Developing Interesting Hooks

Hello world!

I originally posted this blog on the Fullerton College Writing Center site, but I feel that it would work here as well. Never hurts to spread some helpful info, right?

Constructing Introductory Hooks:

  • Generally, hooks at the beginning of the introduction can be created by using:
    • Relevant Quotes
    • Surprising Statistics/Facts
    • Shocking Statements
    • Anecdotes (short narrative/story/hypothetical)
  • However, you need to make it interesting!

    • Be a Trickster:
      • This is a bit hard to explain without potentially confusing the potatoes out of you, so I’m going to use an example. I recently had a student come into the Writing Center with a hook that looked something like this: “People never want to hear gunshots in their neighborhoods; however, it was one gunshot, in particular, that changed my life forever. The first sound of gunfire, signalling the start of the race, was the most thrilling and positive moment in my life.”
        • HA! Did I fool you!? I thought this was very creative and interesting. I expected the paper to take me somewhere depressing and dangerous, but I was totally fooled! Their paper was about their positive experiences while running for a track team.
    • Imagery and Description:
      • Your reader needs to be drawn into your paper. Use his or her senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, auditory) to draw them into your essay. Paint a scene for them and correlate it with your topic. This scenario-hook will flow into the “background info” portion of your introductory paragraph before you state your thesis.

End/Conclusion Hooks:
Always keep your audiences thinking. You can accomplish this by adding a “call to action” statement or a general “big-picture” statement at the very end of your concluding paragraph.

  • Call to Action:
    • This is when you directly tell your reader to do something. For example, if I were writing a paper about the benefits of recycling, I might write an end hook that states, “Next time one is walking around and sees an empty water bottle on the ground, one should pick it up and dispose of it in the recycling bin.”
      • By directly speaking to the reader, you build a stronger connection with them through your paper. If they feel closer to the topic or narrator, they might be more inclined to participate in an action or share the important information presented in your essay. 
  • The Big Picture:
    • If you don’t need a “call to action” statement, it would be a good idea to somehow get your audience involved in the issue at hand. Instead of addressing your audience directly, you could draw attention to society, in general. If I wanted to change my end hook to a “big picture” statement, I might say, “Recycling is important to societies around the world and will some day save all human kind…etc.”
      • Apply the topic to not just the reader or yourself, but to the population as a whole.

Well, hope that was helpful, guys, gals, and pals.

Never hesitate to put a little flare and creativity in an essay :).

– Ashley Lunsford


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