How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

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what's hook in an essay

Yona Schnitzer

Blank screen. Cursor blinks. Clock ticks. Brain freezes.

You stressfully wonder, “How will I ever finish this essay?”

I’ve been there. 

Every time you write an essay, you want to catch your readers’ undivided attention from the very first word. The opening hook has to be *perfect* — no compromises. 

But, instead of reeling under pressure to come up with this elusively perfect essay hook at the eleventh hour, I’ve found a better way to write great essay hooks. 

In this guide, I’ll tell you what it takes to write the most compelling and attention-grabbing hooks. I’ll also break down six awesome types of essay hooks you can experiment with and share examples to inspire your next opening statement.

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening statement of an essay, written to capture readers' attention and nudge them to learn more about the topic. Also known as a lede or lead, this hook introduces readers to the topic/theme of the essay and piques their curiosity to continue reading. 

The hook creates the entire narrative for your essay. It tells readers what to expect from the rest of the essay and creates context around your main argument or thesis statement. 

6 Types of Essay Hooks You Can Experiment With

I’ve created this handy list of six different types of essay hooks. You can choose the one that best fits your essay’s context and create a stellar opening statement within minutes. 

1. Compelling fact or statistic

Lead with evidence and use a powerful fact or statistic as your essay hook. It’s one of the best ways to capture readers’ attention from the start and keep them intrigued throughout your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about the importance of time management for freelancers, you have two options to create your opening sentence:

Generic : “Managing time as a freelancer is no easy feat.”

Impactful : “Nearly 70% of freelancers struggle to effectively divide and manage their time between multiple clients.” 

This data point, linked to the original research, sets a strong tone for your essay and draws people in to read more. It communicates  

Find a shocking statistic with AI

Finding relevant statistics for any topic is one of the hardest parts of the job. 

But you don't have to spend hours looking for these data points anymore. Wordtune can do this heavy lifting for you in three easy steps.

  • Open the Wordtune editor and add your essay title. 
  • Type in any content you've written, click on 'Add spice,' and select the 'Expand on' option.
  • Write 'statistics,' and Wordtune will add relevant data points to your content.

what's hook in an essay

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2. Bold claim hook

When working on an argumentative essay , I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish. So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people’s time. 

That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go, hmmm…

But remember, you can't open with a claim that people already know and accept as fact. It has to be something original and unique to make your readers tick, nudging them to dive deeper into your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about water crisis, you have two options to open your essay: 

‍ "In some regions, there is not enough clean water for people to use."
‍ "Imagine a world where every drop of water is a battle, a precious commodity fought over by scores of people and animals alike. This can become a reality as early as 2050."

This bold claim presents a convincing argument about the global water crisis. It also emphasizes the urgency of this argument with a research-backed statistic.

Create a bold claim suggestion using AI

Can’t think of a strong opening sentence for your essay? Wordtune can translate your thoughts into a bold claim and create a compelling essay hook. 

Open your Wordtune editor and write a few lines related to your topic. These sentences should have a consensus among your audience. Then, choose the 'Counterargument' option from the list of suggestions. 

And you’ll have a bold claim for your essay with no effort at all!

what's hook in an essay

3. Story/Anecdote hook

In all my years of writing, I’ve noticed how stories have a unique effect on people. A good story can resonate with a bigger audience, pique their curiosity, and deliver a more personal message. 

That's why you can cite a personal anecdote or talk about a publicly known story as a good hook for your essay. This hook allows you to play with words and work in more storytelling . 

One of my favorite writing tips applies here: enter the scene as late as possible and leave as early as possible. You have to keep it crisp instead of rambling on and on. 

Consider these two examples:

what's hook in an essay

Either of these hooks could work fine if we were just writing a personal essay about a move to a new place. But if we’re specifically writing about the sky, the second example is better. It sticks to the point — the sky and the color of the sky — and doesn’t stray into irrelevant details. 

Create a compelling story with AI

I get it—not all of us are natural storytellers. But you can use AI to your advantage to create a concise and exciting story for your essay.  

Wordtune can help you write a short story from scratch or trim down your writing into a quick anecdote. Click on the expand or shorten button to edit your story any way you like. 

what's hook in an essay

4. Question Hook

Humans have a tendency to immediately look for answers every time they come across fascinating questions. Using questions as essay hooks can reel people into your essay and feed their curiosity.

But questions are also fairly overused in essays. You don't want to use a generic question that makes people say, " Not another question ." 

Instead, think of questions that approach your topic from a fresh angle. This means honing in on what was especially interesting or surprising from your research—and maybe even brainstorming different questions to find the most fascinating one.

For example, if you’re writing about the psychology behind why we buy, you have two options to open your essay:

‍ “Do you know what factors compel us to buy certain things?”

Plugged in :

“Before buying anything, have you ever taken a moment to pause and think about possible reasons driving you to this purchase?”

The latter is more descriptive and creates a realistic scenario for readers to truly think about the topic of the essay.

5. Description hook

A descriptive hook works best when writing an explanatory or opinion-led essay. Descriptive hooks, as the name suggests, illustrate a topic in detail to create context for the essay. It's a good way to build awareness for and educate readers on lesser-known themes.

But a descriptive hook can easily become too plain or unexciting to read. To make it work, you have to write an engaging description using imagery, analogies, and other figures of speech. 

Remember to make your hook reader-friendly by avoiding passive voice, mainstream cliches, and lengthy sentences.

Consider this example:

what's hook in an essay

Describing a sunset is too cliche, so cross that one off the list. Describing the sky as it is on a normal day wouldn't be shocking or unexpected, so scratch that one, too.

This example creates something unique by using analogies to describe the color of the sky and painting a beautiful picture. 

Write a gripping description with AI

Writing an exciting hook for a boring topic is more challenging than it looks. But Wordtune makes it a breeze with just two steps:

  • Open the Wordtune editor and write your essay topic.
  • Click on Explain or Emphasize and let it work its magic.

You can also change the tone of voice to make the text more in tune with your theme. 

what's hook in an essay

6. Metaphor hook

One of my favorite essay hooks is to open with a persuasive metaphor to contextualize the topic. Metaphors can help you approach the topic from a completely different lens and wow your readers with interesting insight. 

Metaphors are also super versatile to make your writing more impactful. You can write a one-line metaphor or create a scenario comparing one thing to another and linking it to your topic. 

For example, if you’re writing about the experience of working at a startup, you can open your essay with these two options:

Short & sweet: "Joining a startup is like strapping into a rollercoaster: be ready to witness thrilling highs and sinking drops."

Long & descriptive : “Picture a small sailboat navigating the unpredictable winds and tides in a vast ocean. That’s a startup operating in a massive market. And with the right vision, this journey is filled with risks and rewards.” 

Create a convincing metaphor with AI

Writing good metaphors takes up a lot of creative brain power. You can always use Wordtune to find some extra inspiration if you're out of creative ideas. 

Type your opening line in the Wordtune editor and click on the 'Give an analogy' option. You can ask for as many suggestions as you want till you find the best one! 

what's hook in an essay

What to Know About Your Essay (and Topic) Before You Write the Hook

Whether you’re writing a research paper on economics, an argumentative essay for your college composition class, or a personal essay sharing your thoughts on a topic, you need to nail down a few things before you settle on the first line for your essay.

‍ Let me break them down for you. 

1. Gain in-depth knowledge of your topic

what's hook in an essay

Before you start writing your essay, you need to know your topic — not just in name, but in-depth. You don't have to become a subject matter expert overnight. But you do need to research the topic inside out 

Your research will help you:

  • Narrow your focus
  • Build an argument
  • Shape the narrative

Your research insights determine your essay’s structure and guide your choice of hook. 

After organizing your research in a neat outline, think to yourself: ‍Did you uncover a shocking fact? A compelling anecdote? An interesting quote? Any of those things could be your hook.

⚡ ‍ Take action: After finishing your research, review your notes and think through your essay. Mark or make a list of anything compelling enough to be a good lead.

2. Type of essay

what's hook in an essay

In academic settings, there are generally three kinds of essays:

  • Argumentative: Making the case for a certain stance or route of action.
  • Expository: Explaining the who, what, when, where, why, and how of some phenomenon.
  • Narrative: Telling a true story as a way to explore different ideas.

‍ The type of essay you’re writing is key to choosing the best hook for your piece. 

A serious argumentative essay can start with a shocking statistic or a bold claim. And an expository essay can open with a descriptive hook while a metaphor hook would work best for a narrative essay.

⚡ ‍ Take action: Go through your list of potential hooks and cross out anything that doesn't fit the type of essay you're writing, whether it's persuasive , argumentative, or any other type.

3. Audience and tone

A best practice I often share with writers is to think of one reader and keep yourself in their shoes . This exercise can tell you so much about your audience — what kind of tone they like, what matters the most to them, what topics interest them, and so on. 

You can use these insights to create a compelling essay hook. Here’s how:

  • For an argumentative essay, you’re trying to convince someone who doesn’t agree with you that what you’re claiming is right or, at least, reasonable. You don’t want to turn them off with snarky or offensive language — but you do want to be authoritative. Your hook should match that tone and support your effort.
  • A narrative essay is likely to welcome more lyrical language, so starting with a colorful description or an anecdote might make more sense than, say, a bold claim or surprising fact. Whatever tone you choose for your narrative essay — comical or gentle or bold — should be used for your hook.
  • ‍ Expository essays can use all sorts of tones and be written to a variety of audiences, so think carefully about the tone that best fits your subject matter. An essay explaining how the human body shuts down when overdosed will likely require a different tone than one on the lives of circus masters in the late 1800s. 

⚡ ‍ Take action: Look at your list. Can you write these potential hooks in a tone that suits your subject and audience?

4. Length of essay

Are you writing a 10-page paper or a three-page reflection? Or is this your senior thesis, pushing over 100 pages?

‍ If you’re writing a shorter paper, you’ll want to keep your hook quick and snappy.  

Readers are expecting a quick read, and they don’t want to spend five minutes only going through the introduction. 

In contrast, you can approach a longer essay — like a senior thesis or a term paper — with a longer hook. Just make sure your hook relates to and supports the core point of your essay. You don’t want to waste space describing a scene that ultimately has nothing to do with the rest of your piece.

⚡ ‍ Take action: If you write out the items on your list, how long will they be? A sentence or paragraph? Perfect. Two to five paragraphs? Unless your essay is on the longer side, you may want to save that information for later in the piece.

‍ Now that you know the basic facts about what you’re writing, let’s look at some approaches you could use to catch those readers — and reel them in.

3 Approaches to Avoid When Writing Hooks 

I’ve read hundreds of essays — enough to recognize lazy writing from the first few words. It’s equally easy for readers to discard your essays as ‘poorly written’ just by reading the first line. 

So, I made a list of three types of essay hooks you want to avoid at all costs because these hooks can only disappoint your readers. 

1. Quotations

Quotes are probably the most overused type of hook in any form of writing. What's even worse is rinsing and repeating the same old quotes from Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela in your essays. 

No matter how powerful a quote sounds, you shouldn’t slap it at the opening of your essay. It doesn’t give readers the excitement of reading something original and looks lazy.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on productivity, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work” – Stephen King
Did you know that consuming 100 gms of sugar can slash your productivity levels by over 50% in a day?  

2. Definitions

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a hook as "a thing designed to catch people's attention." 

If I opened my article with this dictionary definition of a hook, you’d have either dozed off or left this page long back to find something more interesting. 

Here's the thing: definitions put people to sleep. Readers don't want to see a formal, jargon-heavy definition of a topic as the very first line of an essay. Your opening statement should have some personality in it to show readers they're in for an exciting read. 

For example, if you’re writing about happy hormones, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Happy hormones are known to boost the happiness levels in your body by creating positive feelings.
Ever wondered why cat videos make you instantly happy, and ice creams give you an extra dose of energy? It's all about how happy hormones control our brain chemistry.

3. “Imagine this”

Opening your essay with "Imagine this" used to be an interesting way to put your readers in a scenario and set the context for your essay. But now, it's far too cliched and just another lazy attempt to write an essay hook. 

You can create a relatable scenario for users without asking them to imagine or picture it. Use the descriptive hook format with an interesting choice of words to convey the same ideas more creatively.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on preparing for higher studies abroad, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Imagine this: You’ve been applying to multiple universities, writing SOPs, and preparing for exams without guidance. Everything can go south any minute. 
College application season is officially here. But with each passing day, you’re under more and more stress to apply to your chosen colleges and tick all the items off your list.

‍Our Go-To Trick for Writing Catchy Hooks

This opening statement can make or break your entire essay. While I’ve broken down my best tips to create the best essay hooks, here’s a surefire way to write compelling openings :

Go through your notes and either outline your essay or write the whole thing. This way, you’ll know the central thread (or throughline) that runs throughout your piece. 

Once your essay or outline is complete, go back through and identify a particularly compelling fact, claim, or example that relates to that central thread.

‍Write up that fact, claim, or example as the hook for your essay using any of the methods we’ve covered. Then revise or write your essay so the hook leads smoothly into the rest of the piece and you don’t repeat that information elsewhere.

Does your hook spark curiosity in you? 

Did that fact surprise you in the research stage? 

Chances are, your readers will have the same reaction.

And that’s exactly what you want.

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73 Essay Hook Examples

essay hook examples and definition, explained below

An essay hook is the first one or two sentences of your essay that are used to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into your discussion.

It is called a hook because it “grabs” the reader and doesn’t let them go! It should have something in there that makes the reader feel curious and intrigued, compelling them to continue reading.

Techniques for Good Essay Hooks

Here are a few techniques that you can use to write a good essay hook:

  • Use a Quotation : Sometimes, a relevant quotation from a well-known author or expert can help establish the context or theme of your essay. Next time you’re conducting research for an essay, keep an eye out for a really compelling quote that you could use as your hook for that essay.
  • Start with a Statement that is Surprising or Unusual: A surprising or unusually statement will draw a reader in, making them want to know more about that topic. It’s good if the statement contradicts common knowledge or reveals an insight about your topic that isn’t immediately obvious. These can be particularly good for argumentative essays where you’re putting forward a controversial or compelling argument as your thesis statement .
  • Tell a Brief Anecdote : A short, interesting story related to your topic can personaize the story, making it more than just a dry essay, and turning it into a compelling narrative that’s worth reading.
  • Use Statistics or Facts: Interesting, surprising, or shocking facts or statistics work similarly to surprising statements: they make us want to know more about a topic. Statistics and facts in your introductions are particularly useful for analytical, expository , and argumentative essays.
  • Start with a Question: Questions that make the reader think deeply about an issue, or pose a question that the reader themselves has considered, can be really effecitve. But remember, questions tend to be better for informal and personal essays, and are generally not allowed in formal argumentative essays. If you’re not sure if you’re allowed to use questions in your essays, check with your teacher first.

Below, I’ll present some examples of hooks that you could use as inspiration when writing your own essay hook.

Essay Hook Examples

These examples might help stimulate your thinking. However, keep in mind that your essay hook needs to be unique to your essay, so use these as inspiration but write your own essay hook that’s perfect for your own essay.

1. For an Essay About Yourself

An essay about yourself can be personal, use “I” statements, and include memories or thoughts that are deeply personal to you.

  • Question: “Have you ever met someone who could turn even the most mundane events into a thrilling adventure? Let me introduce myself.”
  • Anecdote: “The smell of freshly baked cookies always takes me back to the day when I accidentally started a baking business at the age of nine.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “I’ve always believed that you haven’t truly lived until you’ve read a book upside down, danced in the rain, or taught a parrot to say ‘I love pizza.'”
  • Quotation: “As Mark Twain once said, ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ That’s a philosophy I’ve embraced in every aspect of my life.”
  • Humorous Statement: “I’m a self-proclaimed ‘professional chocolate tester’ – a title that’s not only delicious but also requires extreme dedication.”
  • Start with your Mission Statement : “My life motto is simple but powerful: be the person who decided to go for it.
  • Fact or Statistic: “According to a study, people who speak more than one language tend to be better at multitasking . As a polyglot, I certainly live up to that statistic.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life were a book, it would be a blend of an adventurous novel, a suspense thriller, and a pinch of romantic comedy.”
  • Personal Revelation: “Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an uncanny ability to communicate with animals. It’s an unusual skill, but one that has shaped my life in many ways.”
  • Narrative: “The day everything changed for me was an ordinary Tuesday. Little did I know, a single conversation would lead me to discover my true passion.”

2. For a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay often explores personal experiences, feelings, and thoughts. So, your hooks for reflective essays can usually be more personal, intriguing, and engaging than other types of essays. Here are some examples for inspiration:

  • Question: “Have you ever felt as though a single moment could change your entire life? This essay is going to explore that moment for me.”
  • Anecdote: “I was standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking at the vast emptiness, and for the first time, I truly understood the word ‘perspective’.”
  • Bold Statement: “There is a part of me that is still trapped in that room, on that rainy afternoon, holding the letter that would change everything.”
  • Personal Revelation: “The first time I truly felt a sense of belonging wasn’t in a crowded room full of friends, but in the quiet solitude of a forest.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “In my life, silence has been a teacher more profound than any words could ever be.”
  • Quotation: “Einstein once said, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’ Now, looking back, I realize how profound that statement truly is.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life is a tapestry, then that summer was the vibrant thread that changed the entire pattern.”
  • Narrative: “As the train pulled out of the station, I realized I wasn’t just leaving my hometown, I was leaving my old self behind.”
  • Philosophical Statement: “In the theater of life, we are both the actor and the audience, playing our part and watching ourselves simultaneously.”
  • Emotive Statement: “There is a sort of sweet sorrow in remembering, a joy tinged with a hint of sadness, like the last notes of a beautiful song.”

For an Argumentative Essay

Essay hooks for argumentative essays are often the hardest. This type of essay tends to require the most formal type of academic writing, meaning your hook shouldn’t use first person, and should be more based on fact and objectivity, often at the expense of creativity. Here are some examples.

  • Quotation: “Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.’ If Jefferson were alive today, he would likely feel that this meed for a well-informed citizenry is falling well short of where he would aspire.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite what romantic films may portray, love at first sight is merely a myth perpetuated by society. This essay will prosecute the argument that love at first sight is a myth.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading psychological disability worldwide. Yet, mental health is still stigmatized and often overlooked. This essay will argue that depression should be seen as a health issue, and stigmatization of depression causes serious harm to society.”
  • Comparison: “Much like an unchecked infection, climate change, if left ignored, can spread far beyond what it is today, causing long-term economic and social problems that may even threaten the longevity of humanity itself.”
  • Contradiction : “While we live in an era of unprecedented technological advancements, millions around the world are still denied basic internet access.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Animal testing is not only ethically unacceptable, but it also undermines the progress of medical research.”
  • Challenging Belief: “Despite popular belief, the automation of jobs is not a threat but an opportunity for society to evolve.”
  • Quotation: “George Orwell wrote in ‘1984’, ‘Big Brother is Watching You.’ In our modern society, with the advancement of technology, this is becoming more of a reality than fiction.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “Despite countless diet fads and fitness trends, obesity rates continue to rise. This argumentative essay will argue that this is because medical practitioners’ approaches to health and weight loss are fundamentally flawed.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Research reveals that over 90% of the world’s plastic waste is not recycled. This alarming figure calls for a drastic change in social attitudes towards consumption and waste management.”
  • Challenging Assumption: “Society often assumes that progress and growth are intrinsically good, but this is not always the case in the realm of economic development.”
  • Contradiction: “Western society upholds the value of freedom, yet every day, members of society cede personal liberties in the name of convenience and security.”
  • Analogy: “Like an overplayed song, when a news story is repeated too often, it loses its impact. In the era of digital media, society is becoming desensitized to critical issues.”
  • Relevant Anecdote: “In a village in India, the arrival of a single computer transformed the lives of the residents. This small anecdote underscores the importance of digital inclusion in today’s world.”
  • Call to Rethink: “In a world where success is often equated with financial wealth, it is time for society to reconsidered what truly constitutes a successful life.”

For a Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay examines two issues, looking at both the similarities and differences between them. A good hook for a compare and contrast essay will immediately signal to the reader the subjects that are being compared and why they’re being compared. Here are sine ideas for hooks for a compare and contrast essay:

  • Quotation: “As Charles Dickens wrote in his novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. This could equally apply to the contrasting dynamics of urban and rural living.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite popular belief, cats and dogs have more in common than society tends to think.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing being an only child to growing up with siblings is like contrasting a solo performance with an orchestral symphony.”
  • Contradiction: “While many view classic literature and contemporary fiction as worlds apart, they are more akin to two sides of the same coin.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Android and iPhone may compete in the same market, but their philosophies could not be more different.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Statistics show that children who grow up reading books tend to perform better academically than those who do not. But, the jury is out on how reading traditional books compares to reading e-books on screens.”
  • Quotation: “As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, ‘Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.’ This statement can be used to frame a comparison between short-term and long-term thinking.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Democracy and dictatorship are often seen as polar opposites, but are they are not as different as they seem.”
  • Comparison: “Climate change and plastic pollution are two major environmental issues, yet they demand different approaches and solutions.”
  • Contradiction: “While traditional classrooms and online learning are seen as separate modes of education, they can often blend into a cohesive learning experience.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Though both based on merit, the structures of capitalism and socialism lead to vastly different societal outcomes.”
  • Imagery: “The painting styles of Van Gogh and Monet can be contrasted as a stormy sea versus a tranquil pond.”
  • Historical Reference: “The philosophies of the Cold War-era – capitalism and communism – provide a lens to contrast economic systems.”
  • Literary Comparison: “The dystopian societies portrayed in George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ serve as contrasting visions of the future.”
  • Philosophical Question: “Individualism and collectivism shape societies in distinct ways, but neither one can truly exist without the other.”

See Here for my Guide on Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

For a Psychology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a psychology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in the human mind, behavior, or the specific psychology topic you’re discussing. Here are some stimulating hooks for a psychology essay:

  • Rhetorical Question: “How much control do we truly have over our own actions?”
  • Quotation: “Sigmund Freud once said, ‘Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.’ This essay will explore whether this is universally true.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Contrary to popular belief, ‘venting out’ anger might actually be fueling the fire of fury.”
  • Comparison: “Just as an iceberg reveals only a fraction of its bulk above water, conscious minds may only be a small piece of who humans truly are.”
  • Contradiction: “While it may seem counterintuitive, studies show that individuals who are more intelligent are also more likely to suffer from mental health issues.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Despite advances in technology, understanding the human brain remains one of the final frontiers in science.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to a study by the American Psychological Association, nearly one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness. Yet, mental health continues to be a topic shrouded in stigma.”

For a Sociology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a sociology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in social behaviors, cultural phenomena, or the specific sociology topic you’re discussing. Here are ideas for hooks for a sociology essay:

  • Quotation: “As Karl Marx once noted, ‘Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex.’ Sadly, society has not made much progress in gender equality.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Social media, initially created to connect people, is ironically leading society into an era of unprecedented isolation.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing society to a theater, where each individual plays a role, it is possible to start to see patterns and scripts embedded in daily interactions.”
  • Contradiction: “While people often believe that technology is bringing society closer together, evidence suggests that it’s actually driving a wedge between people, creating ‘digital divides’.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Human societies are constructed on deeply ingrained systems of inequality, often invisible to those benefiting from them.”
  • Statistical Fact: “A recent study found that women still earn only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. This stark wage gap raises questions about equality in the workforce.”

