Essay Hooks for Writing a Winning Essay

Essay Hooks for Writing a Winning Essay

Starting a new paper is always a challenge. Somehow, those first words are never the right ones. Sounds familiar? Indeed, many students try to postpone writing an introduction until the very last moment. Some even delay starting the work at all since they are struggling with the first sentences. That is not the best way to go. At some point, you will have to write down those first few lines that make a beginning to your text. 

Fortunately, this task becomes so much easier once you learn how to master classic opening lines. Finding good hooks to start an essay can be the best boost of confidence and your writing abilities! So, let’s learn more about it.

What's a Good Hook for an Essay?

So what are we talking about here? A hook is a piece of writing (usually a sentence or two) that begins your text. Of course, it is placed in the introduction. The goal of it is to impress and interest your readers. Thus, you want to engage your audience with the very first sentence you offer them. The best hooks for essays will help you achieve exactly that. They will speak to people’s curiosity, thus, engaging your readers from the very first lines and have them hooked to reading further and further. 

How to Make a Good Hook for an Essay?

Learning how to make a good hook sentence for an essay should not be difficult. First of all, you should simply learn your options. There are multiple types of opening sentences that you can use in different writing assignments. Your goal here is to learn about those types, their similarities, and their distinctions. Once you understand your options and what you are dealing with, it’s easier to make one yourself. 

Here are seven hook ideas for essays that you can try out next time:

  1. Quotation.
  2. Story.
  3. Interesting question.
  4. Description.
  5. Fact.
  6. Statistic. 
  7. Thesis statement.

Now, every one of them differs from the others. Some can be a good choice for pretty much any essay or paper you write. Others have a rather specific niche where you can use them. It’s best to learn more about them before you make up your mind on which one you want to choose in your next work. 


Quotations are probably the most common option out there. These good hooks for essay examples must be something you’ve seen in a lot of academic papers and books. Well, there is a good reason why it is so. A quotation can do a lot of things for you at once. First, it can intrigue people and make them wonder what that was about. Next, it can define the theme of your text without giving away much information. 

Finally, it is a great attention grabber. People just can’t go past a good quote, which you can use to your advantage. Just make sure your quotation is relevant to the text. 


A short story or episode, preferably from personal experience, can be a great beginning for many reasons. A story evokes empathy. Your readers immediately connect to you as an author and start to sympathize with the issues you describe there. Here, you also choose a slow introduction to the nature of your work. Of course, the given hook will take more space than any other. It can be at least a paragraph in length. So, you must be sure such a beginning will be appropriate for the course you are doing it for. 

Interesting Question

We all hate unanswered questions. Put a question at the beginning of your essay, and you will earn yourself a reader. Now, once they have gotten into your trap, they have no other way out but to read your text to the end. Of course, this question must be regarding the issues you are discussing in the text. Your question can call to consider people’s opinion on the matter or evaluate how much they know about the subject of your work. You can answer your question right away or wait for the main body (or conclusion) and reward your audience with an answer there. 


The description is similar to a Story but with a few exceptions. First, a description doesn't have to come from your personal experience. Second, it is much shorter than a story. You can set a scene and describe it using only a sentence or two. For example, if you write about water pollution, you can describe the evidence of such somewhere in the North of your country. Only a few lines about how dead fish are lying on the shores or sick children nearby will draw a picture perfectly and engage readers. Just as with a story hook, though, you should consider the course you are writing for and the type of paper you are doing. Some papers do better with facts than descriptions. 


We all love learning new facts. When you open with a fact, your readers get to learn something right away. Hence, they already feel good about themselves and want to continue their journey with your text. Facts also provide specific, undeniable information about the topic of your text. That is why facts definitely make good hooks for informative essays. By starting with facts, you show how serious you are about providing relevant, reliable information to your audience. 


Some people love learning about the world through data and statistics. Well, make those people happy and shoot at them some statistics right away. If your paper is dealing with numbers, conducting research, or polls, you should feel free to start with the stats. Sometimes numbers can speak louder than words. Hence, you can give your audience some numbers they can think about throughout the text. You can also give some shocking but true statistics to surprise and interest your readers even more. 

Thesis Statement

Last but not least, you can always open with a thesis statement. Of course, typically, we place it at the end of the introduction once we have outlined the general information about the work. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t start with defining the purpose of your work. It’s a bold, unconventional move. Yet, it is also a power move that will give you a lot of credit from the very start. 

How to Choose the Right Hook Sentences for Essays?

Now, as you know about that variety of opening lines for papers, you must wonder, “How do I choose the right one for me?” That is a good question to ask. There are several ways you can determine the opening for your work. First of all, you have to judge by the type of assignment you are doing. A personal essay will do great with a personal story in the beginning when a research paper benefits from facts or statistics in its opening statement. Overall, the nature of your paper will be the first hint on what example of a hook in an essay will be appropriate. 

Next, you should make this decision based on your text. Does it prioritize data and facts over theories and discussion? Is your thesis statement the very star of the show? Can your introduction benefit from a personal story? All these questions will help you make the right choice. See what falls naturally into your narrative and flow of thoughts. 

To Sum up

As you can see, there are multiple ways to start your paper. You can go with some of the most popular of them. Of course, you can also experiment with more bold and creative openings as well. Overall, you need to pick a hook that sparks interest and curiosity in your readers. Only this way you can be sure they will continue reading your text. In addition, always pick an opening with consideration to your course and paper type. Always strive to find the best fit. Good luck!