How To Write A Hook For An Essay:  Definitely Read This If You Are A Beginner

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Do you know the secret of making people interested in your essay? Most often, people do not read an entire paper and leave it halfway. However, sometimes they don’t pursue it beyond the first line! Thus, we can say that the effectiveness of an article is determined by its opening sentence. If your paper has a bad or poor opening, no reader will go through it. 

So, how do you ensure your essay has a powerful opening? 

Simply by writing a ‘hook’ sentence at the beginning of your article. 

A hook in the introduction has the potential to get your readers excited regarding your paper. This article will define what a hook is and how you can create it to catch the readers’ attention. 

What Is A Hook In An Essay?

It is a crucial aspect of any essay and is a part of the introduction section written as an opening sentence to attract the reader. One can think of a hook as “bait” that catches the reader’s interest. Usually, a hook can be one or two sentences long, but not too long. Put simply; it is a short or concise sentence(s) that is intriguing enough to make the readers read the rest of your essay. 

A hook is not synonymous with an introduction. Instead, they are part of the introduction, the topic, and the thesis statement. 

Here is the structure of the introduction for your reference to avoid confusion:

Introduction – hook + brief topic description + thesis statement

One must take absolute care when writing a hook and make sure it suits the article properly. For instance, using a line from the poem as a hook is not the best choice in a personal application essay. 

Common types of hooks

Here are some types of hooks that you can employ in an essay:

  • A general misconception about the essay topic
  • Personal story/anecdote
  • A memorable scene
  • Statistics
  • Thesis statement

How To Write A Compelling Hook?

Understanding how to write a captivating hook can be complicated. However, by following a few guidelines, you can write it easily without any hitches. Here are some tips and guidelines that can help you in this endeavor: 

Research the essay topic: It is essential to understand the topic in-depth to write an interesting hook for your essay. In fact, research plays a significant role in narrowing your topic, gathering evidence, developing a solid argument, and providing a structure to the paper. In short, your research can help you build the essay and write the best hook.

Get to know your audience: Whenever you write an essay, you must consider your audience’s interest. Understanding the readership will help you write an appropriate hook for the article. For instance, if your readers belong to an erudite group, you’ll have to incorporate a literary quote. In contrast, if kids or youngsters constitute your reader base, you can start with an engaging anecdote. 

Determine the type of hook: This is a vital step in writing the hook. Please remember that there is no standard template to create a hook, so you’ll have to use one of the types mentioned above. Thus, select the one that resonates with your essay topic and tone.

(more on the types and strategies of writing hooks in the later section)

Try different hook ideas: One can determine the type of hook to use through research. Explore different types of hooks and how it is used in different types of articles. Whether you choose to add a quote or statistics, ensure that it relates to the topic of your essay. Adding unrelated quotations or stories can have a negative impact on the paper and may turn off the reader.

In short, ensure that your hook sentence goes well with your thesis statement and the rest of the essay.

Write your hooks: Once you have completed your research and gathered enough ideas, you can use your imagination and create a hook for the essay. Ensure that you write an impactful opening sentence so that readers are compelled to read the rest of your article. 

Excellent Strategies For Writing A Compelling Hook

We have discussed the types of hooks in the above section. Here, we will elaborate on those types of hooks and others so that you can have a better understanding of writing a hook. 

Definition or Facts: One of the easiest ways to attract the attention of readers is through facts! People are curious beings, so adding a fact is a sure way to grab their interest. A fun fact, an interesting fact, or an unbelievable fact has the potential to hook the reader to your essay. 

Apart from facts, you can also add the definition related to the topic as your hook. However, when writing a definition, ensure that it doesn’t sound boring.


  • “Sominiphobia is a fear of sleep.”
  • “Suicide accounts for over 800,000 deaths globally each year, with over 41,000 in the U.S. alone.”

Literary Quotes: Using literary quotes is another popular way to engage your audience. In fact, this type of hook is best for reviews, essays regarding literature, or writers. A quote by a famous author or a well-known celebrity as a hook is relatively easy to incorporate into the introduction. 

Whatever the essay topic is, search for a quote that relates to it and add it to your essay. However, include a bibliography when employing a literary quote in the article to avoid any issues. 


  • The following line can be used for a compare-and-contrast essay on William Shakespeare’s works from different periods: “A little more than kin and less than kind” (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2)

Anecdote: This type of hook is best suited for descriptive or narrative essays. As a matter of fact, these hooks are included to entertain the reader. This is because starting your essay with a hint of humor is sure to strike a chord with the reader. 

While including an anecdote is relatively easy, check whether your article has a first-person narrative or not, as most of the anecdotes are told in first person.


  • “I stopped fighting my demons, as we remain on the same side.”

Quotes from Famous People: This is a common hook used in essays. One can even say that this is a very old or overused method of opening an article. If you want to employ this technique, select a quote from any of the current or trending figures with some outstanding achievements. 

By doing so won’t want to sound boring or repetitive. For instance, famous figures like Elon Musk are an excellent choice for persuasive essays.


  • “There must be reasons that you get up in the morning and want to live.”

Personal stories: This hook is an excellent choice for college applications or personal narratives. One can use this technique if one can summarize a story in two to three sentences. However, one must not delve too deeply into the story when writing this hook. Also, care must be taken whether this technique helps the essay or not.

Common Misconception: An interesting way to pique your readers’ interest is to present a misconception regarding the essay topic and debunk it. All you have to do is find a misconception that is related to your essay topic, tell that it isn’t true, and then connect it to your thesis statement. 

The idea here is to build disagreement with the readers and hold their attention which compels them to read your essay.


  • “Most coffee addicts believe that coffee comes from a bean, but they are totally wrong. “Bean” is nothing but a seed from which coffee is made.

Statistics: Including numbers is an exceptional way to gain readers’ attention. One can include relevant statistics regarding the topic to arouse people’s interest. Moreover, concisely adding statistics educates the reader and provides them with new information. 


  • “The average iceberg weighs over 100,000 metric tons.”
  • “50% of marriages end up in divorce.”

Scenes: This type of hook is suitable to include in descriptive and narrative essays. This is because visual information is easy to process and remember. When you depict a scene through words, the brain processes this information and maps it into an image. In short, by describing a scene, you make people imagine what you say.


  • “It was a winter where I was sitting in front of the fire, with a cup of hot coffee, watching the snow fall.”

Questions: The question hooks help in creating curiosity among the readers. However, one has to be careful while creating these types of hooks, as it is pretty tricky to write engaging questions. Furthermore, before creating a question, check if it can have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as an answer. 

You must frame questions in such a way that it provides options rather than just yes or no. Also you can also add rhetorical questions. At the same time, avoid adding routine or generalized questions.


  • “What will you do if you get hold of a secret that can change everything?”

Thesis statement: Getting straight to the point is another idea to catch the readers’ attention. Here you don’t have to think about what to write. Instead, all you need to do is write an engaging and powerful thesis statement straightaway in the introduction.


  • “It is time for us to invest more money and time into space exploration as Earth is heading towards destruction.”
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Including a hook makes any essay engaging and interesting. While a hook is a short sentence(s), never underestimate its importance. As discussed in this article, there are numerous ways to incorporate a hook into your paper. One can research their essay topic to understand which type of hook suits the best. 

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