For a College Application Essay

A college essay is a personal statement where you can showcase who you are beyond your grades and resume. It’s your chance to tell your unique story. Here are ten potential hooks for a college essay:

  • Anecdote: “At the age of seven, with a wooden spoon as my baton, I confidently conducted an orchestra of pots and pans in my grandmother’s kitchen.”
  • Provocative Statement: “I believe that life is like a game of chess. The king might be the most important piece, but it’s the pawns that can change the entire course of the game.”
  • Personal Revelation: “It wasn’t until I was lost in a foreign city, armed with nothing but a map in a language I didn’t understand, that I truly discovered my love for adventure.”
  • Intriguing Question: “Have you ever wondered how it feels to be part of two completely different cultures, yet wholly belong to neither?”
  • Bold Declaration: “Breaking a bone can be a painful experience. Breaking stereotypes, however, is an entirely different kind of challenge.”
  • Unusual Fact: “I can recite the periodic table backwards while juggling three tennis balls. It’s a strange talent, but it’s a perfect metaphor for how I tackle challenges.”
  • Quotation: “As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ This quote has defined my approach to learning.”
  • Narrative: “It was a cold winter’s day when I first discovered the magic of turning a blank page into a world full of characters, stories, and ideas.”
  • Metaphor: “Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, my high school years have been a period of profound metamorphosis.”
  • Humorous Statement: “Being the youngest of five siblings, I quickly learned that the best way to be heard was to become the family’s unofficial lawyer.”

Conclusion: The Qualities of a Good Essay Hook

As I wrap up this article, I want to share a few last tips on qualities that a good essay hook should have. Keep these tips in mind when writing your essay hook and using the above essay hook examples:

First, relevance . A good hook should be directly relevant to the topic or theme of your essay. The hook should provide a preview of what’s to come without giving too much away.

Second, Intrigue. A great hook should make the reader want to continue reading. It should create a question in the reader’s mind or present a fascinating idea that they want to know more about.

Third, uniqueness. An effective hook should be original and unique. It should stand out from the many other essays that the reader might be going through.

Fourth, clarity. Even though a hook should be captivating and original, it should also be clear and easy to understand. Avoid complex sentences and jargon that might confuse the reader.

Fifth, genre conventions. Too often, my students try to be so creative in their essay hooks that they forget genre conventions . The more formal an essay, the harder it is to write the hook. My general approach is to focus on statistics and facts, and avoid rhetorical questions , with more formal essay hooks.

Keep in mind that you should run your essay hook by your teacher by showing them your first draft before you submit your essay for grading. This will help you to make sure it follows genre conventions and is well-written.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 17 Behaviorism Examples
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  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 15 Animism Examples
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How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

4-minute read

  • 6th May 2023

Never underestimate the power of an essay hook . This opening statement is meant to grab the reader’s attention and convince them to keep reading. But how do you write one that’ll pack a punch? In this article, we’ll break this down.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the first thing your audience will read. If it doesn’t hook them right off the bat, they might decide not to keep reading. It’s important that your opening statement is impactful while not being too wordy or presumptuous.

It’s also crucial that it clearly relates to your topic. You don’t want to mislead your readers into thinking your essay is about something it’s not. So, what kind of essay hook should you write? Here are seven ideas to choose from:

1.   Story

Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example:

The key to a good story hook is keeping it short and sweet. You’re not writing a novel in addition to an essay!

2.   Fact

Another great essay hook idea is to lay out a compelling fact or statistic. For example:

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing this. Make sure it’s relevant to your topic, accurate, and something your audience will care about. And, of course, be sure to cite your sources properly.

3.   Metaphor or Simile

If you want to get a little more creative with your essay hook, try using a metaphor or simile . A metaphor states that something is something else in a figurative sense, while a simile states that something is like something else.

Metaphors and similes are effective because they provide a visual for your readers, making them think about a concept in a different way. However, be careful not to make them too far-fetched or overly exaggerated.

4.   Question

Asking your audience a question is a great way to hook them. Not only does it make them think, but they’ll also want to keep reading because you will have sparked their curiosity. For example:

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Try to avoid using questions that start with something along the lines of “Have you ever wondered…?” Instead, try to think of a question they may never have wondered about. And be sure not to answer it right away, at least not fully. Use your essay to do that!

5.   Declaration

Making a bold statement or declaring a strong opinion can immediately catch people’s attention. For example:

Regardless of whether your reader agrees with you, they’ll probably want to keep reading to find out how you will back up your claim. Just make sure your declaration isn’t too controversial, or you might scare readers away!

6.   Common Misconception

Laying out a common misconception is another useful way to hook your reader. For example:

If your readers don’t know that a common belief is actually a misconception, they’ll likely be interested in learning more. And if they are already aware, it’s probably a topic they’re interested in, so they’ll want to read more.

7.   Description

You can put your descriptive powers into action with your essay hook. Creating interesting or compelling imagery places your reader into a scene, making the words come alive.

A description can be something beautiful and appealing or emotionally charged and provoking. Either way, descriptive writing is a powerful way to immerse your audience and keep them reading.

When writing an essay, don’t skimp on the essay hook! The opening statement has the potential to convince your audience to hear what you have to say or to let them walk away. We hope our ideas have given you some inspiration.

And once you finish writing your essay, make sure to send it to our editors. We’ll check it for grammar, spelling, word choice, references, and more. Try it out for free today with a 500-word sample !

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Apr 5, 2023

How to Write an Essay Hook | Tips, Tricks, and Examples

What does fishing and essay writing have in common? It's all about the hook! Just like a fisherman needs a good hook to catch a fish, you need an excellent essay hook to reel in your readers. If you're tired of your essays flopping like a fish out of water, don't worry - in this article, we'll teach you how to craft a hook that will have your readers hooked from the very first sentence. Get ready to bait your audience and catch their attention like a pro!

Welcome to the world of essay writing! Crafting an essay that captivates your audience from the very beginning can be challenging. As a student, you might have struggled with the question, "How do I write an essay hook?" The answer is simple: you need to grab the reader's attention and keep them engaged from the first sentence. But how do you do that effectively?

Don't worry; that's where Jenni.ai comes in! Our AI tool is designed to help students write essays that stand out, with powerful hook examples for essays that will make your paper impossible to put down.

That's why we've created this blog post to help you understand what a hook is, and how to write one and provide you with some hook essay examples that will inspire you to take your writing to the next level. Whether you're writing a persuasive essay, a narrative essay, or a research paper, we've got you covered!

But first, let's talk about what an essay hook is. A hook is an initial statement in an essay, typically the first sentence or a group of sentences that grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more. It's the first impression you give to your reader, and it can make or break your essay.

A good hook should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and relevant to your topic. It can be a question, a quote, a statistic, a personal anecdote, or anything else that piques your reader's interest.

How to Write a Hook

Now that you know what a hook is and why it's important, let's dive into how to write a hook that will grab your reader's attention.

Start with an Interesting Fact or Statistic

One of the most effective ways to start an essay is with an interesting fact or statistic that relates to your topic. This will immediately grab your reader's attention and make them curious to learn more.

For example, if you're writing an essay about the impact of climate change on the ocean, you could start with a startling statistic like "The ocean has absorbed 90% of the heat produced by global warming, causing it to become 30% more acidic in the last century alone."

Use a Metaphor or Simile

Metaphors and similes can be powerful tools for creating an engaging hook. By comparing something familiar to your reader with something unfamiliar or unexpected, you can pique their interest and create a sense of intrigue.

For instance, if you're writing an essay about the importance of education, you could start with a metaphor like "Education is the key that unlocks the door to a brighter future."

Pose a Question

Asking a thought-provoking question can be an effective way to hook your reader and encourage them to think about your topic in a new way. The key is to ask a question that is relevant to your topic and that will make your reader curious to find out the answer.

For example, if you're writing an essay about the benefits of meditation, you could start with a question like "What if just 10 minutes of meditation a day could reduce your stress levels and improve your mental clarity?"

Share a Personal Anecdote

Sharing a personal story or anecdote can be a powerful way to connect with your reader and make your essay feel more relatable. It also shows that you have a personal stake in the topic you're writing about.

For instance, if you're writing an essay about the importance of mental health, you could start with a personal anecdote like "I remember the moment I realized I needed to prioritize my mental health. It was a sunny day, but I felt like I was drowning in darkness."

By using one of these techniques, you can create an essay hook that is engaging, relevant, and memorable. So the next time you sit down to write an essay, remember to start with a hook that will reel in your reader and keep them hooked until the very end.

Example Essays with Engaging Hooks

The End of Innocence: How Technology Is Changing Childhood

Introduction:

From playing in the backyard to scrolling through screens, the childhood experience has drastically changed in the last few decades. Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and children are not left behind. With the emergence of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices, the digital age has paved the way for a new kind of childhood experience.

However, this change has raised some serious concerns about the impact of technology on children's lives. In this article, we will explore the end of innocence and how technology is changing childhood.

Digital Age and Childhood:

With the advent of technology, childhood has evolved. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other smart devices have changed the way children play, learn, and communicate. The digital age has brought a wealth of information and entertainment that was not available in the past.

Children can now access an extensive range of educational resources, connect with peers, and entertain themselves at the touch of a button. However, this has led to concerns about the impact of technology on children's physical, social, and emotional development.

Physical Development:

Technology has made it easier for children to engage in sedentary activities such as watching videos, playing games, and browsing the internet. This has led to concerns about the impact of technology on physical development.

According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality. With children spending more time in screens, there is a real risk of obesity and other health problems. Furthermore, the excessive use of screens can lead to eye strain, headaches, and other health issues.

Social Development:

Technology has changed the way children interact with each other. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have given children a new way to connect with peers. However, social media can also be a source of cyberbullying, online harassment, and other negative experiences. 

Furthermore, the excessive use of screens can lead to social isolation, as children spend less time engaging in face-to-face interactions.

Emotional Development:

The impact of technology on children's emotional development is a subject of debate. While some studies have found a positive relationship between technology use and emotional development, others have found the opposite.

The excessive use of screens can lead to addiction, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, children who spend more time on screens are less likely to develop empathy and emotional intelligence.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the digital age has changed childhood, and the end of innocence is a real concern. Technology has brought a wealth of benefits, but it has also led to concerns about the impact on children's physical, social, and emotional development. As parents, it is important to strike a balance between technology use and other activities.

Encouraging children to engage in physical activity, spend time with friends and family, and pursue hobbies can help to mitigate the negative effects of technology. By being mindful of the impact of technology on childhood, we can help our children to grow into healthy, well-rounded individuals.

The Price of Perfection: Why Society's Standards Are Hurting Us

Perfection is a goal that many people strive for in their lives. Society often places a great deal of emphasis on achieving perfection, whether it is in our appearance, career, or personal life. However, the pursuit of perfection can have a negative impact on our mental and emotional well-being. In this article, we will explore the price of perfection and why society's standards are hurting us.

The Perfectionism Trap:

Perfectionism is the belief that one must be flawless in all aspects of life. It is a personality trait that can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including anxiety, depression, and stress. Society often reinforces the notion that perfectionism is desirable, which can lead people to feel inadequate or inferior when they fall short of this ideal.

The Cost of Perfection:

The pursuit of perfection can have significant costs, both personally and socially. At an individual level, it can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Perfectionism is often associated with high levels of stress, as individuals feel pressure to meet unrealistic expectations. This can lead to physical health problems, such as headaches, muscle tension, and insomnia.

At a societal level, the pressure to be perfect can lead to social isolation, as individuals feel unable to meet the expectations of their peers. Social media has exacerbated this problem, as individuals compare themselves to others who seem to have achieved perfection in various aspects of their lives.

This can lead to a sense of inadequacy and low self-esteem, as individuals feel they cannot measure up to the standards set by others.

Breaking Free from Perfectionism:

Breaking free from the trap of perfectionism requires a shift in mindset. It requires recognizing that perfection is not achievable and that mistakes and failures are a natural part of the human experience. Learning to embrace imperfection can lead to greater emotional resilience and mental well-being.

It also requires challenging the societal norms that reinforce the importance of perfectionism. This includes questioning the unrealistic expectations placed on individuals in various aspects of life, such as their appearance or career success.

In conclusion, the pursuit of perfection can come at a significant cost to our mental and emotional well-being. Society often reinforces the notion that perfectionism is desirable, which can lead individuals to feel inadequate or inferior when they fall short of this ideal.

Breaking free from the trap of perfectionism requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to embrace imperfection. By recognizing that perfection is not achievable, we can work towards greater emotional resilience and mental well-being. It also requires challenging the societal norms that reinforce the importance of perfectionism, so that we can create a more compassionate and accepting society for all.

Breaking the Stigma: Why Mental Health Matters

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it is often stigmatized and overlooked in our society. Many people suffer from mental health issues, but due to the stigma surrounding these conditions, they may not seek the help they need. In this article, we will explore the importance of mental health and why breaking the stigma is so crucial.

The Impact of Mental Health on Our Lives:

Mental health plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. It affects our emotions, thoughts, and behaviour, and impacts how we interact with others and the world around us. Mental health issues can have a significant impact on our daily lives, leading to difficulties with work, relationships, and overall functioning.

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health:

Despite the prevalence of mental health issues, there is still a significant stigma surrounding these conditions. This can lead people to feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help, which can delay treatment and lead to more severe symptoms. Stigma can also lead to discrimination and negative attitudes towards individuals with mental health issues, which can further exacerbate their symptoms and impact their quality of life.

Breaking the Stigma:

Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is crucial to ensuring that individuals receive the help they need. It requires challenging the negative attitudes and misconceptions that contribute to the stigma. This includes promoting awareness and education about mental health issues, as well as encouraging open and honest conversations about mental health.

By creating a more accepting and supportive environment for individuals with mental health issues, we can help to reduce the stigma and improve access to care.

The Importance of Seeking Help:

Seeking help for mental health issues is crucial for both individuals and society as a whole. By addressing mental health issues early on, we can prevent more severe symptoms and improve overall functioning. It also helps to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, as individuals who seek help can serve as role models and advocates for others who may be struggling.

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it is often stigmatized and overlooked in our society. Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is crucial to ensuring that individuals receive the help they need. It requires challenging negative attitudes and misconceptions about mental health, promoting awareness and education, and encouraging open and honest conversations.

By doing so, we can create a more accepting and supportive environment for individuals with mental health issues, and improve access to care for all.

From Zero to Hero: The Power of Resilience

Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity and bounce back from challenges. It is a powerful trait that can help individuals achieve success in all areas of their lives, from personal relationships to professional pursuits. 

Life can be full of challenges and setbacks that can leave us feeling defeated and discouraged. But what sets successful people apart from those who struggle is their ability to bounce back from adversity and keep pushing forward. This ability to overcome obstacles and persevere in the face of adversity is known as resilience, and it can be a powerful tool for achieving success in all areas of life.

In this article, we will explore the concept of resilience, its benefits, and strategies for building it. We'll also look at real-life examples of resilience in action and how it can help us go from zero to hero in our own lives.

Defining resilience: What it is and why it matters

Resilience is the ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity, trauma, or stress. It involves being able to bounce back from setbacks and continue moving forward despite challenges. Resilience is not a fixed trait; rather, it can be developed and strengthened over time through deliberate practice and the cultivation of a growth mindset.

Resilience matters because life is full of challenges, both big and small. Whether it's a difficult job interview, a breakup, or a health issue, we all face obstacles that can derail us if we don't have the tools to cope. Resilience helps us stay strong in the face of adversity, maintain our focus on our goals, and continue making progress even when the going gets tough.

The benefits of resilience: How it can improve your life

There are many benefits to developing resilience. Here are just a few:

Increased self-confidence: When we develop resilience, we become more confident in our ability to handle challenges and overcome obstacles. This increased confidence can spill over into other areas of our lives, helping us take risks and pursue our goals with greater vigour.

Improved mental health: Resilience has been linked to improved mental health outcomes, including lower rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because resilient individuals are better able to cope with stress and trauma, and are less likely to be overwhelmed by negative emotions.

Greater success in personal and professional pursuits: Resilience is a key predictor of success in both personal and professional endeavours. Individuals who are more resilient are better able to persevere in the face of challenges, bounce back from setbacks, and stay focused on their goals.

Strategies for building resilience: From mindfulness to self-care

While some individuals may be naturally more resilient than others, resilience is a trait that can be developed and strengthened over time. Here are some strategies for building resilience:

Practice mindfulness:

Mindfulness can help us develop a greater awareness of our thoughts and emotions, and learn to regulate them more effectively. This can be especially helpful when we are facing challenges or setbacks.

Cultivate a growth mindset: 

A growth mindset involves believing that our abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication. This mindset can help us stay motivated and focused even when we encounter obstacles.

Practice self-care: 

Taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally is essential for building resilience. This may include getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring us joy and fulfilment.

Real-life examples of resilience in action

There are countless examples of individuals who have demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. For example:

Oprah Winfrey grew up in poverty and was a victim of abuse, but she persevered and went on to become one of the most successful and influential people in the world.

J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mother when she wrote the first Harry Potter book, which was rejected by multiple publishers. But she kept writing and eventually found success, becoming one of the bestselling authors of all time

Another factor that contributes to resilience is having a positive outlook. People who are resilient tend to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, rather than dwelling on the negative. They also have a sense of optimism and hopefulness, which allows them to see the light at the end of the tunnel even in the darkest of times. 

In fact, studies have shown that having a positive attitude can help individuals cope better with stress and adversity, leading to increased resilience.

In addition to having a positive outlook, building strong relationships with others can also help to foster resilience. Having a support system of family, friends, and even colleagues can provide a sense of belonging and connection, which can be critical during difficult times. This support system can also provide emotional and practical support, helping individuals to better manage and overcome challenges.

Furthermore, resilience can also be strengthened through learning and personal growth. By taking the time to reflect on past experiences, individuals can gain valuable insights into their own strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness can help them to develop a greater sense of resilience, as they become better equipped to deal with future challenges.

Finally, taking care of one's physical health can also contribute to resilience. Engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet are all important factors in maintaining physical well-being. By prioritizing physical health, individuals can better cope with stress and adversity, allowing them to bounce back more easily when faced with difficult situations.

In conclusion, resilience is a powerful trait that can help individuals overcome adversity and achieve success in all areas of life. Whether it is through developing a positive outlook, building strong relationships, or prioritizing physical health, there are many strategies that can be used to build resilience. 

By focusing on these strategies and working to develop a greater sense of resilience, individuals can learn to transform themselves from zero to hero, achieving their goals and living their best lives.

In conclusion, the essay hook is a crucial element in any essay, as it is the first thing that readers will see and can make or break their interest in the rest of the essay. There are many different types of essay hooks that can be used, from rhetorical questions and anecdotes to statistics and quotes.

By understanding the different types of hooks and how they can be used effectively, writers can capture their readers' attention and keep them engaged throughout the essay.

To create a successful essay hook, it is important to consider the audience, the topic, and the purpose of the essay. By tailoring the hook to these factors, writers can create a hook that is not only attention-grabbing but also relevant and meaningful.

Fortunately, with the help of Jenni.ai , creating an essay hook has never been easier. Our AI-powered writing assistant can help you create essay hooks with its AI autocomplete feature, Jenni.ai can help you create essay hooks that will capture your readers' attention.

So, if you're struggling with your essay hook or looking for a way to streamline your writing process, sign up for Jenni.ai today. Our powerful writing assistant can help you take your writing to the next level, and with a free trial available, there's no reason not to give Jenni.ai a try.

Sign up today and start writing essays that will hook your readers and earn you the grades you deserve!

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Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

You can think of the first sentence of your essay as you would a fishing hook. It grabs your reader and allows you reel the person into your essay and your train of thought. The hook for your essay can be an interesting sentence that captures a person's attention, it can be thought-provoking, or even, entertaining.

The hook for your essay often appears in the first sentence . The opening paragraph includes a thesis sentence . Some popular hook choices can include using an interesting quote, a little-known fact, famous last words, or a statistic .

A quote hook is best used when you are composing an essay based on an author, story, or book. It helps establish your authority on the topic and by using someone else's quote, you can strengthen your thesis if the quote supports it.

The following is an example of a quote hook: "A man's errors are his portals of discovery." In the next sentence or two, give a reason for this quote or current example. As for the last sentence (the thesis) : Students grow more confident and self-sufficient when parents allow them to make mistakes and experience failure.

General statement

By setting the tone in the opening sentence with a uniquely written general statement of your thesis, the beauty is that you get right to the point. Most readers appreciate that approach.

For example, you can start with the following statement: Many studies show that the biological sleep pattern for teens shifts a few hours, which means teens naturally stay up later and feel alert later in the morning. The next sentence, set up the body of your essay, perhaps by introducing the concept that school days should be adjusted so that they are more in sync with the teenager's natural sleep or wake cycle. As for the last sentence (the thesis) :  If every school day started at ten o'clock, many students would find it easier to stay focused.

By listing a proven fact or entertaining an interesting statistic that might even sound implausible to the reader, you can excite a reader to want to know more. 

Like this hook: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics , teens and young adults experience the highest rates of violent crime. Your next sentence can set up the argument that it's dangerous for teenagers to be on the streets at late hours. A fitting thesis statement might read: Parents are justified in implementing a strict curfew, regardless of a student's academic performance.

The Right Hook for Your Essay

The good news about finding a hook? You can find a quote, fact, or another type of hook after you determine your thesis. You can accomplish this with a simple online search about your topic after you've developed your essay .

You can nearly have the essay finished before you revisit the opening paragraph. Many writers polish up the first paragraph after the essay is completed.

Outlining the Steps for Writing Your Essay

Here's an example of the steps you can follow that help you outline your essay.

  • First paragraph: Establish the thesis
  • Body paragraphs: Supporting evidence
  • Last paragraph: Conclusion with a restatement of the thesis
  • Revisit the first paragraph: Find the best hook

Obviously, the first step is to determine your thesis. You need to research your topic and know what you plan to write about. Develop a starting statement. Leave this as your first paragraph for now.

The next paragraphs become the supporting evidence for your thesis. This is where you include the statistics, opinions of experts, and anecdotal information.

Compose a closing paragraph that is basically a reiteration of your thesis statement with new assertions or conclusive findings you find during with your research.

Lastly, go back to your introductory hook paragraph. Can you use a quote, shocking fact, or paint a picture of the thesis statement using an anecdote? This is how you sink your hooks into a reader.

The best part is if you are not loving what you come up with at first, then you can play around with the introduction. Find several facts or quotes that might work for you. Try out a few different starting sentences and determine which of your choices makes the most interesting beginning to your essay.

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Essay Writing Guide

Hook Example

Nova A.

