive, informative, or narrative.

Quotation Hook Example

For example, if you're writing an essay about the importance of perseverance, you might start with a quote like this:

Type 4: Statistical Facts Hooks 

Statistical facts hooks are when you start an essay with numbers or data to grab people's attention. The purpose of a statistical facts hook is to engage the reader's interest by presenting them with a surprising, statistic related to the essay's topic.

This type of hook is particularly effective when writing an informative essay or persuasive essay that relies on data and evidence to support the main argument. 

Statistical Hook Example

Take a look at the sample statistical hook below:

Type 5: Personal Story Hook 

Starting a piece of writing with a personal short story is a good idea when writing narrative essays or a college application essay .

It doesn’t have to be an experience that you faced firsthand; it could be something that happened with a friend or a relative.

Personal Story Hook Example 

Here is what a good personal story hook looks like: 

Type 6: Description Hook

This type of hook is like painting a picture with words. Instead of jumping right into the action or topic, it starts by vividly describing something related to the main idea. 

This draws readers in by appealing to their senses and creating a clear image in their minds. It sets the scene and gets them interested in what's to come. Descriptive hooks are most commonly used in narrative essays but can be used in any type of writing. 

Description Hook Essay Example

Here is an example of a description hook: 

Type 7: Metaphor/Simile Hook

A metaphor or simile hook is like comparing something in your essay to something else, using words like "as" or "like."It directly compares two things that are not related to each other. 

It's a way to paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind, making your point more interesting and memorable.

Metaphor/Simile Hook Example

Let’s take a look at the metaphor/simile hook example:

Type 8: Common Misconception Hook

This type of hook starts by talking about something that most people believe, but then reveals that it's actually not true. It's like saying something surprising to make your reader curious and interested in what you're going to say next.

Avoid adding information that's too complex or confusing, keeping it simple and straightforward to maintain clarity and impact.

Common Misconception Hook Example

Here is a sample common misconception hook: 

Hook Examples for Types of Essays

In academics, there are different types of essays according to their structure and purpose.  For instance, an argumentative essay is a serious essay written to persuade the reader of an argument. Whereas a narrative essay could be a light-hearted narration of an event. 

You can not use a funny question to start an argumentative essay. Similarly, you can not use a serious fact to start a funny narrative essay. 

The table shows hook examples for different types of essays:

Let’s explore in detail some interesting hook examples according to different types of essays.

Expository Essay Hook Example -

Argumentative essay hook example.

Here are two different hook examples for argumentative essay:

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Descriptive Essay Hook Example 

A hook example sentence for a descriptive essay is as follows: 

Persuasive Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a persuasive essay is as follows:

Narrative Essay Hook Example 

A hook example for narration is as follows:

Compare and Contrast Essay Hook Example

Here is a sample hook: 

Process Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a process analysis essay is as follows:

Cause and Effect Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a cause and effect essay is as follows:

Analytical Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for an analytical essay is as follows:

Informative Essay Hook Example

Here is a hook example for an informative essay:

Research Paper Hook Example

Here is a hook example for research paper :

Hook Examples In Speeches

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Tips to Choose a Good Hook

Choosing a good hook involves engaging your audience, creating interest, and setting the stage for your content. Here is how to choose a good hook: 

  • Know Your Audience: Understand the interests and preferences of your target audience.
  • Relevance is Key: Ensure your hook directly relates to your content's topic.
  • Shock or Surprise: Use shocking facts, surprising statistics, or intriguing anecdotes.
  • Tell a Story: Engage emotionally with personal stories or narratives.
  • Pose a Question: Ask thought-provoking questions that make readers curious.
  • Quotations: Share powerful quotes from relevant authorities.
  • Visual Imagery: Use descriptive language to create vivid mental images.
  • Conciseness: Keep your hook brief and to the point.

To Sum it Up!

Now you know the different ways to start your essay or research paper. You are the one to decide which hook is better and more effective to use according to the type of paper. Don’t forget to take into account the preparatory steps and figure out what type of hook is best to use. You know that starting with a hook can make or break your academic essay. However, it is not always easy to come up with the perfect anecdote or statement for an opening line. 

Luckily, you can get help from MyPerfectWords.com . Our team of professional writers is ready to craft impeccable essays tailored to your needs, ensuring academic success without the stress.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good hook sentence.

FAQ Icon

A good hook sentence is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention or compels them to read your essay further. It is supposed to make your essay more interesting and engaging for them. 

What comes first, thesis or hook?

