How to Write a Hook to Captivate Your Readers

Kelly Konya

The art of the hook is a vital component in the realm of essay writing. But what is a hook? 

A hook is typically the first one or two sentences of an essay or article that is designed to grab the reader’s attention. Much like a fish gets literally hooked by bait, the hook of an essay should captivate your audience and make them want to read more.

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But knowing how to write a hook for an essay is a tough skill to acquire. For one, the vast amount of content out there—tweets, blogs , articles, emails, and more—make it challenging to compete for readers’ attention. 

Moreover, people get distracted easily, and if you don’t hook them quickly, you might lose them. 

Knowing how to write a good hook is an essential part of effective essay writing . By exploring the most common types of essay hooks, you can learn how to best engage audiences from the very beginning and develop a hook that’s right for your paper.

5 examples of essay hooks

1 statistic hook.

The statistic hook gives your audience a true and hard fact to latch onto from the get-go. Gaining your reader’s trust through expertise early on will help reinforce the points you make in the rest of your argument. Plus, a striking statistic can make your audience instantly interested in the topic at hand, motivating them to keep reading and learn more.

For example, if you’re writing a research essay about the link between sleep and stress, you can begin with a powerful statistic from the American Psychological Association like this one:

“According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 43 percent of adults claim that stress has caused them to lie awake at night in the past month.” 

2 Quotation hook 

If you choose a memorable quotation that directly connects to what you’re writing about, the words will do the attention-grabbing work for you. Just make sure to attribute and explain the quotation after you include it so that the reader isn’t confused. And most importantly, the quotation you choose should add to the credibility and richness of your argument, rather than seeming like a random or one-off statement. 

If you’re writing a literary essay about resiliency in Maya Angelou’s poetry, you might start off in this way:

“Maya Angelou once said, ‘Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.’”

3 Anecdotal hook

Depending on the nature of your essay or article, anecdotal hooks can make for an intimate opening that tells your reader more about you. Though it’s not typical to write an essay in the first person , there are some times when you can make an exception, like in a narrative essay . This type of hook can be a little longer than others; just make sure that its length is relative to the rest of your essay.

If you’re writing about the differences between British and American baking, you might discuss an experience you had on a trip to London at the start of the essay:

“ When I first arrived in London, I was ravenous. I headed to a cafe just outside of the hotel to test out some of the local flavors and ordered a pot of tea, a scone, and pudding. But when the pudding arrived, I was surprised not to find a sweet, chocolatey custard. Instead, this pudding was made from something I’d never encountered before: mutton fat.”

4 Question hook

Posing a question at the start of a piece will immediately capture the reader’s attention and leave them wanting more. Make sure the question is open-ended. You want to make sure you’re giving the reader something to explore further, rather than asking them a simple yes or no question. People are naturally inquisitive, so give them something good to chew on.

An essay about dog psychology might begin with a question similar to this:

“ What is the difference between a well-adjusted dog and an anxious one? For starters, owners that encourage their dog’s excitement can make anxiety seem like a behavior that’s rewarded.” 

5 Statement hook

Kicking off your essay with a solid declaration of your argument or position is another smart way to hook the reader. Even if they don’t agree fully with your statement, they will be intrigued to see how you support your assertion. Statement hooks often make the reader either want to argue against your view or follow along as you develop your claim. 

When exploring the historical value of French cinema, you could start with a strong, declarative hook like this one: 

“ French cinema is the most influential genre of film in the last 100 years and has singlehandedly shaped modern cinema as we know it.” 

A great hook will not only get your reader’s attention, but it will build toward your thesis and give your reader an idea of the essay they’re about to read. Any of these options, done well, can make your essay start strong and stand out.

writing a hook examples

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50+ Hook Examples: The Opening Lines That Make Your Essay Successful

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Writing a good paper starts with brainstorming a brilliant hook, which keeps your audience engaged with the text. There are many ways to formulate hooks, which will help your writing sound more original and compelling. Looking at some essay hook examples and tips on writing them is the first step to creating one of your own!

In this article:

What is a Hook?

Tips for creating a great hook, question hook examples, strong statement examples, fact/statistic hook examples, metaphor/simile hook examples, anecdotal hook examples.

A “hook” is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them interested in the outcome of your academic text or research paper. The hook is found in the first sentence or two in the opening paragraph in an academic text and serves both as an introduction and an attention grabber.

In literature, such sentences are often found in novels. A great personal favorite of mine is Christmas Carol’s first sentence: “Marley was dead: to begin with. ” This invites tons of interesting questions and piques your curiosity, making you want to read along.

We come across hook examples in our day-to-day lives, scrolling through YouTube video titles and website links. Clickbait can be considered the hook of the modern world, and there are tons of techniques to learn from it.

