6 Good College Essay and Research Paper Hook Examples

6 Good College Essay and Research Paper Hook Examples

Published by on 2021-06-30 14:46:38

Many students often struggle with writing the first lines of their academic papers. It’s always hard to start. However, learning how to do it right is an absolute must if you want to deliver one successful paper after another. Knowing the techniques of how to complete a good paper will help you in this pursuit. With this task, you have to deliver great content along with an inviting appearance and alluring style. Truly, it is your wording and writing style that first bring people in. Making a lasting good first impression here is the key to success. Nothing is more important at this stage than having a really strong hook in the first sentence of your introduction. Though, it’s easier said than done. 

Indeed, finding good college essay hooks is a rather challenging task. You have to take into consideration many factors, from the assignment’s type to the overall tone of your narrative. For example, the examples of hooks for argumentative essays will be rather different than those for a descriptive or personal essay. Hence, you have to understand and consider each type’s specifics before you put down your first sentence. 

At the same time, learning how to write a hook for an argumentative essay will be no different from learning how to do it for other types of academic papers. Why? Well, because to learn how to do it, you need to understand its purpose. After that, you just need to learn the specifics and variety of opening sentences. 

How to Write Good Hooks for an Essay

The purpose of a hook is to interest and engage your potential audience into further reading. Hence, whenever writing it, you should ask yourself a question, “Does this opening invite people in? Is this sentence intriguing, interesting, and promising?” Your work is done once the answer to these questions is “Yes.” Neglecting the role of a great opening can lead to grave consequences. 

You can have a great paper. You can complete wonderful research, find unique and relevant data, offer an interesting take on the topic, and write with a great sense of style and humor. You can do all of that and yet not have anyone read your work. Why? Well, because you failed to grab your readers’ attention with the very first sentence. They didn’t get a chance to see how good your work is since they didn’t see it in your introduction. That should not happen to you. That is why you should learn more about the interesting hooks for essays and how to apply them. Here are the most common types you should know about: 

  • quotation;
  • storytelling;
  • data and statistics;
  • a question;
  • thesis statement;
  • common misconception;
  • definition or fact.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these good hooks for essay examples.  


As we have mentioned above, the types of essay hooks may vary depending on the type of paper you are writing. However, the quotation type is the one that can fit most academic works. It’s easy to write. It’s universal, and it’s more common than you may even think. Still, the popularity of this type speaks only about its benefits. You can use these hooks for an argumentative essay as well as for personal essays. Use quotes from the authors you reference in your research or seek famous literary quotations online. 

Of course, if you prefer to go with a less common trope, you surely can. 


Starting a personal or descriptive essay with a story can be a great beginning to your work. Such an opening is also a great way to start a college admission paper. In addition, you get to set the tone of your work by opening up with a personal observation. Typically, such stories must be non-fictional and link to the general theme of the text. 

Thesis Statement 

Whenever you are at a loss of how to write a good hook for a research paper, start with a thesis statement. Of course, such a beginning is not so common when it comes to academic writing. Most often, a thesis statement is mentioned somewhere at the end of the interdiction. The thesis is the main idea of the introduction and the whole purpose of the entire paper. Hence, typically, students prefer to slowly bring their readers to the point where they introduce their main idea of their work.

However, sometimes, it seems reasonable to start with your thesis. You can use it to draw your readers’ attention and engage them in further reading by cutting straight to the point. When you start your work that strongly, you demonstrate your confidence in the nature of your research. 


If a thesis statement is a perfect way of writing a hook for a research paper, then stating a common misconception is a perfect way to start a compare and contrast essay. You get to start by referring to the side of the argument that you deeply disagree with. Wherever you write a paper on a topic that has rather contradictory opinions around it, try starting with a misconception. People will immediately see that you have done your research and can tell right from wrong. