Hooks Getting your reader to say“Wow!” “Cool!” or “I need to read more about that!”
What is a hook?• The attention grabbing first part of every paper • Usually the first sentence or first several sentences of your paper’s introduction• Hooks come in all different shapes and sizes, but there are several common formats for a hook.
The Quotation• Start your paper out with a quote when you think something was said just so or when you’ve found a statement that seems to really grab.• EX: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you” (Disney par. 3).
The Leading Question• Begin your paper with a question when you want to provoke your reader to think or respond. Questions force your reader to interact with you and get them interested. Questions should not be easy to answer or out of nowhere. If the reader isn’t left thinking, they may just pass on your paper.• EX: Where can one find the most magical place on earth?
The Anecdote• A little story you might tell when you’re trying to get to a bigger point. Using an anecdote to begin your paper makes the reader connect to your topic. • If you find you have an old topic, or it is just something others may not readily relate to, an anecdote can help the reader to see the topic and paper as relevant or worth reading.• Some topics lend themselves more readily to anecdote than others. Also, they get a little long.
Anecdote Example• EX: It is Christmas morning, and the warm smell of cinnamon and hot chocolate is flooding the house. Susie and her brother, Joe, just finished ripping the paper off of their last present as their parents look through the lens of the video camera. They know they are about to witness pure excitement at its finest. Susie picks up the box she and Joe just unwrapped and runs her finger over the mouse head image on the top. Joe quickly snatches the box from her and violently opens it. He raises his brow as he realizes there is only a small piece of paper inside. He lifts the paper out of the box and reads aloud, “Pack your bags, kids, cause we’re going to DISNEY WORLD!” Instantly, pure elation fills the room. The kids look at their parents in disbelief, but they receive the nod of approval which is all the reassurance they need. Both kids jump up and down screaming in excitement.
The Fun Fact• Some people like to begin their essays with a fun fact or two. These are facts which, like the questions, will cause your reader to pause and think about the topic at hand. They will hopefully grab your reader’s attention and make them want to know more.• EX: Currently, the Walt Disney Company is worth over $50 billion (Johnson par. 27).
The Analogy• An analogy is a comparison between things. You’ve seen them before: dog is a cat as plan is to boat. In essay writing, though, the analogy hook is one in which you compare your topic, something that may not be familiar to the reader, to something that is much more familiar for them.• EX: Claiming that Walt Disney achieved his success without years of hard work is like saying it is easy to climb Mount Everest. Newsflash, it’s not!