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How To Write a Good Hook To Start Your Essay

Written by Bonnie Adair
Posted: July 27, 2021
Last update date: March 22, 2024
11 min read

If you are a college student, you will agree on how difficult it is to write an essay. It takes a lot of effort and time to generate new ideas, research and collect information, organize the article’s structure, put it together, and proofread and finalize the essay. However, the most important thing is how to write a catchy and strong hook for an essay. Writing an essay becomes easy when you know how to make it catchy yet informational. If you want to write great hooks like a pro, read more to learn tips and ideas.

What is a hook?

A hook is an essay that keeps your audience engaged and inspires them to read your complete paper until the end. It can be a single sentence, statement, or paragraph that can attract readers to your essay. How can one sentence do this magic? Read further to know the answer!

A theory presumes a reader evaluates the worth of writing within the first 20 seconds of reading. It is known as the 20-second rule. Although it is nearly impossible to highlight all the key points and get a clear picture of a paper within 20 seconds, it’s time anyone takes to read and decide whether the piece is worth reading. Your viewer gets the first impression of your piece within those 20 seconds. Your paper must have a perfect hook that retains and encourages your readers to go through your writing to the end.

Are you wondering how this applies to your academic papers and assignments? Let’s see how. When your teacher gives you an essay to write in your assignment, he has to read the whole article whether he wants to. The proven 20-second theory is applicable in this scenario too. If your project has an appropriate hook that describes the topic appropriately, your teacher will see that at first glance and decide your grade. Here the hook of an essay plays a decisive role. So, make your intro worth grabbing the attention that will make your assignment memorable and catchy. Let’s learn how to write a hook for an essay:

Key Elements of a Good Hook

Crafting assignments, essays, and research papers needs hard work. While some take the help of professional online essay writing services, others create on their own from scratch. For students who struggle to curate a captivating hook, here are a few elements that can help elevate their paper.

Intriguing opening statement

Your piece’s introductory or first sentences should be so good that readers would want to go through the whole thing simultaneously. The first element of a great hook is an opening line. The introduction part should be catchy, complaining, memorable, and engaging.

Rhetorical question

The best way or the most tricky element you can place in your writing is a rhetorical question. It is a type of question that creates a dramatic effect. It gives a point of view to readers rather than having an answer. Its answer can be obvious or can be provided by the writer immediately, but it does leave an impact on the reader to read your passage till the end.

Personal connect

Another creative element you can add is a statement that connects readers and the writer’s mind – a personal story. They should connect with the piece to develop that non-attachable bond that encourages them to stick to your personal story.

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Types of Essay Hooks and Examples

Seven types of essay hooks include the following:

  1. Question hook
  2. Declaration or strong statement hook
  3. Statistic or fact hook
  4. Story hook
  5. Metaphor or smile hook
  6. Quotation hook
  7. Description hook

If you want to learn how to grab readers’ attention from the beginning of your article, you should know about the types of essay hooks. There are several hooks examples to consider. Each type tends to captivate the reader’s attention if used correctly. Let’s learn about each of them to understand the types of essay hooks better.

Question hook

A question hook is a statement that you start with a question regarding your article. It leaves readers curious, and they have to read the whole piece to find the answer. You can use a question hook in your first sentence, introduction statement, first line, or opening sentence to hook readers.

Make sure you mention something that is not a mere yes or no question. Your reader must have something to ignite the urge to explore further or chew their nails in curiosity. Generally, people are naturally curious. The perfect way to grab your audience’s attention is to leave them craving more information. Let’s understand this below:


Did you know you can lose 30 pounds monthly without quitting your favorite food?

Writing good essay hooks in this context aims to make readers curious about losing weight without compromising on their favorite food items.

Declaration or strong statement hook

A declaration hook is an introduction hook that makes a bold claim on a subject. You can use it in either the first sentence or add it in the introductory paragraph. Whether the reader agrees with you or not, they will read your complete piece to find out how you will support your argument.


Online learning is more affordable than the traditional form of education.

The context of this strong statement is argumentative. Whether readers support it or not, they will be glued to your article until the end to find out how you support your opinion.

Statistic or fact hook

A static hook is a factual statement. You will mention interesting facts or accurate information about a matter. The main idea is to capture readers’ interest with your knowledge. Therefore, the information should be correct and from a credible source. It would be best not to mention a statistic or interesting fact from a non-reliable source.


The human body has more than 10 times bacteria than cells in it.

This statement is a fact hook that captivates readers’ interest to grasp more knowledge about the essay topic. If you are writing a science or medical assignment, you can start with an exciting fact hook. It will hook your readers to the end.

Story hook

A story hook is a compelling statement for readers that love reading personal stories. The best way to use it is to start your essay with a personally connected or relatable short story. A story hook is lengthier than other writing hooks and only fits some scenarios. Therefore, evaluate your audience or ask your instructor if you could use a story hook.


A trip to England – I got off the taxi with my luggage behind me. It was as if everything in the city was welcoming me back. A nostalgic feeling that only reminded me of one place — home.

Every reader staying away from home can relate to this story and want to read the whole essay.

Metaphor or simile hook

A metaphor hook is such a hook that leaves your audience wondering about your statement and compels them to think differently. A metaphor and simile are figures of speech that compare unrelated things about a topic, but a metaphor is a stronger statement than a simile.


She is an open book.

My life is like a roller coaster.

These two statements are a metaphor hook as there is a comparison between two things. It creates an interest in the reader to learn about the topic further.

Quotation hook

A quotation hook is another intriguing statement that a writer uses to grab readers’ attention with a quotation. It can be anything from quotes from a famous person, movies, songs, poems, and TV shows related to your topic. Make sure to quote the exact words from the source without tweaking any phrase.