However, this article will focus on essay hooks for academic papers specifically. In the section below, we’ll be discussing tips on writing hook sentences and engaging your reader’s interest through a single opening sentence.

There are different types of hook sentences in an essay introduction. We’ll take a look at each type, and a few tips, so later on, you can start formulating your own essay hooks based on these few examples.

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If you’re using the fact/statistic hook, always make sure you quote a credible source. The same goes for the interesting facts hook type. Include those sources in the body of your essay.

It also helps to think of a hook you came across recently that made an impression on you. Was it a controversial blog post? A captivating personal story? A thesis statement that made you ponder?

Once you finish reading our article, it’s helpful to test your hook and introductory paragraph out to an audience. Have another student, tutor, or parent read it. See if it’s doing its purpose – is the reader engaged? What did they understand from your hook? Is the essay topic clear?

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Writing is a long process and requires a lot of rewriting. Take a small break and give it another go.

How to Write a Great Hook + Examples

There are two crucial points to follow when you write a hook:

It’s time to get to the examples!

Mastering the hook sentence is something you might end up using in your day-to-day life, especially if you go into academia, publishing, or journalism as a career choice. But that’s not it – we use hooks to communicate on social media. The title of our blog post or recent youtube video are examples of well-formulated hooks. The quicker you start practicing them the easier they’ll become to use.

If you’re having any other academic trouble, like coming up with essay topics , or you want to learn the outlines of the different essay types, we can help you with that! You’ll become an essay writing pro in no time! We’ve got some good and interesting research paper topics we’re proud of, as well as demonstration speech topics ! Hook sentence examples are just the start!

We hope this article has helped you master the art of essay writing, and you now find the reader agrees with your point of view! Let us know of any good hook examples you came up with!

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Hook Examples (For Essays, Stories, Articles, and More)

What are good hook examples to get my creative writing inspiration flowing? Many elements go into an effectively written piece of work. Using these elements to your advantage will help you write better essays, assignments, articles, stories, and more. The hook is one of these elements. It is what “hooks” the reader onto your work. The skill to write a compelling hook will decide whether people want to read your writing or not.

Learn about hooks and see examples in this comprehensive guide…

What Is Hook?

A hook is a first statement (opening statement) in your writing that attempts to get the reader’s attention. It grabs their interest, making them want to read more.

In essence, make your hook catchy . Readers should be motivated to continue reading the whole piece.

To achieve this, read your material multiple times and understand the central theme. The hook must follow that theme. It cannot be random for the sake of being catchy.  

For making your hooks catchy, there are multiple things at your disposal. Use humor, state relevant and shocking facts, ask rhetorical questions or borrow a famous quote to develop good hooks.

Hook Examples

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple types of hooks . Choose the type that best suits the written material based on the nature of your essay or article.

In a nutshell, hooks come in 5 varieties – Sentences, Questions, Story Openings, Facts or Statistics, and Quotations.

Sentence Hook Examples

Start your article with a convincing opening statement or sentence. The first sentence will act as your hook if it is sensational or catchy enough. When you make a strong statement, you create a powerful impression on the reader.

Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with you is not the question. If they find your statement compelling, the readers will be intrigued to learn more about what you have to say. It will make them read your article or essay.

Here are some excellent sentence hook examples:

Question Hook Examples

If you do not wish to assert yourself, ask the readers a question instead. People instinctively feel the need to respond when posed with a question, even if it is through writing.

But how do you hook the readers through a question? The trick lies in balancing the overall message of your work with a relatable but thought-provoking question.

Pose a question that is connected to your written material and triggers a reader’s curiosity. Ask a shocking, probing, or universal question whose answer a reader wants.  

Here are some question hook examples for your reference:

Story Hook Examples

A hook is as important in fiction as it is in non-fiction writing. Without a good opening, your story will begin with a rocky start. In the worst-case scenario, readers may not even finish the first paragraph before picking up another story (with a much better hook, presumably).

In short, a story hook creates questions, triggers curiosity, and promises a satisfying read.

Here are some story hook examples :

Statistical or Factual Hook Examples

Honesty is often the best policy. Statistical or factual hooks represent this notion.

Instead of writing something clever, witty, shocking, or sentimental, hit your readers with essential facts from the get-go.

Interesting insights and facts relevant to the article can make a reader interested in gaining more knowledge. This method is particularly useful for essays, reports, and articles. But even stories can begin with a fact, depending on how to paraphrase it.

Here are some statistical hook examples :

Quotation Hook Examples

Lastly, using someone else’s quote is an exciting way to write a hook. The quote need not be famous. However, when you look for a quote, ensure it is interesting and related to your written material.

Pick the quote you like. The quote can be from an article, movie, speech, interview, etc.

