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How To Make Your Essay Interesting From The Very First Paragraph: Hooks For Readers

You only have a few seconds. Hook your reader right away, or be prepared to have their minds wander and your composition go unread. From the very first paragraph, you need to engage your audience immediately, and reel them into reading your paper in its entirety. Most people do not have a very long attention span, and few will read through more than a few lines before they decide whether or not to continue.

Different writers employ a variety of techniques to grab their reader's attention right from the get go. There are however, some commonly employed strategies that we would be delighted to share with you!

  • Create An Interesting Scene Or Scenario
  • Come up with a scenario which is unresolved or intriguing. For example, “The test tube flew to the floor, it's bloody contents seeping out across the floor....”What will happen next? What caused the test tube to fall? Why all the blood?

  • Jump In With A Pivotal Moment
  • Start off in the middle of a situation that is unfolding. “Her mother shouted at her to hide under the table, and trembling she did as she was told...”

  • Ask Or Imply A Question
  • Pique your reader's curiousity by asking a question to which they will then want to know the answer. For example, “Who was lurking behind the gate at this late hour?”

  • Open With A Highly Descriptive Scene
  • Create a picture in your reader's mind that transports them into your world of writing. “The sun was blazing down on the desert tarmac as the fighter jet rolled to a stop at the edge of the runway...”

  • Use A Compelling Narrative Voice To Start

Opening your composition with a personal statement or insight into a character or subject that will be a part of your composition. “The name I'd been given was Anne, although I had no idea where or when I had been born.” Right from the start your reader will want to know more about this mysterious character.

A Few Things To Avoid!

  • Avoid Introducing Too Many Elements At Once
  • Keep it simple to start. Avoid bringing in multiple arguments or facts from the first paragraph. You'll be in danger of creating confusion, and lose your reader right off the bat!

  • Too Much Detail Too Soon
  • Using a few descriptive lines can be great to set the scene, but don't get carried away.

    A long winded, detailed account of a rainy morning in your backyard is more likely to bore your reader than bring them into your work.

  • Don't Open With Dialogue
  • Your reader will not know who is talking, who is listening, and why (or if) the discussion is relevant. A narrative voice can work if you come up with a catchy opening line, but jumping in to the middle of a big discussion may overwhelm your reader.

These are just a few helpful hints to keep in mind the next time you start a composition. Grab your reader right from the start, and keep the interested all the way to the last page!