Nelson Mandela said, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but getting up every time you fall.”

Choose a relatable, familiar, and memorable quote to make it more effective. So more people can connect to it.

Description hook

A description hook is one or two sentences in an essay that describes a feeling or experience that readers can relate to personally. It can be a vivid description of an iconic movie scene or passage from a novel. These types of hooks are common in a narrative essay especially. However, they are not restricted to narrative essays only. You can extend its use in other writings too.


First, a flash, then a bang – A loud noise filled the room, and a bullet punched its way through his side. It left a gaping hole that was quickly filled with blood. He fell to the ground, a pool of blood forming around him.

Powerful and effective hooks grab attention and persuade readers to read the whole thing out of fascination.

Best Tips On How To Write A Good Essay Hook

Once you understand how essential essay hooks are for your article’s success, the next thing to focus on is how to write that catches readers’ interest. Here are a few tips that can help you catch your reader’s attention and get a high grade.

You should know the goals and purpose of your essays.

It shows in their writings when writers have a clear purpose and goal. Readers would love a piece supported by a defined purpose and approach. Decide your writing style, tone, and purpose. Choose whether you want to write in a formal or informal style. You can also decide what feeling tour you want your readers to take to be nostalgic or intriguing. Choosing these things will help you decide on a great hook that will go along with your writing objective.

You should be aware of what type of work you are writing.

Argumentative, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive essays are the four most popular forms of essays. Each calls for a distinct approach. You must be aware of them to create a spectacular hook for a college essay and make your entire work appear coherent and well-organized. So you can stick to your style or tone throughout the writing process,

Always begin with creating an outline or structure for your writing.

Even though this assignment is not the most important or challenging a student might receive in college or school, that does not imply you cannot make a flawless text without any planning. Writing an outline is crucial as it allows you to structure your text better and define what is missing or must be removed.

Evaluate your audience.

The success of selecting the essay topics, style, essay type, and tone and making a good essay hook depends on your in-depth knowledge of your audience. The better you understand your viewers, the more persuasive essay you can pen down. Every group of people and generation speak its language, and your main thing as a writer is to use the correct language to keep your target audience intrigued.

Writing an essay can be daunting, and finding the right hook to start your essay can be even more difficult. You want to find the perfect words to draw readers in, but where do you begin? One option is to buy cheap essays from a reliable writing service and use those as a source of inspiration. That way, you can get the perfect hook for your essay and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your essay is well-written.

Ideas Of How To Write A Good Hook For An Essay

Now that you know hook types and how to write a hook, you may have mastered the art. However, knowing the types will not inspire you to write a great hook. Therefore, we have come up with some good hook sentences that will inspire and evoke new ideas to generate your introduction hook. Let’s find out more ideas on how to write a hook.

Use literary quotes

A literary quote is best for literature and books. You can show that you are an expert in writing by quoting a statement from a famous book related to your topic. You can also mention quotes from famous people, movies, songs, and shows.


J.K. Rowling once said, “it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

Start with a common misconception

To make the essay more interesting for your readers, you can start with a common misconception that people think is true but is false.


Some people believe that youths are self-centered, misguided, irresponsible, and have little to offer compared to the elderly population.

Definition hook

You can refrain from stating a copied definition when writing an assignment, as many instructors don’t like it. Therefore, you can stop making it evident that you have copied the entire definition. Just tweak it in your writing style.

Avoid “The Oxford dictionary defines truth as…”

Instead, exaggerate a bit and use bold pronouncements to define your subject.

Give advice

If you are writing a narrative essay, giving your readers guidance or recommendations at the beginning of your text can be a good idea.


Never reply when you are angry, never make a promise when you are happy, and never make a decision when you are sad.

Add a joke

If you are writing in an informal tone, the best way to grab your reader’s attention is by mentioning a funny joke.


“They say marriages are made in Heaven, but so is thunder and lightning” ― Clint Eastwood.

Adding a surprising or mysterious element

Mentioning a surprising question or a fact lesser known also helps gain public interest. You can start your essays with unexpected or controversial statements as it will anticipate readers to finish the whole piece. It can be a thematic statement like the thesis statement student add to their research paper.


There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks—a shirt, perhaps – shuffled up with something dirty white.

This is a classic instance from a novel and an opening statement that left the readers curious. When you add a mysterious element to your writing, the audience will stick to your piece until they reveal what it is all about.

Try to create an emotional connection

When your audience can connect with your writing emotionally, they will remain till the end. You only have to find the proper emotional connection to start your essay. When the story empathizes, the reader will be glued to it and find it more intriguing.


She is buried underneath a silver birch tree, towards the old train tracks, her grave marked with a cairn.

This is an epic from The Girl on the Train. It has everything: emotions, drama, and suspense. People connect emotionally with these kinds of writings.

Mention statistics

If you want to write a compelling hook, mentioning statistical data can help gain visitors’ attention. People are impressed by numbers and figures. Generally, persuasive essays have these kinds of statistic hooks. You can immediately interest the user in your writing if you mention a striking statistic hook.


There are more than 2 billion people on Instagram.

After going through a long list of perfect hooks with few examples, you can now create your own. However, don’t get disheartened if you are still struggling. There is no doubt that writing research papers is a daunting task that is not everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about it. Even if you don’t know how to create a simple hook, you can pay professionals to compose essays for you.

Writing a good essay hook can be difficult, but PapersOwl is here to help. We provide a wide range of writing services, including the ability to write papers for you. We can craft an engaging hook to draw your readers in and make them want to read more. Our writers have the skills and knowledge to connect your ideas in a relevant way while adding new information to make your essay stand out. Whether you need help writing an essay from scratch or need some help getting started, we’re here to assist.

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