Learn How to Write an Essay Hook, With Examples

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hook example

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Are your essays failing to keep readers interested? Struggling to maintain engagement throughout? 

If you don't grab attention from the start, readers might click away or never even begin. But how can we make sure that does not happen? 

An essay hook is what you need to meet this challenge. It is an attention grabber that hooks your reader’s interest. 

In this blog, we'll explain how to write an essay hook and explore several engaging examples of hooks in writing. Additionally, we'll look at different types of hooks and offer tips for writing engaging hook statements in your essays.

So, let’s start with the blog!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is an Essay Hook?
  • 2. How to Write a Good Essay Hook?
  • 3. Different Types of Hook
  • 4. Hook Examples for Types of Essays
  • 5. Tips to Choose a Good Hook

What is an Essay Hook?

Hooks for essays, often found at the beginning of an essay introduction , serve as an opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. These hooks are a common feature in high school, college, and various academic assignments.

Keep in mind that hooks are not the same as introductions; they complement introductions and make them engaging. A good hook should be self-contained, avoiding the pitfalls of being dull or predictable.

Purpose of Hook in Writing

An effective hook serves two primary purposes. 

  • Firstly, it sets the tone for the essay by giving a sneak peek into what it's about.
  • Secondly, it creates an engaging start that makes the reader want to explore the essay further.

How to Write a Good Essay Hook?

Here are the points that you need to keep in mind to write a hook for your essay. 

Step#1 Know the Kind of Literary Work

First, it is important to have a clear vision in mind of the literary work you have selected for your paper. Here you need to describe what a certain essay type demands and what types of techniques you require to support your arguments in your essay. 

Step#2 Create an Outline

Always create an essay outline to see how the information can be organized better and which points need to be highlighted. Try to find an attention grabber that adds to the significance of that point. 

Step#3 Who are You Writing for? 

Know your target audience and choose a way in which you want to develop your work. Your hook statement should be according to it. If you are writing for students, write in simple language. If you are writing for professionals, take the specific language into account. 

Step#4 Know the Purpose of Writing Your Essay

Choose hooks that fit your paper. Know the type of essay you are writing and its purpose. You can go for funny hooks if you are writing a paper on a light topic. If you are writing a conference paper, then you should be more formal. 

Step#5 Revise and Refine

After writing your hook, revise it to ensure it's polished and impactful. Ask yourself if it effectively grabs attention and sets the stage for your essay. 

Different Types of Hook

Let’s take a look at different types of essay hooks and explain them briefly with examples. 

Type 1: Question Hook

A question hook is when you start something, like a story or an essay, by asking a question. It's a way to immediately get people thinking about what you're going to say next. It's like hooking their attention by making them wonder and want to find out the answer.

When posing a question, think about the interest of the reader and the things they would want to learn more about. Avoid making your question generalized or simple Yes or No questions. 

For example, asking a general question such as “Do you watch television?” won’t grab their attention and make them think it over. 

Always use rhetorical questions!

Question Hook Example

 Here are some hook question examples:

Type 2: Anecdotal Hook

An anecdotal hook is like starting your essay with a short, interesting story or personal experience. It catches someone's attention by sharing a real-life example or a funny incident before getting to the main topic.

This type of hook should be directly related to the central theme of the paper, showing its relevance and connection to the main idea.

Anecdotal hooks shouldn't contain cliched phrases or unrealistic scenarios that feel fake or unrelated to the essay topic.

Anecdote Hook Example

Let’s take a look at the anecdotal hook example: 

Type 3: Quotation Hook

A "quote hook" is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay with a quotation from a notable person, a famous author, or a respected source. The purpose of a quote hook is to instantly capture the reader's attention and establish the relevance of the topic by providing an authoritative statement.

A well-chosen quote can add credibility to your writing, evoke emotion, or introduce a key theme that you intend to explore in your essay. It can also set the tone for the piece, whether it's persuasive, informative, or narrative.

Quotation Hook Example

For example, if you're writing an essay about the importance of perseverance, you might start with a quote like this:

Type 4: Statistical Facts Hooks 

Statistical facts hooks are when you start an essay with numbers or data to grab people's attention. The purpose of a statistical facts hook is to engage the reader's interest by presenting them with a surprising, statistic related to the essay's topic.

This type of hook is particularly effective when writing an informative essay or persuasive essay that relies on data and evidence to support the main argument. 

Statistical Hook Example

Take a look at the sample statistical hook below:

Type 5: Personal Story Hook 

Starting a piece of writing with a personal short story is a good idea when writing narrative essays or a college application essay .

It doesn’t have to be an experience that you faced firsthand; it could be something that happened with a friend or a relative.

Personal Story Hook Example 

Here is what a good personal story hook looks like: 

Type 6: Description Hook

This type of hook is like painting a picture with words. Instead of jumping right into the action or topic, it starts by vividly describing something related to the main idea. 

This draws readers in by appealing to their senses and creating a clear image in their minds. It sets the scene and gets them interested in what's to come. Descriptive hooks are most commonly used in narrative essays but can be used in any type of writing. 

Description Hook Essay Example

Here is an example of a description hook: 

Type 7: Metaphor/Simile Hook

A metaphor or simile hook is like comparing something in your essay to something else, using words like "as" or "like."It directly compares two things that are not related to each other. 

It's a way to paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind, making your point more interesting and memorable.

Metaphor/Simile Hook Example

Let’s take a look at the metaphor/simile hook example:

Type 8: Common Misconception Hook

This type of hook starts by talking about something that most people believe, but then reveals that it's actually not true. It's like saying something surprising to make your reader curious and interested in what you're going to say next.

Avoid adding information that's too complex or confusing, keeping it simple and straightforward to maintain clarity and impact.

Common Misconception Hook Example

Here is a sample common misconception hook: 

Hook Examples for Types of Essays

In academics, there are different types of essays according to their structure and purpose.  For instance, an argumentative essay is a serious essay written to persuade the reader of an argument. Whereas a narrative essay could be a light-hearted narration of an event. 

You can not use a funny question to start an argumentative essay. Similarly, you can not use a serious fact to start a funny narrative essay. 

The table shows hook examples for different types of essays:

Let’s explore in detail some interesting hook examples according to different types of essays.

Expository Essay Hook Example -

Argumentative essay hook example.

Here are two different hook examples for argumentative essay:

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Descriptive Essay Hook Example 

A hook example sentence for a descriptive essay is as follows: 

Persuasive Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a persuasive essay is as follows:

Narrative Essay Hook Example 

A hook example for narration is as follows:

Compare and Contrast Essay Hook Example

Here is a sample hook: 

Process Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a process analysis essay is as follows:

Cause and Effect Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a cause and effect essay is as follows:

Analytical Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for an analytical essay is as follows:

Informative Essay Hook Example

Here is a hook example for an informative essay:

Research Paper Hook Example

Here is a hook example for research paper :

Hook Examples In Speeches

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Tips to Choose a Good Hook

Choosing a good hook involves engaging your audience, creating interest, and setting the stage for your content. Here is how to choose a good hook: 

  • Know Your Audience: Understand the interests and preferences of your target audience.
  • Relevance is Key: Ensure your hook directly relates to your content's topic.
  • Shock or Surprise: Use shocking facts, surprising statistics, or intriguing anecdotes.
  • Tell a Story: Engage emotionally with personal stories or narratives.
  • Pose a Question: Ask thought-provoking questions that make readers curious.
  • Quotations: Share powerful quotes from relevant authorities.
  • Visual Imagery: Use descriptive language to create vivid mental images.
  • Conciseness: Keep your hook brief and to the point.

To Sum it Up!

Now you know the different ways to start your essay or research paper. You are the one to decide which hook is better and more effective to use according to the type of paper. Don’t forget to take into account the preparatory steps and figure out what type of hook is best to use. You know that starting with a hook can make or break your academic essay. However, it is not always easy to come up with the perfect anecdote or statement for an opening line. 

Luckily, you can get help from MyPerfectWords.com . Our team of professional writers is ready to craft impeccable essays tailored to your needs, ensuring academic success without the stress.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good hook sentence.

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A good hook sentence is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention or compels them to read your essay further. It is supposed to make your essay more interesting and engaging for them. 

What comes first, thesis or hook?

The hook of your essay is the first line of your introductory paragraph or can be more than one also. But the essay hook is written first. A thesis statement follows it. It is included as a mini-outline of the essay and tells the readers about the essay’s content. 

What is a hook statement?

The hook is the first sentence of your introduction, and it should be interesting. A great way to start a strong introduction is by writing an engaging, concise, and clear hook. This will spark curiosity in the reader, which leads them through all that you have written about.

How long is a hook in an essay?

The hook is 1-2 sentences of your essay are important because they help capture the reader's attention. They will continue reading if they are interested in what you have to say.

What is the difference between a hook vs lead-in transition to the thesis?

A hook captures the reader's attention at the beginning of an essay with an intriguing statement or question. A lead-in transition smoothly connects the hook to the thesis statement, guiding the reader from the attention-grabbing opening to the main argument of the essay.

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How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

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Hannah Yang

how to write a hook

How do you make people feel excited to read your work?

Well, for starters, you can write a great hook.

The “hook” refers to the first sentence, or first few sentences, of an essay, article, or story. That’s because these first few lines need to hook readers in, the same way fishermen use bait to hook fish in.

If you’re trying to figure out how to write a hook, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how to write a fantastic hook and to see some examples of successful ones.

What Is a Hook in Writing?

Top 5 tips for writing good hooks, great examples of hooks, is writing a hook in an essay different from a story hook, conclusion on how to write a hook.

We use the term “hook” to talk about the very beginning of a written work—specifically the part designed to grab readers’ attention. The hook can be as short as a single sentence or as long as a full paragraph.

Writing hooks is a necessary skill for all types of writing—narrative essays, research papers, fiction writing, and more.

definition of a hook in writing

What Makes a Good Hook Important?

Good hooks make your reader feel excited to keep reading.

If you’re writing a book, you need a great hook so people decide to actually buy your work, instead of putting it back on the shelf.

If you’re writing a blog post or article, you need a great hook so people read to the end, instead of scrolling or flipping to a different article instead.

And if you’re writing an essay for school, you need a good hook so you can practice the skill of writing well.

What Are the Different Types of Hooks?

There’s more than one way to write a great hook.

Here are six types of hooks that will grab your reader’s attention.

  • Question hook : a question that provokes the reader’s curiosity and makes them keep reading to find out the answer
  • Statement hook : a strong declaration related to your topic that makes the reader keep reading to see you defend this statement
  • Statistic hook : an interesting fact or statistic that makes you sound knowledgeable, so your reader trusts your expertise
  • Quote hook : a memorable quote, often by a famous person, that the reader will find interesting
  • Description hook : a vivid description that immerses your reader into a specific scene
  • Anecdotal hook : a personal story that relates to your topic and makes the reader feel personally connected to the story

Here are our top tips for writing a strong opening hook.

Tip 1: Surprise the Reader

Readers crave the unexpected. If you start your piece in a surprising way, they’ll be more likely to keep reading.

You can even say something controversial. Readers will want to keep reading to see how you prove your own statement.

Tip 2: Raise a Question

When starting an essay or a story, you should try to create a question that the reader wants answered.

This doesn’t have to be a literal question that ends with a question mark—instead, it can simply be an unusual statement or a weird situation. Make sure it’s something your target audience will find interesting.

Tip 3: Keep Your Promises

If you open your essay with an interesting hook, you need to be mindful of what you’re promising to the reader. If you don’t keep that promise throughout the piece, your reader will feel tricked.

For example, you’d probably be unhappy if you read a story that started with, “The monster was coming for me” and then, later in the first chapter, said, “Then I woke up and realized it was just a nightmare.”

The first sentence is a strong opening hook, but it promises a dramatic scene, which doesn’t get fulfilled, because the hook turns out not to be real.

An equivalent in an essay would be writing a controversial statement and then failing to prove why that statement is true, or asking an interesting question and then failing to answer it later.

Tip 4: Keep It Relevant

Some writers try so hard to choose an interesting hook that they end up using something irrelevant to their essay. Readers will get confused if you open with a random quote or statistic that only tangentially connects to your thesis.

If you’re choosing between a fascinating hook that doesn’t have much to do with your topic, or a decent hook that’s directly related to your thesis statement, you should go with the latter.

Tip 5: Don’t Stop at the Hook

Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong.

Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

One way to learn how to write hooks is to look at examples.

Here are examples of six hooks you could use to start a persuasive essay about artificial intelligence, plus three hooks you could use to start a sci-fi story.

Example 1: Question Hook

  • Will artificial intelligence someday become smarter than humans?

Example 2: Statement Hook

  • Artificial intelligence could become smarter than humans by 2050.

Example 3: Statistic Hook

  • As of 2022, the global AI industry is worth over $130 billion.

Example 4: Quote Hook

  • The scientist Stephen Hawking once said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Example 5: Description Hook

  • The Alexa AI blinks from the kitchen table, emitting a comforting blue light.

Example 6: Anecdotal Hook

  • Like many people of my generation, I used an AI for the first time when I was twelve years old.

Example 7: Sci-Fi Story Hooks

  • Samuel Gibson had friends. Sure, all his friends were AI robots that his parents had purchased for him, but they still counted as friends.
  • My father’s office is full of strange machines, which none of us are allowed to touch.
  • The AI revolt began on Christmas morning of the year 2068.

Both essays and stories require good hooks. After all, you’re still competing for your reader’s attention, no matter what kind of work you’re writing.

However, a story hook will look very different from an essay hook.

If you’re writing fiction, you most likely won’t use a statistic, question, or quote to hook your readers in. Instead, your best options will be a statement, a description, or an anecdote—or, or often, a sentence that combines a little bit of all three.

Just like with essays, you should try to raise a question in your reader’s head. This can be a strange character, an unusual setting, or a mysterious fact.

Here are some examples of strong hooks in novels:

“My first memory, when I was three years old, was of trying to kill my sister.”—Jodi Piccoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Once upon a time, on the coldest night of midwinter, in the darkest heart of the forest, Death and Fortune came to a crossroads.”—Margaret Owen, Little Thieves

“The women gather in a YMCA basement rec room: hard linoleum floors, half-windows along one wall, view of sidewalk and brick.”—Maria Adelmann, How to Be Eaten

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a rainy overcast day in 1975.”—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

“It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident.”—Kristen Cashore, Fire

There you have it—a complete guide to writing a fantastic hook.

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Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

Now here’s the clue.

If you want to wow your teacher, polish the introduction. Add something interesting, funny, shocking, or intriguing. Good essay hooks help you build an emotional connection right from the start. Think of an essay hook as bait for your readers.

Our expert team has prepared numerous examples of hooks for essays. You’ll find hook examples for an argumentative essay, personal story, history essay, and other types of papers.

For 100% clarity, we provided examples using each hook tactic. And a short part about how to write a good hook.

Teacher: "I won't forgive you for this essay."  Student: "But you gave me an A. What's wrong with it?"  Teacher: "I couldn't stop reading it, and I burned my dinner."

  • 💎 What Exactly Is a Hook & How to Write a Good One
  • 📜 Examples of Classical Essay Hooks
  • 💡 Try Some Informative Essay Hooks
  • 🦄 Here are the Most Uncommon Essay Hooks

✅ Good Hooks for Essays: Bonus Tips

  • 🔗 References for More Information

We highly recommend reading all the methods and examples, so you don’t have any questions.

💎 How to Write a Hook That Will Work for Your Essay?

The hook of your essay usually appears in the very first sentence.

The average length of an essay hook should be 3-7 sentences, depending on the topic.

But first, let’s quickly go through the key questions.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook (or narrative hook) is a literary technique that writers use to keep their readers engaged. It shows that the content below is worth reading.

The hook can have different lengths. Some writers make it last for several pages. Though, it better be a short paragraph or even a sentence.

Why Do You Need a Good Essay Hook?

Writing the right hook is essential for a few reasons:

  • It heats up your readers’ interest. If you did it right, they read the whole piece.
  • It shows off your skills . A right hook presents you as an expert in your field.
  • It attracts target audience. Only the readers you want will keep reading.
  • It keeps the tension on the right level. Use an intriguing question, and a reader dies to find out the answer.
  • It makes a good introduction. Starting your essay off a boring fact is simply not a good idea.

How to Write a Good Hook: Ideas and Examples

Next, we will discuss these hook types in more detail. We’ll also provide essay hook examples of less common yet intriguing types: dialogue, story, contradiction, comparison, definition, metaphor, puzzle, announcement, and background information hooks.

💬 The Famous Quote Hook

Use a famous quote as a hook for your essay on history, literature, or even social sciences. It will present you as an established writer. It shows how knowledgeable you are and motivates the readers to engage in the text.

⬇️ Check out examples below ⬇️

Quote Hook Example: Political Science

Hilary Clinton once said that "there cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard." Which creates a discussion about how perfect democracy should look like. If it is a form of government that considers all opinions, why are women silenced so often even nowadays? The truth is that we need to ensure completely equal opportunities for women in politics before we talk about establishing the correct version of democracy. And even the most developed and progressive countries are still struggling to get to that level of equality. It can be achieved by various methods, even though they might only work in certain countries.

Social Sciences

"Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." These words of wisdom from John Kennedy reflect the perspective we need to teach the younger generations. For some reason, it has become popular to blame the government for any problem arising in society. Is it their fault that we don't think about waste and keep trashing our home? Social responsibility is a real thing. The well-being of our countries starts with the actions of every separate individual. It is not entirely right to wait until the government fixes all the issues for us. The best strategy is to start thinking about what we can do as a community to make our home even a better place.

And excellent sources of quotes for you:

  • Brainyquote.com – you can search quotes by topic or by author.
  • Goodreads.com is not only a great collection of e-books but also quotes.
  • Quoteland.com has plenty of brilliant words for all imaginable situations.
  • Quotationspage.com – more than 30,000 quotations for unique essay hooks.

❓Rhetorical Question Essay Hooks

It doesn’t have to be rhetorical – any type of question addressed to your audience will do its job. Such a universal kind of hook can spike the interest of your readers immediately.

Some useful patterns of rhetorical questions:

  • What could be more important than…?
  • What if there was only one… (chance/day/hour)?
  • Who wouldn’t like to… (be a cat/turn visitors into clients)?
  • Why bother about… (inequality/imperfect education system)?
  • Which is more important: … (making money or realizing potential)?

And more in examples:

Example of a Question Hook on Education

Wouldn't free access to education for everyone be wonderful? The answer would most likely be positive. However, it is not as simple as it seems. As much as the governments try to achieve this goal, there are still many uneducated people. On the bright side, in the era of technology, learning has never been so easy. Of course, some young adults just prefer the shortcut option of taking a student loan. Other ways are much more challenging and require a lot of responsibility and patience. Finding free educational resources online and gaining experience with the help of video tutorials might sound unprofessional. Still, you will be surprised how many experts hired in different fields only received this type of education.

Question Hook Example: Health

Is there anything that can help you lose weight fast? You have probably heard of this magical keto diet that is getting more and more popular worldwide. People claim that it helps them shred those excess pounds in unbelievably short terms. But how healthy is it, and does it suit anyone? The truth is that no diet is universal, and thanks to our differences, some weight-loss methods can even be harmful. Keto diet, for example, leads your body into the state of ketosis. What happens is that you don't receive carbohydrates, and in this state, fat is used as the primary source of energy instead them. However, it carries potential threats.

😂 Anecdotal Essay Hooks

This type would usually be more suitable for literary pieces or personal stories. So, don’t use it for formal topics, such as business and economics. Note that this hook type can be much longer than one sentence. It usually appears as the whole first paragraph itself.

It wouldn't be Kate if she didn't do something weird, so she took a stranger for her best friend this time. There is nothing wrong with it; mistakes like that happen all the time. However, during only five minutes that Kate spent with the stranger, she blabbed too much. Thinking that she sat down at the table that her friend took, Kate was so busy starting on her phone that she didn't notice that it wasn't her friend at all. Sure enough, the naive girl started talking about every little detail of her last night that she spent with her date. It was too much for the ears of an old lady. Kate realized she took the wrong table only when it was too late.

Literature (personal story)

Do not ever underestimate the power of raccoons! Those little furry animals that may look overly cute are too smart and evil. It only takes one box of pizza left outside your house by the delivery person for the disaster to begin. When they smell that delicious pizza, no doors can stop them. They will join the forces to find a hole in your house to squeeze into. Even if it's a window crack four feet above the ground, they know how to get to it. Using their fellow raccoons as the ladder, they get inside the house. They sneak into the kitchen and steal your pizza in front of your eyes and your scared-to-death dog. Not the best first day in the new home, is it? 

📈 Fact or Statistic Hook

Looking deeper into your essay topic, you might find some numbers that are quite amusing or shocking. They can serve as perfect hooks for economics- and business-oriented writings. Also, it is better if they are less known.

Business/social sciences

The UAE workforce is culturally diverse since around 20% of employees (usually called expatriates) come from different countries. Ex-pats tend to take managerial positions, which makes communication within companies quite tricky. The training focused on raising cultural awareness is getting more common, but such educational strategies as games (or gamification) are still rarely applied in the UAE companies. Yet, gamification was a useful tool in other places, making it an attractive UAE team building method. It can significantly help integrate ex-pats and create a more culturally aware environment.

Statistic Hook Example in Economics

The United Arab Emirate's debt has been rising drastically in past years, from about US$17 billion in 2003, which is almost 19 percent of GDP, to US$184 billion in 2009. Only a small proportion of the debt can be tracked directly to the public sector. A report by UBS bank shows that most of the debt comes from the corporate sector. Most of the companies that hold the main section of the debt are financial institutions. The public sector partly owns them. Banks in the UAE have been accumulating their debt amounts in the years mentioned above and could now account for 75 percent of the total foreign debt. The discussion is about the reasons why the UAE debt has been rising at an alarming rate.

Some good sources for statistics

  • Finance.yahoo.com is perfect for business papers.
  • Usa.gov/statistics is an easy-to-use governmental engine for searching data and stats.
  • Unstats.un.org provides a massive collection of statistics published by UN organizations
  • Oecd-ilibrary.org is the online library of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), featuring its books, papers, and statistics and is a gateway to the OECD’s analysis and data.

🤯 Shocking Facts are Very Good Hooks for Essays

Very similar to a statistical hook, a fact can serve as a perfect engaging introduction. Search your field for some shocking phenomenon and gently insert it in the beginning.

Don’t forget to include a reliable source reinforcing your words!

Fact Hook Example in Economics

Nowadays, much attention is paid to the problem of shark finning around the world. Millions of sharks are killed annually for their fins, and many of them are dropped back to the ocean finless, where they die because of suffocation. In many countries, the idea of shark finning remains illegal and unethical, but the possibility of earning huge money cannot be ignored (Dell'Apa et al. 151). Regarding available technologies, market economies, trade relations, and cheap employment, it does not take much time to organize special trips for shark hunting. The Trade of shark fins is alive and well developed in countries like the United States and China. However, the number of people who are eager to try shark fin soup has considerably decreased during the last several years because of the popularity of anti-shark fin soup campaigns and laws supported worldwide (Mosbergen). The situation continues to change in China.

