Home Blog An Ultimate Essay Writing Guide Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

Tired of getting poor grades on your high school or college essays?

Not sure how to make your writing interesting enough for the professor?

Check out the essay hook examples discussed in this article to solve all your concerns.

What is an Essay Hook?

Imagine this; you are at a bookstore looking for interesting books to buy. How will you decide which one to go for?

You skim through the introduction if it catches your attention, you decide to buy it. Even if the book was well-written if the introduction was dull or boring you wouldn't want to continue reading it.

Similarly, when your professor is reading your essay, they judge it based on the introduction. If the introduction fails to impress them, they are less likely to keep reading it further. Even if they do decide to give it a quick read, they wouldn't find it too interesting.

To combat this issue, writers make use of a term called a “hook.” A hook sentence is the opening sentence of your essay. And it is written with the intention of grabbing the reader's attention.

An effective essay hook has the ability to keep the reader interested and motivate them to finish reading the entire essay. It is a good practice to start your essay with a hook as it provides an idea about your overall topic and the questions that are addressed.

While it is important to keep the opening line intriguing and interesting, it is equally important for the rest of the text to be engaging as well. Here is a complete guide to describe how to start an essay to keep your audience engaged.

In this article, we are going to address the basics of writing a hook and the different types of hooks.

How to Write a Hook?

The opening lines of an essay is your hook, which acts as an attention grabber. When writing a hook, remember that it is part of your essay introduction, it isn't written to replace the introduction itself.

An introduction consists of a hook followed by a thesis statement. A hook is written to attract the reader. And the purpose of a thesis statement is to explain the purpose of the essay and the main ideas discussed in it. To learn more about it, head on to this detailed article of writing a thesis statement.

In order to write a good hook, you must be aware of the following aspects:

  • The nature of the literary work
  • Understanding of the audience
  • Reason for writing the essay

Remember, that the hook should be related to the main topic or idea of the piece of writing.

When you write essays, research papers, or other academic papers you can use different types of hooks relevant to your requirements. Some of the different attention grabbing hooks are:

  • Question hook,
  • Quoting Famous people,
  • Statistics,
  • Anecdote,
  • Personal story or experience.
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Hook Sentence Examples

To give you a better understanding of the different types of opening sentences, we will be discussing essay hook examples.

Question Hook

Starting your essay by asking a thought-provoking question can be a good way to engage the reader. Ask your reader a question that they can visualize. However, make sure to keep your questions relevant to the reader's interest. Avoid generalized, and yes or no questions.

Rhetorical questions make up good hooks.


“How are successful college students different from unsuccessful college students?”

“What is the purpose of our existence?”

“Have you ever wondered whether Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters would have been still together if he didn't die of cancer?”

Quotation Hook

A quotation from a famous person is used to open an essay to attract the reader's attention. However, the quote needs to be relevant to your topic and must come from a credible source. To remove any confusion that the reader might have it is best to explain the meaning of the quote later.


When writing about Education, you can use the quote by Nelson Mandela:

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

If your topic is related to hard work and making your own destiny, you can start by quoting Michael Jordan.

“Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.”

And further, explain it how he talks about people who dream for a certain thing but never achieve it because they don’t put in the effort it requires. Simply wishing, dreaming and praying isn’t enough. It is only those dreamers who take it upon themselves to work hard to make it as a professional basketball player.

Statistic Hook

Here you use statistical data such as numbers and figures, percentages, etc. to hook the reader. This is mostly used in informative writing to provide the reader with new and interesting facts. It is important to mention the source.


Here is an argumentative essay hook example, if you're writing about gun laws. You can use the following statistics:

“Reports have shown that almost two-thirds of adults in the United States of America have lived in a place with at least one gun, at some point of their life.”

Another persuasive essay hook example about people's psychology and lying is mentioned below:

“It is noted by Allison Komet from the Psychology Today magazine that people lie in every one out of five conversations that last for at least 10 minutes.”

Anecdotal Hook

An anecdote is a short story relevant to the topic, illustrated to gain the reader's attention. This story can be derived from a personal experience or your imagination. Mostly, an anecdote is humorous; it makes the reader laugh and leaves them wanting to read more.

It is mostly used when writing narrative or descriptive essays.


If you are a non-English speaker and don't understand it all and call the support department or the helpline and hear:

“If you want instructions in English, press 1. If you don't understand English, press 2.”

An elderly person came to buy a TV, asked the shopkeeper if they had colored TVs. When told that they are available, he asked to purchase a purple one.”

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Personal Story

Starting with a personal story is the right way to go when writing personal narrative or admissions essay for College.

There is no such rule that the story has to be yours. You can share your friends' story or someone you know of.

Remember that such hooks aren't suitable when writing a more formal or argumentative piece of writing.


“My father was in the Navy; I basically grew up on a cruise. As a young boy, I saw things beyond anyone's imagination. On April 15, 2001…”

In the next section we will be discussing hook examples for essays that you are asked to write on a regular basis.

Argumentative Essay Hook Examples

The opening paragraph of an argumentative essay should be similar to the opening statement of a trial. Just as a lawyer starts by presenting the issue, provide background information and make a claim in a logical and persuasive way.

For example, you are writing about the adverse effects of smoking, and arguing that all public places should be turned into no smoking zones. For such essays, good hook examples will be statistical such as:

“According to the World Health Organization consumption of tobacco kills about five million people every year, which makes it more than the death rate from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria altogether.”

Persuasive Essay Hook Examples

The main idea or aim for writing a persuasive essay is to convince and persuade the reader to do a particular thing/action, or change their beliefs and agree with your point of view. Examples of hook sentences for such essays usually start with a shocking revelation, or statistics so that the reader is curious to learn further about it.

For instance, you are writing about the seriousness of climate change and how it is a global threat. You can start your essay by stating facts about the atmosphere such as:

“At average each year, humans release 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide approximately. Due to this, the level of carbon dioxide has increased significantly, more than it has been in centuries. If you think climate change is nothing to worry about then you are highly mistaken.”

Narrative Hook Examples

Simply put, a narrative essay is just like a story. In contrast to the other types of essays where you need to pick a side, argue and prove your point with the help of evidence, a narrative essay gives you a freehand to tell your story however you may please.

It can be a story inspired from your life, something you may have experienced. If you feel like it isn’t worth telling or it isn’t exciting enough you can always transform it using your imagination.

Examples of a hook sentence for a narrative essay can be something like:

I was riding the bus to school; the other kids were making fun of me thinking I couldn’t understand them. “Why are his eyes like that?” “His face is funny.” A Chinese kid in America is probably like a zoo animal.

These were some catchy hook examples just to give you an idea. You can make use of any one of these types according to your paper and its requirements. The key to making your essay stand out from the rest is to have a strong introduction.

While it is the major part, there's more that goes into writing a good essay. Continue reading and you can find the basics guidelines of essay writing.

If you are still unable to come up with an exciting hook, you can always ask professionals for help. The expert essay writers at 5staressays are just a click away. Reach out to them today and have an engaging opening for your essay.

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