The hook of your essay is the first line of your introductory paragraph or can be more than one also. But the essay hook is written first. A thesis statement follows it. It is included as a mini-outline of the essay and tells the readers about the essay’s content. 

What is a hook statement?

The hook is the first sentence of your introduction, and it should be interesting. A great way to start a strong introduction is by writing an engaging, concise, and clear hook. This will spark curiosity in the reader, which leads them through all that you have written about.

How long is a hook in an essay?

The hook is 1-2 sentences of your essay are important because they help capture the reader's attention. They will continue reading if they are interested in what you have to say.

What is the difference between a hook vs lead-in transition to the thesis?

A hook captures the reader's attention at the beginning of an essay with an intriguing statement or question. A lead-in transition smoothly connects the hook to the thesis statement, guiding the reader from the attention-grabbing opening to the main argument of the essay.

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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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How to Write a Hook for a Book

Last Updated: February 22, 2024 Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 83% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 82,973 times.

Writing a “hook” can mean 2 different things and will require 2 different methods. You may be trying to write a first line for your book that draws your reader into the story right away and encourages them to turn the page. Or you may be creating a hook summary for a book to promote your book to a publisher or to readers. You can create either “hook” using a few straightforward steps.

Writing a Hook First Line

Step 1 Create a strong, engaging description.

  • For your first line, you can use a strong, interesting description to describe an image of your main character in action. For example, the first line of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 : “Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice.” This is a strong opening because the main character is introduced to the reader right away, he is placed in a setting, and he has an issue he has to deal with.
  • You can also start with a description of the setting of your book. For example, the first line of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit : “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” [3] X Research source This is a simple, direct opening that capture the reader’s attention.

Step 2 Start at a pivotal plot point.

  • For example, the opening line of Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden : “It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told.” [4] X Research source This is a good hook opening line because it places the reader in the action, creating a situation that suggests danger or fear for the “little girl.” This is also known as an “in medias res” opening.

Step 3 Introduce a compelling narrative voice.

  • For example, the opening line of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone : “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” [7] X Research source This is a third person narrative voice that has attitude and color to it, drawing readers into the story.
  • The first line of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita is another good example, as the novel begins: “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.” [8] X Research source Right away the reader is prepared for a unique narrator who is not afraid to embellish, entertain, and disturb.

Step 4 Start with an unusual set up.

  • For example, the opening lines of Nick Hornby’s novel Juliet, Naked : “They had flown from England to Minneapolis to look at a toilet.” [11] X Research source This first line pulls the reader in right away and sets up a strange, engaging situation.

Step 5 Write to your audience.

  • For example, if you are writing a book with a reader who is young adult, you may start the story with a young adult in mind. Consider what details or moments you might include if you were writing for a young adult.
  • This may also be a useful tactic if you are writing a hook for a book that is non-fiction, as you may consider what fact, anecdote, or moment in the history you are writing about would most spark your reader’s interest.

Creating a Hook Summary for a Book

Step 1 Recognize the purpose of the hook.

  • Your hook should grab your reader’s attention in 30 seconds and act like the elevator pitch for your book. Having a strong hook in your book proposal or in the marketing material for your book can make it seem more attractive to an editor or a literary agent.
  • Your hook should also explain how your book is different from the other books that are currently available. If you are writing in a specific genre, the hook should also tell your reader how and why your book is different from the other books published in that genre.

Step 2 Use the active voice.

  • Most hooks for a book are written in the present tense, rather than the past tense, to make the hook feel more active to the reader. You should try to always use the present tense to describe the action in the book.

Step 3 Address the main plot.

  • You should use engaging nouns in your hook to describe the main plot. Avoid too many adjectives or adverbs. You want the hook to be descriptive, but not long-winded or too full of descriptors. When in doubt, simple is better for the hook.
  • Make sure you do not reveal the ending of the book in the hook, only the main plot. The ending of the book should be included in your synopsis of the book, not in the hook.

Step 4 Focus on character and action, rather than theme.

  • You can try the following formula to create your hook, using character and action: “When [opening conflict] happens to [characters], they must [overcome conflict] to [complete their quest].”
  • For example, the hook for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone could be: “When a Dark Lord murders a boy wizard’s parents, he must train for the battle for his life to save his friends and the wizarding world.” This hook is simple and straightforward, so it will be more likely to entice readers.

Step 5 Read the hook out loud and revise it.

  • You can then revise the hook so it is more concise and to the point. Your hook should be no longer than 1 to 2 sentences and should leave the reader wanting to read your book in full.

