Answered By: James Whitmer
Last Updated: Jun 02, 2020     Views: 1

A hook or attention-grabber is the first sentence of an essay, and its purpose is to catch the reader's attention to encourage them to read further. To accomplish its goal successfully, a hook must have the following qualities:

  • be surprising or interesting enough to pique the reader's curiosity
  • be clearly connected to the essay's topic
  • set the right tone for the rest of the essay (e.g. funny, serious, sad, angry, etc.)

The most common successful techniques for starting an essay are with a short story, a quote, a little-known fact, a vivid description, or a question. Those are all great methods for introducing a topic in an interesting way while setting the essay's tone. In contrast, it is recommended you avoid starting an essay with a dictionary definition or an obvious fact because most readers don't find such methods very interesting.

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