In an essay, it's important to "hook" your audience in the opening statement to capture their attention and draw them in. The best hooks are unique, provocative and clearly demonstrative of the subject of the essay. Coming up with an enticing hook can be difficult, but there are a few guidelines that you can use to facilitate the process. With a little practice, you will be writing hooks like a professional.

Step 1

Just write. Save the hook for last. Starting an essay can be difficult, particularly with the added pressure of coming up with an intriguing introduction.

Step 2

Make a list of the primary ideas discussed in the essay and pick the one that you think is the most intriguing.

Step 3

Outline an example that illustrates the idea. You can use a personal, hypothetical or descriptive example. For instance, if you are writing an essay about the effects of war on family, you could outline an example of a mother being told her son was killed in action.

Step 4

Think of a metaphor that demonstrates the idea you are trying to convey. For example, you could say, "War is like a rabid dog that infects everything it touches." Avoid using metaphors that are cliche.

Step 5

Briefly describe a scene that emphasizes the point of your essay. For example, "Gunfire crackled around her, but all she could think about was the creek where she and her brother used to catch frogs."

Step 6

Ask a profound question that your essay attempts to answer. For example, "How does a soldier go back to the mundane tasks of cooking and cleaning and paying bills after experiencing the trauma of war?"

Step 7

Find a quote that is related to your essay. This should only be used as a last option, as many quotes are overused and it is better to convey unique ideas than reiterate someone else. An example of a war quote is, "All war is deception," taken from Sun Tzu's "The Art of War."

Step 8

Evaluate each of the ideas you brainstormed, including the example, metaphor, description, question and quote. Choose the one that is most intriguing.

Step 9

Develop your idea into a compelling, one-to-three-sentence hook.

Step 10

Place the hook at the beginning of your essay and connect it to the rest of the paper with a transitional sentence.