a recent study, 30% of all book readers will stop reading by page 50 and only
11% will make it to the end of the book. Meanwhile, a mere 16% of internet
users read a webpage word-by-word.
As a writer,
these are difficult stats to digest. After laboring for hours, days, months, or
years on your masterpiece, you
sincerely hope more than just a handful of readers will enjoy it. Luckily,
there is a way to increase the likelihood of this happening.
Grabbing the Readers’ Attention with
The key to
quality content lies in the first paragraph. Most often referred to as a essay hook
or lead, this introduction must capture the readers’ attention. Once you have
peaked their interest, readers are more likely to advance through your written
advertiser wrote; “Begin the copy with a lead that will tease, tickle or tempt
the reader." Sounds enticing, right? Want to know how to do it?
Here are six
different types of essay hooks or leads you can use to entice your readers.
piece with a summarization of the events that took place. Share the who, what,
when, where, why and how (or at least the most important of these things). Give
the readers an idea of where the story is headed.
usually associated with computers and technology still rallies to learn skills
like sewing, cooking, and child development through the high school’s home
Use a short
narration to tell a story. Usually, readers can identify with the characters or
situation. A narrative hook makes it easy for readers to get drawn in.
stressed, you grip the steering wheel until your knuckles turn white. You try
to focus on the instructions being given, but the gawking, laughing passersby
in the parking lot snag your attention instead. Oh, the joys of driver’s
descriptive words to help the reader hear, see, smell and feel the story. Create
a mental picture of the subject. Readers can actually feel the mood and
of grilled steaks melded with the scent of barbeque chicken. Catcalls and gears
of the opposing team were barely discernible over the boisterous fun of the
neighbors. Sweat trickled down my back as I contemplated my next move. All of
my senses were on overdrive as I gripped the cornhole bag in my hand. This last
toss would determine the outcome of the game."
writer can use a direct quote to set the stage for the piece. Choose a quotation
that is significant, stands out in importance, and gives a focus to the overall
story. This tends to be a fairly easy-to-use hook; as a result, it is often
overused. Use quotations sparingly.
tragedy. At the end of the day, people are dead and in response to tragedy, we
want to remember all those who were involved," a church member told NBC news.
popular, easy-to-implement hook is the question. While some refer to this as
the lazy man’s lead, it can still be effective. If the question challenges the
readers’ knowledge or curiosity, go ahead and use it. However, make sure the
question is central to the overall story.
“Do you want
to make more money? Of course you do! Who isn’t
searching for the next get-rich-quick scheme?"
a writer can use an exclamatory lead to snag readers’ attention. Use a short,
striking, startling statement that demands attention.
“Middle-class parents who welcomed a child
last year can expect to spend $300,000 over the next 17 years – and that
doesn’t include the cost of a college degree!"
time you sit down to write, think of ways to grab the readers’ attention. Use
the first paragraph to hook your readers and spark their interest.
About the Author:
This essay hooks article was written by Steve
Aedy. He is a full-time freelance writer and content manager at Fresh Essays, a company that
provides professional essay and research paper writing help and
editing services. He specializes in writing on literature, history and education related topics.
Done with Essay Hooks? Go back to Guest Posts.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.