How to Write a Hook: 11 Outstanding Ways to Start an Essay

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How to Write a Hook: 11 Outstanding Ways to Start an Essay
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write a Hook: 11 Outstanding Ways to Start an Essay
  2. What Is a Hook Sentence?
  3. Hooks in Essay Introduction and Conclusion
  4. Introduction Hints
  5. Tips to Pick Good Hooks for Essays
  6. How to Write a Hook Step-by-Step?
  7. Use a Good Story as a Hook
  8. Use Jokes for an Opening
  9. Quote Famous People
  10. Ask a Question
  11. Try Contradictions
  12. The Power of Statistics
  13. Make a Definition
  14. Share a Useful Advice
  15. Use a Simile or a Metaphor
  16. Find a Bold Statement
  17. Begin With an Interesting Fact
  18. Conclusion

Essays are common assignments for college students and professional writers, which sometimes can be challenging. When you write essays, you commit your thoughts and make readers believe you by explaining your viewpoint. Your mission is to get your readers excited from the first sentence. Start with a good hook, and half of the job is done. Great hooks must be catchy, engaging, and attention-grabbing. Another task is to understand how to write a good hook based on your project’s type, purpose, and target audience. 

Do you know how to start an A+ essay and hook your readers? Do you know how to  write my paper? You can make them laugh, cry, or dive into deep thoughts from the very beginning. Your paper's right words are easy to find once you discover the introductory statement that triggers the entire process. Our guide will help you understand what a great hook is and how to stick your readers to your essay till the end. 

What Is a Hook Sentence?

It is essential to define what a great introduction is before learning how to write a good essay hook. The hook is one or several sentences that serve as an introduction. Its purpose is to attract the reader and create a specific writing tone. It is crucial to begin academic papers with powerful opening paragraphs which contain hooking words and phrases.

Although finding perfect persuasive strategies might seem complicated, there are several types of hook sentences that you may use as excellent, engaging starters.

Hooks in Essay Introduction and Conclusion 

You may include a good hook in a five paragraph essay twice in your article. The first time you fit it in the introduction and then do it in the final part of your project – the conclusion. It is an excellent method to remind the readers of what the initial purpose of your essay was. 

It is essential to know the structure and purposes of both the essay introduction and conclusion. Students need this to understand what the most suitable hook to keep their audience interested would be. There are six approaches to writing an essay introduction and conclusion parts, and the best hook. Try to make use of all of them.

Introduction Hints

  • Base it on a true story.    
  • The scenario is when a writer makes up a story to explain the problem. 
  • Opening quotes, jokes, facts, or statistics serve as good hooks. You may even quote a poem. 
  • Describe the problem.
  • Interpret the issue vividly.
  • Frame a story or a flashback. 

Conclusion Hints

  • Think about what will happen if the proposed solution is implemented.
  • Revise the scenario by pointing to the outcomes in case the target audience adopts your suggestions. 
  • Use a real-life example of how your idea functions. 
  • Share what your readers are expected to think, do, feel or believe. 
  • Appeal to emotions, personality, or reason. 
  • Finish the frame story. 

Tips to Pick Good Hooks for Essays

From time to time, students are free to choose good titles for essays on their own. The best idea is to check recently published articles to pick a good subject. Television and social networks are two other treasuries of ideas. 

Your essay's opening sentence must complement the entire text instead of living its own life. To make your writing interesting and informative, keep in mind several general tips concerning hook sentences.
  • Pick a good hook that best reflects your topic. A joke or an anecdote won't work if you write a paper on some serious healthcare issues (disability or cancer). However, this type of hook is a good start for an essay on TV shows. Other good ways to grab the reader's attention are quotes, interesting facts, and statistics. Everything is up to you. If you have your idea for a good essay start, don't hesitate to use it.
  • Pose a question to make your reader want to learn the answer from your essay. It is one of the most effective methods used to grab attention: the audience becomes curious. Curiosity is what makes people read the information from cover to cover. Still, it is essential to answer the central question at the end. Never leave any questions without answers unless they are rhetorical.
  • Apply transition words or phrases to connect ideas and entire sentences. Those are, moreover, on the contrary, at the same time, in contrast, and others. Transitions will help to build a bridge between the hook sentences and the rest of your text. Also, linking words are going to help you make the transitions between hook sentences and paragraphs smoother.
  • Write your paper in formal language. No slang or jargon is allowed in professional academic writing. There are times when writers can use slang or jargon if they add several good hooks. However, it would be best to avoid this method in academic writing.
  • Have a look at the example of an essay with a great hook. Some professional academic websites offer free samples of papers that may help to decide on a hook sentence. Such documents usually have the best hook ideas. Study them to understand the aspects of essay formatting, plus obtain great ideas for your hook. Use academic databases to find samples of wood quality hooks that will only improve your essay.

Now that you know the principles of using a hook in an essay, please take some time to learn the process of creating a solid capturing sentence. 

How to Write a Hook Step-by-Step?

