The process of composing of an essay definitely stands out from the other academic assignments. Essay implies your creativity and expressing your storytelling talent even if the topic is defined by someone else. While writing an essay, you can feel yourself as a real writer like Hemingway, Kerouac or Faulkner. And this means that your text should be attractive since it is supposed to be read not only by aged professors in large ludicrous glasses. Congratulations, you have a reader!
And if you want your reader to be satisfied after reading your text you should compose it in some specific way. There are no long-established rules for putting in appearance your creative writing skills but only several tips that help in creating an essay. One of these first tips is to come up with an attractive hook for your essay.
What is an Essay Hook?
The term of the hook of the text could be explained as few sentences set in the first paragraph (also called introduction) of this text that is intended to catch reader’s attention. Well, your introduction part goes straight after the heading. If the heading is a part, which reader will surely read, your introduction can disappoint him so that he or she will not continue reading. For this purpose, you have to be able to invent bright hooks.
The first paragraph should explain the reader why does he need to continue reading your essay. This first part of the essay wants you to interest the reader so he could read without stopping. The probability that the introduction will be read is quite high, and that means that either you now grab your reader`s interest or he is not finishing reading the text until the end.
It is very easy to state that hook is an important tool for creating acceptable essay, but it is senseless without determination of rules of making it up. So let’s look through some common sights on writing an interesting hook for an essay.
Identify Your Audience
As it was mentioned earlier, you have a reader. This term includes a wide range of different people with their specific tastes. It is well-known that, unfortunately, one cannot please everyone. For this purpose, you need to identify your reader and please him or her.
Who is my audience?
Imagine the group of people that gather on Saturdays and discuss not a single specific topic but whole field. They all have almost similar ideas concerning life, art, politics, philosophy, science, etc. Try to define these ideas and concentrate on it while making up your hook.
Do I have a captive audience?
You need to understand whether your reader is obliged to read your essay or not. Your old professor surely cannot avoid reading your opus and if your audience is limited to him – concentrate on what does he like. If you have broader audience try to follow the previous rule – not to concentrate on every possible reader but on those who are surely interested in your ideas.
The example of the broader audience is an average internet user that accidentally hits your text. It implies that you write your essay for the blog or something alike and means that you know about it in advance. So you have a possibility to think through your essay.
What matters to my audience?
Well, you must have figured out who is your reader. Now you need to understand what he expects from your essay. In nowadays world, no one wants to waste his time on something useless and senseless. That is why you need to specify the purpose of your essay in the hook.
It is almost impossible to grab someone’s attention if he does not need it. Write something your reader wants to read. Accent the information that is useful for your reader in your hook.
Identify a Purpose of Your Writing
Developing the previous idea of the usefulness of the essay, you need to make up your hook with some logical sequence with the further text. Attracting the attention is great, but you cannot use absolutely any instrument. So do not use anything that sounds great but have mediated relation to the body of your essay.
How do I want my audience to feel?
Think about what effect you want to make on your reader before he starts reading your essay. It means definition of the emotion or feeling, which the audience will experience. It is needed to create a certain mood that will help your essay to be perceived better.
What do I want my audience to take away?
Let your reader understand what he or she can gain after reading your text. In most cases, it means some educational purposes, but you may stand original here: to reassure your reader, to instill faith in humanity or oneself.
Essay Hooks Ideas
This article would be absolutely useless without concrete advice of creating a hook. The author proposes five following ideas to hook a reader in an essay.
Using quotes from literary sources of well-known writers or just a quote from a famous worldwide personality adds confidence in your hook. In other words, it shows the reader that the idea of the whole essay supported not only by you (you scarcely hit the Pulitzer or Noble prizes) but also by some authority.
From the one side, a famous quote may mean that you only reflect someone famous` idea, but on the other, you can enliven this idea with your personal experience, thoughts and details and that would stand you out and put aside from the famous man. Moreover, writing the essay you can find that you develop someone`s idea so well that now it looks even interesting.
However, the aim of the catchy hook for essay is in attracting reader`s attention, and the reference to the authoritative source such as Winston Churchill or Charlie Chaplin will definitely meet this challenge. But still, remember to somehow distinguish your inner writer and thinker from the total influence of the someone else`s thought.
It is a well-known fact that our attention in a text full of letters is easily grabbed with the inclusion of digits. It visually facilitates perception of the information. Also, statistics is like the quote from someone famous: it is authoritative.
Your reader pays attention to your text not in order to find some mistakes but to get some information. This process may lead the reader to finding these mistakes, if they are present, but is not an end in itself. That is why including some preferably proven statistics won`t evoke a feeling of impending fraud but only interest in what you are going to tell.
So do not be afraid to use statistics as a hook for your essay. Digits are attractive to comprehend, weight of this information is unquestionable, and desirable effect (catching the reader`s interest) is guaranteed.
Everyone likes interesting facts. It is stipulated by human`s inherent curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Interesting facts are the easiest way to quench these noble intentions. And since it is quenched, your reader stays satisfied. And after your first sentences of the text he reads made him satisfied why shouldn`t he or she continue reading?
In addition to curiosity and knowledge, people are also greedy for pleasures. This little pleasure you provide exposes you in a good light and enables your reader to trust you. Now he knows that after finishing reading your text he wouldn`t feel that he has been wasting his time. Do not let him down!
Try to surprise your reader using this trick as a hook. The more you surprise him, the more the effect of your hook. Remember that these facts are interesting so do not concentrate on what you are interested in but find something interesting for the group of people who are going to read your opus. And mind the logical sequence!
Very dangerous but effective hook if applied in the right way. Tastes on anecdotes are so different that you can only disappoint your potential reader. But if your little joke hits the bull`s eye you get your reader`s attention. If your reader sees that you share his sense of humor, it will make him trust you and trust everything you are going to tell.
It doesn`t mean that whole essay should be humorous. The anecdote may be used only in order to attract attention and be slightly but related to your text. But the most appropriate way of using the anecdote is when you twist in your text organically. For example, you may use anecdote as the antithesis to your text, use ironic or even sarcastic way of narration basing on this sweet and innocent joke from the very beginning.
Reveal a Common Misconception
This kind of hook teaches the reader something he or she did not expect to know. In some way, it may be in the form of the first three pieces of advice from this list. All of them can serve to reveal this common misconception.
However, if it is not a statistics, a quote and even interesting fact, this information must be surprising to the reader. Using this hook summarizes previous ones. In other words: say something so new for the reader that he cannot help reading your essay until the end.
Create the Hooks
The hooks for the texts are not the main part of writing. The most important is obviously coherent narration with good and catching thoughts. A good hook for an essay simply helps your reader to better immerse in your text.
Create your hook for informative essay sensibly: select right words neatly and remember that this is the first thing your reader sees. If your hook is ineffective or simply boring your text would be ignored. So why concentrate on creating the hook. Make your first sentences shine!
Free advice: make your whole essay shine, write in the best way but if only one sentence stands out from the other in your text – let it be your hook sentence. It will throw the chances that your work would be appreciated up.