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You Might Also Like

Write a Descriptive Paragraph

  • ↑ http://writeitsideways.com/6-ways-to-hook-your-readers-from-the-very-first-line/
  • ↑ http://www.time4writing.com/learning-how-to-write/starting-with-a-hook/
  • ↑ https://bookriot.com/2016/09/21/the-37-best-lines-from-the-hobbit/
  • ↑ https://bookriot.com/2019/11/15/first-line-of-harry-potter/
  • ↑ https://pen.org/multimedia/opening-lines-lolita/
  • ↑ https://www.kibin.com/essay-writing-blog/good-hook-sentences/
  • ↑ http://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/8-tips-for-writing-a-powerful-hook-for-your-book-proposal/
  • ↑ http://www.rachellegardner.com/writing-a-one-sentence-summary/

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Christopher Taylor, PhD

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How to Write a Hook

How to do footnotes, how to write a synthesis essay, how to write a 5 paragraph essay, how to write an opinion essay.

Lesley J. Vos

When writing a good essay, you want to capture the reader’s attention from the very first sentence to keep them focused throughout the following text. The ‘hook’ of an essay is that opening sentence – the first impression that sets the tone for the rest of your writing. It’s the bait you use to catch your readers, urging them to continue going deeper into the text. And since it is kind of an art form, you need a certain knowledge to craft perfect hooks. In the guide below we will give all the necessary details on how to make a good hook, so you better don’t skip on reading this article the whole way through.

Hooks for Essays: What Are Those?

An essay hook is essentially the first one or two sentences of your essay. Sometimes though (if it is relevant to your writing) it can even take the space of the whole first paragraph. Its main purpose is to intrigue your audience and pique their interest, compelling them to continue reading.  If you are wondering why you need a well-crafted hook here are just a few reasons off the top of our heads:

  • To draw in the readers 
  • To seamlessly connect to the broader theme or argument of your essay. Depending on the type of essay you are writing, your hook can be in the form of a question, a surprising statistic or fact, an anecdote, a quote, or even a vivid description.
  • To set the tone for the rest of your writing

See, you don’t write your text just for yourself – you are doing it for your audience, whoever that might be. That’s why you need to make your reader want to stick out till the end of the text, and do that from the very beginning.

Top Hook Sentence Starters: Types and Examples

If you ask different writers, some of them might say that a rhetorical question makes a good hook, or that adding a quote is a much better way to start your writing. The thing is, all of these statements are true. There are several ways to create good hooks for argumentative essays. Choosing the one for you will depend on the audience, your writing style, and the topic of your text.

You may have seen that a lot of texts (not just essays, for that matter) start with some kind of quote, either from a book, article, a famous person, or even the writer’s relative or friend.  The reason behind this is that it is rather a simple way to intrigue the reader from the very beginning.

Quotes are compact and mostly widely recognizable, and they present the main idea of your text right away. To find a fitting quote, you can explore classic literature, speeches by influential figures, research articles, or even poetry. The key is to select a quote that aligns with the essay’s subject and contributes meaningfully to the argument or narrative being constructed. 

How to Write a Hook

❓Rhetorical Question

A rhetorical question is a query that’s posed for its persuasive effect rather than a direct answer. By asking a question, you directly engage the reader, prompting them to consider their own stance or feelings regarding the topic at hand, thus creating a deeper personal connection between them and the text they read.

Essays that stand to benefit most from a rhetorical question as a hook are those that aim to explore moral dilemmas, provoke critical thinking, or challenge conventional beliefs. This type of hook is ideally suited for audiences who enjoy intellectual engagement and are prepared to contemplate complex issues. A well-built rhetorical question should be open-ended, avoiding simple yes or no answers, and should ideally lead seamlessly into the argument or thesis of your essay.

How to Write a Hook

📊Statistic/Fact

Integrating a fact or statistic into your essay’s opening can instantly ground your reader in the reality of your topic. It offers them a tangible piece of evidence that vividly shows the importance of the issue you present. This type of hook is particularly effective in persuasive or argumentative essays where empirical evidence can support your stance right away. A compelling fact or statistic surprises (or shocks) the reader as well as provides a solid foundation for the arguments that follow. This makes it easier for your audience to appreciate the significance of your essay.

How to Write a Hook

Anecdotes are brief, engaging stories showcasing a slice of life. This can help reveal the essay’s theme, making the topic relatable and memorable to the audience. An anecdote hook works exceptionally well in narrative and college application essays, or pieces designed to evoke an emotional response or deeper understanding of a universal human experience.

