I would have written numerous essays back in my day. My favourite Car, My Mother, My Favourite food etc. No guidelines were given and we just wrote freehand. Little did we know that there is a method of writing an impressive essay.
Would you be interested in a story about a dog biting a man or a man biting a dog?
Obviously, about the man biting the dog!
and the questions that will come to your mind would be:
- Why did the man bite the dog?
- What was the dog doing?
- When and where did this happen?
- Who was this man?
- How did the dog react?
These are what is called the 5 w’s and 1 h of powerful essay writing.
So the hook of your story/essay has to raise these questions in the mind of your audience. To attract the audience and grab their attention and of course to keep them.
Using strong verbs as we spoke about in the last piece will make your writing interesting. But the most important part is getting them to begin reading it.
If you ever started reading a book and was unable to put it down. THAT was not an accident. The writer puts in the effort to intrigue and piques your interest and you had to continue reading it because you wanted to know the answers to the question it posed…. could be what happens to the character next or could be the answer to questions you were always curious about.
The story starter or hook as we call it is the most important part of your writing and everything else comes later. Now how do you write a good hook?
Even though there’s no particular formula for writing the perfect hook sentence, there are ways you can approach all of your stories to draw your audience in, hold their attention, and leave them hankering for more.
Questions to ask yourself before writing a hook include:
• Does your story solve a particular problem for a specific audience group?
• Do you want to tell people something interesting about yourself, an incident or a product?
• Is your reader in search of specific information?
• Do you want to show your audience that you understand a particular topic?
• Is your story meant to entertain or educate?
The 3 Questions to Ask when writing an Impressive Essay
1. Who are you writing for?
2. What is important to your audience?
3. What news is currently trending?
Because your hook must take into account why your story is relevant, it’s also important to know what other hot issues are currently trending in the media. Turn simple story ideas into hot topics by infusing your hook with a trending topic is the recipe for a powerful essay.
Sample Essay Hooks
Type of Hook
– General Patton once said, “If a man does his best, what else is there?”
– When Hillary Clinton said “we must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society,” she highlighted one of the biggest issues in American politics.
– There was nothing more isolating than being alone in a foreign country, with no cell phone, no money, and no ability to speak the language.
– It was Christmas of 1995 when my parents taught me a valuable lesson: always expect the unexpected.
– Have you ever wondered what you would do if you couldn’t fail?
– What’s the one thing you can do to make the world a better place?
– China is going to spend $850 billion to clean up its water supply over the next decade.
– Ancient Egyptians used heavy eye makeup to keep evil spirits at bay and to protect their eyes from infection.
Simile or metaphor
– When I first went to Japan, it was like a baby bird trying to fly for the first time.
– The high rate of poverty in America is the country’s elephant in the room.
Where to Start
A great hook starts with a subject (what you are writing about and why it matters to your reader) and then launches into an interesting angle (i.e., your unique approach to the subject).
A strong hook sentence or paragraph might include any one of the following:
• Ask a question.
• Be descriptive and paint a vivid picture of the scene.
• Create a mysterious situation that the reader just has to get to the bottom of.
• Startle the reader with a fact.
• Be inspirational and start with a quote. (look at examples given to understand. )
We would like you to use all these ideas we have discussed so far and send in your writing pieces that we can discuss. So start writing and we will learn to edit it and improve it to make it better.
Looking forward to seeing you use these skills and read your stories.