A hook is a bright, original statement that defines an essay's main idea or theme and its general tone. The main task of a hook is to express the essence of the work in a concentrated way. A well-chosen hook allows understanding what will be discussed and what conclusions will be drawn in the paper.

The hook is not a mandatory requirement of the essay, but its presence greatly embellishes the work and shows a deep understanding of the topic by its author. Therefore, it is very desirable to be able to successfully select suitable hooks and design them correctly because its not easy.

Some students prefer to get help with essays while writing. In addition, hooks are often used when writing more serious scientific or journalistic works. So, the skill of their creating is very important for students.


What Are the Functions of an Essay Hook?

Below is a list of the functions that the hook performs in an essay:

  • Cognitive (transfer of the ideological and thematic content of the work);
  • Lyric (revealing the feelings and emotions of the author, his/her relationship to what was written);
  • Ornamental (expression of additional aesthetic information);
  • Phatic (arousing the reader's interest in what he read);
  • Conative (impact on the mind of the reader, preparation for the perception of the text);
  • Evaluative (reflection of the point of view of the author of the work, his/her attitude to the depicted reality);
  • Explaining (revealing the meaning of the title of the work);
  • Oppositional (the ability to enter into polemical relations with the text of a paper);
  • Confirming (indication of the author, how his/her work should be understood);
  • Referential (referring to the diachronic context);
  • Subject-informative (introduction of information about the author of an essay);
  • Appellative (attracting the reader`s attention);
  • Expressive (the ability to set an emotional tone).


How to Start Writing a Hook?

Before you start looking for or creating your hook, you need to think about what content the reader should get. A hook sets the general mood of the work, so it is important to approach the choice responsibly.


Basic Strategies for Writing an Essay Hook with Examples

When writing the hook for an essay, you can use a quote from a literary text. It can be a phrase or a short paragraph. Famous sayings, aphorisms, proverbs, etc., can also be used as a hook. 

Poetic excerpts, in some cases, can also serve as the hook for an essay.

Below are the basic strategies you can use to write a hook for your essay.

Use the Literary Quotations

Quotes from various sources have become famous and function to this day, thanks to fiction. They are passed down through literature from generation to generation. The quoted statements undergo certain changes in use. They become fully functional elements of the text, creating an organic unity with other textual elements and acquiring a generalized character.

Against the background of the context, the quote is always distinguished by its depth, completeness, and significance. The stylistic value of the quotation is that it has two meanings:

  • The initial – in the text of the original source;
  • The acquired – in the context of the new environment.

Literary quotations are often used today as hooks to essays and other academic papers. When choosing a quotation from a literary work, the author takes into account the theme and purpose of a paper, its main idea. The quotation should be clear, relevant, and grab the reader's attention. Here's an example of a good hook sentence:

“It's hard to forget the pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. Happiness does not leave memorable scars” (from “Diary” by Chuck Palahniuk).


Use the Expression of a Famous Personality

You can use the expressions of famous people about life, happiness, friendship, etc. As an essay hook. Such quotes will allow you to draw the reader's attention to the text and express the paper's main idea.

Here is an example of a good hook based on the expression of a famous personality:

“A person's destiny is determined by what happens in his head when he comes into conflict with the outside world” (Eric Berne).


Surprise with the Opposite Judgment

Judgment is a form of thinking. It reveals in affirmative or negative form the relationship between an object and its feature, or the relationship between objects. Judgment, like other logical forms, is manifested through language. The linguistic expression of a judgment is a sentence. However, this relationship is ambiguous since sentences and judgments are not identical. Judgment has the character of affirmation or denial. Therefore, the judgment is expressed only in narrative sentences. Interrogative or persuasive sentences are not judgments.

If you want to create an essay hook using opposite judgments, pay attention to the following. The relation of opposites (contradictions) exists between the generally affirmative and the generally contradictory judgment. General affirmative – a judgment that is general in quantity and affirmative in quality. For example: “Any company is a legal entity”. Generally contradictory – a judgment that is common in quantity and negative in quality. For example: “No one can predict everything”.

These judgments cannot be true together, but they can be false together. There is a relationship between the truth and the falsity of opposing judgments. If one of the opposite judgments is true, then the other will certainly be wrong. But from the falsity of one judgment, it is impossible to conclude the truth of the opposite. From the truth of the judgment “All citizens pay taxes”, it is possible to conclude the falsity “No citizen pays taxes”. But if “All citizens pay taxes” is wrong, then there may be two cases:

  • Not everyone pays taxes, but only some citizens (and then “No citizen pays taxes” is wrong);
  • No one pays taxes, and then the general judgment is true.

Opposite judgments are described by the logical law of consistency.


Find an Interesting Anecdote

An anecdote is a coherent narrative text. Here, the narrative is transformed in a special way so that the listener sees the situation being presented at least from two perspectives. The combination of these foreshortenings should cause a comic effect.

Anecdote as a special type of text can claim the status of an ideal text. That is, it is easy to reproduce, easy to perceive, effective, pronounced at the right time, and in the right situation. In this regard, the use of an anecdote as a hook for an essay is completely justified.

Here is an example of a good anecdote that will surely draw the reader's attention to your essay:

Husband to wife:

  • Listen, sociologists have found that women say twice as many words a day as men. I have long believed that women are talkative.
  • It's not about chatter. It's just that men don't understand well. Women have to explain everything to them twice.
  • I didn't understand...

This anecdote is good because it aims to break down gender stereotypes. Such a hook is perfect for an essay on sociology about gender issues.


Tell a Personal Story

Each person has a certain life experience and many interesting personal stories. You can tell one of them at the beginning of your essay. This will be a great hook for your paper. Try to be as sincere as possible and use simple words and phrases. This will allow the reader to better understand the essence of what has been written.

Below is an example of a short personal story. Two small sentences convey a person's great experience: “The key to the people around me lies in myself. Only the person himself opens his heart to others”.


Apply Statistics

Statistics is an effective cognitive tool used in the natural and social sciences to establish those specific laws that operate in specific mass conditions. Statistical data are different kinds of digital data that characterize, for example, various aspects of the life of the state: political relations, culture, population, production, etc.

We live in the age of statistics. In almost every aspect, natural phenomena, humans, and other activities are now measurable using statistical indicators. Therefore, you can use statistics homework help for your paper. This will demonstrate to the reader your knowledge and the amount of research done.

Pay attention to the following example:

“In developed countries, unemployment averaged about 6.5% in the first half of 2021. It ranges from about 5% in the US and Japan to over 9% in the euro area (on average). The gap between official and real unemployment is small here and hidden unemployment is insignificant”.


Ask a Question

To draw the reader's attention to your paper, you can use the question as a hook. This assumes that the answer will be provided in the main body of the paper. If the reader is interested in the question, he will definitely read the essay to the end to get a complete answer.

Consider an example question:

“What is the impact of the environment on human health?”


How to Format the Essay Hook Properly?

So, when the right words are chosen, it is advisable to think about the correct formatting and placement of a hook in work. Pay attention that the location of a hook on the page has serious requirements; they are the same for all works. The correct arrangement of the text is as follows: a hook is provided immediately after the title, before the introductory part of the paper. Alignment on the right edge is a special requirement that must be met.

Use the best strategies for writing an essay hook and create a unique paper in just a few steps!