Daniel Stacey and Ross Kelly observed that long lines and a new gray market trend for bigger screen phones marked Apple's new iPhones debut. As expected, new phone models drew Apple fans outside retail stores (Stacey and Kelly). Global critics, however, noted that this year's lines were generally longer relative to previous periods mainly because of the developing gray market for Apple products. The new Apple's iPhones have larger screens than the previous models. Also, they boast of improved battery life, faster processors, and an enhanced camera. Tim Cook called them "mother of all upgrades" (Stacey and Kelly).

Sources to look for reliable facts:

  • Buzzfeed.com – news, videos, quizzes.
  • Cracked.com – a website full of funny stuff, like articles, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Webmd.com – an incredible collection of medical facts you will love.
  • Livescience.com – discoveries hitting on a broad range of fields.
  • National Geographic – needs no introduction.
  • Mental Floss answers life’s big questions, a compilation of fascinating facts and incredible stories.

🗣️ Dialogue as a Catchy Hook for Essays

Dialogue is another type of hooks that goes perfectly with pieces of literature and stories. It can even make your short essay stand out if you include it at the beginning. But don’t forget that it only concerns specific topics such as literature and history.

Here it is:

Dialogue Hook Example in Literature

– Why did you do it? – I don't know anymore… That's why I'm leaving for a little bit right now. I need time to think.

With these words, Anna stepped back into the train car and waved goodbye to Trevor. She couldn’t even find the right words to explain why she ran away on her wedding day. It wasn’t that she didn’t love Trevor, but there was this deep, natural, and unexplored feeling that told her it wasn’t time yet. But the only thing Anna realized was that the city made her sick. That day, she took off her wedding dress, bought a ticket on the next flight leaving that afternoon, and hopped on the train taking her to the airport. She couldn’t even remember the country’s name she was going to so blurry everything was from her tears.

Dialogue Hook for History Essay

– If we still had inquisition, we could probably set him on fire. – Some dark magic, indeed, my friend! It would have probably been a real dialogue if we knew who was the first automobile inventor for sure. People were undoubtedly shocked to see the cars moving by themselves without horses. However, since they started appearing around the globe around the same time, it is almost impossible to identify who was the original creator of the idea and the first automobile itself. The credit was usually given to Karl Benz from Germany, who created a gasoline car in 1885-1886. But there are also much earlier records of a gentleman named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built the first vehicle powered by steam in France in 1769.

🔮 A Story Looks Like an Extremely Good Essay Hook

A universal essay hook is a story. You can use this trick pretty much anywhere. The main challenge is to be as authentic as possible, try to tell something fresh and engaging. The more specific and narrow the story, the more chances for a successful introduction.

Story Hook Example for an Essay on Business

Dell started fast and strong. The original company was founded in 1984 when the founder was only a 19-year-old student at the University of Texas. Four years after the inception of the company, Michael Dell became the Entrepreneur of the Year. Eight years after he started the company from his dorm room's comfort, Dell was chosen as the Man of the Year by PC Magazine. […] The company was acknowledged as the world's leading direct marketer of personal computers. At the same time, Dell was known as one of the top five PC vendors on the planet (Hunger 9). […] However, the company's journey encountered a major hurdle down the road. Even after recovering from an economic recession in 2010, the company continued to experience declining sales.

🦚 Contradictory Statement – Queen of Good Hooks

Everybody loves to start an argument by contradicting some facts. Therefore, you simply need to add a controversial statement at the beginning of your essay. People of all ages and beliefs will not be able to stop reading it!

Challenging your readers works well for social sciences, business, and psychology topics.

Examples of contradictory statements essay hooks:

If you think being a manager is a calm and relatively easy task, try surviving on five cups of coffee, a sandwich, and two packs of cigarettes a day. You would rather believe that managers only walk around the office and give their staff orders, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, the reality is much harsher than such rainbowy dreams. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. A whole set of personal qualities and professional skills must keep up with the successful strategic planning, assessment, and development. All the tasks the managers need to attend to are nerve-wracking and sometimes almost impossible to do. The stress from the demanding managerial position is often overlooked or underestimated.

Social sciences

Video games have been ruining our kids' lives and leading to an increase in crime. Since the gaming industry's development in recent years, the fear of its adverse effects on the younger generations' brains has become a significant concern. There is such a wide variety of games, ranging from educational to violent shooters and horrors. Almost immediately, caring parents jumped on the latter category, claiming that its impact is too significant and children become more aggressive and uncontrollable. Some supporters of this theory went even further. They decided to link real-life crimes to the effects of violent video games on child and adult behavior. However, as we will see later in this article, there is no or little scientific evidence supporting those ideas.

🔁 Vivid Comparison Essay Hook

Introducing your topic with an engaging, vivid comparison is a universal strategy. It is suitable for any kind of writing. The main idea is to grab your readers’ attention by showing them your unique perspective on the topic. Try to make the comparison amusing and exciting.

Comparison Essay Hook Options:

  • Comparison with daily chores (e.g., Proofreading your essays is like cleaning your teeth.)
  • Comparison with something everyone hates (e.g., Learning grammar is like going to the dentist.)
  • Comparison with something everyone loves (e.g., John was happy like a child eating a free vanilla ice cream.)
  • Comparison of modern and old-school phenomena (e.g., Modern email has much in common with pigeon post.)
  • Funny comparison (e.g., Justin Bieber is the Michael Jackson of his time)

Check out examples:

Environment

For many people, flying feels like a dream come true. More and more people take their first-ever flight thanks to the rapidly developing aviation technologies. Aircraft and airports are advancing, and air traveling is getting cheaper. However, except for transporting eager travel addicted and business people, planes are used in other ways. It appears that the whole economies across the world depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of airlines. Import and export demand this kind of transportation to work at all times. Aviation development seems like a great thing. However, just like any other technological breakthrough, it comes with a price. Environmental issues did not wait too long to show up.

Social sciences/psychology

Leaving home for the first time as a freshman can only be compared to the level of stress you had in childhood when your mother left you in the line at the checkout for too long. Indeed, becoming a student and moving out of the parent's house comes with a great deal of stress. All the unknown that lies ahead makes youngsters too anxious. Then, the difficulties of financial planning and increased academic pressure come as additional sources of worries. However, it does not have to be such a negative experience. Particular techniques can help students overcome their stress related to the separation from their parents.

📄 Definitions = Easy & Good Hooks for Essays

Another versatile essay hook option is introducing a qualitative definition. Try to make it capacious, and don’t fall into verbal jungles. This narrative hook is perfect for short scientific papers where there is only one focus subject.

Business Ethics

White-collar crime refers to the peaceful offense committed with the intention of gaining unlawful monetary benefits. There are several white-collar crimes that can be executed. They include extortion, insider trading, money laundering, racketeering, securities fraud, and tax evasion. Enron Company was an American based energy company. It was the largest supplier of natural gas in America in the early 1990s. The company had a stunning performance in the 1990s. Despite the excellent performance, stakeholders of the company were concerned about the complexity of the financial statements. The company's management used the complex nature of the financial statements and the accounting standards' weaknesses to manipulate the financial records. The white-collar crime was characterized by inflating the asset values, overstating the reported cash flow, and failure to disclose the financial records' liabilities. This paper carries out an analysis of the Enron scandal as an example of white-collar crime as discussed in the video, The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Motivation is the act of influencing someone to take any action to achieve a particular goal (Montana& Chanov, 2008). Employees' motivation depends on the job's nature, the company's organizational culture, and personal characteristics. In this case study, various theories influence and show how employees can be motivated in the workplace.

📚 Metaphor Hook for Essays

Naturally, using a metaphor as a hook for your essay comes with some limitations. You should only use this type in literature and sometimes in psychology. However, it serves as a great attention grabber if it’s engaging enough.

Let’s see how you can use a metaphor:

When life gives you dirt, don't try to squeeze the juice out of it. It's better to leave it alone and let it dry out a bit. Kate decided to follow this philosophy since nothing else seemed to work. After the painful divorce process, last week's ridiculous work assignments and managing two kids alone almost drove her crazy. No polite discussions, arguing, or bribing helped take care of seemingly a million tasks these little women had to deal with. Even letting out the anger just like her phycologist recommended did not help much. Instead, Kate referred to the last remedy. She put all the issues aside with the hope that it would get better later.

The recipe is relatively easy – take a cup of self-respect, two cups of unconditional love, half a cup of good health, a pinch of new positive experiences, and mix it all for a perfect state of happiness! We all wish it would be possible, right? However, the mystery of this state of being happy is still unsolved. The concept and its perception considerably change depending on time and values. Happiness is so complicated that there is even no universal definition of it. Besides, humans are social creatures, so associating your level of success with others is not unusual. Therefore, being happy means achieving a certain level of several aspects.

🧩 Puzzle? Yes! Amazing Hook for Your Essay

Doesn’t a good riddle grab your attention? Sometimes you just want to find out the answer. The other times, you want to figure out how it is related to the topic. Such a hook would be great for writings on psychology and even economics or business.

Here are the examples:

How many Google office employees you need to destroy a box of fresh donuts? Google is indeed famous for some of the most accommodating and unique working places around the whole world. However, the success of the company does not only appear from treats for employees. It seems that the organizational culture has many effects on business decisions and overall performance. All the staff working in Google share the same visions and values, helping them cooperate and lead the company to success. However, there is one aspect to consider. The organizational culture needs to be adapted to the ever-changing business environment.

Who survives on dirt-like substance, is never joyful, and only returns to the cave to sleep? It sounds horrible, but the correct answer is human. Nowadays, the demands for any kind of workers are rising, which brings tremendous effects on people. As the number of duties increases, it is getting harder for employees not to chug on coffee and come back home in time for a family dinner. The work-life balance is disturbed, leading to anxiety, relationship issues, and even health problems. Social life appears to be as important as making money. Therefore, the correct distribution of time between personal life and work duties is necessary for happiness.

📢 Announcement Is Also a Good Essay Hook Option

Announcements could be suitable for literary pieces and historical essays.

Such a hook doesn’t have to be too long. It should be significant enough to persuade your readers to stick to your writing. Make sure it aligns with your topic as well.

Ways to use announcements as essay hooks:

It was a revolution! The Beatle's first song came out in 1962, and almost immediately, hordes of fans pledged their loyalty to this new band. Nearly all youngsters became obsessed with their music. No one can deny that the Beatles are still considered the creators of some of the best songs in history. However, the arrival of the British band influences culture as well. Many photos depict girls going crazy on live concerts and guys shaping their haircuts after the Beatles' members. The revolution that the band brought left an impact, evidence that we can still trace in modern British culture and music.

I will never go to Starbucks again! Oh, no, mind me. I love their coffee. At some point in my life, I even thought I had an addiction and had to ask my friends to watch my consumption of Pumpkin Spice Latte. Then, the wind of change turned everything upside down. On my usual Starbucks morning run, I noticed a homeless man holding a paper cup begging for money. At first, I didn't pay much attention since it's a usual occurrence in our area. However, one day, I recognized my old neighbor in him. The only cash I had on me, I usually spent on my cup of coffee, but I decided it was not much of a sacrifice. From that moment, I only showed up on that street to shove a few bucks into that poor guy's cup. One day, to my surprise, he talked to me.

ℹ️ Background Information Essay Hook

Last but not least, give background information on your subject to make a good intro. Such an essay hook is effortless and suitable for practically any paper. Try to find the most unobvious angle to the background information. At the same time, keep it short and substantive.

Here are the ways to use background information essay hooks:

Air Arabia is among the leading low-cost carriers in the global airline industry. The airline is mainly based at the Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Air Arabia, 2012). The airline came into inception in 2003 after His Highness Dr. Sheik Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emiri Decree. Later, Air Arabia was transformed into a limited liability company. For nearly a decade, Air Arabia has witnessed tremendous growth, resulting in increased fleet size and improved sales revenues. At the same time, Air Arabia has created a renowned brand that offers reliable and safe services (Dubai Media Incorporated, 2012). Air Arabia identifies itself as a low-cost carrier by providing low fares in the industry. Some of the key strengths of the airline include punctuality and safety. This aims to ensure that the airline serves its customers most efficiently by observing its safety requirements and adhering to the landing and takeoff schedules (De Kluyver, 2010).

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in the Arkansas United States in 1962 as a grocery store. The company, which operates a chain of over 8,000 stores in fifteen countries, is estimated to employ over two million employees from diverse backgrounds. Wal-Mart was incorporated in 1969 and started trading in the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. […] Although the company can leave its consumers with a saving due to its low-price policy, it has faced some sharp criticisms over how it treats its employees and other stakeholders. Wal-Mart boasts of its ability to save its customers' money, an average of $950 per year. This, however, has been criticized as harming the community. Also, the feminists' activists have focused on Walmart's misconduct in offering low prices. (Fraedrich, Ferrell & Ferrell 440)

Now we won’t keep you for long. Let’s just go through simple points of essay hook writing.

Someone may think that you have to write your hook first. It comes first in the paper, right?

In reality, though, you can wait until your entire essay is nearly finished. Then go back and rewrite the very first paragraph. This way, you can have a fresh look at what you’ve written in the beginning.

Here’s a simple plan you can follow.

  • First, write a basic version of your thesis statement.
  • Then, provide supporting evidence for your thesis in every body paragraph.
  • After that, reword your thesis statement and write your concluding paragraph.
  • Finally, search for an attention-grabbing fact, statistic, or anything from the list above to serve as an engaging essay hook.

Add this essay hook to the beginning of your introduction. Make sure that your ideas still flow naturally into your thesis statement.

⚠️ Pro tip: choose various hooks and play around, adding each hook to your introduction paragraph. Like this, you can determine which one makes the most impressive beginning to your paper.

Some of your choices may sound interesting but may not lead to your essay’s main point. Don’t panic! Paper writing always involves trial and error. Just keep trying your essay hook ideas until one fits perfectly.

That’s it 😊

Good luck with your work!

🔗 References

  • Hook – Examples and Definition of Hook
  • How to Engage the Reader in the Opening Paragraph – BBC
  • Hooks and Attention Grabbers; George Brown College Writing Centre
  • Hook Examples and Definition; Literary Devices
  • What Is a Narrative Hook? Video
  • How to: Writing Hooks or Attention-Getting Openings-YouTube

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When writing a good essay, you want to capture the reader’s attention from the very first sentence to keep them focused throughout the following text. The ‘hook’ of an essay is that opening sentence – the first impression that sets the tone for the rest of your writing. It’s the bait you use to catch your readers, urging them to continue going deeper into the text. And since it is kind of an art form, you need a certain knowledge to craft perfect hooks. In the guide below we will give all the necessary details on how to make a good hook, so you better don’t skip on reading this article the whole way through.

Hooks for Essays: What Are Those?

An essay hook is essentially the first one or two sentences of your essay. Sometimes though (if it is relevant to your writing) it can even take the space of the whole first paragraph. Its main purpose is to intrigue your audience and pique their interest, compelling them to continue reading.  If you are wondering why you need a well-crafted hook here are just a few reasons off the top of our heads:

  • To draw in the readers 
  • To seamlessly connect to the broader theme or argument of your essay. Depending on the type of essay you are writing, your hook can be in the form of a question, a surprising statistic or fact, an anecdote, a quote, or even a vivid description.
  • To set the tone for the rest of your writing

See, you don’t write your text just for yourself – you are doing it for your audience, whoever that might be. That’s why you need to make your reader want to stick out till the end of the text, and do that from the very beginning.

Top Hook Sentence Starters: Types and Examples

If you ask different writers, some of them might say that a rhetorical question makes a good hook, or that adding a quote is a much better way to start your writing. The thing is, all of these statements are true. There are several ways to create good hooks for argumentative essays. Choosing the one for you will depend on the audience, your writing style, and the topic of your text.

You may have seen that a lot of texts (not just essays, for that matter) start with some kind of quote, either from a book, article, a famous person, or even the writer’s relative or friend.  The reason behind this is that it is rather a simple way to intrigue the reader from the very beginning.

Quotes are compact and mostly widely recognizable, and they present the main idea of your text right away. To find a fitting quote, you can explore classic literature, speeches by influential figures, research articles, or even poetry. The key is to select a quote that aligns with the essay’s subject and contributes meaningfully to the argument or narrative being constructed. 

How to Write a Hook

❓Rhetorical Question

A rhetorical question is a query that’s posed for its persuasive effect rather than a direct answer. By asking a question, you directly engage the reader, prompting them to consider their own stance or feelings regarding the topic at hand, thus creating a deeper personal connection between them and the text they read.

Essays that stand to benefit most from a rhetorical question as a hook are those that aim to explore moral dilemmas, provoke critical thinking, or challenge conventional beliefs. This type of hook is ideally suited for audiences who enjoy intellectual engagement and are prepared to contemplate complex issues. A well-built rhetorical question should be open-ended, avoiding simple yes or no answers, and should ideally lead seamlessly into the argument or thesis of your essay.

How to Write a Hook

📊Statistic/Fact

Integrating a fact or statistic into your essay’s opening can instantly ground your reader in the reality of your topic. It offers them a tangible piece of evidence that vividly shows the importance of the issue you present. This type of hook is particularly effective in persuasive or argumentative essays where empirical evidence can support your stance right away. A compelling fact or statistic surprises (or shocks) the reader as well as provides a solid foundation for the arguments that follow. This makes it easier for your audience to appreciate the significance of your essay.

How to Write a Hook

Anecdotes are brief, engaging stories showcasing a slice of life. This can help reveal the essay’s theme, making the topic relatable and memorable to the audience. An anecdote hook works exceptionally well in narrative and college application essays, or pieces designed to evoke an emotional response or deeper understanding of a universal human experience.

To make your anecdote work as a hook, you can use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method. Using this approach, you structure your story by first setting the scene (Situation), then describing the purpose (Task), detailing what was done (Action), and, finally, revealing the outcome (Result).

How to Write a Hook

🧐Common misconception

Starting with a common misconception is a dynamic way of engaging with the audience. With such a hook you can challenge their beliefs and assumptions. Using a widely held but incorrect belief, you immediately create a narrative tension that compels the reader to continue, eager to uncover the truth. This method is particularly effective in essays that aim to debunk myths, promote critical thinking, or introduce lesser-known facts about popular topics.

How to Write a Hook

✍️Description

Descriptions are mostly used to transport the audience into the discussed scene or subject matter This technique involves painting a detailed picture with words and using sensory descriptions to evoke the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures relevant to your essay’s topic. Description hooks are particularly effective in narrative essays, descriptive pieces, travel writing, and essays aiming to evoke a strong sense of place or atmosphere.

How to Write a Hook

Jokes tend to lighten the mood especially if the topic lends itself to a humorous approach. Therefore, using it as your opening statement can spark joy or amusement in your readers, making them want to stay for a heartwarming story. This type of hook is mostly used to set a friendly and approachable tone for the piece. Note though, that your joke needs to balance humor with the serious intentions of the essay, providing an inviting entry point without undermining the piece’s overall message or purpose.

How to Write a Hook

Key Steps & Tips on How to Write a Hook

Now, you know what a hook is and what types of opening sentences there can be. Overall, this knowledge is enough for you to understand how to start your essay in an attention-grabbing manner. However, we have a few notes on how you can build your writing process specifically to create a compelling hook:

  • Understand Your Audience : Tailor your hook to the interests and expectations of your readers. Consider the style and level of formality that will work for your audience.
  • Define the Tone of Your Essay : The overall tone of your essay is important, and the first sentence or two should also be written in the same style. Whether it’s serious, humorous, or somewhere in between, stick to the initial way of writing.
  • Make it Relevant : Your first sentence needs to be relevant to your essay’s main theme or argument. After all, you don’t want to confuse your reader.
  • Keep it Concise : As a hook is just an opening statement, it should be brief and impactful, setting the stage without overwhelming the audience.
  • Experiment : Don’t be afraid to try different types of hooks to see what works best for your essay. After all, all texts are different.

We have also a few extra tips on how to make your first couple of sentences more authentic and gripping. For example, you can use sensory details to add depth and imagery to your words. It especially works for description hooks. Be careful with cliches and popular phrases though. Besides, don’t give away too much information in your hook – leave your readers wanting more.  Have fun with it, play around with words, and maybe add puns. Writing a hook can be a creative and exciting process, so embrace it.

What Makes The Good Hooks for Essays

What fundamentally distinguishes a compelling hook from a bland one is its ability to instantly grasp the reader’s attention and seamlessly connect them to the core theme of the writing. In essence, a good hook is the one that is a) relevant and b) intriguing. And what should influence your choice of the right hook is the initial intent of the writing. Understand the purpose behind your work— to inform, persuade, entertain, or provoke thought— and you will certainly make the right choice for your first few sentences.

Sometimes though, even the most creative of writers can’t come up with a great starter on the spot. If this is your case, don’t fixate on the situation. Continue writing your essay and after it’s done come back to the introduction. This way you will already have an idea of how your essay looks like and the key points it discusses, so it will be much easier for you to pick an opening line for your writing. 

It is also a good idea to reflect on the emotions or reactions you want to evoke in your readers. This will help you choose a quote or an anecdote that will adequately convey those exact feelings. And don’t tie yourself to the conventional ways of building hooks. You can always try and come up with something unique, that will fit best for your essay specifically. Experimentation, paired with a deep understanding of your intended audience and the core message of your piece, often leads to discovering that perfect starting point for your writing.

Creating a perfect hook is all about building an immediate, meaningful connection with your audience. The key lies in understanding who your readers are and what resonates with them, then carefully selecting and writing down an opening that aligns with the overall tone and theme of your essay. It doesn’t really matter whether you use a poignant quote, a compelling question, or an intriguing statistic. The right hook can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, turning passive readers into active participants in the narrative you’re building.

What is a good hook sentence?

A good hook sentence grabs the reader’s attention, making them eager to continue reading. It can be a question, a quote, a startling fact, or any statement that provokes curiosity or emotion. 

How do you write an effective hook?

To be able to write an effective hook, you need to know your audience, choose a hook that matches the tone of your essay, make it relevant to your topic, and make it concise and impactful. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of essay starters until you find the one that works best for your text. 

What is a catchy hook for an essay?

A catchy hook is one that is memorable and engaging, often through humor, a shocking fact, or a thought-provoking question. So, be creative and think outside the box when crafting the first sentences of your essay. They will set the tone for your further writing. 

How do you grab readers attention in an introduction?

The main trick to grabbing readers’ attention in an introduction is using a relevant hook sentence, that will be intriguing, and tailored to the audience’s interests or emotions. It should also connect to the main theme or argument of your essay.  So, make sure you put effort into building a strong and effective starter for your essay. Because those first few sentences will determine whether your writing will be set out for success or not.

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How to Write a Hook that Captivates Readers

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A hook is a compelling opening sentence or paragraph in an essay or article. Its purpose is to grab the readers’ attention and entice them to continue reading. A hook must evoke an emotional response or pique curiosity to keep the readers engaged.

