Writing a hook can be a tricky task; however not an impossible one. If you wish to learn how to write a hook, follow the guide below. Using tips and tricks given by top-tier writers around the world, you will master the skill in no time. Read along to enter the world of hook writing.
When it comes to writing, you can never learn enough. It’s an ever evolving skill that requires you to keep yourself up to date at all times. It allows you to become a better communicator and also improves your reading – both of which are essential job skills.
Doesn’t matter if your job requires you to be a proficient writer or not, it’s always a good idea to revamp your writing skills by learning about the different styles of writing.
And in case you’re a student, it is essential that you continue to upskill yourself. Especially when it comes to knowing how to write well. You might wonder how essay writing or even learning how to write a hook can help you secure a job or help you during your job, well you would be amazed. These types of skills help set you apart from a wide range of applicants.
Therefore, always be open to learning the art of writing and continue to improve yourself through consistent efforts and practice.
In this article, we will specifically focus on what is a hook, how to write a hook and which mistakes to avoid. Each and every part of an essay is equally important. Be it the start, the middle body or the conclusion, each of the three should be equally well-written.
That being said, learning how to write a hook and in fact learning how to write a good hook is essential. Making a first impression counts. You need to make sure that you are able to grasp the reader’s attention through your words. You need to learn how to intrigue them enough to make them want to read more after every sentence.
Learning how to do that and excelling at it is what shall make you a proficient writer. You will be required to put in some time and effort,but the results will be fruitful and worth all the time you have spent perfecting it.
Read along to find out more about writing a hook.
What is a hook?
In simple words, a hook is an opening statement or the first sentence of an essay which is used to grab the reader’s attention. Learning how to write a hook can be tricky at first. However, it is something that can be learned with some time and practice.
Your opening statement, or in other words, your hook should be good enough to make the reader want to know more. You want to intrigue them enough to make them want to read your entire essay. Knowing how to do this can help you become a seasoned writer.
Therefore, we have come up with an easy to follow guide that will help you learn how to perfect your ability to write a compelling hook. Different types of hooks have been discussed in the article to give you an option to choose one that best fits your needs.
It is important to note that you cannot use a single hook for every type of writing.You need to be mindful of the fact that your hook needs to relate to your topic in some way. If it doesn’t, the reader will believe that your opening statement is misleading which will in turn make them question your credibility as a writer.
This literary technique helps the writer build an enticing beginning to convince the reader that your story is worth reading. Your hook may start by introducing an unusual situation, an important question or a dramatic action. As long as it’s enthralling, it shall work.
Why is a hook important?
If you just want to get the task done without worrying about pleasing the reader, then you might not worry about writing a hook. However, if you wish to make sure that the reader remains focused and is fully immersed in your essay, then you must aim to learn and master the art of writing a tantalizing hook.
While one may assume that a hook is only important in fiction writing, that is far from the truth. A hook is a crucial part of both on-fiction and fiction essays. Be it a research paper,an academic essay or a narrative essay, you will be required to write an engrossing hook each time. This will also help your essay stand out to the reader from a pile of many other essays like it.
A hook should be something that a reader does not forget. You want to make sure that it remains stuck in his or her mind for a long time. If you’ve learned how to do that, you are one step closer to writing an A-grade essay.
Types of hooks
In this part of the essay we will learn about the different types of hooks to help you choose one that best fits your needs each time.
A hook can be a single sentence or a group sentence. Write these sentences to the best of your abilities each time and you have got your readers hooked.
Let’s discuss the different types of hooks,you will be surprised how many there are.
An interesting question
The moment you ask a thought-provoking question, your readers are bound to be hooked. Start by thinking of a question that relates to your topic. It shouldn’t be a mainstream question that people may already know about. Think outside the box, be creative and relate the question to a gap you may have found regarding the information available on that particular topic.
Make the readers believe that the only way to find out the answer to your question is by reading your essay. Humans are inquisitive, when we hear or read a question, we want to know the answer. Thus, asking a question is always an effective way of keeping your readers engaged throughout the essay.