To make your anecdote work as a hook, you can use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method. Using this approach, you structure your story by first setting the scene (Situation), then describing the purpose (Task), detailing what was done (Action), and, finally, revealing the outcome (Result).

How to Write a Hook

🧐Common misconception

Starting with a common misconception is a dynamic way of engaging with the audience. With such a hook you can challenge their beliefs and assumptions. Using a widely held but incorrect belief, you immediately create a narrative tension that compels the reader to continue, eager to uncover the truth. This method is particularly effective in essays that aim to debunk myths, promote critical thinking, or introduce lesser-known facts about popular topics.

How to Write a Hook

✍️Description

Descriptions are mostly used to transport the audience into the discussed scene or subject matter This technique involves painting a detailed picture with words and using sensory descriptions to evoke the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures relevant to your essay’s topic. Description hooks are particularly effective in narrative essays, descriptive pieces, travel writing, and essays aiming to evoke a strong sense of place or atmosphere.

How to Write a Hook

Jokes tend to lighten the mood especially if the topic lends itself to a humorous approach. Therefore, using it as your opening statement can spark joy or amusement in your readers, making them want to stay for a heartwarming story. This type of hook is mostly used to set a friendly and approachable tone for the piece. Note though, that your joke needs to balance humor with the serious intentions of the essay, providing an inviting entry point without undermining the piece’s overall message or purpose.

How to Write a Hook

Key Steps & Tips on How to Write a Hook

Now, you know what a hook is and what types of opening sentences there can be. Overall, this knowledge is enough for you to understand how to start your essay in an attention-grabbing manner. However, we have a few notes on how you can build your writing process specifically to create a compelling hook:

  • Understand Your Audience : Tailor your hook to the interests and expectations of your readers. Consider the style and level of formality that will work for your audience.
  • Define the Tone of Your Essay : The overall tone of your essay is important, and the first sentence or two should also be written in the same style. Whether it’s serious, humorous, or somewhere in between, stick to the initial way of writing.
  • Make it Relevant : Your first sentence needs to be relevant to your essay’s main theme or argument. After all, you don’t want to confuse your reader.
  • Keep it Concise : As a hook is just an opening statement, it should be brief and impactful, setting the stage without overwhelming the audience.
  • Experiment : Don’t be afraid to try different types of hooks to see what works best for your essay. After all, all texts are different.

We have also a few extra tips on how to make your first couple of sentences more authentic and gripping. For example, you can use sensory details to add depth and imagery to your words. It especially works for description hooks. Be careful with cliches and popular phrases though. Besides, don’t give away too much information in your hook – leave your readers wanting more.  Have fun with it, play around with words, and maybe add puns. Writing a hook can be a creative and exciting process, so embrace it.

What Makes The Good Hooks for Essays

What fundamentally distinguishes a compelling hook from a bland one is its ability to instantly grasp the reader’s attention and seamlessly connect them to the core theme of the writing. In essence, a good hook is the one that is a) relevant and b) intriguing. And what should influence your choice of the right hook is the initial intent of the writing. Understand the purpose behind your work— to inform, persuade, entertain, or provoke thought— and you will certainly make the right choice for your first few sentences.

Sometimes though, even the most creative of writers can’t come up with a great starter on the spot. If this is your case, don’t fixate on the situation. Continue writing your essay and after it’s done come back to the introduction. This way you will already have an idea of how your essay looks like and the key points it discusses, so it will be much easier for you to pick an opening line for your writing. 

It is also a good idea to reflect on the emotions or reactions you want to evoke in your readers. This will help you choose a quote or an anecdote that will adequately convey those exact feelings. And don’t tie yourself to the conventional ways of building hooks. You can always try and come up with something unique, that will fit best for your essay specifically. Experimentation, paired with a deep understanding of your intended audience and the core message of your piece, often leads to discovering that perfect starting point for your writing.

Creating a perfect hook is all about building an immediate, meaningful connection with your audience. The key lies in understanding who your readers are and what resonates with them, then carefully selecting and writing down an opening that aligns with the overall tone and theme of your essay. It doesn’t really matter whether you use a poignant quote, a compelling question, or an intriguing statistic. The right hook can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, turning passive readers into active participants in the narrative you’re building.

What is a good hook sentence?

A good hook sentence grabs the reader’s attention, making them eager to continue reading. It can be a question, a quote, a startling fact, or any statement that provokes curiosity or emotion. 

How do you write an effective hook?

