An essay's hook encourages the reader to continue reading by creating interest in your topic and writing style. Generally, the hook occurs early in an essay and uses one of several techniques, including quotes, short anecdotes or rhetorical questions.

Writing a Hook

One method of hooking your reader is including a quote from another source that is especially engaging or pertinent to your topic. Quotes are commonly taken from literary works or public or historical figures. Epictetus' statement, "Only the educated are free," could be used as a hook for an essay on the importance of formal education. Anecdotal hooks can also be very effective. These rely on the retelling of a story, usually told from personal experience. You might talk about your near accident when texting and driving before arguing for stricter penalties. The rhetorical approach presents a question to the reader to introduce an idea or make a point about a topic -- not to elicit an answer. You might ask "What's more important -- wealth or happiness?" The rest of your essay would support, say, happiness as being more important.