Assertion Sources – Cite Them Properly

When it comes to statistical/factual hooks and quotation hooks, pay special attention to the following:

No, the hook must appear in the beginning . Otherwise, it will not manage to grip the reader.

There are 5 types of hooks – statements, questions, statistical, quotation and story.

Definitely! Your title should be as catchy as the first statement of your written material. 

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Fact checked: Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. Learn more.

About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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How to Write a Catchy Hook: Examples & Techniques

Do you know how to make your essay stand out? One of the easiest ways is to start your introduction with a catchy hook.

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A hook is a phrase or a sentence that helps to grab the reader’s attention. After reading this article by , you will be able to come up with perfect hooks for any essay, speech, or research paper. Here you will find:

🪝 Hook Definition

A hook in writing is a catchy opening sentence that makes the reader want to keep reading. It is also called an attention-getter or a lead .

The picture shows the definition of a hook in writing.

In essays, a hook is usually found in the first sentence of the introduction. A good lead makes the readers impressed from the get-go, which raises your chance of getting a good grade.

“Hook the Reader”: What Does It Mean?

Hundreds of different essays cover the same topic. So why should the professor prefer your paper over others? It’s because you’ve made them curious from the very beginning.

It’s similar to fishing: you need to use a hook if you want to catch fish. You can also compare a text to music in terms of catchiness. When a song has a great hook, it grabs your attention, and you keep listening to it.

What Makes a Good Hook

Sure, you want your attention-getter to be catchy, but how can you tell if it’s good enough? To help you with this task, we have prepared a checklist:

Hook and Thesis: Difference

A hook is a vital part of an introduction. Although some people may confuse it with a thesis statement, these are two different things:

When you have both the hook and the thesis statement, you need to link them together. The sentence that connects them is called a transition .

📚 Types of Hooks for Essays

When it comes to hooks, there are many options you can choose from. Keep reading and learn about different types of attention-getters.

Using Questions in Essays as Hooks

Do you know how to put a question in an essay? In fact, it can make a very effective hook. When you see an interesting question, you want to find out the answer. And this is exactly what we need to grab attention.

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There are two types of questions you can use for the hook:

What is the difference between a child and an adult?

Is there a remedy for widespread poverty and hunger?

When choosing a question, make sure to connect it to the topic of your essay.

Using a Quote as a Hook

Starting a paper with a quote is a fantastic way to hook a reader. It’s especially suitable for literature essays. For example, the quote “If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark” can be a perfect hook for Romeo and Juliet essay.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a suitable quote. But once you do that, your introduction starts to sound exciting and credible. Just make sure to take quotations from reliable sources.

Now, let’s see how to use quotations as hooks:

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Narrative Hook: Definition & Example

The narrative hook is a device that authors use to engage people to read their stories. Essentially, this technique aims to show why the story is worth reading. It’s usually found in literature, but it also can be used for creative writing.

Here is how to make people want to read your narrative essay:

I knew that what I did was a big mistake from the very beginning.

Anecdote Hook Examples

In anecdotes, you tell people about your experiences connected with a particular topic. Usually, such stories are taken from personal life. Compared to other types of hooks, anecdote hooks may be slightly longer.

Anecdote hooks are pretty similar to narrative ones. Both are used to make people feel connected to the story. Keep in mind that none of these 2 types are used in academic essays; however, they are perfect for creative writing.

The key to the success of using this kind of hook is to make the story universally relatable. It doesn’t have to be just about you. Try to formulate it in such a way that the majority of people would be able to understand it.

Below you can see a story hook example:

When I moved to another country, I have experienced a considerable culture shock. Have you ever felt complete helplessness? This is how I felt for a long time.

Hooks for Informational Writing

Informational writing is used to explain or to inform the reader about something. It includes articles, reports, and biographies. When it comes to hooks for informational writing, there are two options you can choose from:

The lowest temperature recorded on Earth was -144 degrees Fahrenheit.

Research shows that a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep.

Personal Statement Hooks & College Essay Hooks

A personal statement is an essay that answers the question of who you are. It helps to demonstrate your personality and skills. That’s why it’s one of the tasks college committees require from the applicants.

There are likely hundreds of people eager to study at the same university as you. So, the committee would go through everyone’s personal statements and decide who gets accepted. That is why you need to make it outstanding from the very first line.

At school, I didn’t have lazy days. Whether it was too hot or freezing cold outside, I had to go somewhere and do something.

Hooks for Research Papers

When it comes to research papers, a hook is an essential part of the introduction. You can use facts, statistics, or quotes connected with the topic to grab the reader’s attention. You can even start with a joke or an anecdote, but first, you need to make sure it is appropriate.