To be able to write an effective hook, you need to know your audience, choose a hook that matches the tone of your essay, make it relevant to your topic, and make it concise and impactful. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of essay starters until you find the one that works best for your text. 

What is a catchy hook for an essay?

A catchy hook is one that is memorable and engaging, often through humor, a shocking fact, or a thought-provoking question. So, be creative and think outside the box when crafting the first sentences of your essay. They will set the tone for your further writing. 

How do you grab readers attention in an introduction?

The main trick to grabbing readers’ attention in an introduction is using a relevant hook sentence, that will be intriguing, and tailored to the audience’s interests or emotions. It should also connect to the main theme or argument of your essay.  So, make sure you put effort into building a strong and effective starter for your essay. Because those first few sentences will determine whether your writing will be set out for success or not.

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Insights into the Book of Esther: Themes and Historical Context

This essay about the Book of Esther examines its narrative, central themes, and historical significance within the Jewish tradition. Set in the Persian Empire, it recounts the story of Esther, a Jewish woman who becomes queen and thwarts a plan to exterminate her people. Highlighted are the political maneuverings and personal courage of Esther, as well as the broader themes of identity, power, and providence, which resonate throughout the story. The essay also discusses the book’s notable omission of direct references to God, suggesting a complex interplay of divine and human agency. Additionally, it considers Esther’s significant role as a strong female figure in the scriptures, challenging traditional gender norms and acting as a savior for her people. The narrative culminates in the establishment of Purim, a festival celebrating Jewish survival and communal identity.

How it works

The Scroll of Esther stands as a singular tale within the sacred texts, exalted notably during the Jewish observance of Purim. It narrates the saga of a Jewish woman amidst the Persian milieu, ascending to royalty and orchestrating the salvation of her people from annihilation. This narrative not only captivates but also delves into profound themes of authority, selfhood, and divine providence, all amidst the intricate tapestry of Persian court politics.

The chronicle unfurls in the Persian metropolis of Susa during the reign of King Ahasuerus, traditionally identified as Xerxes I.

Following the dismissal of Queen Vashti for her defiance, the king seeks a replacement. Esther, an orphan of Jewish descent raised under the care of her cousin Mordecai, is selected for her beauty and poise, concealing her Jewish lineage from the royal court initially.

Meanwhile, Mordecai uncovers a plot against the king’s life and apprises Esther, thereby gaining royal favor that proves pivotal later. The story’s antagonist, Haman, an esteemed advisor to the king, nurses a profound enmity towards Mordecai, stemming primarily from the latter’s refusal to prostrate before him. Haman’s animosity towards Mordecai extends to all Jews, leading him to sway Ahasuerus into decreeing the extermination of the Jewish populace.

The narrative climaxes as Mordecai impels Esther to intercede, despite the peril posed by approaching the king unbidden, an act punishable by death. Esther’s stratagem, culminating in two banquets for the king and Haman, ultimately reveals her Jewish heritage and exposes Haman’s treachery. Enraged by the deceit, the king orders Haman’s demise on the gallows erected for Mordecai.

Although the king cannot rescind the edict to annihilate the Jews, he permits Esther and Mordecai to issue another decree, empowering the Jews to defend themselves. This results in their triumph over adversaries across the empire. The tale culminates in the institution of Purim, commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people, and the ascension of Mordecai to a position of prominence under King Ahasuerus.

The Scroll of Esther is notable for its conspicuous absence of explicit references to the divine, a rarity among biblical narratives. This peculiarity has spurred diverse interpretations, with some viewing it as a testament to human agency and political sagacity, while others perceive it as an instance of divine intervention where divine providence is implicit. The narrative underscores themes of survival and identity, elucidating Esther’s navigation of her dual identity as both a Persian queen and a Jewish woman. Her valor and astuteness in navigating court intrigues not only alter Jewish history but also underscore the complexities of diasporic existence, where survival necessitates sagacity, valor, and adaptability.

Another remarkable facet of the Scroll of Esther is its role in elevating the visibility of women in scriptural narratives. Esther emerges as a formidable female protagonist whose actions are pivotal to the narrative’s progression. Her evolution from a passive beauty to an assertive savior signifies a profound metamorphosis, positioning her as a proto-feminist figure challenging traditional gender roles within a patriarchal milieu.

In essence, the Scroll of Esther serves manifold functions: as a historical document, a source of spiritual inspiration, and a cultural landmark addressing timeless themes of authority, bias, and liberation. Its resonance endures, offering fertile ground for theological contemplation and communal commemoration.