Moreover, make sure that the question has a purpose, you may want to impart new knowledge to your readers or you may want them to question their existing perception of the topic.
A declaration hook
A declaration hook, also known as a “strong statement” is a sentence that asserts a claim about your topic. It not only connects to your thesis statement but also shows the importance of your paper.
This is a great way to get your essay. Doesn’t matter if they agree or disagree with it, either way they will want to know more about what you have to say on the topic.People nowadays aim to know both sides of a story so don’t worry about your statement being too contradictory. It is bound to encourage your reader to learn more.
Thus, speak up your mind without worrying about being judged. If you believe that your assertion is correct, you will have the entire essay to prove to the audience that your side of the story matters. In short, this is one of the best ways to spark curiosity
A statistical hook
Giving real factual information about a topic is always a great way to start. It instantly builds your credibility. Moreover, people usually don’t know much about the statistics related to topics, hence, the information you give may amaze them.
For example, starting with a fact such as : “Around 811 million people go to sleep hungry and deprived everyday.” A number as big and significant as that will instantly provoke the reader to learn more about why that is so and what can be done to change it.
Make sure that you include facts that are not only interesting but also accurate and reliable. Citing your source is also a good way to prove that you have carried out adequate research. Also, don’t just use a random fact that does not relate to your topic. Your statistics should always be about the topic discussed in the essay.
A simile & metaphor hook
The use of a simile or metaphor instantly intrigues the reader.They begin to wonder what your topic is about or what message are you trying to convey. Keeping the reader in the dark for a while is always a good trick to get them to read more. Their mind instantly starts to wonder how you are building a comparison with your opening statement and the rest of your topic.
In case you are confused about what a simile and metaphor is, don’t worry because we shall start by helping you understand the two terms.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that is used to build a likeness or analogy between two things.It is a rhetorical effect as it directly refers to one thing while mentioning the other. It helps provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two objects or ideas. For example: her eyes were diamonds or he is a rat.
On the other hand, a simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. It is used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.A simile differs from a metaphor in the sense that it uses words like “such as”, “like”, “so” and “then” to make a comparison. For example, she is as brave as a lion, her cheeks are like roses.
The story hook
Who doesn’t like a story? It is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your readers go through your entire essay. However, don’t start with a random story, it should in some way relate to your topic.
Readers are always up for reading interesting and memorable stories. It can be about a personal experience or someone else’s, either way,it should contribute to your topic in some way.
A story hook is longer than other types of essay hooks,but that’s okay. It’s alright to have a long hook; however, it shouldn’t be a large part of your essay. Keep it to the point, no need to add unnecessary descriptions of the surroundings or characters. This will also make your audience want more.
A descriptive hook
In a descriptive hook, you give a vivid description of a scene or an event. A good description will always make your reader want to know what comes next. This type of hook is mostly used in narrative essays but you can use it for other essays as well, including academic and research papers.
When you start with an engrossing description, one always wonders what’s next, how does it relate to the topic and what message are you trying to convey. Hence, never shy away from using a descriptive hook. It is a widely used and effective way of starting your essay.
The quotation hook
Now comes the most commonly known and used but one of the most effective hook styles. You may be using it in your essays time and again without knowing that it is known as a hook. And in case you don’t know what it is, a quotation hook is the kind of statement that begins with you quoting a famous person.
You have the option of quoting not only a famous person,but anyone as long as it relates to your essay. For example, you can quote something your father said a while ago or your uncle or a friend. It should be impactful and meaningful.
Starting with a quote is always impressive as long as they are powerful,memorable and striking. It increases the integrity of your work and leaves a good first impression.
Tips on how to write a hook
Now that you know about the different types of hooks,we will learn a few tips and techniques that will assist you in writing an effective hook. Follow the guide below to craft a great hook.