There is one thing that’s better to avoid at the beginning of research papers. Don’t start with telling people what your research is about because:

Your task is to make the readers interested first and then tell them what they can expect from the text.

Approximately 85% of people in the U.S. drink at least 1 cup of coffee every day.

Good Hooks for Speeches with Examples

Hooks are essential not only in writing but also during speeches and presentations. Imagine having an audience where everyone is either talking or thinking about something unrelated. The beginning of your speech should catch their attention straight away. Otherwise, they might get bored and stop listening to you.

In this case, try to be as creative as possible with the speech hooks. Say something that will surprise your listeners. It’s good to start with anything they didn’t expect or know before.

Is there a bright future for our society in the age of consumerism?

Presentations work the same way. You provide people with information, but unlike speeches, here you can also use visuals. Hooks that are suitable for speeches are also acceptable for presentations. Moreover, you can use a picture or a video with your attention-getter. It’s helpful because people tend to like visual aids.

✍️ How to Write a Catchy Hook: Techniques

Now that you know about hooks for different types of essays, let’s find out how to write them. Follow these 3 steps to come up with a perfect attention-getter.

STEP #1. Brainstorm.

Before you start writing, do the following:

STEP #2. Think of your audience.

It’s a crucial part. Students and professors may not always agree on what’s interesting or funny. At this point, you can cross out the options that are not good enough for your audience.

STEP #3. Combine the hook, the transition sentence, and the thesis statement.

Try to put everything together and see if it sounds coherent. Here you can see which of your hook ideas fits the best.

5,1 % of adults in the USA are engaged in heavy drinking. The number is relatively high, considering possible consequences. Regular consumption of alcohol can cause heart disease, weight gain, and high blood pressure.

We hope you have found this article helpful. If you did, don’t forget to share it with your friends. Thank you for reading, and good luck with your essays!

Further reading:

❓ Hook Writing FAQs

When you are providing a hook for readers in an essay, you are catching their attention. If the readers are interested from the very beginning, they want to continue reading to find out more. Hooks are also used in speeches and presentations.

Typically, hooks are one or two sentences, although there can be exceptions. If you are using a story as a hook, keep in mind that it can be a few sentences long. Presenting the visuals alongside your hook will also take some time.

Both the hook and thesis statement can be found in the introduction part. The former catches the attention, and the latter provides the main idea of the essay. The hook and the thesis statement should be connected by a transition sentence.

There are some simple steps you can follow to create a great hook:

1. Decide on what you want to write about. 2. Think about your audience. 3. Write the outline of the essay. 4. Choose the most suitable way to formulate the hook.

🔍 References:

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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. Here are a few examples of each type of hook.

Question Hook

A question hook is when you ask the reader something that they can visualize and try to think of in their own minds. Then, the writer answers the question.

Quotation Hook

A quotation hook is when a quote is used and explained that has relevance to the topic at hand. Make sure this quote comes from a credible source. Also, talk about the quote’s meaning afterwards to ensure that the reader isn’t confused.

Statistic Hook

A statistic hook can be used for more informational pieces of writing. The writer uses a quote from a source that relates to the main idea of the paper, but the quote must have some type of statistics, such as numbers, decimals, or and/or percentages. The meaning and relationship of the quote to the paper needs to be explained afterwards just in case the reader does not quite understand

Anecdotal Hook

When a writer uses a short story to relate to the topic and gain the reader’s attention, they are using an anecdote. This story can be a short, personal story or one that is a figment of your imagination. Make sure that it relates to the main idea of the paper. Show the relevance that it has to the topic of the paper.

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  1. How to Write a Hook Masterfully

    5 examples of essay hooks 1 Statistic hook The statistic hook gives your audience a true and hard fact to latch onto from the get-go. Gaining your reader’s trust through expertise early on will help reinforce the points you make in the rest of your argument.

  2. Hook Examples (For Essays, Stories, Articles, and More)

    Here are some statistical hook examples: Scientists estimate that 99 percent of all the species that ever walked the Earth have become extinct. 43 to 54 percent of pilots confess they have fallen asleep while flying. A third of them reported waking up next to a sleeping co-pilot.

  3. How to Write a Catchy Hook: Examples & Techniques

    Below you can see a story hook example: Example: When I moved to another country, I have experienced a considerable culture shock. Have you ever felt complete helplessness? This is how I felt for a long time. Hooks for Informational Writing Informational writing is used to explain or to inform the reader about something.

  4. How to Write a Hook

    Example: “Just 0.00545 percent of the 550,000 boys playing high school basketball each year in the United States become a first-round draft pick — 1 in 18,333” stated Jeff Rabjohns, a writer for The Indianapolis Star, in an article titled “Prep players face long odds of making it to NBA.”