Note: This exposition serves as a springboard for further exploration and scholarly inquiry. For personalized guidance and to ensure adherence to academic standards, consider consulting experts at EduBirdie.

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Shedding his Lemony Snicket persona, Daniel Handler lets off some steam

In his new book, “And Then? And Then? What Else?,” the author of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” explores the joys, frustrations and ironies of the writing life.

Writers lead messy lives, constantly condemned to days of lousy first drafts, failed ideas and chronic misstatements. Daniel Handler feels this deeply throughout his kinda-sorta memoir, “ And Then? And Then? What Else? ” Eventually it reaches a boiling point. Late in the book he abandons his quirky-cool demeanor — he’s best known as Lemony Snicket, author of the offbeat children’s books “A Series of Unfortunate Events” — and lets fly with an f-bomb-laden rant about cancel culture and the pressure writers feel to be everything to everyone.

It’s a fierce cri de coeur at a time when books — especially kids’ books — are targeted on the right and writers who misstep on the inclusivity front get targeted on the left. (Oddly, Handler doesn’t mention his own moment as a near-cancelee. Onstage while emceeing the 2014 National Book Awards, he directed a racist watermelon joke at Black author Jacqueline Woodson ; after a social media pile-on, he apologized.) Handler isn’t interested in wading far into the politics of writing today — elsewhere his prose tends toward the gentle, sprightly and personal. Still, it’s not hard to see why he made room for the tirade: He wants to encourage you to give up seeking easy answers about who writers are and how writing works.

“And Then?” — the title comes from a poem by Baudelaire, the namesake of the “Unfortunate Events” siblings — doesn’t have a subtitle to explain itself. But a good one might be “A Memoir of Writerly Confusions.” For Handler, the writing life means forever stepping into frustration and strange ironies. He recalls writing nine drafts for the “Unfortunate Events” movie before being fired from the job — and then being asked to consult on the script, without pay. “Previously I had considered these people innocent,” he says of the moviemakers, “and then maybe dumb, and then maybe a pack of vicious demons. I understood, too, that they were, at least obliquely, the reason I owned a house.”

Plainly, embracing the mess has made him a success: He recalls how some young Lemony Snicket fans were so excited to see him at readings that “bookstores began to have contingency plans for when a child, excited to meet me, threw up.” (The life of a reader can get messy, too.) So understandably, he’s fully embraced the idea of mess-as-process, that successful writing means wrestling with demons. On that front, he’s had a few. In one chapter, he recalls that during his college years he was stalked by visions of malevolent figures, accompanied by seizures that briefly sent him to a psych ward. Recovery wasn’t conquering those visions but making a kind of peace with them: “I still, to this day, see these figures, frequently but not frighteningly, not anymore,” he writes.

That experience has fueled a sensibility in which he does best when he’s open to strangeness. He takes inspiration from the melodrama of opera but also finds joy and insight in tacky kitsch like “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.” His polestars as an artist are art-film figures like Guy Maddin, who tweaks silent-film conventions, and, most obviously, Edward Gorey, whose not-for-kids-but-really-they-are illustrated stories inspired the Lemony Snicket books’ mordant brilliance. Still, he keeps his heroes at arm’s length: Recalling sending Gorey a fan note, he writes: “I never heard back from Gorey, but shortly afterward he died. I like to think that I killed him.”

Lines like that reflect the sort of tone we want from writer’s guides — intimate, self-deprecating. But these days, we also want them to be practical. The most prominent modern example remains Stephen King’s memoir “On Writing,” and countless others since have borrowed its tone and intention. George Saunders’s “A Swim in the Pond in the Rain” invites us to study classic Russian short stories. In “Essays One,” Lydia Davis brilliantly dismantles her own stories like a car engine. Handler’s book belongs in that company, but he’s skeptical of how much he can offer in terms of practical tips: Whenever he hears the word “process,” he writes, “I wish I could lay my head down on a table.”

Yet there are moments when Handler warms to the role of advice giver. Like every author, he encourages you to read a lot — he recalls the teacher who introduced him to Muriel Spark, the perfect writer for him at just the right time. And he encourages writers to abandon bespoke notebooks and keep it simple; he describes his (yes) process for gathering and reshuffling notes into stories, and how he forgives his sloppy drafts. He’s taken a lesson from his occasional musical collaborator, Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt, who’s “a devout corraller of happy accidents, encouraging musicians to try the wrong approach, the bonkers note, anything to fill the blanks.”

