How to Use Hook Sentences to Write a Good Essay
An essay is a short piece of writing that reflects the individual experience of an author and his or her views on a certain issue or problem. It does not provide a comprehensive answer to a specific question. However, it reveals writer's opinion or thoughts. Essay writing helps students develop their logic and critical thinking skills. It also allows learners to build their abilities to support viewpoints with facts and present the information in a reasonable manner.
A standard essay consists of three main sections, which are the introduction, body part, and conclusion. The introduction is a critical part of your paper because it sets the whole essay to the right tone. It presents the topic and states your opinion on it. It also determines whether the readers will want to proceed to the body part or not.
Have you ever been in a situation where you start reading an article or a book and cannot stop until you reach the very last letter? It captures your attention with the first words and just can't resist the temptation to know what is written in the next paragraph or chapter. Of course, essays are rarely so exciting to read, but they can also be written in a captivating and attractive manner. Even if you write on scientific topics related to economics, mathematics, or chemistry, there is still some place for creativity and fun in your essay. This is when the introduction steps in. You can provide the necessary calculations and data analysis in the body part and conclusion; the introduction, however, should be more about getting readers interested in your topic. That is why you should start your essay with the hook sentence.
The hook sentence is a part of an introduction that draws reader's attention to the main idea of the essay. A properly written hook sentence stimulates readers' desire to get to know writer's opinion and read the whole essay. It is as important as any other parts of your paper because it gets readers excited about what's coming next.
How to write hook sentences for essays?
Actually, there are three main types of hook sentences:
- Joke or humorous quotation,
- Proverb or quote,
How to incorporate jokes in essay introductions?
First of all, you should keep in mind that there are issues you should not joke about. However, even essays on serious topics like gun control, medical marijuana, and alcohol and its effects can be opened with a nice, funny joke. You may look some of them up on the Internet. But, your essay will be even more creative if you come up with your own anecdote. Here are three simple ways to do that:
1. The unexpected ending of an old joke
It is a very simple way to make readers smile. You just take a classic, maybe even forgotten joke and give it a new ending that is related to your topic. Here is a simple example of the hook sentence for "The Causes of the Financial crisis in 2007-2008" topic: "You know the joke: time waits for no man, time is obviously a woman, well, I'd say, time is obviously a debt collection agency." Then you can continue your essay by acknowledging readers with the three or four reasons you consider to be responsible for the financial crisis, including credit default.
2. Funny associations
Make a list of things the problem or its consequences can be compared to. Write down all your ideas and pick the funniest one. Of course, this method is suitable if you're writing in a calm environment and have plenty of time to spend. In case you need to generate a hook sentence for an essay during the exam, you will not have to work within a short term.
3. Funny story
The last, but not least, another technique you can use to create a hook for your essay is to tell a funny story that happened to you or a person you know. Of course, the story should be short and related to the topic of your essay. This type of hook makes your paper very personal. It is best used in admission essays and personal statement. It can be even more appealing if the story you tell is a typical one, so typical that the readers can remember something similar happening to them or their friends.
How to use proverbs and famous quotes to catch readers' attention?
Proverbs and famous quotes make perfect hook sentences. That is why both students and professional writers love and often use them. The trick is to use them correctly. The ideal way is to choose the hook sentence that reveals the main idea of your essay. It can be some moral quote or proverb. If you need to inspire people to take action, you can start it with an inspirational quote and recap it in conclusion, but in a slightly different form.
If the quote or proverb is not very popular or is not easy to understand, you can use it with a short explanation, which can be directly linked to a thesis statement. The main challenge is finding a proverb or quote that is directly relevant to your topic or the main idea of your essay.
If you choose to use a quote, you should also pay attention to its author. When you use famous people's words, you sort of support your opinion with their thoughts. The more influential the person, the more significant their quote is. The most cited people of these days are famous politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, businessmen like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs or TV stars like Oprah Winfrey. But, do not forget about great figures in History, who have also helped to create the world as we know it today and inspired millions of people. Their names are known by or at least familiar to almost everybody - Abraham Lincoln, William Shakespeare, Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and many others.
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How to hook readers using statistics?
Using statistical data right at the beginning of your essay makes it look really professional and well-researched. Readers will be intrigued by the numbers and will read further to get the details of your research. However, it also sets high-level expectations for your paper and implies that all or most of the opinions and ideas provided in it are supported by other studies.
Another important thing about using statistic is that it has to be new and relevant to your topic. And don't forget to mention its source (we are talking about academic sources, and Wikipedia is not among them). It is easily done with the help of expressions like "According to..." and "As reported by..." Here is an example: "As was stated in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2015), 6.2% of all adult population of the US suffer from alcohol use disorder." In the next few sentences, you should state the main reasons why people have problems controlling their drinking.
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