Essay Hook Ideas

Great Essay Hooks Ideas

When your English language professor asks to write an essay, how do you usually begin your writing? Do you use any good hooks in the introductory paragraphs to grab readers’ attention? Probably, you have discovered a secret, unique great hook which helps your essay stand out among other works. There are different types of amazing essay hooks that college students and creative writers can use to grab their readers' attention.

What Do We Define an Essay Hook?

What’s an essay hook? A hook is an interesting and catchy sentence in the introduction of your essay which motivates people to read your work. Although it is a rather small element, a perfect hook is both informative and engaging. It has a deep meaning and helps a writer introduce his or her main idea.

Tips on Finding the Best Hook

Later in this post, we will analyze some examples of essay openings to provide you with an idea of how effective hooks look like. Before we get there, we would like to discuss a number of important ideas you should keep in mind before you write a hook.

These strategies are key because every author’s main purpose is to make readers understand his or her opinion and enjoy the overall reading.

Hooks to Use in Essays

To help you better understand how hooks function in writing, we are going to discuss several really nice articles written by professional writers and journalists. We will look only at the intros of our examples and describe the kind of hooks found in each one.

“As children’s culture arose in the 1740s, the juvenile market was suddenly awash in age-appropriate clothing, toys, and reading material…”
(Megan A. Norcia, Puzzling Empire: Early Puzzles and Dissected Maps as Imperial Heuristics) This beginning is a good example of how a fact can be used in an intro. Readers tend to pay attention to those works which provide them with new information, and starting with a date and an interesting fact is a brilliant hooking idea.

“Why some people choke and others panic.”
(Malcolm Gladwell, The Art of Failure)

We definitely love this intro. Short, clear, and very powerful. Although there is no question mark at the end, we will say this intro belongs to the category of ‘posing a question’. This means that the author opened the essay with a statement which promises that we will find the answer if we keep reading. We know the article will be about failure and the ways people react to it. This question-like intro is truly hooking because the majority of readers will want to know why some people and choke and other people panic.

“There are two distinct traditions in the literature regarding the proper analysis of predicate noun and adjective constructions…”
(John Bowers, The Syntax of Predication)

In this example we have an official, scientific paper which cannot be humorous or start with a creative trope. On the contrary, this intro is rather straightforward. And, nevertheless, it contains a nice hook – a conflict. ‘Two distinct traditions’ means that we will see how the author either supports one of them or introduces the third solution to the existing problem. Presenting conflicting ideas is always an excellent way to start.

“Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.”
(Joan Didion, After Life)

If the style of writing allows you to be creative, look for an unusual, original way to express the main theme of your essay. Here, Joan Didion start with her own poem which ‘tunes’ readers and let them know in advance what the whole essay will be about.

“After smiling brilliantly for nearly four decades, I now find myself trying to quit. Or, at the very least, seeking to lower a wattage a bit.”
(Amy Cunnigham, Why Women Smile)

This is a perfect personal story. Readers want to know more about each story’s main character because they look for new emotions and new knowledge. Do you know why she hs no intention to smile anymore? Is it hooking enough? We think so. Such beginnings are always attention grabbing and exciting.

“THE PROBLEM WITH environmentalists, Lynn Margulis used to say, is that they think conservation has something to do with biological reality.”
(Charles C. Mann, State of the Species)

Another clever way to hook people is to use quotes from famous people. With a quote your writing makes a certain statement and helps you establish your authority as a writer. This way you demonstrate your connection with the community and show great interest in the field history and respect towards people who have made large contribution to its development. There are other ways to begin you writing such as stating a thesis and using statistics and numbers. You are the one to decide which option is the most effective for your work. Don’t forget to take the preparatory steps and figure out which kind of hook is the most beneficial.