Picture this: A solitary student sits alone in a college dorm staring at a softly glowing laptop screen. A bag of chips drips little orange crumbs down the student’s unwashed sweatshirt. The lights are low. The screen is bright, and the cursor blinks on a blank word processor document. Our student friend can’t figure out how to start an essay and is trapped in limbo waiting for inspiration to strike. You, however, don’t have that problem because you’ve read this article and can see how a dramatic and intriguing opening can help create a compelling and fascinating start to your paper.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some ways to create a great hook for your essay. But before we do so, there’s one important tip that can help make the process go so much faster: Leave your hook for last.

It might seem like you need to start the writing process with the first sentence, but that isn’t the case. Instead, try writing your body paragraphs first. Then, once you’ve finished the body of the essay, you’ll be in a better position to understand the best way to lure your reads in with something interesting and compelling. You might find it helpful to look to your conclusion for clues for the best way to hook your reader. You want your introduction and your conclusion to work together.

So, what might be some of the best ways to hook your reader into your essay? There are a few general strategies that work well.

Create an Engaging Hook for Your Essay

Again, we cannot stress it enough — your professor has to read your essay, no matter how well the hook is written, but you need to try your best to make it engaging. Do you even imagine how many essays your teacher or professor has to read within a year? Within one month? WIthing semester? If you become a student whose essays are not boring at least, it is a good start. 

  1. Use a compelling quotation. Starting with an interesting quotation is a great way to open an essay and interest the reader in what you have to say. A quotation can connect your essay to a famous person or offer a thoughtful point of view or perspective that no one else could say better than the original. That said, there is something to be careful of. First, a quotation needs to be interesting. It can’t just be a boring regular sentence. Second, your quotation shouldn’t be a dictionary definition. That’s a cliché and a dull opening to an essay. Avoid using a definition and instead stick with what’s interesting. Also, avoid using quotations in a source of which you cannot be sure 100%. We bet, you have seen many similar quotations attributed to different people — from Homer to Bruce Li. Check your sources very carefully, double check, and if you are still not sure, don’t use this question, no matter how suitable it looks.

  2. Start with a dramatic fact or statistic. Another great way to open your essay is to use a dramatic fact or statistic. Using a piece of interesting or compelling data will shock your audience and make them interested in learning more. Consider, for example, the difference between making a generic statement and providing specific factual proof. Saying lots of people drive drunk before getting into an accident is generic but saying that the average drunk driver drove drunk 80 times before their first arrest is much more specific and compelling. Using specific research and compelling facts both shows your audience that you are a competent researcher and compels them to want to read and learn more. Numbers give weight to your paper. Numbers show you respect the subject. Numbers are highly academical. We always advise students to go an extra mile to find some compelling statistics to go with an essay, even if it is not required by your professor. Starting with statistics is a great way to attract attention. 

  3. Begin with a telling anecdote. Readers respond well to stories. Studies have found that readers will remember a story more than they will a statistic or piece of factual data. Beginning with a compelling anecdote will help to create intrigue and bring your readers into your essay. There are a number of characteristics of great anecdotes. First, they need to tell a compelling story. As should be obvious, the story needs to attract interest. Second, the story needs to connect to your topic. The most interesting story in the world won’t help you if it doesn’t have a deep connection to the essay itself. Third, your anecdote needs to be brief. The story can’t go on so long that the audience loses interest or begins to wonder why they are reading about it.

Choose a Right Strategy for Your Essay Assignment

The strategy that you choose will depend in large measure on the choices you make in writing your essay and what you feel will harmonize best with the content. For example, a humanities essay might benefit from an anecdote more than a psychology essay, where a statistical opening might harmonize better.

If you are having difficulty with your essay’s opening, or any other part of your papers, there is a legit way to get the help you need online. You can contact professional essay services like Smart Writing Service and get custom writing help from pro academic writers. Such experts are always standing by to provide expertise that will help you with your toughest essay writing challenges. All you need to do is to contact them and say “Please write my paper for me!”, and they will spring into action to help you by delivering the best quality essay at an affordable price. Seeing how an expert would approach your topic can help you to develop your paper in a way that will empower you and ensure your paper will be the best it can be.

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