It is necessary to understand that getting readers hooked is different and doesn't work with every essay. Should your text be creative or formal? Is it a definition, narrative, analytical or argumentative essay? The clever idea is to take the following steps before you begin working on an introductory paragraph.
  • Decide on the type of paper you are writing. A writer must see what they are writing about and the purpose of their paper. There are many types of essays, so learn more about them to make a final decision.
  • Choose the style and stick to it. Any fluctuations will make an author look unprofessional, as professionalism is associated with the human mind's stability.
  • Think about the target audience of your essay. Suppose you read several literary works about the same topic written for doctors and engineers. In that case, you will notice how the language of these books changes. Therefore, define your audience carefully. Understanding who your potential readers are will help you choose the vocabulary better.
  • Create an outline of the essay. This way, you will structure your writing and see which parts need to be emphasized. The outline is similar to creating a plan for an essay. If you are not sure how to do that, dig down a little bit and read more articles on making it. Keep in mind that you can find a professional writer online to complete the entire paper or just part of it.

With all these in mind, decide on an excellent, strong introduction. It must be appropriate for your style and have a hook compelling enough to make your audience interested. Below we listed outstanding examples of hooks a writer can incorporate. 

Use a Good Story as a Hook 

People have loved stories since childhood. These days, they look for opportunities to hear more amazing stories to brighten their lives. Storytelling has become an effective technique in creative writing and advertising. Nobody wants boring discussions anymore. We want to meet real characters with remarkable stories which will convince us to pay for a product or service.

The two boys — Eric and Curt — grew up together, dreamers on a dead-end street. Overweight and unathletic, they shied away from rough sports and played with GJ. Joes in their backyards preferring to conduct their wars in miniature.
                                                                            Tom Junod, Surviving High School

Use Jokes for an Opening 

Humor is the best technique to make people relaxed and feel they want to keep reading. If your paper's theme and style allow you to start with a joke, take advantage of this opportunity. Good jokes or anecdotes from personal life are almighty if appropriate. Unusual, ironic comments work perfectly. If you want to make your readers smile and love your piece of writing, use this hook.


Scientists say that the brain chemistry of infatuation is akin to mental illness — which gives new meaning to madly in love.

                                        Lauren Slater, Love 

Quote Famous People

Wise people say wise things. Why not use one of these intelligent statements to introduce your work to the readers? This hook is the best way to demonstrate your belonging to the most significant people who ever lived. Show the bond between your and their ideas. The tricky part is that you must build this connection between the used quote and your essay to justify your choice and make it look like a natural part of your work. 


Noam Chomsky once said, "The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organization, and participation in a meaningful society." 

Ask a Question 

This hook always works impeccably. In humans' nature, it is to look for answers to various questions. Posing a problem as a starter motivates readers to finish the reading to get the answer. Don't neglect this hook in your essay — your paper will become more appealing and exciting with it. 

For instance:

Is there a formula — some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation — for a good life?
                              Joshua Wolf Shenk, What Makes Us Happy?

Try Contradictions

Contradictions are not always good, but they make the readers want to continue the discussion. Add a few concepts that don't fit together to confuse your audience and motivate them to wait until the end. This hook can be very effective in your essay.

It was the best time in my life, yet I felt terrible. 

The Power of Statistics

Don't be lazy to research and explore the world of scientific literature, searching for unique facts and statistics. People love numbers because they make the news less abstract and more understandable. If you manage to discover something shocking, make sure you include it in your writing piece. Such a research paper hook is helpful and powerful.

Averting planetary disaster will mean forcing fossil fuel companies to give up at least $10 trillion in wealth.

                                  Christopher Hayes, The New Abolitionism

Make a Definition

If you deal with an essay that has an interesting central term, it would be a good idea to start with its definition. Pick one from the official glossary. You may use the meaning of the term offered by famous people like scientists or artists. Choose a concept or a phrase for your hook carefully. You can also change a definition a bit and add your ideas and understanding of it.

Theology refers to the field of study that treats God and God's features and relations to humans' world; the science that explores divine things or religious dogmas; divinity itself.

Share a Useful Advice 

People tend to have a lot of questions. Many of them keep looking for a consultation on the disturbing problem. As an essay usually aims to provide practical solutions to some issues, the good idea is to start with advice. You may find interesting recommendations from primary sources like journal articles or secondary sources (e.g., expert interviews). Words of advice have a significant impact on readers. 

One should put others' needs before his personal to have meaningful relationships like love or friendship.

Use a Simile or a Metaphor

Both these terms mean a comparison of two things that are unrelated to each other. Sometimes things have a stronger connection than it seems. Using weird comparisons and links in your writing will be surprising and still attractive, so don't be afraid to do that.

My granny's cuisine was like a holy place: no one could wear the shoes. All family members and guests had to sit there at a particular time, and occasionally they'd pray.

Find a Bold Statement

A bold statement is the one that induces an opinion or reaction from your audience. It might be a little dangerous to include such a bold hook in your paper, but more readers will be interested in your writing if done correctly. Just make sure that you don't go beyond the limits.

They say, "soon, people will be able to create clones to send them to work."

Begin With an Interesting Fact

Just like people love quotes from famous people, they love learning new facts from famous people's lives. A story of a famous person might be an excellent hook for the essay your write. Especially if you need to work on a persuasive essay or on a compare and contrast essay, this hook is the card up your sleeve.

In the winter of 1769, the British explorer Captain James Cook received from a Polynesian priest named Tupaia an astonishing gift — a map.

                                David Dobbs, Restless Genes


Indeed, this list is not excessive. You may find another way of grabbing readers' attention. The more you write, the better your skills get.

Writing an effective hook is a big deal many students and young writers face. Our best offer is a professional academic writing service full of paper samples, talented writers, and discounts for loyal customers. Order one of the cheapest educational services online! We guarantee your complete satisfaction with the results.