How to Write a Hook and Grab Readers’ Attention

How to make a good hook?

To make a good hook, there are some things that you need to carefully consider.

1)    Clear knowledge on the nature of literary work you are handling

There are quite some literary works, and each one of them has different approaches. For example, narrative and descriptive essays are quite different from critical and argumentative essays because of their different writing strategies. Therefore, you need to have a clear picture of what you are working on to identify the best hook for your work.

2)    Have a proper outline for your essay

You need to prepare a good outline for your essay as it will enable you to identify the structure of the essay and note the core points to highlight.

3)    Understand your audience

Every essay is meant for a particular audience, and each audience has a different way of understanding things. You, therefore, need to clearly understand your audience so that when in the process of making a hook you will be in a better position to know what interests them.

4)    Understand the reason for writing the essay

Depending on the nature of your work, you can choose a hook that perfectly suits its purpose. For example, when dealing with a magazine, you can decide to use a humorous approach in your hook, and this will interest your readers.

On the other hand, if you are writing a conference paper, then your hook should take a more formal shape. You should always try as much as possible to make you hook to fit into the frame of your writing which is your style and tone.

It is important to note that you cannot have more than two hooks in your paper.

This has two implications:

1)    You will lose your reader

2)    You will be increasing the level of plagiarism

You need to find one powerful hook that will serve as your opening sentence in your introduction.

What is a Hook?

It is good to define a hook in literature. A hook is a statement that attract the reader’s attention in your essay. When you are writing an essay, you need to ensure that you capture the attention of your reader. You may have very important information in your paper, but the reader may fail to get this information due to a poor introduction.

Therefore, that catchy opening sentence in your paper that tries to capture your reader’s attention is referred to as a hook. In layman’s terms, a hook is that piece of metal that capture fish and takes it out of the water. The same applies here; you need to take your reader from everything that he/she is doing to concentrate on your paper.

What is a hook in writing and why is it useful?

In writing, a hook is considered to be the opening sentences in your introductory paragraph whose aim is to capture the attention of the reader. These introductory sentences are very important as they help the reader decide whether or not to continue reading your essay.

How to create a hook and attract readers’ attention?

There are two main approaches to creating a hook:

  1.    Writing the hook before starting the essay
  2.    Writing the hook after finishing your essay

Read also: How to begin an essay on any topic?

Let’s look at the first approach

 Writing the hook before starting the essay:

This involves brainstorming and at the same time writing the hook. There are some things that you need to consider while doing this:

1)    Developing an outline for your paper

This is coming up with a skeleton for your paper, the main items that you want to highlight. You need to think about the goals of your paper and what you are trying to bring to light. This will give you the basic idea of the contents of your paper. With this, you are in a better position to determine the best type of hook applicable to what you have highlighted.

After the hook, you can then write the introduction then the body of the easy and end with the conclusion.

2)    Identify your Thesis

The thesis is basically what the paper is about that is the message you are trying to send to your reader. Everything else in the essay will be about adding flesh to the thesis. You need to first highlight the main idea of your paper based on the topic you are dealing with and then decide the best hook to use that will go in line with what you are talking about.

3)    Write the hook based on your thesis

Your hook should be one that agrees with the main ideas of your paper. Your hook should be in a position to smoothly shift to the introduction part. In other words, you should ensure that the hook you settle on is relevant not only to your thesis but the entire essay. If you are handling a complex issue, it will be inappropriate to start with a joke as your hook.

This will confuse your readers, and you will lose them.

4)    Understand your audience

When you are brainstorming for your hook, you should always consider your audience so that you can come up with a hook that not only augers well with the contents of the paper but also with the people reading it. You should look at your reader and think of the things that will make them get attached to the paper and follow through what you have prepared for them.

If your audience is your peers, then you can consider using a joke related to your paper as the hook. When your professor is the person reading the essay, then you can consider using an interesting fact as the hook.

5)    Make proper transition to the rest of the essay

Your hook should always be related to what you want to highlight in the paper. This will allow for the smooth shift from the hook to the introduction and the rest of the essay. For example, if you are writing a paper about economics, you may consider having your hook as a famous quote from one of the most famous economists in the world.