Your first hook is your title
No doubt the first sentence of your essay is crucial; however, you have just as good an opportunity to impress the reader through the title of your essay. The first thing the reader will go through is the title, so that is your earliest opportunity to grab their attention. Think of it as a mini hook. Hence, start there and then move towards writing a compelling hook. Both the hook and the title combined can take your essay to a whole other level.
Drop the readers into the middle of action
You can start your essay with a climatic, action-packed event or anecdote. The energy of the scene itself compels the reader to continue reading. Secondly, dropping your reader in the middle of action without context leaves them with many questions. Make sure you let the audience know that the answer of all those questions can only be found in your essay. It is an interesting way to compel your reader to keep reading.
In literary terms, starting in the middle of action is known as “medias res” and is a simple way to create intrigue. You can turn your hook into a flash forward or a prologue and then start writing in a chronological order or continue writing in a non-linear fashion.
Forming an emotional connection
Let’s say you’re not looking to write an action-packed hook. Your next best option is to turn your hook into an emotional scene. Through emotions, you can tap into the reader’s sense of empathy. Especially if you’re writing on an emotional topic, you can always start with a touching statement that most people can relate to.
Moreover, if your reader can develop an emotional connection with your story and characters early on, they will be more interested in finding out what happens next. One thing that always works when writing an informative and argumentative essay is to use a personal story as an essay hook. This makes your reader feel more connected to an otherwise fact-heavy or dry piece of writing.
Make a surprising statement
Some may suggest you do otherwise but starting with an unexpected or controversial statement will encourage your reader to keep on reading. It’s the anticipation of what happens next that will keep them hooked. You can also use a thematic statement which can serve as a lens through which the audience will evaluate the rest of your piece.
Such a statement will have your audience searching for connection for the rest of your essay. It will frame the rest of your work.
Stay away from description
When writing a hook,always be weary of long descriptive paragraphs. This is because long paragraphs tend to tell the reader everything and don’t give them a chance to generate any questions. Fight the urge to tell every little detail to the reader. It is essential that you leave some questions unanswered. It generates mystery and suspense. You can fill in the details later on near the end of the essay.
Focus on the most important information. A long descriptive paragraph of your character’s appearance or the setting is not the best way to start your piece.
Keep your readers attention throughout
Writing a tantalizing hook is just a start, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the essay shouldn’t be as enticing. You need to put just as much effort in the other parts of your essay. If you don’t carry on writing with the same zeal and don’t answer the questions you promised to answer,this might frustrate your readers. Don’t keep them running in circles.Make sure you are answering at least some of the questions early on so that the readers know your work is worth reading.
One technique used by a lot of well-seasoned writers is to introduce a new question every time you answer the previous one.This will keep your reader in constant suspense.
If your piece of writing has multiple chapters, don’t write a hook just for the first one. Try starting every chapter with an engrossing hook. The first hook can be just a teaser of what is to come next.
Identify the audience
Depending on who you are writing the essay for, your hook will vary accordingly. The best way to ensure that your reader is satisfied with your work is to know who exactly are you writing for and what would they want to read.
Writing in the same style for a group of teens and a group of experts would be foolish. Their perceptions and perspectives differ and that difference should be reflected in your work. This is what differentiates a good writer from a bad one.
Rather than going straight into writing the first idea that comes to your mind, it is best if you brainstorm first. It is usually recommended that you dismiss the first idea that comes to your mind as it would be the most common one. To be able to do something creative, you need to do some mind mapping. Create a few drafts, review, proofread and edit before you finalize your work.
You never want to compromise on the quality of your work be it the start,middle or the end of the essay. Each gives an equally important impression of your skills and capabilities.
Writing a captivating hook isn’t that difficult. All the above listed ideas, tips and techniques will assist you in writing an opening statement that is worthy of praise. These tips will help you every step of the way. Make sure you go through them at least twice so that you don’t miss out on any important details.
A bit of practice and a good amount of commitment together can help you do things you never thought you would be able to do. So start now and discover your true potential as a writer.