But all this — Spark, Gorey, B-movies, weird troubling figures in the corner of your eye — doesn’t solve the problem of producing good writing. As for what does, Handler recalls working on a script for a director who sent his draft back pockmarked with the letters “DB,” short for “do better.” Handler was infuriated at the vague note, but he took the lesson: “Now I write it in my own margins all the time, shorthand for I don’t know what’s wrong here but it needs to improve. I want to write better, but I usually don’t know how. Nobody does, really.” For Handler, knowing there’s no right way to do it is the most liberating advice of all.

Mark Athitakis is a critic in Phoenix and the author of “ The New Midwest .”

And Then? And Then? What Else?

By Daniel Handler

Liveright. 240 pp. $26.99

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

hook examples for essays about a book

Sci-fi author says he wrote 97 books in 9 months using AI tools, including ChatGPT and Midjourney

Sci-fi author Tim Boucher says he's created 97 books in nine months with the help of AI.

  • In a Newsweek article, Boucher said he used Midjourney, ChatGPT, and Anthropic's Claude.
  • The books contain between 2,000 to 5,000 words and feature 40 to 140 AI-generated images.

Insider Today

In an article for Newsweek, Boucher said he'd used AI image generator Midjourney to illustrate the books, and ChatGPT and Anthropic's Claude for brainstorming and text generation. 

Boucher told Insider he plans to get to "at least 1,000 books, if not beyond."

He said: "My theory is that in the not too distant future, there will be tools which will enable me to piece all the disparate parts together into new and compelling combinations."

Boucher's set of novels are each between 2,000 to 5,000 words and feature 40 to 140 AI-generated images. He said the books generally take around six to eight hours to create with AI tools and then publish, but some can be done in as little as three hours.

The author is selling the books online for between $1.99 and $3.99.

He wrote in Newsweek: "AI has proven to be a remarkable catalyst for my creative work. It has enabled me to increase my output while maintaining consistent quality, and has allowed me to delve into intricate world-building with an efficiency I could never have achieved otherwise."

AI-generated novels have been flooding the market in recent months. 

In February,  ChatGPT was credited as the author or coauthor on more than 200 titles in Amazon's bookstore . Some of the most popular genres were AI guides and children's books.

Ammaar Reshi, a product-design manager at a financial-tech company based in San Francisco, previously told Insider he wrote and illustrated a children's book in 72 hours using ChatGPT and Midjourney. 

Reshi's book, "Alice and Sparkle," went viral on Twitter after it was met with intense backlash from creatives. Some were upset about how AI image generators use their work , while others took issue with the quality of the writing.

Boucher did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside normal working hours. 

Axel Springer, Business Insider's parent company, has a global deal to allow OpenAI to train its models on its media brands' reporting.

Watch: What is ChatGPT, and should we be afraid of AI chatbots?

hook examples for essays about a book

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  1. 73 Essay Hook Examples (2024)

    These examples might help stimulate your thinking. However, keep in mind that your essay hook needs to be unique to your essay, so use these as inspiration but write your own essay hook that's perfect for your own essay. 1. For an Essay About Yourself. An essay about yourself can be personal, use "I" statements, and include memories or ...

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    Writing a compelling hook takes skill. But you can use any of the following ways of writing a hook to get you started: 1. The Surprising Statistic Hook. Presenting a surprising fact or statistic is a great way to grab the attention of your audience. For example, an essay on the orphan crisis may begin with:

  5. 80+ Interesting Hook Examples

    Here are the quotes you can use to start your essay: "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.". If your topic is related to hard work and making your own destiny, you can start by quoting Michael Jordan. "Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.".

  6. How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

    Here are seven ideas to choose from: 1. Story. Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example: In January 2023, two children were playing outside in a Los Angeles neighborhood.

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    Tip 5: Don't Stop at the Hook. Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong. Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

  8. How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

    2. Bold claim hook. When working on an argumentative essay, I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish.So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people's time.. That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go ...

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  10. Hook Examples (For Essays, Stories, Articles, and More)

    Hook Examples. As mentioned earlier, there are multiple types of hooks. Choose the type that best suits the written material based on the nature of your essay or article. In a nutshell, hooks come in 5 varieties - Sentences, Questions, Story Openings, Facts or Statistics, and Quotations. Sentence hook example.

  11. Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

    Then, spread by air molecules, it paints the sky blue. Next, we will discuss these hook types in more detail. We'll also provide essay hook examples of less common yet intriguing types: dialogue, story, contradiction, comparison, definition, metaphor, puzzle, announcement, and background information hooks.