Are you trying to figure out how to write a hook? Stick around because this blog has all the guidelines you need to write one like an expert  paper writing service  provider. So, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Types of Hooks for Essays

Your essay or  research paper’s  hook can be in any of the five types:

Anecdotal Hook

Starting with an anecdote is a good way to keep the readers interested. Ensure that the anecdote relates to your topic and makes your readers feel like they’re part of the narrative.

For example:

“Sarah sat at the edge of the cliff. The wind whipping through her hair as she stared into the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon. Little did she know that this moment would be the catalyst for a life-changing decision.”

This hook introduces a character, Sarah, and a dramatic setting, the Grand Canyon. Doing so creates intrigue and leaves readers wondering about Sarah’s decision. Here, the reader is immediately invested in the story and eager to learn more.

Question Based Hooks

Another effective hook is to pose thought-provoking questions. This type of hook encourages readers to engage with the content right from the start actively. 

Here’s an example:

“What if everything you thought you knew about success was wrong? What if the key to achieving true fulfillment lies in embracing failure and redefining your definition of success?”

This hook presents a series of thought-provoking questions challenging the conventional wisdom about success. 

Statistical or Factual Hook

This hook type is particularly effective when the statistic or fact is relevant to the main content. 

“Did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February? Discover the secrets to making lasting changes and achieving your goals beyond the first month of the year.”

This hook uses a surprising statistic about the failure rate of New Year’s resolutions to capture readers’ attention. It entices readers to continue reading to uncover shared strategies and insights.

Witty or Humorous Hooks 

Humor and wit can be great ways to keep your readers interested and make their reading experience more enjoyable. If the content is funny or lighthearted, this kind of hook can grab people’s attention.

“They say the early bird catches the worm, but what about the night owls? Discover the surprising advantages of embracing your nocturnal nature and redefining productivity on your own terms.”

This hook puts a fun spin on a well-known phrase about night owls and productivity. 

Scenario Based Hook

This kind of hook appeals to their senses and feelings, establishing an instant bond.

“The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow over the tranquil beach. As the waves gently lapping against the shore, a sense of peace and possibility filled the air. Beckoning those who dared to chase their dreams!

This hook paints a picture of a beautiful beach at sunset, creating a sense of tranquility and motivation. It provides a vivid image full of detail that draws readers in and captures their imaginations. 

Understanding How to Write a Killer Hook 

A hook is like a doorway to your content. It sets the tone for establishing a connection with your readers. 

It can be a stirring statement, an interesting question, an amusing anecdote, or a shocking fact.

Why is a Strong Hook Crucial in Capturing Readers’ Interest?

Having an eye-catching hook can be a major game-changer when grabbing people’s attention. It’s like a magnet, luring them in and making them want to read your writing.

If you don’t have a good hook, people might not stick around to hear what you have to say. Moreover, a strong hook also sets the tone for your entire writing. 

Examples to Understand the Impact of a Strong Hook

Compelling Statement:

“In today’s busy world, have you ever thought about how you can get more done in a shorter amount of time?”

This hook immediately grabs readers’ attention by talking about a common problem. It plays on people’s need to be more efficient and leaves them wanting to find the solution.

Thought-Provoking Question

“What if the key to happiness lies not in acquiring more, but in letting go?”

This hook gets people thinking by asking a thought-provoking question that goes against the grain. It makes readers question their own opinions and views. Luring them in to see what kind of answers the piece offers.

Intriguing Anecdote

“As the clock struck midnight, she found herself standing on the edge of a decision that would change her life forever.”

This hook straight away pulls readers into a dramatic scenario. Trying to spark their curiosity about the character’s problem. Makes them desperate to find out the results of their choice.

Surprising Fact

“Did you know that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text?”

This hook throws out an unexpected and captivating fact that gets readers interested. It brings up an interesting piece of info. Also gives a hint at what more can be discovered in the rest of the article.

Pro Tips to Craft a Killer Hook

You can use the following techniques to write a killer hook.

Target Audience – Identification, Preference, and Interest

Before you write a hook, it’s important to understand your audience well.

To identify your target audience, consider the following factors:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, education level, occupation, etc.
  • Psychographics: Values, beliefs, hobbies, lifestyle choices, etc.
  • Behavior: Online habits, preferred platforms, browsing patterns, content consumption habits, etc.

Understanding Target Audience Preferences and Interests

After identifying your audience, it is important to know their interests. Here are some guidelines from the expert  research paper writing services  provider. 

Surveys and Questionnaires 

Send out surveys to your audience to get their thoughts and feelings directly. Ask what they like, what interests them, and what captures their attention. Look at the answers you get to find out what people usually think.

Social Media Listening 

Keep an eye on social media sites where your desired demographic hangs out. Check out what they’re interacting with, what they’re talking about, and the kind of lingo they use.

Effective Hook for Effective Writing

Once you’ve figured out what your audience likes and dislikes, you can craft a hook that resonates with your audience. Here are a few ideas to help you do that while writing an essay:

Pinning the Pain Points 

Identify the challenges, problems, or pain points your audience faces and address them directly in your hook. For example, “Tired of struggling to find time for self-care? Discover a simple solution that fits into your busy schedule.”

Appeal to Their Aspirations

Tap into your audience’s aspirations, goals, or desires and use them to create an emotional connection. For instance, “Imagine a life filled with adventure and travel. Uncover the secrets to fulfilling your wanderlust dreams.”

Use Their Language 

Pay attention to the language, phrases, and terminology your audience uses. Incorporate those words in your hook to make it relatable and resonate with their communication style.

Focus on Relevancy 

Ensure that your hook directly relates to the topic or content you’re offering. Make it clear how your content will provide value or satisfy their interests. For instance, 

“Discover the latest fashion trends that suit your body type perfectly.”

Create Curiosity 

Intrigue your audience by hinting at valuable insights or solutions they can expect to find in your content. Pose a question or make a statement that sparks their curiosity and leaves them wanting more.

Impactful Hook for a Perfect Write-up

Stick to these guidelines below for writing an effective hook:

Keep Your Opening Sentence Concise 

The first line of your hook matters in getting people to pay attention. Keep it short, powerful, and interesting right away. Don’t waste time with long intros or too much background info. Drop a punchy sentence that sets the tone for the rest of your content.

Consider the following example:

“Unravel the mysteries of the universe in just five simple steps.”

Creating a Sense of Curiosity or Suspense

Creating intrigue can capture your readers’ attention and keep them hooked. Think of it like this: curiosity and suspense are like bait to draw people in. 

For example, you could open with a question or Statement that will make your readers want to know more. Or you could set up a scene that creates a sense of anticipation for what comes next.

“She stood at the crossroads, a single decision separating her from the life she had always dreamed of.”

This opening sets up a suspenseful situation. Makes readers eager to find out what choice the character will make and what the consequences will be. 

Add Emotions to Evoke a Strong Reaction:

Feelings resonate with readers and get an intense response. By tapping into people’s emotions, you can create an instant link and interest.

“Heart pounding, palms sweating, she took a deep breath and stepped onto the stage. It was her moment to shine.”

It creates an emotional connection and builds anticipation as readers root for the character to do well. Stirs up many feelings and encourages readers to continue reading to find out what happens next.

Key Ingredients of a Good Hook 

While writing a hook, ensure:

Clarity and Conciseness 

Make sure the hook is simple and to the point. Cut out any extra words that could weaken its effects.

Emotional Appeal 

See if the hook gets the emotions out of the readers you want. Think about adding or making the elements stronger to get the readers feeling something.

Relevance and Connection 

Make sure the hook is closely connected to the rest of the article. Tweak the hook to strengthen the link between the start and the rest of the text.

Language and Tone 

Be mindful of the words you use, how you say it, and the type of writing in the hook. Try to make sure it’s something that your target audience will like and expect.

Common Mistakes to Avoid 

Overly long or complicated hooks.

Avoid making a hook statement overly long. Long and convoluted hooks for writing can confuse or overwhelm readers. As a result, they will lose interest before they dive into the main content.

Using Clichés or Generic Openings

Using clichés or generic openings in your hook can make it predictable and uninteresting. Generic openings fail to capture readers’ attention because they offer nothing new or intriguing.

“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a brave hero who embarked on an epic journey to save the world from evil.”

This opening might sound familiar and reminiscent of classic fairy tales. Still, it doesn’t provide any unique or surprising elements. 

To avoid clichés and generic openings, strive for originality and fresh perspectives. Here’s a revised hook that takes a different approach:

“In the darkest corners of a forgotten realm, a reluctant outcast discovers an ancient secret that holds the power to reshape destiny.”

Failing to Deliver on the Promises Made in the Hook

When readers are hooked by an intriguing statement or a compelling question, they expect the content to deliver on those promises. Failing to do so can lead to disappointment and a loss of trust.

Ensure that the hook in essay accurately reflects the main content and sets realistic expectations for readers. Here’s an example:

“Discover the ultimate secret to becoming a millionaire in just one month!”

If the content that follows this hook doesn’t provide a legitimate and achievable path to wealth creation, readers will feel misled and may lose interest. While writing hooks, ensure that the hook’s promises align with the content and deliver valuable information or insights.

Writers need to use a catchy hook in their write-ups. It is like setting the tone for your entire piece, and it can create an emotional connection between you and your readers.

Hopefully, this blog post helped let you know how to write a hook for an essay. If you are still confused, don’t hesitate to count on the professional expertise of  our writers .

What is the purpose of hooks in writing?

How can i make my hook more captivating.

To grab people's attention with your hook;

  • Stir up the reader's curiosity
  • Paint a vivid picture in their mind
  • Ask questions that make them think and say something that piques their interest
  • keep tweaking until you get the perfect hook!

How do I ensure my hook is relevant to my content?

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Essay Writing Guide

Hook Examples

Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023

Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Feb 19, 2019

Hook Examples

Tired of getting poor grades on your high school or college essays? Feeling lost when it comes to captivating your professor's attention?

Whether you're a high school or college student, the constant stream of essays, assignments, and projects can be overwhelming. But fear not!

There's a secret weapon at your disposal: hooks. 

These attention-grabbing phrases are the key to keeping your reader hooked and eager for more. In this blog, we'll explore powerful essay hook examples that will solve all your essay writing concerns.

So let’s get started!

Hook Examples

On this Page

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening sentence or a few sentences in an essay that grab the reader's attention and engage them from the very beginning. It is called a " hook " because it is designed to reel in the reader and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay.

The purpose of an essay hook is to:

  • Grab the reader's attention from the very beginning
  • Create curiosity and intrigue
  • Engage the reader emotionally
  • Establish the tone and direction of the essay
  • Make the reader want to continue reading
  • Provide a seamless transition into the rest of the essay
  • Set the stage for the main argument or narrative
  • Make the essay memorable and stand out
  • Demonstrate the writer's skill in captivating an audience

Check out our complete guide on how to start an essay here!

How to Write a Hook?

The opening lines of your essay serve as the hook, capturing your reader's attention right from the start. Remember, the hook is a part of your essay introduction and shouldn't replace it.

A well-crafted introduction consists of a hook followed by a thesis statement . While the hook attracts the reader, the thesis statement explains the main points of your essay.

To write an effective hook, consider the following aspects:

  • Understand the nature of the literary work you're addressing.
  • Familiarize yourself with your audience's preferences and interests.
  • Clearly define the purpose behind your essay writing.

Keep in mind that the hook should be directly related to the main topic or idea of your writing piece. When it comes to essays or other academic papers, you can employ various types of hooks that align with your specific requirements. 

Learn more about Hook Statements in this informative Video!

Hook Sentence Examples

To give you a better understanding of the different types of essay hooks, we will be discussing essay hook examples.

Question Hook

Starting your essay by asking a thought-provoking question can be a good way to engage the reader. Ask your reader a question that they can visualize. However, make sure to keep your questions relevant to the reader's interest. Avoid generalized, and yes or no questions.

Rhetorical questions make up good hooks.

  • “How are successful college students different from unsuccessful college students?”
  • “What is the purpose of our existence?”
  • “Have you ever wondered whether Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters would have been still together if he didn’t die of cancer?”
  • "Ever wondered what lies beneath the ocean's depths? Dive into an underwater adventure and uncover the wonders of the deep sea."
  • "Have you ever pondered the true meaning of happiness? Join us on a quest to unravel the secrets of lasting joy."
  • Ready to challenge your limits? How far would you go to achieve your dreams and become the best version of yourself?"
  • "Curious about the future of technology? Can you envision a world where robots and humans coexist harmoniously?"
  • "Are you tired of the same old recipes? Spice up your culinary repertoire with exotic flavors and innovative cooking techniques."
  • "Are you ready to take control of your finances? Imagine a life of financial freedom and the possibilities it brings."
  • "Ever wondered what it takes to create a masterpiece? Discover the untold stories behind the world's most celebrated works of art."

Quotation Hook

A quotation from a famous person is used to open an essay to attract the reader's attention. However, the quote needs to be relevant to your topic and must come from a credible source. To remove any confusion that the reader might have it is best to explain the meaning of the quote later.

Here are the quotes you can use to start your essay:

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
  • If your topic is related to hard work and making your own destiny, you can start by quoting Michael Jordan.
  • “Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.”
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs
  • "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein
  • "Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." - Sam Levenson
  • "Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
  • "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker
  • "The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Samuel Goldwyn
  • "Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." - Will Rogers

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Statistic Hook

Here you use statistical data such as numbers and figures, percentages, etc. to hook the reader. This is mostly used in informative writing to provide the reader with new and interesting facts. It is important to mention the source.

  • “Reports have shown that almost two-thirds of adults in the United States of America have lived in a place with at least one gun, at some point of their life.”
  • Another persuasive essay hook example about people’s psychology and lying is mentioned below:
  • “It is noted by Allison Komet from the Psychology Today magazine that people lie in every one out of five conversations that last for at least 10 minutes.”
  • "Did you know that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within their first year? Discover the secrets of the successful 20% and defy the odds."
  • "According to recent studies, people spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every day. Is it time to reevaluate our digital habits?"
  • "Did you know that over 75% of communication is non-verbal? Explore the power of body language and unlock the secrets of effective communication."
  • "Research shows that 1 in 4 adults suffer from mental health issues. It's time to break the stigma and prioritize our well-being."
  • "Did you know that nearly 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase? Build trust and boost your business with positive feedback."
  • "According to recent data, the global e-commerce industry is projected to reach $6.38 trillion by 2024. Don't miss out on the digital revolution."
  • "Did you know that 80% of car accidents are caused by distracted driving? Let's put an end to this dangerous epidemic."

Anecdotal Hook

An anecdote is a short story relevant to the essay topic, illustrated to gain the reader’s attention. This story can be derived from a personal experience or your imagination. Mostly, an anecdote is humorous; it makes the reader laugh and leaves them wanting to read more.

It is mostly used when writing narrative or descriptive essays.

If you are a non-English speaker and call the support department or the helpline and hear:

  • “If you want instructions in English, press 1. If you don't understand English, press 2.”
  • “ An elderly person came to buy a TV, asked the shopkeeper if they had colored TVs. When told that they are available, he asked to purchase a purple one.” 

Here are some more anecdotal hook examples:

  • "Picture this: It was a cold winter's night, the snowflakes gently falling from the sky, as I embarked on a journey that would change my life forever..."
  • "I still remember the day vividly, sitting in my grandmother's kitchen, the aroma of freshly baked cookies filling the air. Little did I know, that day would teach me a valuable lesson about the power of kindness..."
  • "It was a crowded subway ride during rush hour, everyone lost in their own world. But then, a stranger's act of generosity restored my faith in humanity..."
  • "As I stepped onto the stage, the spotlight shining down, my heart pounding with a mix of excitement and nerves. It was in that moment, I realized the transformative power of facing your fears..."
  • "In the heart of the bustling city, amidst the noise and chaos, I stumbled upon a hidden park, an oasis of serenity that reminded me of the importance of finding peace within ourselves..."
  • "The dusty attic held countless treasures, but it was the tattered journal that caught my eye. As I flipped through its pages, I discovered the untold story of my ancestors, and a connection to my roots I never knew I had..."
  • "Lost in the maze of a foreign city, unable to speak the language, I relied on the kindness of strangers who became my unexpected guides and lifelong friends..."
  • "As the final notes of the symphony resonated through the concert hall, the audience erupted in a thunderous applause. It was in that moment, I witnessed the pure magic that music can evoke..."

Personal Story

Starting with a personal story is the right way to go when writing a personal narrative or admissions essay for College.

There is no such rule that the story has to be yours. You can share your friends' story or someone you know of.

Remember that such hooks aren't suitable when writing a more formal or argumentative piece of writing.

  • “My father was in the Navy; I basically grew up on a cruise. As a young boy, I saw things beyond anyone's imagination. On April 15, 2001…”
  • "Growing up, I was the shyest kid in the classroom. But one day, a simple act of courage changed the course of my life forever..."
  • "I'll never forget the exhilarating rush I felt as I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, defying all odds and proving to myself that anything is possible..."
  • "At the age of 18, I packed my bags, bid farewell to familiarity, and embarked on a solo adventure across the globe. Little did I know, it would become the journey of self-discovery I had always longed for..."
  • "As a single parent, juggling multiple jobs and responsibilities, I faced countless obstacles. But my unwavering determination and the support of my loved ones propelled me towards success..."
  • "It was a rainy day when I stumbled upon an old, forgotten journal in my grandmother's attic. Its pages held untold stories and secrets that would unearth the hidden truths of our family history..."
  • "The sound of applause echoed through the auditorium as I stepped onto the stage, my heart pounding with a mix of nerves and excitement. Little did I know, that performance would be a turning point in my artistic journey..."
  • "After years of battling self-doubt, I finally found the courage to pursue my passion for writing. The moment I held my published book in my hands, I knew I had conquered my fears and embraced my true calling..."
  • "As a volunteer in a remote village, I witnessed the resilience and strength of the human spirit. The people I met and the stories they shared forever changed my perspective on life..."
  • "In the midst of a turbulent relationship, I made the difficult decision to walk away and embark on a journey of self-love and rediscovery. It was through that process that I found my own worth and reclaimed my happiness..."

In the next section we will be discussing hook examples for different kinds of essays.

Surprising Statement Hook

A surprising statement hook is a bold and unexpected statement that grabs the reader's attention and piques their curiosity. It challenges their assumptions and compels them to delve deeper into the topic. Example:

  • "Contrary to popular belief, spiders are our unsung heroes, silently protecting our homes from pesky insects and maintaining delicate ecological balance."
  • "Forget what you know about time management. The key to productivity lies in working less, not more."
  • "In a world where technology dominates, studies show that the old-fashioned pen and paper can boost memory and learning."
  • "You'll be shocked to discover that the average person spends more time scrolling through social media than sleeping."
  • "Contrary to popular belief, introverts possess hidden powers that can make them exceptional leaders."
  • "Prepare to be amazed: chocolate can actually be beneficial for your health when consumed in moderation."
  • "Buckle up, because recent research reveals that multitasking can actually make you less productive, not more."
  • "Did you know that learning a new language can slow down the aging process and keep your brain sharp?"
  • "Hold onto your hats: studies suggest that taking regular naps can enhance your overall productivity and creativity."
  • "You won't believe it, but playing video games in moderation can enhance problem-solving skills and boost cognitive function."

Argumentative Essay Hook Examples

The opening paragraph of an argumentative essay should be similar to the opening statement of a trial. Just as a lawyer presents his point with a logical system, you must do the same in your essay.

For example, you are writing about the adverse effects of smoking, and arguing that all public places should be turned into no smoking zones. For such essays, good hook examples will be statistical such as:

“According to the World Health Organization consumption of tobacco kills about five million people every year, which makes it more than the death rate from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria altogether.”

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Persuasive Essay Hook Examples

The main idea or aim for writing a persuasive essay is to convince and persuade the reader to do something. It is also written to change their beliefs and agree with your point of view.

Hook sentences for such essays are a shocking revelation that the reader is curious to learn more about.

“On average each year, humans release 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide approximately. Due to this, the level of carbon dioxide has increased significantly, more than it has been in centuries. If you think climate change is nothing to worry about then you are highly mistaken.”

Narrative Essay Hook Examples

Simply put, a narrative essay is just like a story. In other types of essays you need to pick a side, argue and prove your point with the help of evidence. A narrative essay gives you a freehand to tell your story however you may please.

It can be a story inspired by your life, something you may have experienced. If you feel like it isn’t exciting enough you can always transform it using your imagination.

Examples of a hook sentence for a narrative essay can be something like:

“I was riding the bus to school; the other kids were making fun of me thinking I couldn’t understand them. “Why are his eyes like that?” “His face is funny.” A Chinese kid in America is probably like a zoo animal.”

Subject-wise Hook Examples

Here are 20+ interesting hook examples across various subjects:

  • Technology: "Imagine a world where machines can read our thoughts. Welcome to the future of mind-reading technology."
  • Health and Wellness: "Did you know that a simple 10-minute meditation can change your entire day? Unlock the transformative power of mindfulness."
  • Environment: "The clock is ticking. Discover the urgent and astonishing truth behind the disappearing rainforests."
  • Travel: "Pack your bags and leave your comfort zone behind. Uncover the hidden gems of off-the-beaten-path destinations."
  • History: "Step into the shoes of a time traveler as we unravel the untold secrets of ancient civilizations."
  • Science: "Prepare to be amazed as we dive into the mind-bending world of quantum physics and its implications for our understanding of reality."
  • Education: "Traditional classrooms are a thing of the past. Explore the innovative and disruptive trends shaping the future of education."
  • Food and Cooking: "Savor the tantalizing flavors of a culinary revolution, where unexpected ingredient pairings redefine the boundaries of taste."
  • Psychology: "Unmask the hidden forces that drive our decision-making and explore the fascinating world of subconscious influences."
  • Art and Creativity: "Witness the collision of colors and ideas in a mesmerizing display of artistic expression. Unlock your inner creativity."
  • Finance: "Escape the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and discover the path to financial freedom. It's time to take control of your wealth."
  • Sports: "Feel the adrenaline surge as we uncover the captivating stories behind the world's most legendary sports moments."
  • Relationships: "Love in the digital age: How technology has transformed the way we connect, flirt, and navigate modern relationships."
  • Self-Improvement: "Embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn the life-changing habits that lead to personal growth and fulfillment."
  • Business and Entrepreneurship: "From startup to success story: Explore the rollercoaster ride of building and scaling a thriving business."
  • Fashion: "Step into the fashion revolution as we decode the latest trends and unveil the stories behind iconic designer collections."
  • Music: "Unleash the power of music: How melodies, rhythms, and lyrics can touch our souls and evoke powerful emotions."
  • Politics: "Behind closed doors: Delve into the intriguing world of political maneuvering and the impact on global affairs."
  • Nature and Wildlife: "Journey to the untouched corners of our planet, where awe-inspiring creatures and breathtaking landscapes await."
  • Literature: "Enter the realm of literary magic as we explore the profound symbolism and hidden meanings within beloved classics."

In conclusion, these were some catchy hook examples just to give you an idea. You can make use of any one of these types according to your paper and its requirements. Generate free essays through our AI essay writer , to see how it's done!

