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.”
Now here’s the clue.
If you want to wow your teacher, polish the introduction. Add something interesting, funny, shocking, or intriguing. Build an emotional connection right from the start. Think of an essay hook as bait for your readers.
There are numerous methods for writing persuasive essay hooks—all of those you can find below.
For 100% clarity, we provided examples using each hook tactic. And a short part about how to write a good hook.
We highly recommend reading all the methods and examples, so you don’t have any questions.
Let’s go! 👉
💎 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?
It can be hard to come up with a right hook at first.
Moreover, not all hooks are universal. It depends on the type of writing and target audience. For example, using cliche sentences may disengage your readers. However, if your essay is scientific, you can try putting an interesting little-known fact at the beginning.
Personal experience or a funny joke can be good hooks as well. On the other hand, they have some limitations as well. Such type of attention grabbers is more suitable for essays on personal topics.
However, there is one trick that works well for any kind of writing. An intriguing question that you will answer later in the text is an excellent hook as it spikes the interest. It makes the readers more eager to read till the end to find out the answer. It will work correctly for your essay, too!
💬 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 ⬇️
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.
|Hook||“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:
|Hook||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.|
|Hook||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. What Can Be Better?
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.
|Hook||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)
|Hook||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?|
📈 Striking Stats Essay Hooks
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.
|Hook||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.|
The full version of this paper is here: Gamification and Cross-Cultural Communication in Dubai
|Hook||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.|
Check the whole essay Debts in the United Arab Emirates.
Some good sources for statistics
- Finance.yahoo.com is perfect for business papers.
- Stats.org checks figures mentioned in the news.
- 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!
|Hook||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.|
Read the full paper about China Southern Airlines being against shark finning.
|Hook + Topic||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).
For the whole text, go to Apple’s New iPhones Start Selling in Stores” by 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:
– 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.
|Hook||– 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.
|Hook||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.
Continue reading Dell Technologies Mission, Vision, and Values.
🦚 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:
|Hook||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. 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.|
|Hook||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:
|Hook||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.|
|Hook||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.
|Hook||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.
Go to see the full text here: Enron Company’s Business Ethics.
|Hook||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.|
Continue reading this paper about Motivation Role in Management.
📚 A Metaphor Is Another Great Choice for Essay Hooks
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:
|Hook||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.|
|Hook||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:
|Hook||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.|
|Hook||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:
|Hook||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.|
|Hook||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:
|Hook||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).
Read the full text here: Air Arabia Company Analysis.
|Hook||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)
👣 Final Steps to Using Essay Hooks
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!