How to write a good hook + Examples

 “One day, I went to the shores of Lake Sango to find some fish for trade when I was still a fishmonger. I met an aging man sitting on the pier while fishing, and he told me he used hooks of various sizes depending on the type of fish you want to catch.”

The fish hook is analogous to an essay hook.

What is an essay hook?

The essay hook constitutes the few statements you write at the beginning of your writing. An excellent hook grabs your audience’s attention and influences them to read your essay to the end.

Who wants his essay to be thrown in the bin? Nobody.

This as painful as it might be is the reality with most articles that do not capture the attention, emotions, or meet their needs. You have an example, think of that paper you read five years ago but still preserve. You will realize that the beginning of such a compellingly written masterpiece had a great introduction.

To ensure your readers have reasons to read your paper to the end while enjoying the experience, you need a good hook for your entire essay.

You could now be asking what constitutes an essay hook. Well, we are going to look at some of the most used essay hook ideas you can use to develop your own.

Essay Hook Ideas

The following are the top ten essay hook ideas for your next paper.

The use of literary quotes.Provide statistical data.  
Write a quote from prominent persons.  Ask a question.  
Surprise with a misconception.  Share a fact or a definition.  
Write an anecdote.  Make a scene.  
Tell a personal story.Start with a thesis statement.

How to include hooks effectively

After explaining how to including hooks compellingly in your essays, you will realize why your essays don’t have to be boring. Apart from that, there is always something extra, and most importantly, you learn for free when including hooks in your essays. You learn how to communicate in a convincing manner, which is essential in everyday life. This is even more important for those who have made writing career because; more and more people will read your blogs, product description, among other things.


You will realize a good introduction to an essay will always have a triple-A (this is an unconventional) format. A hook, A topic, and A thesis. That is, the introduction begins with a hook first, introduces the topic then states the opinion of the writer (these could be a summary of the main points you are going to cover). Aligning your hook to the type essay you are writing is something you can’t ignore. For a research paper, consider being formal to set the tone in your audience.

The following is a description of how you can use different hook ideas with examples:

  • Ask a question. You could as a simple “could it be that…?” or more complex one “why do liquids always flow downhill?” The question raises the curiosity of your reader by 100% literally. They want to know the answer to the question you just raised.
  • A Joke! Yes, you can use a joke to capture your audience’s emotions and drag them “literally” to read your essay. “The week to payday is usually longer; this is why I believe: look what happens to your flour, salt, and sugar packets; they look strangely exhausted to the extent they cannot stand on their feet!” You may continue by explaining the present difficult economic times.
  • Make use of literary quotes.

Your task could be writing a review of a movie, book or music lyrics, or a famous poem. Whatever it may be, a quote at the beginning of the text is a big plus. It helps you express your deeper understanding of some elements in the piece that most people do not notice or what many people will identify with. Example:

‘The great Chinua Achebe once wrote: “Because Ineke the bird realized men had learned to shoot without missing, it learns to fly without perching.” I can’t agree more because we have got to change to adapt to the challenges in our environment…’

  • Anecdotes. These are little stories you tell to introduce your topic.

At the beginning of my writing, I told a story about my fish-mongering days, and as you can remember, that was captivating. You probably began creating mental pictures of the shores of Lake Sango, the largest in Africa. You must have visualized the old fisherman sitting on the pier stone with an oldie large round hat. You probably started thinking he really needed some catch to end the day with some little money to buy millet flour because the sun had scorched the most of the maize farms because it did not rain. SEE how this captures your emotion.  Next time you write, include an anecdote to appeal more to your readers’ emotions.

  • Include Statistics. You could include these at the beginning of your essay to appeal to a need, an accomplished objective, among other things. While doing so, ensure that your audience will make sense of the numbers, how small or enormous they are. Example:

“The World Health Organization estimated that 2 in 10 people tested positive to the novel coronavirus in July 2020.” 

  • Fact/Definition. Though you could leave out facts and definitions in the introduction and use them in your essay’s body, they constitute rich ideas for a hook. Examples:

“Dull is the only adjective that best describes the country’s situation after competitive sports were brought to a hiatus following the outbreak of coronavirus which has since claimed the lives of over a million people worldwide.”

“Drunk driving presents hazards for both the driver and road users.”

  • The thesis statement is a means to proceeding directly to the aim of your writing without much background. This is also a widely acceptable hook strategy. Example:

“It is time we unearth the truth about historical injustices which result from racism, and the fact is nobody benefits from lives lost and property damaged.”

  • A common misconception can be great for your hook ideas. You would state the misconception then immediately refute it by presenting facts on the topic. Example:

“Most people think fruit juices are the whole fruits in their entirety; this is far from the truth. Fruit juices and nowadays made from concentrates of juicy fruit component plus a few additives that make them significantly different from whole fruits.”

  • Quotes from prominent people are equally significant in writing an excellent hook. Ensure there is a link between the quote and the topic you want to write about. It cannot be good if the two are not matching. It would be like wearing your new yellow pair of sandals interchanged such that the left side is on the right leg and vice versa. Thought your pair is beautiful and new; you can’t look new and beautiful in them. Therefore, have a second look!
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