Introduction to Persuasive Essay Writing: Hook Statements



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Introduction to Persuasive Essay Writing: Hook Statements

An essay's "hook" is something in the first paragraph--usually the first sentence or two--that draws the reader in and makes him want to continue to read. The hook's tone should match that of your essay (serious, humorous, academic), and it should support your central argument or main point. You might want to wait to write a hook until the rest of the essay has been written, so you will know what you want the hook to say and how you want to say it.


Sample Hook Statements:


  1. Opening with an unusual detail- This is something that people would likely not know and makes them want to read on to find out why.

    1. The pentagon has twice as many bathrooms as are necessary (Source to follow here).



  1. Opening with a strong statement

    1. Schindler's List graphically portrays the horrific acts of German concentration camps in World War two.



  1. Opening with a quotation

    1. Quotation: Hillary Rodham Clinton once said that “There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard” (Source to follow here).



  1. Opening with an anecdote- an anecdote is something that tells an amusing/ attention getting story.

    1. When my older brother substituted fresh eggs for our hard-boiled Easter eggs, he didn’t realize our father would take the first crack at hiding them.

    2. Yesterday morning I watched as my older sister left for school with a bright white glob of toothpaste gleaming on her chin. I felt no regret at all until she stepped onto the bus …



  1. Opening with a statistic of fact- Sometimes a statistic or fact will add emphasis or interest to your topic. It is necessary to include the source of your statistic or fact.

    1. "Seventy-two percent of Canadians have been directly related to a person, or persons, killed during WWII" (Source to follow here).



  1. Opening with a question- Questions can create personal interest in the essay, but be careful your question is not too general. For example, in an essay about cell phone use asking, “Do you own a cell phone?” is too general.

    1. What would you do if you discovered a secret that changed everything?

    2. Can you imagine how much a single day can cost if you live in Shibuya, Tokyo?



  1. Opening with an exaggeration or outrageous statement

    1. The whole world watched as the comet flew overhead.

    2. If the government cuts any more money from education, the entire country will crumble.



Group Activity

In groups of three, write a hook statement for each of the types of hook statements listed on this handout.

For the sake of this assignment, you can make up quotations, facts and statistics.

Write each of your hook statements on a piece of paper with markers large enough so people will be able to see them from their seats. Label each hook statement. Write your group members names on your paper. You should have 7 pieces of paper when you are finished.



This is a formative assessment graded using the codes: Got it, Almost Got it, Beginning to get it




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