The key to making your essay stand out from the rest is to have a strong introduction. While it is the major part, there’s more that goes into writing a good essay.

If you are still unable to come up with an exciting hook, and searching “ who can write my essay ?”. The expert essay writers at 5StarEssays.com are just a click away.  Reach out to our essay writer today and have an engaging opening for your essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a visual hook.

The visual hook is a scene that captures the audience's interest by encapsulating something about the movie. It usually occurs around 15 minutes into it, and can be found in marketing or reviews of movies.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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How to Write a Hook for an Essay?

Home / Blog / How To Write A Hook For An Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

Introduction

Writing an essay is a challenging task, and the hardest part is often the beginning. The first sentence of your essay, also known as the hook, is critical. It needs to be compelling enough to capture your reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. In this blog post, we'll explore some writing tips and examples for creating a hook that will draw in your readers and keep them engaged.

What is a hook?

A hook is a sentence or two that captures the reader's attention and draws them into the essay. It's the opening statement that sets the tone for the rest of the essay. A hook can be a question, a quote, a statistic, an anecdote, or anything that will make your reader want to keep reading. The hook is the first impression of your essay, and it's essential to make it a good one.

Types of hooks

There are several types of hooks that you can use to start your essay. Here are some of the most common ones:

Question hook

Asking a question is a great way to start your essay. It engages the reader and encourages them to think about the topic. For example, "Have you ever wondered why some people are afraid of spiders?"

Using a quote from a famous person or a literary work is another effective way to start your essay. It adds credibility to your writing and can help you establish a connection with your reader. For example, "In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'"

Statistic hook

Using a statistic can be a powerful way to start your essay. It gives the reader a sense of the importance of the topic and can help you establish credibility. For example, "Did you know that more than 80% of adults in the United States suffer from back pain at some point in their lives?"

Anecdote hook

Anecdotes are personal stories that can be used to start your essay. They are an effective way to engage the reader and make them feel connected to the topic. For example, "When I was six years old, I fell off my bike and broke my arm. It was a painful experience, but it taught me the importance of perseverance."

Tips for writing a hook

Now that you know the different types of hooks, here are some tips for writing an effective one:

Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial when writing a hook. Consider their age, interests, and background. If you're writing for a younger audience, you may want to use a question or anecdote hook. For an older audience, a statistic or quote hook may be more effective.

Keep it short and sweet

Your hook should be no more than two sentences long. You want to grab the reader's attention quickly and make them want to read more.

Use vivid language

Use descriptive language that paints a picture in the reader's mind. This will help them visualize the topic and make it more interesting.

Make it relevant

Your hook should be relevant to the topic of your essay. It should set the tone and provide a clear indication of what the essay will be about.

Examples of hooks

Here are some examples of effective hooks:

"Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by your workload? It's time to take control of your schedule and achieve success."

"Mark Twain once said, 'The secret of getting ahead is getting started.' This is especially true when it comes to achieving your goals."

"Did you know that over 70% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs? If you're one of them, it's time to take action and find a career youlove."

"When I was in college, I spent a semester studying abroad in Spain. It was an unforgettable experience that taught me the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing new cultures."

Some More Points To Write An Effective Hook For Your Essay

Sure, here are some additional facts and tips to help you write an effective hook for your essay :

Know your topic inside and out

To write an effective hook, you need to have a deep understanding of your topic. Conduct research and gather as much information as possible before starting to write. This will help you identify the key points you want to make and choose the type of hook that best fits your topic.

Humor can be a powerful tool when it comes to writing a hook. A well-placed joke or witty remark can make your reader laugh and keep them engaged. Just be careful not to overdo it or use inappropriate humor.

Create a sense of mystery

Creating a sense of mystery or intrigue can be an effective way to hook your reader. For example, "What if I told you there's a simple way to double your productivity in just one week?"

Start with a shocking statement

Starting with a shocking statement can be a great way to get your reader's attention. For example, "Every day, thousands of innocent animals are subjected to cruel and inhumane testing in laboratories around the world."

Use a metaphor or simile

Using a metaphor or simile can be a creative way to start your essay. For example, "Life is like a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns."

Use descriptive language

Using descriptive language can help paint a picture in the reader's mind and make your writing more engaging. For example, "The sun slowly rose over the horizon, casting a warm orange glow across the sky."

Appeal to emotions

Appealing to your reader's emotions can be a powerful way to hook them. For example, "Imagine a world where everyone is treated with kindness and respect. It's possible if we all work together."

Be provocative

Being provocative can be a risky strategy, but it can also be very effective if done correctly. For example, "Some people believe that climate change is a hoax. But the facts tell a very different story."

In summary, writing a hook is a critical part of creating an engaging essay . By knowing your topic, using humor, creating a sense of mystery, starting with a shocking statement, using metaphors or similes, using descriptive language, appealing to emotions, and being provocative, you can create a hook that grabs your reader's attention and keeps them engaged throughout your writing.

In conclusion, writing a hook for an essay is a crucial step in capturing your reader's attention and keeping them engaged throughout your writing. There are different types of hooks you can use, including question, quote, statistic, and anecdote hooks. By understanding your audience, keeping it short and sweet, using vivid language, and making it relevant, you can create a hook that sets the tone for your essay and entices the reader to keep reading. Remember, the hook is the first impression of your essay, so make it count!

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How to Write Captivating Hooks for Your Argumentative Essays

Adela B.

Table of contents

Are you ready to sharpen your argumentative essay writing skills? If so, then mastering the art of creating a compelling hook is a skill you can't afford to miss. The hook, a crucial component of your introductory paragraph, has the power to either grip your reader's attention or cause them to lose interest in your argument.

In the dynamic world of essay writing, the ability to write a persuasive hook for your argumentative essay is a critical skill that can set your work apart. Whether you're a student aiming to impress your professor, a professional trying to sway a critical audience, or simply a person who thrives in the realm of logical debates, this skill is invaluable.

In this guide, we aim to demystify the process of writing an enticing hook for an argumentative essay - a technique that will captivate your reader's attention, spark their curiosity, and compel them to delve deeper into your argument. Prepare to wield the power of the hook and engage your readers from the outset, maintaining their interest right through to the conclusion.

The Role of a Hook in an Argumentative Essay

In an argumentative essay, the first impression is everything. Your initial statement or question—also known as the hook—serves as the doorway inviting your reader to step into your argument. With a compelling hook, you’re not just getting their attention; you're making a promise that your essay is worth their time.

The hook's main purpose is to draw readers in and compel them to want to read more. It piques their curiosity, stirs up emotions, or provokes thought. A strong hook aligns with your essay’s topic and thesis, yet it also stands on its own as a captivating snippet of your overall argument.

Remember, an argumentative essay is not just about presenting an argument; it's about making it interesting and engaging for the reader. The hook plays an instrumental role in achieving this goal. As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." With an argumentative essay, the first impression begins with the hook.

In the sections that follow, we will unpack different types of hooks, provide a step-by-step guide on how to craft them, and offer real-life examples for inspiration. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Different Types of Hooks for an Argumentative Essay

  • Question Hook
  • Quotation Hook
  • Statistic Hook
  • Anecdotal Hook
  • Declaration Hook
  • Descriptive Hook

Creating an impactful hook requires choosing the right type for your argumentative essay. Each kind of hook serves a different purpose and can help establish the tone, voice, and direction of your essay. Let's walk through the most commonly used types and how they can boost your writing:

Question Hook : This type of hook poses a thought-provoking question that relates to your argument's theme. It can be a rhetorical question or one that seeks an answer. It makes your readers engage directly by prompting them to think about a possible answer or form an opinion about the question.

Quotation Hook : A well-chosen quote from a notable person or source related to your argument can be a powerful way to begin your essay. It instantly lends credibility to your argument and shows that your point of view aligns with respected opinions.

Statistic Hook : This type of hook involves beginning your essay with a surprising or compelling statistic related to your argument. It's a fantastic way to show your readers that your point is backed by evidence, and it is often a surprising piece of information that can grab their attention.

Anecdotal Hook : An anecdotal hook involves telling a short and captivating story or an incident related to your topic. A well-told anecdote can humanize your argument and help your reader connect with your topic on a more personal level.

Declaration Hook : This is a straightforward statement that declares your argument or a related point. It's bold, it's confident, and it lets your reader know exactly where you stand.

Descriptive Hook : This type of hook uses vivid imagery to draw your reader into your essay. By painting a picture with your words, you can help your reader visualize your argument and become more engaged with your essay.

REMEMBER : the best type of hook for your essay largely depends on your essay’s topic, your personal writing style, and the effect you want to have on your reader. In the next section, we’ll guide you step-by-step through the process of writing your own captivating hook.

Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Hook for Your Argumentative Essay

  • Understand Your Audience
  • Identify Your Essay's Purpose
  • Choose the Appropriate Type of Hook
  • Write Your Hook
  • Revise and Refine

Now that we have a better understanding of the different types of hooks and their importance in an argumentative essay, it's time to delve into how to actually write an effective one. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you craft a compelling hook for your argumentative essay:

Understand Your Audience : Before you start writing your hook, you need to understand who your readers are. What interests them? What are their concerns? What kind of language do they understand best? Once you have this information, you can craft a hook that speaks directly to them.

Identify Your Essay's Purpose : What is the central argument or point you want to make in your essay? Your hook should tie into this and give a hint or a preview of what's to come.

Choose the Appropriate Type of Hook : Refer to the different types of hooks we discussed in the previous section. Depending on your topic and audience, one type might be more effective than the others. For instance, a serious topic might benefit more from a statistic hook, while a personal argument might be better served by an anecdotal hook.

Write Your Hook : Now comes the actual writing. Keep it concise, engaging, and relevant to your argument. Ensure that it leads naturally into your introduction and gives your readers a reason to continue reading.

Revise and Refine : First drafts aren't always perfect. Read your hook out loud, get feedback from others, and revise as necessary. It should not only grab your reader's attention but also be a seamless part of your introduction.

Now, let's put this theory into practice. In the next section, we will provide a series of examples that will demonstrate how these steps work in real-life situations. Each example will show a different type of hook, so you can see the variety of ways to engage your reader right from the start.

Examples of Hooks in Argumentative Essays

Now that we’ve explained how to write a hook, it's time to show you some examples in action. As we go through these examples, remember that your hook should be relevant to your topic and effectively engage your reader.

Statistical Hook : If you were writing an essay about the effects of climate change, you could start with a statistical hook like, "According to the United Nations, the last 20 years have seen 17 of the hottest on record."

Anecdotal Hook : For an essay on the importance of education, you could begin with an anecdotal hook: "When I first moved to the United States, I didn't know a word of English. It was in school that I discovered not only the language but a love of literature."

Question Hook : If your essay revolves around the theme of personal fitness, you could use a question hook like, "How many times have you told yourself you'd start exercising 'tomorrow'?"

Quotation Hook : For an essay about the importance of perseverance, you could use a quotation hook: "'It always seems impossible until it's done.' Nelson Mandela’s words resonate with anyone who has faced seemingly insurmountable challenges."

Factual Hook : In an essay about the dangers of plastic waste, you could use a factual hook: "Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans."

Personal Story Hook : If your essay is about the impact of bullying, you could start with a personal story hook: "In middle school, I was the 'new kid'. What that meant was I also became the perfect target for bullies."

Declaration Hook : If you are writing about the importance of mental health, you could start with a strong declaration: "Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it's time we treated it that way."

Descriptive Hook : For an essay on traveling, you could start with a descriptive hook: "The vibrant colors of the bustling marketplace, the distant hum of street music, and the intoxicating aroma of street food – there's nothing quite like the sensory overload of visiting a new city."

Metaphor/Simile Hook : If you're writing about time management, a metaphorical hook could work well: "Managing your time effectively is like conducting an orchestra; every task has its place and rhythm."

Dilemma Hook : For an essay on moral or ethical decision-making, you could use a dilemma hook: "You're in a lifeboat with a maximum capacity of five people, but there are six of you. What do you do?"

Remember, the goal of your hook is to captivate your reader and make them want to continue reading. We hope these examples inspire you as you craft your own hooks for your argumentative essays.

Final Thoughts on Writing an Effective Hook for an Argumentative Essay

The success of your argumentative essay can significantly hinge on your opening hook. It sets the tone, piques interest, and beckons your readers into your world of persuasion. Remember, it's not just about writing a catchy first sentence—it's about creating an entry point into your argument that your reader can't resist.

Crafting an effective hook requires some creative thinking, but remember, it should serve your argument and fit the tone of your essay. Whether you choose to start with a shocking statistic, a compelling question, or a personal anecdote, make sure your hook leads smoothly into your thesis statement.

Now that we've walked you through the process of crafting a hook for your argumentative essay, it's time to practice. Don't worry if you don't get it right the first time. Like all aspects of writing, creating compelling hooks comes easier with time and practice. The most important thing is to keep your reader in mind and aim to engage them from the first word.

Remember, your argumentative essay is a journey for your reader, and your hook is the door into that journey. Make that door as enticing as possible, and your reader will be eager to step through it and explore the argument you've laid out before them.

Additional Resources

Delving deeper into argumentative essays and refining your writing skills can be an enriching journey. Here are a few more resources to help you navigate this path effectively:

Articles from the Writers Per Hour Blog

  • How Significant Are Opposing Points of View in an Argument
  • Rebuttal in Argumentative Essay
  • Strong Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas
  • Writing Strong Introductions for Argumentative Essays
  • Strong Conclusion for Argumentative Essay
  • What is a Hook for an Essay and How to Use It

External Resources

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
  • Harvard College Writing Center
  • University of North Carolina Writing Center

IMPORTANT : mastery in argumentative writing is a journey that requires patience, practice, and persistence. However, if you ever find yourself struggling with your essay, our team of professional essay writers for hire is always ready to assist you. With their expertise in crafting compelling, well-structured essays, they can provide invaluable support in your academic journey.

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Cramming for an exam isn’t the best way to learn – but if you have to do it, here’s how

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Senior Teaching Fellow in Education, University of Strathclyde

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Around the country, school and university students are hitting the books in preparation for exams. If you are in this position, you may find yourself trying to memorise information that you first learned a long time ago and have completely forgotten – or that you didn’t actually learn effectively in the first place.

Unfortunately, cramming is a very inefficient way to properly learn. But sometimes it’s necessary to pass an exam. And you can incorporate what we know about how learning works into your revision to make it more effective.

Read more: Exams: seven tips for coping with revision stress

A great deal of research evidence on how memory works over time shows that we forget new information very quickly at first, after which the process of forgetting slows down.

In practice, this means that very compressed study schedules lead to a catastrophic amount of forgetting.

A better option is to space out learning a particular topic more gradually and over a longer period. This is called the “spacing effect” and it leads to skills and knowledge being retained better, and for longer.

Research has found that we remember information better when we leave a gap of time between first studying something and revisiting it, rather than doing so straight away. This even works for short timescales – a delay of a few seconds when trying to learn a small piece of information, such as a pair of words, for instance. And it also works when the delay between study sessions is much longer .

In the classroom , spacing out practice could mean reviewing and practising material the next day, or delaying homework by a couple of weeks, rather than revisiting it as soon as possible. As a rule, psychologists have suggested that the best time to re-study material is when it is on the verge of being forgotten – not before, but also not after.

But this isn’t how things are learned across the school year. When students get to exam time, they have forgotten much of what was previously studied.

Better cramming

When it comes to actually learning – being able to remember information over the long term and apply it to new situations – cramming doesn’t work. We can hardly call it “learning” if information is forgotten a month later. But if you need to pass an exam, cramming can lead to a boost in temporary performance. What’s more, you can incorporate the spacing effect into your cramming to make it more efficient.

It’s better to space practising knowledge of a particular topic out over weeks, so if you have that long before a key exam, plan your revision schedule so you cover topics more than once. Rather than allocating one block of two hours for a particular topic, study it for one hour this week and then for another hour in a week or so’s time.

Empty exam hall

If you don’t have that much time, it’s still worth incorporating smaller gaps between practice sessions. If your exam is tomorrow, practice key topics in the morning today and then again in the evening.

Learning is also more effective if you actively retrieve information from your memory, rather than re-reading or underlining your notes. A good way to do this, incorporating the spacing effect, is to take practice tests. Revise a topic from your notes or textbook, take a half-hour break, and then take a practice test without help from your books.

An even simpler technique is a “brain dump” . After studying and taking a break, write down everything you can remember about the topic on a blank sheet of paper without checking your notes.

Change the way we teach

A shift in teaching practices may be needed to avoid students having to cram material they only half-remember before exams.

But my research suggests that teachers tend to agree with the idea that consolidation of a topic should happen as soon as possible, rather than spacing out practice in ways that would actually be more effective.

Teachers are overburdened and make heroic efforts with the time they have. But incorporating the spacing effect into teaching needn’t require radical changes to how teachers operate. Often, it’s as simple as doing the same thing on a different schedule .

Research has shown the most effective way to combine practice testing and the spacing effect is to engage in practice testing in the initial class, followed by at least three practice opportunities at widely spaced intervals. This is quite possible within the typical pattern of the school year.

For example, after the initial class, further practice could come via a homework task after a few days’ delay, then some kind of test or mock exam after a further gap of time. The revision period before exams would then be the third opportunity for consolidation.

Building effective self-testing and delayed practice into education would spell less stress and less ineffective cramming. Exam time would be for consolidation, rather than re-learning things that have been forgotten. The outcome would be better long-term retention of important knowledge and skills. As a bonus, school students would also gain a better insight into how to study effectively.

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What Is a Capstone Project vs. Thesis

what's hook in an essay

As students near the end of their academic journey, they encounter a crucial project called the capstone – a culmination of all they've learned. But what exactly is a capstone project? 

This article aims to demystify capstone projects, explaining what they are, why they matter, and what you can expect when you embark on this final academic endeavor.

Capstone Project Meaning

A capstone project is a comprehensive, culminating academic endeavor undertaken by students typically in their final year of study. 

It synthesizes their learning experiences, requiring students to apply the knowledge, skills, and competencies gained throughout their academic journey. A capstone project aims to address a real-world problem or explore a topic of interest in depth. 

As interdisciplinary papers, capstone projects encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. They allow students to showcase their mastery of their field of study and demonstrate their readiness for future academic or professional pursuits.

Now that we’ve defined what is a capstone project, let’s discuss its importance in the academic landscape. In case you have short-form compositions to handle, simply say, ‘ do my essay for me ,’ and our writers will take care of your workload.

Why Is a Capstone Project Important

A capstone project is crucial because it allows students to combine everything they've learned in school and apply it to real-life situations or big problems. 

It's like the ultimate test of what they know and can do. By working on these projects, students get hands-on experience, learn to think critically and figure out how to solve tough problems. 

Plus, it's a chance to show off their skills and prove they're ready for whatever comes next, whether that's starting a career or going on to more schooling.

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What Is the Purpose of a Capstone Project

Here are three key purposes of a capstone project:

What Is the Purpose of a Capstone Project

Integration of Knowledge and Skills

Capstones often require students to draw upon the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their academic program. The importance of capstone project lies in helping students synthesize what they have learned and apply it to a real-world problem or project. 

This integration helps students demonstrate their proficiency and readiness for graduation or entry into their chosen profession.

Culmination of Learning

Capstone projects culminate a student's academic journey, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. 

tackling a significant project or problem, students demonstrate their understanding of concepts and their ability to translate them into practical solutions, reinforcing their learning journey.

Professional Development

Capstone projects allow students to develop skills relevant to their future careers. These projects can also be tangible examples of their capabilities to potential employers or graduate programs.

Whether it's conducting research, presenting findings, or collaborating with peers, students gain valuable experience that enhances their professional readiness. 

Types of Capstone Projects

Capstones vary widely depending on the academic discipline, institution, and specific program requirements. Here are some common types:

What Is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Capstone Project

Here's a breakdown of the key differences between a thesis and a capstone project:

How to Write a Capstone Project

Let's dive into the specifics with actionable and meaningful steps for writing a capstone project:

1. Select a Pertinent Topic

Identify a topic that aligns with your academic interests, program requirements, and real-world relevance. Consider issues or challenges within your field that merit further exploration or solution. 

Conduct thorough research to ensure the topic is both feasible and significant. Here are some brilliant capstone ideas for your inspiration.

2. Define Clear Objectives

Clearly articulate the objectives of your capstone project. What specific outcomes do you aim to achieve? 

Whether it's solving a problem, answering a research question, or developing a product, ensure your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

3. Conduct Comprehensive Research

Dive deep into existing literature, theories, and empirical evidence related to your chosen topic. Identify gaps, controversies, or areas for further investigation. 

Synthesize relevant findings and insights to inform the development of your project and provide a solid foundation for your analysis or implementation.

4. Develop a Structured Plan

What is a capstone project in college without a rigid structure? Outline a comprehensive plan for your capstone project, including key milestones, tasks, and deadlines. 

Break down the project into manageable phases, such as literature review, data collection, analysis, and presentation. Establish clear criteria for success and regularly monitor progress to stay on track.

5. Implement Methodological Rigor

If your project involves research, ensure methodological rigor by selecting appropriate research methods, tools, and techniques. 

Develop a detailed research design or project plan that addresses key methodological considerations, such as sampling, data collection, analysis, and validity. Adhere to ethical guidelines and best practices throughout the research process.

6. Analyze and Interpret Findings

Analyze your data or findings using appropriate analytical techniques and tools. Interpret the results in relation to your research questions or objectives, highlighting key patterns, trends, or insights. 

Critically evaluate the significance and implications of your findings within the broader context of your field or industry.

7. Communicate Effectively

Present your capstone project clearly, concisely, and compellingly. Whether it's a written report, presentation, or multimedia deliverable, tailor your communication style to your target audience. Clearly articulate your research questions, methodology, findings, and conclusions. 

Use visuals, examples, and real-world applications to enhance understanding and engagement. Be prepared to defend your project and answer questions from peers, faculty, or stakeholders.

In wrapping up, what is a capstone project? It’s like the grand finale of your academic journey, where all the knowledge and skills you've acquired come together in one big project. 

It's not just about passing a test or getting a grade – it's about proving you've got what it takes to make a real difference in the world. So, if you ever need capstone project help , our writers will gladly lend you a hand in no time.

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What Is a Capstone Project in College?

How to do a capstone project, how long does a capstone project take to complete.

Annie Lambert

Annie Lambert

specializes in creating authoritative content on marketing, business, and finance, with a versatile ability to handle any essay type and dissertations. With a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a passion for social issues, her writing not only educates but also inspires action. On EssayPro blog, Annie delivers detailed guides and thought-provoking discussions on pressing economic and social topics. When not writing, she’s a guest speaker at various business seminars.

what's hook in an essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • T. (2023, June 16). What Is a Capstone Project? National University. https://www.nu.edu/blog/what-is-a-capstone-project/
  • Lukins, S. (2024, May 12). What is a capstone project? And why is it important? Top Universities. https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/careers-advice-articles/what-capstone-project-why-it-important
  • Capstone Project vs. Thesis: What’s the Difference? (2021, December 9). UAGC. https://www.uagc.edu/blog/capstone-project-vs-thesis-whats-difference

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Best Ways To Increase Word Count in an Essay

Best Ways To Increase Word Count in an Essay

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Published: May 23, 2024

Are you writing a homework essay and struggling to meet the minimum word count requirements? Or maybe you’re finding it challenging to add substance without sacrificing quality.