  12. 50+ Catchy Hook Examples for a Compelling Reading Experience

    Metaphor/Simile Hook: You can set up a scene by telling a short story for your readers to imagine before getting to your essay's core. This metaphor hook can be highly compelling and relatable to your audience. Anecdotal Hook: The trickiest essay hook used to diffuse the tension surrounding a heavy topic.

  13. Writing Hooks: How to Catch Your Reader's Attention

    Have you ever been so captivated by a book, article, or blog post that it felt like time was standing. Discover the power of writing hooks in this comprehensive guide. Learn about the different types of hooks, tips for writing effective hooks, common mistakes to avoid, and examples from literature and popular articles. Elevate your writing ...

  14. 8 Story Hook Examples (How to Grab Attention)

    Ways to write hooks: 1. Build urgency. A girl running for her life; a dead body lying in a swamp; a crowd gathering to point into the sky. Each of these actions or images create a kind of urgency that hooks a reader into the story. The reader wants to know why a girl is running for her life.

  15. How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

    When it comes to essay hooks, you want to strike a balance between capturing your audience's attention and giving them a concise overview of what your essay is about. 7. Tweak the tone. The tone of your hook sets up the tone for the rest of your essay - so it's pretty important that you align your tone with the topic.

  16. 7 Tips for Writing an Attention-Grabbing Hook

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    Tap into Emotions: Invoke emotions right away to create an immediate connection between the reader and your characters. This is like the example from The Great Gatsby above. Including something that would bring about nostalgia, heartbreak, or fear is a great way to write the hook of a story. Foreshadow Upcoming Events: Offer a glimpse of future ...

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    7 Ways To Write A Better Hook. Whether you're writing a book, essay, article, or marketing content, a great hook is a must. With so much content out there, you need to stand out. A killer hook is a powerful tool to get your intended audience to care for what you have to say. Here are a few surefire ways to pen a perfect hook. 1. Understand ...

  19. Hook

    Knowing this, authors share an important literary technique to keep their readers engaged in their stories, which is hook, or Narrative hook, which keep readers' interest alive in the book.It appears at the beginning of the story, and may contain several pages of a novel, several paragraphs of a short story, or it might be only an opening sentence, or a single line.

  20. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Guide, Tips, and Examples

    Determine the effect you wish to accomplish before selecting a hook. Choose a hook at the end of the writing process. Even though it should be the first sentence of your paper, it doesn't mean you should write your hook first. Writing an essay is a long and creative process. So, if you can't think of an effective hook at the beginning, just ...

  21. How to Write a Great Essay Hook?

    Step#1 Know the Kind of Literary Work. First, it is important to have a clear vision in mind of the literary work you have selected for your paper. Here you need to describe what a certain essay type demands and what types of techniques you require to support your arguments in your essay.

  22. How to Write a Hook for a Book

    Most hooks for a book are written in the present tense, rather than the past tense, to make the hook feel more active to the reader. You should try to always use the present tense to describe the action in the book. 3. Address the main plot. Your hook should also include the main plot or the issue at stake in the story.

  23. How to Write a Hook: Good Hooks & Essay Starters

    Understand Your Audience: Tailor your hook to the interests and expectations of your readers. Consider the style and level of formality that will work for your audience. Define the Tone of Your Essay: The overall tone of your essay is important, and the first sentence or two should also be written in the same style.

  24. Insights into the Book of Esther: Themes and Historical Context

    Essay Example: The Scroll of Esther stands as a singular tale within the sacred texts, exalted notably during the Jewish observance of Purim. ... The essay also discusses the book's notable omission of direct references to God, suggesting a complex interplay of divine and human agency. Additionally, it considers Esther's significant role as ...

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    April 25, 2024 6:42 am. A new book looks back at a transformative moment in comedy. Atlantic Monthly Press. There's a singular place where the histories of comedy, music and film all converge, and its name is The Blues Brothers. Saturday Night Live castmates John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd started a band to tap into the music that they loved ...

  26. Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler's And Then? And Then? What Else

    Late in the book he abandons his quirky-cool demeanor — he's best known as Lemony Snicket, author of the offbeat children's books "A Series of Unfortunate Events" — and lets fly with ...

  27. Sci-fi author says he wrote 97 books in 9 months using AI tools

    May 22, 2023, 3:33 AM PDT. Photo illustration showing ChatGPT and OpenAI logos. Getty Images. Sci-fi author Tim Boucher says he's created 97 books in nine months with the help of AI. In a Newsweek ...