An essay is only effective if someone reads it. If an essay doesn’t get read, then it’s basically the same as not writing it at all. So, how do you get your audience to read your essay? The best way to do so is to open with a hook that will bring the audience in and get them interested in the essay they are about to read. However, knowing what makes for a good hook can be a little difficult. That’s why far too many essays open with clichés, especially the dreaded “dictionary definition” opening. Readers’ eyes roll back in their heads when a paper begins with “Merriam-Webster defines so-and-so as such-and-such….” Instead, you need to engage the audience with something exciting and compelling.
So, how can you get your audience interested in what you have to say? Here are a few proven strategies.
Open with a Quotation
One of the most common ways of crafting a hook is to shamelessly steal one from somebody else. Opening your paper with a quotation is a great way to get the audience interested, provided that the quotation you choose is compelling and exciting to start with. You should always choose a quotation that makes the audience want to read more. Never select something bland or boring. The ideal quotation will grab attention or pique curiosity. You should quote either someone famous enough that the audience knows who it is, or someone you discuss in your paper. Either way, the point is to be sure that the opening quote isn’t just compelling but also relevant. The audience needs to know that what they are reading is going to pay off later in the essay and connect to your paper’s key themes and information.
Open with a Compelling Fact
Another great way to open an essay is to hook the reader with a compelling fact. Tell the reader something they don’t already know that might be shocking, exciting, or fascinating. Use that fact to command their attention and make them interested to read on to learn what it means. In order for this strategy to be effective, the facts must be exciting and compelling. It can’t be dry, boring, or something the reader already knows. That kind of fact will make them more likely to pass on reading your essay. Instead, you need to think about what the average reader will find interesting and use that to bring the audience in and make them interested in learning more. As should be obvious, the fact that you used to start your paper should be related to the paper’s thesis and have a clear connection to the essay.
Open with a Dramatic Statistic
Similar to a compelling fact, a dramatic statistic is also a way to use a piece of information to make a powerful impression on your audience. The main difference between the two is that dramatic statistics have a more scientific, mathematical feel to them and create an aura of precision that will carry over into your main argument. When you choose to use a dramatic statistic in your essay, be sure that the statistic is surprising, shocking, and related clearly to your main idea. For example, a statistic that defies conventional wisdom is often a good choice, but as is one that shows that a problem or situation is much more pronounced or widespread than most people believe. Remember, your goal should be to shock the audience into wanting to read more. Just be sure your statistic is true!
Open with an Anecdote
One of the more engaging ways to hook the audience is with a brief but entertaining anecdote that brings the audience into your argument with an amusing, dramatic, or compelling story. Anecdotes can take many forms. Some anecdotes can involve personal experiences. Other anecdotes might involve historical events, accounts of scientific discoveries, or descriptions of an event or incident discussed in the essay. Their general rules for how to tell an anecdote are fairly straightforward: The story should be interesting or entertaining. The story should be relevant to the topic of the paper. And the story should be short. There is sometimes a tendency for students writing anecdotes to put in too much detail and use the anecdote to run up the word count. However, the anecdote should be brief and not take up a significant amount of space relative to the body of the essay. Most importantly, the ideal anecdote should be something that the audience hasn’t heard before. A story that is too familiar, even when interesting, will come across as a cliché and predispose the audience to think that the rest of the paper will be unoriginal and boring as well.
If you need help crafting the perfect hook for your papers, it’s easy to pay someone to do your essay for you. When you contact a paper writing service like WriterMyPaperHub and tell them “I need someone to make my essay for me great,” the online service will assign a writer to help you with the paper you need done. A professional writer can select an effective opening strategy and show you exactly how to develop it. Having a professional eye examine your assignment and develop the most compelling approach to your assignment can give you a profound advantage when you use the resulting model essay to write your own paper.