How to write good hooks for essays
  • February 13, 2017

good hooks

Is there a piece of writing you ever read that was  incredibly interesting and catchy?

Am sure we all have.

The only reason why you kept reading the essay was because it got you hooked.

Great writers know how to capture the attention of their readers and to keep them glued to the very end of the essay. To ensure the readers are eager to read your work, a hook is important. Without a hook, a reader will be easily distracted.

So what is a good hook and how do you write a hook? That is exactly what I will share with you today.

What is a hook?


A hook is the first couple of sentences that introduce your essay and grab the attention of your writer. The hook determines the readers level of interest in your work

Hooks are used when writing essays in colleges and other different fields of writing. This is because they all have audiences and they need to captivate them as they read. It is used by writers, copywriters, storytellers, and screenwriters. A good example is the father of advertising, David Ogilvy who used 29 magic words to hook the attention of his readers.

Hooks do not come automatically. It takes careful consideration and planning in order to generate the one magical sentence that will draw the attention of your readers. Writers are thus required to do some research to ensure they know exactly whom they are writing for and why they are writing.

Factors to consider when writing a captivating hook


  • Whom am I writing for?
  • What type of writing style will I embrace?
  • What type of essay am I writing?
  • What is the structure of the essay?

These factors will help different writers to establish the best way to craft a custom hook for their specific audiences.


 How to write a hook


There are different methods on how to write a hook for your essay. Here now is a list of ideas on how to grab the attention of your writer.


  1. Quotes from famous people

When you start an essay with a quote from an influential person, you spark the interest of the readers. This is because they already know the influential person and they would like to read something related to his or her work. However, it is important to show how the quote relates to the essay.

examples of good hooks


“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value” – Albert Einstein

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” – John F. Kennedy.

  1. Ask a rhetoric question

A well-structured question will attract the attention of your readers. Readers will be inspired to continue reading in order to discover the answers to the question. The question should provoke critical thinking in a reader. ‘Yes,’ or ‘No’ questions should not be used.


“What would you do if found all you have ever believed was a lie? That is exactly what John did when he was on his death bed.”

“When you love someone and they seem not to love you back, what do you do? This is a comprehensive confession of Stacy hours before she committed suicide.”

  1. Use a literary Quote

Your writing could be based on a particular author, book or story. When you use a literary quote from an author or a book, you will sound authoritative and informed on the topic you are writing on. You will also sound relevant and fresh.


“This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It’s knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.”

“Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds, they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.”

  1. Anecdote

An anecdote is a brief graphical account about a person or event. Although anecdotes are mostly funny, it does not mean they are used only with funny essays. They employ humour in a bid to communicate a message and still grab the attention of the readers. It is important to avoid the use of the first person in your essay unless you have to.


“I am very sorry for sending you such a long letter but I did not find enough time to write a shorter one.” – Goethe

  1. Statistics

When you start your essay with proven facts, you will draw your readers’ interest. Statistics can be like from a new survey that makes new revelations. The statistics should be accompanied by an authority to show they are genuine and reliable.


According to Food and Drug Administration, “3 out of every 10 people smoke cigarettes”

“4 out of every 10 graduates end up unemployed”

  1. State your thesis

When you are writing an essay, there is nothing wrong with stating your point outright. When you start with the main point, you will use the rest of the essay trying to support it. The thesis should be interesting in order to pull in your readers, who will want to explore more on your idea.


“Country music has been labeled as a catalyst for suicides among the white population.”

“Human-robot marriages will be legal in America.” 

  1. Set a scene

People understand and remember better when visual cues are used. A detailed scene helps the readers to get a clear picture of a person, incidence or incidence. Once the reader gets immersed in the scene, they will be hooked to read the rest of the essay.


The clouds started gathering, the lighting flashed across the sky, the thunderstorms roared and we quickly got into the car. The rain started pounding and the vehicle moved uneasily due to the slippery rough road.

  1. Interesting definition or fact

The essay starts with a surprising statement the reader may not be aware of. The unique and interesting fact or definition will trigger interest in the reader.


“Cunning is the best way to describe Peter’s personality. Although he looked friendly at first, his friendly look was a means to an end.”

 Do not forget


Once you have hooked the reader in the first few sentences, do not unhook them. You will be required to make your essay interesting and captivating all through to the end. Therefore, do not just drop a hot essay hook and forget to make the rest of your essay interesting to read.



Your hook is a tip of an iceberg. It should give a preview of what the reader should expect in order to lure them into reading up to the end. The type of hook you will use will depend on the kind of writing you are compiling. If you are writing a narrative, an argumentative essay, a deductive, a personal or a critical essay the hooks will vary. Before you identify a perfect hook, it is important to research widely on your topic. Finally, if you need to buy college term papers check our home page.

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