In this guide, we’ll cover simple strategies to increase word count in an essay while also improving the quality of your writing. These methods include using AI tools like Smodin, refining your paraphrasing, and mastering sentences.

1. Use AI Writing Tools

Using AI writing tools can help make your essay longer. These tools can provide assistants in various ways:

  • AI tools like Smodin can analyze your text. They suggest alternatives, letting you expand on ideas without harming your writing.
  • AI tools can help you find chances to break up or combine sentences. This will increase the required word count while keeping things clear and flowing.
  • These tools can recommend synonyms. They replace generic terms, adding depth to your essay.
  • AI writing assistants, like Smodin Writer , can give tailored suggestions based on your essay’s topic and tone. They ensure your desired word count increases and fits your writing goals.

Adding AI writing tools to your essay-crafting process can be a powerful way to boost your word count easily. They can also improve the quality of your work.

2. Write Short Stories

Adding stories to your essay is a compelling way to add words and engage your readers, especially when it comes to creative writing. Here’s how you can effectively utilize storytelling:

  • Add anecdotes : They give context and detail to your points while adding extra words.
  • Develop vivid characters and scenarios : Use them to illustrate your ideas and add depth to your writing.
  • Use vivid language to paint a picture for your readers : It will immerse readers in the story while increasing your word count.
  • Use emotional appeal : Connect with your reader through stories. The stories should evoke feelings and resonate with their experiences.

Weaving stories into your essay boosts word count. It also makes your content more engaging and memorable. Consider using AI tools like Smodin. They can refine your storytelling and improve your narrative flow.

3. Expand Paragraphs

Expanding paragraphs is a strategic approach. It will increase the word count and improve the depth and coherence of your essay. Here are key tactics to effectively expand your paragraphs:

  • Add detail and explanation to your main points : This will make your writing more substantial and longer.
  • Eliminate filler words : As you expand, watch for words that do not add meaning which will negatively affect your essay length.
  • Strengthen body paragraphs : Develop your body paragraphs by connecting ideas logically and cohesively.
  • Use transitional phrases : These help you move between ideas and paragraphs. They keep your essay flowing and positively increase the word count.

By expanding your paragraphs carefully, you can boost your word count. This will enrich your writing’s quality and structure. AI tools, like Smodin, can help here, too. They will streamline and improve how you expand paragraphs.

4. Add Examples

Adding examples to your essay is a powerful way to support your arguments. It also makes your writing more engaging. Here are some strategies for effectively incorporating examples into your writing:

  • Use relevant examples : They must relate to the topic and support your arguments. Avoid using examples that are unrelated or confusing.
  • Use many examples : They can emphasize different parts of your argument and make your writing more complete.
  • Use examples from different sources : They give a full view of the topic. They show your skill at analyzing and evaluating diverse views.
  • Use examples to contrast and compare : Using examples to contrast and compare ideas can highlight their strengths and weaknesses. It can provide a more nuanced understanding of the topic.
  • Use examples to clarify complex concepts : They can make concepts easier to understand.

Adding examples to your essay provides evidence to back your arguments. It also makes your writing more engaging and persuasive.

5. Clarify Sentences

When aiming to increase your essay’s word count, clear sentences are crucial. They add substance and depth to your writing. Here are key strategies to enhance clarity and expand your content effectively:

  • Provide more detail : Elaborate on key points by adding more detail and examples to enrich your explanations.
  • Use descriptive language : It illustrates concepts and engages readers deeply.
  • Clarify your statements : Make them clear and short. Avoid ambiguity and complexity.
  • Emphasize the key points : Do this to reinforce your arguments and provide a full understanding.
  • Add more depth : Dive deeper into topics by exploring various angles and perspectives to enrich your analysis and clarify statements.
  • Avoid unnecessary information : Trim away details that do not matter or add to the main ideas. This keeps your writing clear.

These strategies will help you clarify your sentences and add depth to your content. They will also increase the word count while keeping your essay relevant and coherent.

6. Use Quotations

Using quotes in your essay can boost word count and add credibility and depth to your arguments. Here are some effective ways to use quotations in your writing:

  • Use quotes from quality sources : They will give solid evidence for your claims.
  • Adding authority : Quotes from experts or well-known figures can add a sense of authority to your writing and boost the validity of your arguments.
  • Emphasizing key points: Similar to using examples, quotations can be used to highlight key ideas or perspectives that align with your argument.
  • Provide different viewpoints : Integrate quotes with diverse viewpoints. They enrich the discussion and show a complete understanding of the topic.
  • Use quotes strategically : They will strengthen your argument and persuade your readers.
  • Cite relevant quotes : Remember to cite quotes correctly as per your school or university’s guidelines.

By skillfully using quotes, you can improve your writing, increase your word count, and enrich your essay with valuable insights and perspectives.

7. Expand the Introduction and Conclusion

The intro and conclusion of your essay are crucial. By expanding these sections, you can boost your word count and strengthen the coherence and impact of your writing.

Expanding the introduction:

  • Provide more detail : Start your essay with a more detailed and engaging hook to capture your reader’s attention.
  • Introduce the topic thoroughly : Spend more time setting the context and giving background on it.
  • Connect ideas : Make clear connections between your introduction and the body of your essay. This ensures a smooth transition.
  • Show off your writing : The introduction sets the tone for the whole essay. Aim to showcase your writing skills from the very first sentence well.
  • Write the introduction last : While this may seem like a backward approach, it’s the best way to ensure you include all the necessary details in your intro.

Expanding the conclusion:

  • Revisit key points : Summarize the main arguments and ideas from your essay. Give a full recap for your readers.
  • Offer more insights : Explore the broader meaning of your topic. Or suggest new research and discussion topics.
  • Tie your conclusion to the introduction : This will create a cohesive essay.
  • Write with intention : Invest time crafting a thoughtful conclusion. Make it impactful to leave a lasting impression on your professor or teacher.

By adding to your introduction and conclusion, you can increase your essay’s word count. You will also improve the structure, coherence, and impact of your writing.

8. Add Transition Phrases

As mentioned, adding transition phrases to your school or college essay is a strategic way to increase your word count. It also improves the flow and coherence of your writing. These phrases act as bridges between ideas. They help your readers navigate your essay smoothly.

Here are some effective ways to utilize transition phrases to boost your word count:

  • Use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas. Do this for both paragraphs and sections. It will make your essay cohesive and well-structured.
  • Use a variety of transitions. Try a range of phrases, such as “in addition,” “furthermore,” “on the other hand,” and “in conclusion.” They will add depth and complexity to your writing.
  • Ensure the phrases you use are right for the context. They should guide your readers through your arguments well.

By adding transition phrases to your essay, you can increase your word count. This will also improve the clarity, flow, and coherence of your writing.

Let Smodin Boost Your Word Count

Learning to increase word count in essays is not just about quantity. It’s also about improving the quality and impact of your writing.

These techniques will change your own writing process and help you write essays and research papers that resonate with your professors and teachers, no matter how many words you need.

Platforms like Smodin use AI to offer a simple solution to essay writing. They help you increase your word count easily. Here’s how Smodin can help you:

  • Smodin uses AI to analyze your text and suggests ways to add words in addition to removing unnecessary words.
  • Smodin can help with paraphrasing. It can also add depth and length to sentences.
  • Use Smodin to improve your writing. It gives suggestions on grammar and style.
  • Tailored recommendations to suit your specific writing needs and goals.

Explore Smodin’s services today to improve your writing.

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The Grief Project

10 Artists on Working, Living and Creating Through Loss

Jesmyn Ward, Bridget Everett, Sigrid Nunez and seven other writers, actors, musicians and filmmakers talk to us about grief — how they’ve experienced it and how it has changed them.

Supported by

By Dina Gachman

Photo Essay by Daniel Arnold

Dina Gachman is a writer based in Austin, Texas, and the author of an essay collection focused on grief. Daniel Arnold is a New York City-based photographer whose documentation of city life is informed by love and grief.

  • May 25, 2024 Updated 10:26 a.m. ET

Sigrid Nunez , author Conor Oberst , musician Bridget Everett , performer Ben Kweller , musician Jesmyn Ward , author Justin Hardiman , photographer Julie Otsuka , author Lila Avilés , filmmaker Richard E. Grant , actor Luke Lorentzen , filmmaker

When Jesmyn Ward was writing her 2013 book, “Men We Reaped,” she could feel the presence of her brother, who had been killed years earlier by a drunk driver. She still talks to him, as well as to her partner, who died in 2020.

“This may just be wishful thinking, but talking to them and being open to feeling them answer, that enables me to live in spite of their loss,” she told me.

While filming the HBO series “Somebody Somewhere,” Bridget Everett, playing a woman mourning the loss of her sister, was grieving the loss of her own. Working on the show was a way to still live with her, in a way, she said: “There’s something that’s less scary about sharing time with my sister when it’s through art or through making the show or through a song.”

One of the many things you learn after losing a loved one is that there are a lot of us grieving out there. Some people are not just living with loss but also trying to create or experience something meaningful, to counter the blunt force of the ache.

We talked to 10 artists across music, writing, photography, film and comedy about the ways their work, in the wake of personal loss, has deepened their understanding of what it means to grieve and to create.

Two blond children stand on the sidewalk, one of them holding a sign that says, “Does life have a purpose?”

In 2024, we are hardly the first generations to channel loss into art, but coming through the last few years shaped by a pandemic and cultural and political upheaval, it does seem like something is different. It doesn’t feel relevant to ask questions like, Why don’t we talk about loss? or, Why are we so grief avoidant? How could we come through these last few years together and not talk about it, write about it, make films, shows, paintings and songs about it? There are hundreds of podcasts devoted to the topic and Instagram accounts that exist solely to share poetry about loss. The questions now, for us, are how can we talk about death in a more meaningful way? What can we create or watch or listen to that will help us engage with grief as readily and as deeply as we do with love, or joy, or beauty?

The artists we spoke with have lost brothers or sisters, a child, spouses, parents, friends, pets, communities. They’ve moved through the last few years brokenhearted, as so many of us have, but with a deeper understanding of the ways that creating art, and talking openly, can get us through. These are edited excerpts from their interviews.

Sigrid Nunez

‘Life is a series of losses, so why would you not always be in some state of mourning?’

Sigrid Nunez won the National Book Award in 2018 for her novel “The Friend,” in which the narrator, after her friend dies, inherits his Great Dane. She is also the author of “What Are You Going Through,” about a woman whose friend is nearing death, and “The Vulnerables,” set during the coronavirus pandemic.

When I write about grief, I feel like I’m writing about something that everybody else experiences. I’m not actually aware of making any conscious choice. I just have characters and situations, and inevitably grief and mourning and mortality and illness and loss. They come in because that’s so much a part of life.

I’m dealing with grief in completely fictional characters, imagining what it would be like for a particular person to experience a loss. When I was writing “The Friend,” I said part of it is about suicide. At the time, I became aware of the fact that several people I knew had this idea in their head that suicide might be how their life would end at some point. One of those people did commit suicide. There are so many different forms of grief. In “The Friend,” I included a story about a dog and I had to think about the fact that dogs also experience grief, often intensely.

There’s the idea that since the narrator is grieving and the dog is grieving, that’s part of their bond, and they end up helping each other in that way and having that bond. When you introduce an animal into a work of fiction, you introduce a certain warmth into the story because animals bring that out in people — a little happiness and warmth. We tend to find animals funny — they are, we’re not crazy. I saw on YouTube somebody had a pet rat and they put it into a sink to take a shower. It was the most adorable thing you ever saw. That’s also why during the pandemic people sought these videos out. The warmth and the humor and the comfort.

I have a friend whose mother died totally unexpectedly, some unsuspected heart condition. There was my friend, just devastated. We were going to get together, and I asked what she wanted to do. She said, maybe we could go to the Central Park Zoo, because she thought it would be comforting to look at animals. And there you go. It’s not that people don’t also help you, but I was so intrigued by her idea of going to look at animals, and it seemed so right.

In the early days of the pandemic, I wasn’t able to write, as people weren’t able to do much of anything. It came into my head, that Virginia Woolf line: “It was an uncertain spring.” I don’t have to tell you why that came into my head. This was in April 2020. I started with that sentence and wrote kind of what’s going on, and the writer talks about taking these long walks. Then I thought I wanted to start another book, and I thought I could start from there. I did end up writing “The Vulnerables” during the pandemic. It’s not a chronicle of those times the way Elizabeth Strout’s “ Lucy by the Sea ” is. That particular subject matter turned out to be about the pandemic and lockdown because I was writing about what was happening right then. And then I started inventing a story.

We are a grief-avoiding culture, that’s certainly true. But I would think part of the problem is not people not wanting to talk about it, it’s not knowing how to talk about it and not having the language and feeling so uncomfortable about saying the wrong thing. You know perfectly well you don’t have anything good to say, so you’re just going to come up with the same clichés. I’m so uncomfortable saying, “I’m so sorry to hear.” It doesn’t feel good. Sometimes I say, “I wish I had something wise and comforting to say, but I don’t.” I don’t add the “but I don’t.” There’s this famous letter that Henry James wrote to someone who was grieving and he begins by saying, “I hardly know what to say.” Well, if Henry James didn’t know what to say, then how can you expect the rest of us to know?

There is a whole world that doesn’t exist anymore — that’s just what time does. It takes things away from you. Life is a series of losses, so you’re always in a state of mourning to some extent. That’s what nostalgia is, it’s a kind of mourning.

People seem to be forgetting what happened during the pandemic. It’s like this collective repression. That I don’t think bodes well. I don’t think people understand, things should have changed more. In “The Vulnerables,” in the very beginning, I have my narrator say she’s trying to answer a questionnaire, the kinds of surveys that writers get all the time and she’s trying to answer the question “Why do you write.” She then talks about that. She’d read a study of twins and in cases where a twin had died before being born, in some cases the living twin never got over the feeling that something was missing from their lives. I think that is connected to why I write. I want to know what I had been mourning my whole life. I don’t think I answer that in the book and I don’t think I needed to answer it, but it is connected to this idea that grief is so much a part of life, small griefs, huge griefs. Life is a series of losses, so why would you not always be in some state of mourning? That would be something that would make you want to write, to hold onto it, to understand.

Conor Oberst

‘It bums me out to hear, and I wrote it.’

Conor Oberst is a singer and songwriter best known for his work in Bright Eyes. He has also performed with the groups Desaparecidos, the Mystic Valley Band and the Monsters of Folk, as well as Better Oblivion Community Center, a partnership with Phoebe Bridgers. He has written songs about his older brother, who died suddenly in 2016 and who had inspired him to play music when they were younger.

When major tragic or dramatic things happen to me, my first impulse isn’t to sit down at the piano. I’m usually too depressed to do it, or I’m just numb. I’ve been writing a bunch of songs for the next Bright Eyes record, and I find myself writing about things that happened three or four years ago. The last Bright Eyes record was in 2020, and my brother Matty died in 2016, so it kind of tracks that there are references on that record four years after he died.

There were people that got a lot of work done during the pandemic, like: Now I’m in my home studio recording all the time or writing songs or doing performances via telephone. There was the other side that was just frozen. That’s where I was. I was in my house not going anywhere. It was so surreal and terrifying. I froze up. I was listening to music, but I think I wrote maybe one song that whole time.

Sometimes when I finish a song or a recording I’m like, “What am I putting out into the world? Do I want people to hear it?” It bums me out to hear, and I wrote it. I’m jealous of people like Stevie Wonder who can put joy into the world. Some stuff is just so sad, and some songs I just don’t perform because it’s too much to do it. Whenever I come out with a song that’s more upbeat or has some positive edge to it, I’m happy.

Every holiday since my brother died has been weird. I hate holidays anyway.

My brother taught me how to play guitar. I used to sit on the floor of our basement to watch his band practice. I thought it was so cool. His favorite band was the Replacements, so when I hear them, I think about him and sometimes I cover their songs and think about him. It’s little things, like random places in Omaha that will have a memory attached to our childhood, back when things were simpler. There’s always kind of melancholy in that.

Bridget Everett

‘Everybody is just an open wound right now and looking for a little ointment.’

Bridget Everett is a writer, executive producer and star of the HBO series “Somebody Somewhere,” which was a 2023 Peabody Award winner “for its combination of pathos and hilarity.” The show, which began in 2022, is about a character who, like Everett, struggles to accept the death of her sister, and finds community in the aftermath of losing her. Everett lost her mother in 2023.

My family and I don’t really talk about loss very much. We’re on our third one down in my immediate family right now, so I honestly think that the show has been a way to properly grieve and still live with my sister in a way. I’ve realized I can barely talk about it or say her name, and it’s the same with my mom. There’s a great comfort that comes with finding ways to honor her or keep her alive via the show. I’m very comforted when we’re filming because I feel like she’s with me. In day-to-day life I sometimes feel like she’s slipped away, so the show is very special to me on many levels for that reason.

There’s so many times while we’re filming where she is there or my mom is there. I also lost my dog during Season 1, the love of my life.

Music was such a common language in our household — it was when we were the most connected. It’s the only time in my life when I feel surrounded by love. Grief has so many different levels, and there’s something that’s less scary about sharing time with my sister when it’s through art or through making the show or through a song, instead of sitting in my apartment staring at my wall and waiting for her to come.

It got complicated in Season 2 because Mike Hagerty died, and he played my dad, and it was like, how are we going to handle this? We’ve tried to find ways to deal with our grief by keeping him alive in the show in small ways. You don’t want to keep rehashing the idea of grief, but you also want to stay true to how it happens in real life.

I agree 100 percent that there is a comfort in sharing grief with other people. It’s a new way to connect with people, and I have a hard time connecting with people. It’s a struggle for me. But I feel like it’s a universal language and not always easy to talk about, but you’re so grateful to have the outlet to share it with somebody.

I feel like, culturally, everybody is just an open wound right now and looking for a little ointment. I feel like my family and I are getting better about talking about it, and the show has helped that. My brothers will text me after the show. My brother recently lost his wife and we have had a lot of loss recently and for us that’s a big deal and it’s nice to have a way in. I wasn’t sure if it’s just this stage in life and I have a lot of friends going through a similar whatever but … the people I would never expect would come up to me and start talking to me about the fact that they lost a sister and I think specifically sibling grief, at least for me, I haven’t run into a lot of people that talk about it. Songs are about everything in the world, but maybe not about losing a brother or a sister. It’s like you’re soldiers together, someone that’s been on the battle lines with you. It’s a different kind of loss.

There was a scene about grief this year where we were making sure we were coming away with the right thing. It’s another stage of grief, and we wanted to fine tune it and make it about not just two people crying in a room, but what are we getting from the conversation. In terms of Midwesterners, it’s a little closer to the vest emotionally, but sometimes the emotions just pop out like a zit. So it’s about having a zit-popping moment about grief. This is The New York Times, what am I doing. …

I don’t know if this sounds bad or not, but I feel like because I had my sister, my mom and my dog — three of the greatest loves of my life — and because I loved them so much, and they opened me up so much, I feel like they gave me the capacity to do what I’m doing. I feel that’s important. It’s kind of heartbreaking that the people who love you the most and that you needed the most are gone. It’s also the best way to keep going. As long as I keep singing or writing about them, or writing music, they’re always going to be here, and that’s not so bad.

Ben Kweller

‘For me, creativity plays a huge healing role.’

Ben Kweller started his career as a teenager in the indie rock band Radish. He has released six solo albums and runs the Noise Company, a record label in Austin, Texas. He lost his teenage son, Dorian, in the winter of 2023, and he performed a series of tribute concerts that summer. Kweller is working on songs for his new album, some of which are inspired by his son.

Dorian died last February, so that month is forever changed. It’s just a different thing. I’m busy but I’m just trying to feel it. I’ve been doing a lot of crying.

There’s one song I’m writing that’s specifically about my grief. It’s called “Here Today, Gone Tonight.” I started the song when my friend Anton Yelchin died, and so now all of a sudden it’s about Dorian. It turned into something new. There’s one verse I’m really trying to mold, but the song is 90 percent finished and I’m trying to decide which way to go on it, but it’s definitely a heart wrencher.

It’s going to be an interesting album. There are quirky, fun, jubilant vibes, but then there are some extreme lows. It’s kind of got this up and down thing. That’s kind of what grief is, these ups and downs. The second year [without my son] is almost harder for me. The distance from the last time I held him and said bye, had dinner that night. It hurts even more. It’s hard to believe he had so much energy and such a light and where did that go, in an instant? Where is he? I lie in bed with my eyes closed like, Dorian, where are you? It’s harder in a lot of ways.

There’s one song Dorian was writing before he died, and he never finished it. It’s so good, and I’m thinking of finishing it, so it would be a Dorian and Ben co-write, which would be really cool.

I am a believer that you always have to work. It’s a combination of work and luck or whatever the hell you want to call it, the muse or whatever visits you. You still have to work and play an active role. There’s a romantic idea with art that’s like don’t think about it, let it flow. It’s like, yeah, that’ll get me a really cool guitar hook and that’ll get me a cool chorus, melody or line, but it ain’t going to give me a full song to the standards of what I want to put out there.

As far as losing Dorian, when I’m making music, it’s my happy place. I’m fulfilled every day I’m doing it, and it connects me to Dorian deeply.

For me, creativity plays a huge healing role when it comes to grief. It’s a way to get a lot of these thoughts out of me, and it’s like a cleansing ritual to write lyrics and sing melodies and channel the energy of those feelings deep inside. That’s the role for me in my life that music plays with grief now. It’s just this healing thing.

Jesmyn Ward

‘I don’t know if he speaks when I write fiction, but I do feel like he’s sort of there, observing.’

Jesmyn Ward has won two National Book Awards, for her novels “Salvage the Bones” and “Sing, Unburied, Sing.” Her memoir, “Men We Reaped,” is about the deaths of five men in her life, including her brother Joshua. Her 2020 Vanity Fair essay, “ On Witness and Repair ,” chronicled the unexpected death of her partner and the start of the pandemic.

I was trying to find a job when my brother died. He was killed by a drunk driver, and I was away when he died.

Having my brother die was the first time I had experienced death as a devastating interruption. Even though death is the most natural thing in the world, my brother’s death just seemed so unnatural. One thing that I realized that my brother’s death did was it upended the world. The world I thought I knew was not the world that existed, and at the same time everything I had thought was so important before, like going to law school and putting myself into a position where I could work a practical job and make a good living, suddenly that didn’t seem so important.

I remember being on this flight from New York to home and feeling in that moment like death was imminent. I could die tomorrow. So what am I going to do with this life that I have and this time that I have, that my brother wasn’t given? Immediately the thing that popped into my head was: writing. You’re going to be a writer. That was the moment for me where I committed.

