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, especially the first couple of sentences. Add an essay hook–something interesting, funny, shocking, or intriguing to win the reader’s attention. Build an emotional connection with your reader right from the start.
The hook of your essay usually appears in the very first sentence. The average length of an essay hook should be 3-7 sentences (it depends on the topic of your essay and the method for writing a hook you choose). There are numerous methods for writing effective essay hooks:
- Begin your essay with a series of questions.
- Begin with an announcement.
- Begin your writing with a bold and challenging statement.
- Begin your paper with a quotation.
- Begin your essay with a riddle or puzzle.
- Begin your essay with your personal experience.
- Begin your piece of writing with a description of how you felt.
- Give some background information.
💬 Quotes from famous people
The easiest way to win everyone’s attention is to insert a quote from a famous person so that everyone respects you—you think just like that famous person.
And 5 excellent sources of quotes are the following:
- Brainyquote.com is a convenient library of quotes. Here you can search quotes by topic or by author.
E.g., “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.” – John Wooden
- Goodreads.com/quotes is not only a great collection of e-books but also quotes.
E.g., “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
- Quoteland.com is where you can find plenty of brilliant words for all imaginable situations.
E.g., “If you want your dreams to come true, don’t oversleep.” – Yiddish Proverb
- Quotelicious.com is a great resource of people’s wisdom from all times.
E.g., “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami
- Quotationspage.com has more than 30,000 quotations which might become amazing essay hooks.
E.g. “A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.” – Bob Hope
❓ Rhetorical questions
One more trick you can use to establish an emotional connection with your reader is to ask questions. Sure, they won’t be able to answer. However, they will love the illusion of direct communication.
Some effective patterns of rhetorical questions are the following:
- What could be more important than…?
- What if you had 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)?
Special note: Be careful with those personal pronouns. Most essays do not allow the use of I, we, or you.
Humor is another surefire way to win everyone’s heart. Try to make them smile, and they’re all yours.
- Rinkworks.com a collection of anecdotes of stupidity.
- Funnyshortjokes.com allows you to search anecdotes by topic.
- Onestopenglish.com is a teacher’s collection of classroom anecdotes.
- Giganecdotes.com is a vast collection of anecdotes which might be excellent hooks for your essays.
- Bizmove.com/inspiration/m9b.htm is a highly recommended collection of the 30 most inspirational anecdotes.
📈 Striking stats
- 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 huge 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
- Buzzfeed.com–a web-site containing news, different videos, quizzes.
- Cracked.com–a web-site full of funny stuff, like articles, videos, pictures, etc
- Omgfacts.com–the name of the site speaks for itself.
- Wtffunfact.com–a blog with the most interesting and funny facts.
- Webmd.com–an awesome collection of medical facts you will love.
- Include some dialogues of real people.
- Make use of imaginary surreal dialogues.
- Add to your essay some dialogues of inanimate objects.
- Think of adding some dialogues of abstract notions.
- Or include dialogues of historical figures.
- Rd.com is a collection of short stories and anecdotes your reader will love.
- Eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/teacher–a teaching resource with short stories.
- Dailygood.org offers news that inspires.
- Motivateus.com/stories–a resource with inspirational and positive stories and articles.
- Huffingtonpost.com/good-news is a special section for inspiring you.
⭐ A vivid comparison
- 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.
✏️ Starting from the middle of the action
- Sound effect (not always appropriate but still)
E.g., Splash, a stone falls into the water.
- A short sentence of a dialogue
E.g., “Is anybody home?” I cried entering the neighbors’ house.
- A surprising conclusion sentence
E.g., Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have taken Jane with me.
- Sensory details
E.g., It was a sunny spring morning, and the rays of the sun were shining brightly.
- An intriguing sentence
E.g., I looked through the window and couldn’t believe my eyes.
With these hooks for essays, you have all you need to start your essay on the right note.
💎 Make your essay impressive by writing a good hook
It is essential to start your writing with a hook to make your essay engaging from the very beginning. A hook captures the reader’s attention and inspires him or her to continue reading your piece of writing. Think of essay hooks as bait for your readers.
Keep in mind:
Whichever method for writing an essay hook you choose, it must always lead to your thesis statement. Even the most unique hook is useless if it doesn’t relate to your main idea.
Having trouble finding attention grabbers for your papers?
We have good news for you!
You can find a relevant statistic, a compelling quote, a striking fact, or any other type of hook for your essay after you formulate your thesis—all you have to do is a quick internet search.
👣 Just a few steps to an effective paper
Some people think that you always 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 and then go back and rewrite the very first paragraph. Many good writers wait to polish the introduction paragraph until after they have completed the entire essay!
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 quote to serve as an engaging essay hook for your audience.
- Add this essay hook to the beginning of your introduction, making sure that your ideas still flow naturally into your thesis statement.
It’s a good idea to find several statistics, facts, or quotes that could possibly be used as essay hooks when you are writing a paper. Then play around with adding each hook to your introduction paragraph to determine which one makes the most impressive beginning to your essay.
Some of your choices may sound interesting but may not lead to the main point of your essay very well. Don’t panic! Good paper writing always involves trial and error. Just keep trying your essay hook ideas until one fits perfectly.