How To Write A Hook For An Essay


how to write a hook for an essay

It feels like there’s so much to know when you’re writing an essay, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s especially true when you’re looking at starting your essay. If you want to bring readers in, you’ll need to write a great essay hook. What is that, and how can you write the best hook possible?

What Is An Essay Hook?

Firstly, what exactly is meant by the term ‘essay hook’? Essentially, it’s a way of bringing the reader in and getting them interested in what you have to say. Think of it as the bait on your fishing line, allowing you to attract the reader so you can reel them in.

Typically the hook will be in the first few lines of the essay. It’s important that it’s at the beginning, as you need to get the reader’s attention as soon as possible.

How To Write An Essay Hook

You know why you need the essay hook now, so you just need to know how to write one. There are several different ways that you can write an essay hook, so you can pick an option that suits yours. Here are some different ways you can craft yours.

Fact or statistic: For those writing scientific papers, or even a paper on something controversial, then you’ll want to come in with a strong fact. These are good hooks as they are provable facts that you can hang your argument on, and frame the entire essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about how to improve childhood literacy, you can use a statistic showing how many fourth graders are proficient readers.

Anecdote: This is a hook that you would use in a personal essay. When you’re writing a piece that focuses heavily on your experiences, you want to create familiarity that helps the reader get invested in what you have to say. So for example, you could start an essay on the importance of family heirlooms by talking about coming across your mother’s wedding dress in the attic.

Rhetorical question: This is a really good essay hook, and a good place to start if you’re not sure how. For example, you could start your essay by asking a question like, “Is it ethical to eat animals?” As you start with a question like this, you’ll get the reader thinking on the subject, and then you can start presenting your own argument.

Quote: Here’s a hook that you may not have thought of. They’re a good option as they’re concise and from a proven source, which helps support your initial position. So for example, if you’re comparing two books and you use a quote from one of the authors at the beginning, that helps set the tone for the essay.

Description: If you want to make the case for doing something, then you can use a description of what happens when your recommended action isn’t taken. For example, if you want to argue the case for recycling, then you’ll want to start with a description of what happens to refuse when it isn’t recycled.

Common misconception: Here’s another hook that will get readers thinking when they start reading an essay. Say you’re writing about mindfulness strategies, you can start with a misconception about mindfulness actually works first.

Examples Of Good Essay Hooks

Now that you’ve seen how essay hooks can be used, you’ll want to think about how these can be used in your own essays. A good hook will always be quick and to the point, so you can get on with making your argument. Here are some examples so you can see how yours should be written.

  • “If we are truly a great nation, the truth cannot destroy us” – Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • While many consider rats to be unhygienic, they’re actually very clean animals.
  • Do we truly live in a democratic society?
  • When we aren’t tackling bullying in children, this leads to more problematic behaviour as they grow up.

These are all examples that you can base your own essay hooks on, and create a good start to your essay.

Now you know how essay hooks work and how you can use them to show readers that you have interesting and useful points to make. Include one at the beginning of your essay to reel them in and keep them reading.

written by Mary Watson

editor and tutor, 12 years experience

Mary, our exceptional editor and online tutor, brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. With her extensive expertise in academic writing, she guides and mentors aspiring students, providing them with constructive feedback that propels their essays to the next level.