How to make a hook in an essay: fail-safe methods

The hook is that thing about your essay that grabs a reader’s attention and holds it for the rest of the paper. This may seem like a difficult feat if you’ve never done it before but it makes use of simple techniques that anyone can learn with enough effort. Here are a few that you can rely on.

Surprise the reader

This works in person just as well. If you start your essay and it looks like you will be continuing along one track and you burst into something completely different, the reader can’t help but devote more attention to what comes next. It’s how brains work. An example of this would be: “Illegal drugs have ruined lives and crippled nations and resulted in countless deaths. For this reason, I will explain the need for worldwide decriminalization of all substances.”.

Scare the reader

Fear is an amazing motivator. It’s been applied by speech writers in the fields of politics and religion for different reasons. It’s effective at capturing attention because people have self preservation instincts. If you can convince them that their life or wellbeing is at stake, all of a sudden it becomes critical that they hear or read whatever it is comes next. The following provides an example. “The combination of the great double-dip Recession, the looming third world war and climate change ensure a barely livable future for those of us unfortunate enough to still be young.”

Make the reader laugh

You don’t have to just appeal to negative emotions to capture someone’s attention. It’s merely easier for most people than creating the right type of humor to engage the reader. Different things are funny to different people. You will have to know the reader and the subject well. Rather than give you an example, a better suggestion is that you seek one out that appeals to you.

Make the reader think

A little easier than making the reader laugh is to make him or her think. Give a deep philosophical question such as “If the entire of humankind were to focus intently on a common task for the duration of a year, how much more peace and productivity would we enjoy?”.

The type of hook you prefer will depend on who you are but feel free to experiment with all the methods til you find the one you’re drawn to.