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Learning How To Write An Essay Hook: Examples And Definitions

Beginning an argumentative or persuasive essay with a sentence or two that really grabs the reader’s attention is a great way of enticing the reader to keep reading. Because some pieces of academic writing can be a bit on the serious-side, it’s important to have a great opening to immediately get the reader interested right from the start. There are few standard but effective hooks that many good writers employ and is exactly what we will be discussing here along with some hook examples for essays:

Method 1) The Question

One of the most impeccable ways to start an essay is with a question. It immediately engages the reader to visualize whatever it is you are asking and encourages him or her to keep reading until the end to get the answer. This works particularly well with college essays which are personal in nature and need to captivate someone who has been reading for several hours.

College Essay Hook Examples Using a Question

  • Have you ever nearly drowned in 3 inches of water?
  • Have you ever been so afraid of something happening that you actually made it happening?

Method 2) The Quotation

Intelligent or influential people say intelligent or influential things. Using a quotation by someone who is recognizable to most of the intended audience and closely relates or ties to the subject you are about to discuss is a clever way of connecting yourself and your subsequent argument to the person who stated the quote to begin with.

Argumentative Essay Hook Examples Using a Quotation

  • “The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organization and participation in a meaningful society.” – N. Chomsky
  • “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.” – Y. Berra

Method 3) The Statistic

You’ve put in a lot of time and energy into conducting research on whatever topic you are dealing with, right? Why not use one of the statistics (or facts) you have found that really struck you and can summarize the theme of your study? Starting with an interesting statistic can make something seem less abstract and more relatable – it’s all in how you present the information.

Persuasive Essay Hook Examples Using a Statistic

  • The speed of our Sun’s light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Its distance from us is 92.96 million miles. This means the light that is reaching us right now is approximately 8 minutes old.
  • In 1998, MLB’s Mark McGwire hit a then record 70 home runs traveled a combined 29,598 feet. If it were a single hit ball it would have cleared Mount Everest.

Method 4) The Anecdote

Using a short story (a few sentences long) to build a connection between the reader and the topic it is said that they are utilizing an anecdote. Anecdotes can be personal or familiar – the only caveat is that it must share some fundamental characteristic to what is discussed in the assignment.

Hook Examples for Argumentative Essay Using an Anecdote

  • In my youth, I played in a hockey league in which a player would stay after practice to pick up the mess all of the other players had made in the locker rooms. I found out later his mother worked nights as the janitor. He was taken in the first round in the 2015 NHL draft.
  • There was a boy in a village that dealt with his frustration by tearing and eating strips of papers. His parents took him to several doctors who ran countless tests and could never come up with a cure. Then finally one doctor simply told the boy that if he stopped tearing and eating strips of papers you wouldn’t have to see all these doctors. The replied “why didn’t you just say that?”

It may take you a few tries before you get comfortable with and confident about the effectiveness of your openings, but with some practice and some close observation of essay hook sentence examples to see what works and what does not, you should get the hang of this skill before semester’s end. If you want to get a head start on developing this skill before an upcoming assignment, contact a professional writing and editing agency to see if they have any good essay hook examples available for you to reference and learn from.

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