How do you start a college essay?

You could ask a question, like we did here, or introduce an interesting fact regarding the topic. It's also a valid way to use statistics to support the thesis.

All of these ideas are called a hook, and it is necessary to engage the reader from the first lines of your essay. In other words, you ‘hook' their attention with something that catches their interest.

Hooks are an important part of any written work, and not just for college. So, we decided to dedicate an entire guide on how to write a hook for an essay to get you started.

Let's dive in!

What is an Essay Hook?

What is a hook in an essay, and what's its purpose?

An essay hook is an opening statement aiming to attract and grab the reader's attention and encourage them to continue reading.

A hook is always about something specific. So, if you want to find a good hook for essay, you'll have to look for some facts or ideas that aren't too general. Regardless of your essay topic, you should always use an attention-grabber relevant to it and relatable to your reader.

Now, let's go through a few tips on how to write a good hook for an essay.

How to Write a Hook?

You might be tempted to start an essay with your personal experience or something related to your own opinions, but it is not always applicable. Such a hook can work for descriptive essays on topics asking you to describe a life event or something similar, but it wouldn't work for argumentative or persuasive essays where you need to be objective.

So, the first tip on how to write a hook for an essay is to consider the type and topic of your essay. Here are some more recommendations:

  • Study your thesis. Think about what would interest the reader in the essay thesis and pick the fact that would help them understand it better.
  • Give away a few details. You can use a hook that gives a sneak peek into the main idea of your essay, but don't give too much away to not spoil the fun.
  • Consider appealing to emotions. If your essay type and topic allow it, think about adding some emotions to your hook that would make the topic more relatable for the reader.

If you're having trouble adding the right hook in essay, you can ask professional writers at our college paper writing service for help. They have vast experience in academic writing, so they will help add a relevant and appropriate attention grabber to the introduction to your paper.

Now, let's speculate where you can look for solid essay hook ideas.

Where to Find Ideas for Great Hook Writing?

You have more essay hook ideas at your disposal than you think. Here are some sources:

  • Browse your research. If some studies contain interesting statistics or facts, you can use them as a hook for essay.
  • Use your title as the idea generator. Since the essay title is the first thing that grabs the reader's attention, you can create a hook that will be the continuation of the message delivered by the title.
  • Ask a question to reiterate the problem. Which issue is your essay addressing? You can ask the reader a question regarding this problem and use it as a hook in essay.
  • Make a statement. This is the opposite of the previous tip - you can make a statement that will debate your thesis and emphasize the problem.
  • Come up with a story. It can be of your own making or taken from history. Whichever you choose, make sure the reader can relate to it.

Now, as you have a better understanding of how to write an essay hook and where to look for it, let's turn to the main types of hooks you can use.

Different Types of Essay Hooks

Here's the list of all the hooks possible to use in an essay:

  • Questions
  • Literary quotes
  • Misconceptions and conflicting statements (be careful with this one)
  • Anecdotes
  • Personal story
  • Definition
  • Storytime
  • Thesis statement
  • Statistics
  • Results of a study, poll, survey, or research
  • Scenes from real life or fiction

As we've mentioned repeatedly in our guide on how to write a good hook for an essay, it is crucial to keep in mind the topic and intent of your essay. Also, your professor might not allow you to use any conflicting statements or misconceptions, so ask them before you get to the writing process.

Follow These Steps to Using Essay Hooks

Now, to conclude our thoughts on how to write a hook for an essay, let's reiterate each step on how to come up with an attention-grabbing starter for your paper and use it appropriately.

Step #1: Consider the essay topic

Remember - the hook is the continuation of the essay topic. It should represent the message delivered by the topic and not break the balance of the narrative. 

Step #2: Think about your audience

It is also crucial to consider the intent your readers will have before checking out your essay. Understanding this intent will help you make your paper more relatable.

Step #3: Analyze the purpose of your hook

What would you like the reader to experience when they start reading your paper? Do you want them to wonder, argue, or look for answers? Try to understand the purpose of your hook before you choose one of the types listed above.

Step #4: Write the hook after the essay is ready

We usually recommend students write the introduction to an essay after the paper is ready. The same goes for the hook. When you're done with the whole paper, you will have a better understanding of the topic and will be able to come up with a more successful essay hook.


What is a hook in an essay? What's its goal, and where can you find a good one?

We've answered all these questions and more in our guide. Hopefully, it will help you in the process of writing your next essay and will bring you the best grade in class.

And, if you still have problems with writing an essay or any other college paper, why not let us help? Our professional writers can deliver a task of any complexity with the best hooks to grab the attention of your readership!