When I think about it now, most of my novels are about young people. My brother died when he was 19, and so I think that’s part of the reason that I write young people over and over again, because I want to revisit that time in life with these characters who I think either have some of him in them, or there is another character around them that my brother sort of inhabits or speaks through. It was most obvious with my first novel because one of the characters is named Joshua, and there is a lot about that character, his physicality and the way he spoke and his temperament — he was very reflective of my brother. I don’t know if he speaks when I write fiction, but I do feel like he’s sort of there, observing.

When I wrote “Men We Reaped,” a memoir which was in large part about my brother, he was definitely right there. It’s one of the reasons people ask whether or not I’ll ever write another memoir, and I always say no because that was so difficult. Sitting with the grief and the pain that I felt and the longing that I still feel for him, writing about his life — in a strange way you’re in this liminal creative space where that person lives again. In the course of that memoir I basically wrote him to his death. That was super difficult.

Honestly I have been struggling a lot lately. I think that sometimes when I’m writing about the people who I love that I’ve lost, whether that’s my brother or my partner — my children’s father — sometimes that looks like just crying the whole time, but still doing it, pushing through it and still writing, but crying.

Sometimes it’s stepping away from the page for a moment and talking to them. I still talk to my brother. I talk to my beloved, my partner, my children’s dad, and that helps too. I may just be delusional and this may just be wishful thinking, but talking to them and being open to feeling them answer, that enables me to live in spite of their loss and live with their loss. I don’t know where I would be or how I would be functioning if I didn’t do that.

You never really know how your work is going to be received and the kind of impact it will have on people. I think I was surprised by people who would come to me in tears at events and say, “I feel like you’re writing my life.” It was strange for me. It took me a minute. It was sort of a shock to understand that what they meant was that they felt seen in their grief.

I teach creative writing and one of the things I’m always talking about in my classes is you make something feel universal by telling a specific story about a specific moment in time, and that’s how you can encourage a universal response in your readers.

That was one of the first times I understood that that could happen. It made me glad that I had done that work and told the story that I did. I thought back to when my brother first passed and how I just floundered. I was in my early 20s. I’m sure that there were books or fiction that dealt with grief, but I didn’t find those books. I was surrounded by other people in their early 20s, and the last thing friends or college boyfriends wanted to talk about was grief. That made me feel very alone. Getting that kind of response from readers, I was grateful that I was able to do the work and offer them a story and an experience that made them feel less alone in that experience of grief.

I think artists are wrestling with it in their work across so many different genres. It’s happening in places like social media. I follow this account on Instagram, Grief to Light . They post these really beautiful, evocative, amazing poems about grief by all kinds of poets. I don’t think I saw that 10 years ago. There was nothing happening like that on Twitter when I was on Twitter 10 years ago, but I feel like it’s happening now. I do think that we are wrestling with it, we’re engaging with it, which I’m grateful for. That’s the least that we can do considering the amount of people who have died in the pandemic. So many people have lost people they love. That’s the least that we can do.

Justin Hardiman

‘It helps me understand myself.’

Justin Hardiman is a photographer whose work amplifies the underrepresented side of his community in Jackson, Miss., including farmers, rodeo riders and artists. His continuing mixed media project “The Color of Grief” combines photography and audio to record how loss feels, specifically to underrepresented communities in the South.

“Color of Grief” came about from a group of friends. We’d talk about life and how you never really get over stuff, you just learn to make it to the next minute or the next hour or the next day. We noticed that in some of our artwork, grief was kind of recurring. You can’t get away from it. It’s sad, but it makes you creative, and grief is really a dynamic theme.

We also talked about therapy, and not everybody can afford therapy, so what do you do? I think art is like a therapy. We go into the studio or go outside and talk to people, and create. The grief is not going to get easier, but it helps to have somebody to help you make it through because there’s a lot to unpack.

I know in the Black community there is not a big thing on asking “Are you OK?” We really don’t have time to grieve. Grief can happen in a lot of ways — it’s not just death. You can lose a friendship. There are so many things you can be attached to.

I wanted to give people a space to talk through their grief. Nobody really asks how you’re doing. Or they ask, but they don’t really want you to unpack it all. I’m continuing the project because grief sticks with you. I wanted to let people do a vocal essay, or a vocal journal entry, something people’s kids could listen to or you could look back on and see your progress in life, and it’s important to immortalize those stories and to immortalize the person.

It’s hard to get people to talk about grief, so I had to find people who were comfortable with me. It helped me to think about what I’m going through or what people in my family are going through and don’t want to talk about. It helps me understand myself.

Julie Otsuka

‘I’m always surprised when people tell me my books are sad.’

Julie Otsuka is the author of three novels, including “The Buddha in the Attic,” which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and “The Swimmers,” about a group of people at a local pool who have to cope when a crack appears, shutting down the one place where they find community and comfort. It’s partly inspired by Otsuka’s experience watching her mother suffer from dementia, and it received a Carnegie Medal for Excellence in 2023.

I don’t think of myself as somebody who consciously is dealing with grief. I’m always surprised when people tell me my books are sad. I think I often start from a point of humor, which somehow allows me to get at something a little more subconscious, feelings of sadness and grief that are probably there in many Japanese American families, and any family, really.

There is just a lot of inherited trauma that has been kept below the surface and not really dealt with. I think that’s why I became a writer. There was a lot about my own family’s past that I sensed but didn’t actually know. You just know that something’s not quite right, something big has happened. In “The Swimmers,” I dealt with grief in a much more direct way, writing about a character like my mother. Grief and humor are flip sides of the same coin, really.

I’m a very slow writer, so I was writing “The Swimmers” for maybe eight years before the pandemic. Then I wrote the last chapter during the first year of the pandemic. It was the first time I’d worked that much at home. For 30 years, I was going to my neighborhood cafe and writing there. I really felt the loss of that community space the first year of lockdown.

I think that isolation seeped into the second chapter of the book. In the pool suddenly there’s a crack that develops and the crack could very clearly be the pandemic and then there’s the loss of this community space, which people are in some way addicted to, and that’s how I felt about the cafe. It’s a space where I’d seen these people every day sometimes for 20 years, so like everybody I was grieving the loss of a community. Writing was a way of keeping the awful news of the pandemic in the background. And then it was a way of being with my mother again.

It seems like everybody’s family has been touched by some form of dementia. So many people my age are dealing with parents who are aging and going through this. There is a lot of grief and sadness out there about watching our parents leave us in this very particular way.

I don’t write for catharsis. I write because I love sentences and thinking things through. I’m obsessed with the sound of language and rhythm. It’s not that I have a sad story to tell, so I’ll tell it, and I’ll feel better. If anything, I feel like telling that story opens you up to more grief — yours and other people’s. It’s never-ending in a way.

My father died in January 2021. He was almost 95. I couldn’t go out there before he died, because I would have had to quarantine for days, and the caregiver said don’t come out, we didn’t want to risk getting him sick. Like so many people who lost somebody during the pandemic who was far away, and they couldn’t see them before they died. It was a very unreal feeling, and I think some part of my brain thinks my father is still alive and out in California. I was with my mother when she died — it was very real and vivid in a lived way. With my father, it’s almost as if it didn’t happen, and I can’t really believe that he’s gone.

Lila Avilés

‘It was an exercise of going inward.’

Lila Avilés is a filmmaker in Mexico City whose 2018 debut feature, “The Chambermaid,” was Mexico’s selection for the Academy Award for best international feature film. Her second film, “Tótem,” is partly based on Avilés’s experiences with loss and takes place during a single day as a girl grapples with the imminent death of her father. It was a 2023 National Board of Review winner and a Gotham Awards and Independent Spirit Awards nominee.

For many years, I wanted to be a filmmaker. But I was always thinking it won’t happen. After my daughter’s father died, I realized life is short, and I needed to take that path. It didn’t happen fast. I didn’t study formally, I had a daughter, so it was not easy. I come from theater and opera and I wanted to be a filmmaker, and I didn’t know then that I would make “Tótem,” but there was a change that happened. In that moment of my life I was kind of a butterfly. I have friends that know the Lila that used to be, and they told me I changed. We change all the time, but that moment told me to follow your heart.

It was an exercise of going inward. I talked to one friend about the script, but that was it. When films are so personal, in the worst moments, sometimes you have to laugh. It’s like when there was the earthquake in Mexico, and obviously there was chaos, but the next day, kids were outside playing soccer with water bottles. Somehow life keeps going again and again, even in the worst chaos. That’s the value of living.

Grief is part of life. Even the small girls in “Tótem” were open, and that’s super important in filming, or in life. I think connection is beautiful, that I can hear you and take your hand and you can do the same. Living in Mexico with its chaos and things that aren’t good, I appreciate that we can talk about anything. Obviously there are times you need to close doors, but I think for films we need to be super open, especially with this film. With the little girls it was important for me to take care of them and talk about everything, even death. I think you shouldn’t put up a barrier, like, oh, these topics are hard. Let’s speak about them like we speak about everything. It’s part of life.

Nowadays with technology and A.I. and TikTok, everything is about going out of ourselves, everything. Everything tells you: go out, go out, go out. I think we need to go in, go in, go in.

For every art, you have to give it time. Grief evolves, and how can people return to their essence and return to who they are? It’s because of art. If you study history, how do people return to themselves? Even in war? By painting or watching or reading. There are moments that are hard and you think you can’t take it, but it’s a matter of time.

Richard E. Grant

‘You hope that your friends will talk about the person that’s died, because that’s all you can think about’

Richard E. Grant made his feature film debut in the 1987 comedy “Withnail and I,” and has gone on to star in “Gosford Park,” “The Iron Lady” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” for which he was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar. His 2023 memoir, “A Pocketful of Happiness,” is about his marriage to his wife, Joan, and the experience of losing her to cancer.

During the Oscar season in 2019, I posted daily updates on what the whole showbiz circus felt like. Sharing the emotional journey following the death of my wife came from the same impulse — trying to make sense navigating the abyss of grief and buoyed up by the response of followers sharing their own experiences.

I had no fear about sharing my first posts, as I’d already established the habit of sharing the joyful moments of my life, so it seemed perfectly logical to express the reality of grief, in all its myriad variations. The very nature of being an actor requires you to be as vulnerable and open as possible to express the emotional life of a character, so social media posts felt akin to how I’ve earned my living.

Grief is so all-consuming and you hope that your friends will talk about the person that’s died, because that’s all you can think about. By ignoring it, it feels like the dead person has been canceled or never existed. Which feels incredibly hurtful. So I urge anyone to talk to the person who is bereaved.

The first dinner I was invited to, three weeks after my wife died, was revelatory. All 10 guests knew her well and each in turn quietly expressed their condolences, with one exception, who determinedly ignored the topic and blathered on about how Covid restrictions were impacting her summer holiday plans. I left before dessert was served and have never spoken to her again. Blocked her on social media and blanked her at a party recently. Cementing my conviction that it is imperative to acknowledge a bereavement, even if only hugging someone if words fail you. But never ignore it.

Acting has always been like tuning into a radio station where you can dare to air anything and everything you’re feeling via the role that you’re playing. It can be a direct conduit to grief or the opposite distraction, forcing you to think and feel outside of yourself. Every job has the possibility of new friendships. Stimulating, entertaining and distracting in the best possible way. I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve had so much work since my wife died, as it’s forced me out of the house and to re-engage with the world. I played a novelist in “The Lesson” whose son had committed suicide, and an aristocrat in “Saltburn” who finds his dead son in the garden, and accessing that profound sense of loss and grief was very visceral and cathartic. I count myself lucky to be in a profession where these emotions have legitimacy and value.

Luke Lorentzen

‘I’ve been with people who have lost others, but it’s not yet something I’ve confronted.’

Luke Lorentzen is a documentarian whose credits include the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Last Chance U.” His most recent film, “A Still Small Voice,” follows a chaplain completing a yearlong hospital residency in end-of-life care at Mount Sinai Hospital during the pandemic. The film won the U.S. documentary best directing award at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

The pandemic shutdown was a really confusing moment for all of us, but in terms of my creativity, I had just finished my last film, my first professional film, and it was a moment of unexpected success for a 25-year-old. I had been traveling all over the world showing that film, and it all came to an end right as the pandemic started.

I was in this moment of, “How do I follow this up, what do I do next, where do I go from here?” And it was sort of doubled down with the pandemic coming. I remember having a certain anxiousness about how to respond to this moment in a way that kept me working. I rely on myself to create my work and I remember in that moment needing to find something that could be made through this moment in time. I had a couple of ideas I needed to quickly put to the side and the approach was, ‘What can I make now that’s not ignoring what’s going on, but that’s engaging with it?’ That’s how “ A Still Small Voice ” got started.

My sister Claire was at the time going through a residency in spiritual care, so just being her little brother I heard about the work but also what the process was of learning to do that type of care. I remember her sharing these process groups where the residents share their feelings, and thinking as a filmmaker those seemed like spaces that I could immerse myself in and observe, and not need to interview or extract much but just sort of be there and arrive at a really deep place.

I reached out to maybe 100 hospitals around the country. This was around April, May of 2020, so trying to get in the door is almost impossible. I think it actually ended up opening the door to Mount Sinai. By the time I’d gotten in touch with them, it was summer, and the spiritual care team had sort of held the weight of this pandemic for the medical staff and patients in a way that few others had, and they were still this completely overlooked department in this windowless office. The project was an opportunity for their work to be seen.

I really needed to live the experience of being a chaplain to make this film, and I don’t think I knew that going into it. The more time I spent there, the more alive the material became. That resulted in me being on site for over 150 days, just immersing myself without training or a history of knowing how to do this work. I think that’s why I gravitated toward the residents. I could sort of learn this spiritual care alongside them and take these lessons and use them to care for myself but also to set up the film in a way that was aligned with these core principles.

One of the things I continually grappled with was wanting these to be tight, beautiful conversations, and they would so rarely unfold in a way that I expected them to. The process of making the film was a process of letting go of all of these expectations that I was looking for and letting the interactions be whatever they needed to be, and finding a certain clarity or meaning in the messiness of it all. In giving yourself over to this type of caregiving and in the filmmaking itself, there’s just a feeling of barely holding on. I’m not somebody who has experienced loss in a very personal way. I’ve lost grandparents, I’ve been with people who have lost others, but it’s not yet something I’ve confronted head on, so I think there’s something about not knowing that allowed me to dive into this.

My interests as a documentary filmmaker are in every nook and cranny of the human experience. There is a sort of deep excitement to engage with all aspects of life. Grief, loss, caregiving and witnessing are a huge part of that. In making the film, I was learning fundamental parts of how to connect to the people around me, and I think it’s through these very challenging moments that we’re asked to step up and figure out how to be, how to listen, how to pay attention.

From the photographer:

Since my brother died I make a point of bringing him along with me to places where I think he’d feel good. Not so much a spreading of ashes as a summoning of his spirit, just in case spirits are real.

It’s been as spontaneous as spotting his lucky bird on a walk and as intentional as traveling to conjure him in Montana creek shacks, bayou fan boats and ayahuasca wolf dens. Either way, I say his name out loud (often three times in case Beetlejuice is real) and I invite him in.

We’ve shared some pretty stunning scenes the past couple of years, but bringing him to a New York Times article about his hero Conor Oberst’s grief is a new peak. Noah Arnold Noah Arnold Noah Arnold. —Daniel Arnold

Dina Gachman is an Austin-based writer. More about Dina Gachman

Coping With Grief and Loss

Living through the loss of a loved one is a universal experience. but the ways in which we experience and deal with the pain can largely differ..

What Experts Say:   Psychotherapists say that grief is not a problem to be solved , but a process to be lived through, in whatever form it may take.

How to Help: Experiencing a sudden loss can be particularly traumatic. Here are some ways to offer your support to someone grieving.

A New Diagnosis: Prolonged grief disorder, a new entry in the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, applies to those who continue to struggle long after a loss .

The Biology of Grief: Grief isn’t only a psychological experience. It can affect the body too, but much about the effects remains a mystery .

Comforting Memories:  After a person dies, their digital scraps — text messages, emails, playlists and voicemails — are left behind. They can offer solace to their grieving families .

Grieving the Loss of a Pet:   Counseling. Grief-group sessions. The number of resources for coping with a pet’s death  has grown in recent years.

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  1. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Guide, Tips, and Examples

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  2. Hooks for Essays Guide

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  3. The Best Essay Hooks : Infographics

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  4. What is a hook

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  5. How to Write a Catchy Hook for an Essay: 5 Types of Essay Hooks (With

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  6. 20 Compelling Hook Examples for Essays

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  3. Crafting Research Paper Hooks with Statistics

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  6. Quotations as Hook Statements: Hook Your Reader's Attention at the Beginning

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  1. How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

    2. Bold claim hook. When working on an argumentative essay, I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish.So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people's time.. That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go ...

  2. 73 Essay Hook Examples (2024)

    Keep these tips in mind when writing your essay hook and using the above essay hook examples: First, relevance. A good hook should be directly relevant to the topic or theme of your essay. The hook should provide a preview of what's to come without giving too much away. Second, Intrigue.

  3. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Guide, Tips, and Examples

    Determine the effect you wish to accomplish before selecting a hook. Choose a hook at the end of the writing process. Even though it should be the first sentence of your paper, it doesn't mean you should write your hook first. Writing an essay is a long and creative process. So, if you can't think of an effective hook at the beginning, just ...

  4. How to Write a Hook: 10 Ways to Capture Your Readers' Attention

    Writing a compelling hook takes skill. But you can use any of the following ways of writing a hook to get you started: 1. The Surprising Statistic Hook. Presenting a surprising fact or statistic is a great way to grab the attention of your audience. For example, an essay on the orphan crisis may begin with:

  5. How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

    Here are seven ideas to choose from: 1. Story. Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example: In January 2023, two children were playing outside in a Los Angeles neighborhood.

  6. How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

    And, by fostering this connection, you can make them more receptive to the message you're trying to convey. 2. Understand the purpose of your essay. Before you can write your hook, you'll need to know what the purpose of your essay is. Generally, your essay will try to inform, persuade, or narrate your subject.

  7. How to Write an Essay Hook

    A hook is an initial statement in an essay, typically the first sentence or a group of sentences that grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more. It's the first impression you give to your reader, and it can make or break your essay. A good hook should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and relevant to your topic.

  8. Hook in Essay Writing ⇒ Attention-Grabber Types and Examples

    This thought-stirring hook can clarify complex concepts or emphasize points effectively. An analogy for an argumentative essay discussing anxiety can help convey the feeling to the reader. Example: "Living with anxiety can be akin to being trapped in a pitch-black room. The uncertainty, the isolation—it's overwhelming.

  9. How to Write the Hook of an Essay

    Here's an example of the steps you can follow that help you outline your essay. First paragraph: Establish the thesis. Body paragraphs: Supporting evidence. Last paragraph: Conclusion with a restatement of the thesis. Revisit the first paragraph: Find the best hook. Obviously, the first step is to determine your thesis.

  10. What is a hook?

    The "hook" is the first sentence of your essay introduction. It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it's interesting. To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader's curiosity.

  11. How to Write a Great Essay Hook?

    A "quote hook" is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay with a quotation from a notable person, a famous author, or a respected source. The purpose of a quote hook is to instantly capture the reader's attention and establish the relevance of the topic by providing an authoritative statement.

  12. How to Write a Hook for an Essay

    One possible approach to this hook is the classic: "if you can't beat'em, join'em.". For example, you could always begin your literary analysis with a quote from the literature in question. You then follow this up with interesting commentary that helps to contextualize the rest of your intro.

  13. How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

    Tip 5: Don't Stop at the Hook. Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong. Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

  14. Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

    An essay hook (or narrative hook) is a literary technique that writers use to keep their readers engaged. It shows that the content below is worth reading. The hook can have different lengths. Some writers make it last for several pages. Though, it better be a short paragraph or even a sentence.

  15. How to Write a Hook: Good Hooks & Essay Starters

    An essay hook is essentially the first one or two sentences of your essay. Sometimes though (if it is relevant to your writing) it can even take the space of the whole first paragraph. Its main purpose is to intrigue your audience and pique their interest, compelling them to continue reading. If you are wondering why you need a well-crafted ...

  16. How to Write a Hook

    Types of Hooks for Essays. Your essay or research paper's hook can be in any of the five types: Anecdotal Hook. Starting with an anecdote is a good way to keep the readers interested. Ensure that the anecdote relates to your topic and makes your readers feel like they're part of the narrative. For example: "Sarah sat at the edge of the cliff.

  17. 80+ Interesting Hook Examples

    Here are the quotes you can use to start your essay: "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.". If your topic is related to hard work and making your own destiny, you can start by quoting Michael Jordan. "Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.".

  18. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

    Quote hook. Using a quote from a famous person or a literary work is another effective way to start your essay. It adds credibility to your writing and can help you establish a connection with your reader. For example, "In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'".

  19. How to Write a Hook

    A hook is an opening statement (which is usually the first sentence) in an essay that attempts to grab the reader's attention so that they want to read on. It can be done by using a few different types of hooks, which are a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote. Be mindful that the hook has to be related to the overall topic of the paper.

  20. 7 Tips for Writing an Attention-Grabbing Hook

    7 Tips for Writing an Attention-Grabbing Hook. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Sep 1, 2021 • 5 min read. How do you get a reader interested in what you have to say? One technique is to use a great hook—an opening so exciting that it convinces a reader that your story is worth reading.

  21. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  22. Write Great Hooks for Argumentative Essays [EXAMPLES]

    Factual Hook: In an essay about the dangers of plastic waste, you could use a factual hook: "Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans." Personal Story Hook: If your essay is about the impact of bullying, you could start with a personal story hook: "In middle school, I was the 'new kid'. What that meant was ...

  23. PDF A Brief Guide to the Elements of the Academic Essay

    an earlier idea or part of the essay, referring back to it either by explicit statement or by echoing key words or resonant phrases quoted or stated earlier. The repeating of key or thesis concepts is especially helpful at points of transition from one section to another, to show how the new section fits in. 8.

  24. How to Write an Explanatory Essay

    With this guide, you'll be able to write an explanatory essay with confidence. 1. Develop a strong thesis statement. Crafting a strong thesis statement is the cornerstone of any well-written explanatory essay. It sets the stage for what your essay will cover and clarifies the main point you're going to explain.

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    A capstone project is a comprehensive, culminating academic endeavor undertaken by students typically in their final year of study. It synthesizes their learning experiences, requiring students to apply the knowledge, skills, and competencies gained throughout their academic journey. A capstone project aims to address a real-world problem or ...

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    This keeps your writing clear. These strategies will help you clarify your sentences and add depth to your content. They will also increase the word count while keeping your essay relevant and coherent. 6. Use Quotations. Using quotes in your essay can boost word count and add credibility and depth to your arguments.

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    Hook Statement: An argumentative essay introduction should attempt to captivate readers' interest from the very beginning. Create a sentence that stands out from the rest of the text. Consider using a rhetorical question, a meaningful quote, or an intriguing idea.

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