What Is a Hook Paragraph in an Essay?

Try different introduction styles to help you choose a hook that works best for your topic.

The hook paragraph gets your readers' attention and makes them want to continue reading. It is the introduction and the first paragraph of your essay. To build a “hook,” you need make a connection between your idea and the readers. They need to feel the information you convey is pertinent to some aspect of their daily lives. To convey your message and grab the readers' attention, you can try a few different methods.

1 Introduction Styles

2 When you have a story to tell

When you have a story to tell, you can open by setting the scene. Play to your reader’s senses, showing smells, tastes, sounds and sights, as well as the feel of objects. This may help pull memories to the forefront of the reader’s mind, associating those memories to your essay topic. You also can begin by giving a historical overview of the subject or by posing a question to the reader to force a connection. As well, quoting someone prominent in your topic also can give you the right hook to open your essay.

Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.