The second approach involves writing the hook after finishing the essay. This is tailoring the hook to relate to the goals of your paper.

The following are some of the things to consider:

1)    Use of anecdote or an interesting fact

For many essays or papers, you need to let your readers understand what you are trying to express from the word go. Therefore, your anecdote or interesting fact should reflect the same. For example, if your essay is about the personal beliefs of Abraham Lincoln affected the civil war; you can choose to start the essay with an anecdote related to Lincoln.

2)    Use a joke as the hook

This is one of the most effective hooks especially when you are writing an essay about something that is not so formal or the readers can associate with jokes. This is where you can have a funny opening sentence as your hook. You only need to ensure that it goes in line with the message you are putting across. For example, if your easy is about things to do with relationships, you can decide to begin with a funny knock-knock joke.

3)    Conform to the tone and style of your work

If you are doing some serious writing such as for journals or newspapers, you need to have a good hook which not only captures the attention of the reader but also gives the thirst to follow through to the end.  This includes having a catchy heading.

4)    For long writings, try to have a creative and intriguing hook

A novel is a very wide piece of writing. This means that it creates avenues for more creative lines. Therefore, to keep the reader interested in finishing the novel, you need to always place hooks at strategic points such that they pose questions making the reader have the thirst to unveil what happens next.

How to use a quote as a hook?

You can give your essay a great start by finding the best quotation that fits within the context of your paper. In this case, you must avoid clichés or overused quotes; employ the use of a surprising, research extensively the context of your quote, understand your audience and ensure that the quote you choose contributes positively to your essay.

There are two types of quote hooks, a literary quote, and quotes from famous people.

A literary quote hook applies when you are dealing with a certain story, book, author or a phenomenon. This helps you as the author to establish your authority.

On the other hand, quotes from famous people which include quotes from very influential and authoritative people can be used in any context as long as you are in a position to justify its relation with your work.

Useful information: Who can write a paper for me and meet the deadline?

Some Essay Hook Examples

The following are just some of the essay hooks that you can use to give your essay a great start.

  1.    Literary quote

“Not all that glitters is gold.” Everyone needs to be wary of their choices…

  1.    Quotes from Famous People

Peter Crouch once said, “Never look down upon people.”

  1.    Anecdote

This is employing a small sense of humor to grab the audience attention. This should not mean that the entire essay should be funny.


“As I was walking down the street yesterday I couldn’t help but notice a drunken man stuck in a pit and instead of asking for help, he could only think of his beer.”

  1.    Pose a Question

Using a well-constructed question is one of the best ways of attracting the interest of the reader. This is because they will keep reading the easy trying to get the answer, make sure that your questions are not just simple questions that need a Yes or No answer. They should be ones that will engage your reader.


“Has it ever crossed your mind what would have happened to Romeo and Juliet of Juliet could not have killed herself?”

  1.    Set a scene

Many people tend to follow visual cues. You can create a scene by describing an event to the reader so that they can create a picture if the same and try to follow to get to learn what followed.


“Changing schools was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, going from a public to private school wasn’t easy, I had to start a whole new life.”

  1.    Use an interesting Fact

Such a hook gets the readers by surprise as they get to learn something they may not have prior knowledge about. Give your readers an interesting fact about the topic you are talking about in your essay. This will make them want to learn more


“Many people in African nations have a problem with family planning.”

  1.    State Your Thesis

You can as well use your thesis as the hook of your essay. You can start directly your main argument and devote the rest of your essay to supporting arguments. Readers will stick to your essay is your thesis provides an interesting view of the topic.


“Human beings need to think out of the box and start finding other sustainable ways of generating energy.”

  1.    Reveal a Common Misconception

The purpose of an essay is to transfer knowledge. The moment you start the essay be telling your readers what they have long believed is false, you will immediately build your credibility, and your readers will get hooked.


“Believe it or not, chameleons change color as a response to mood, temperature, communication, and light instead of the object they are touching.”

  1.    Offer statistics

Offering the statistics of a phenomenon can be a great way of hooking your readers to your essay.


You can talk about some of the epidemics that are trending.

By going through this guide, you are sure to write the best hook for your readers henceforth.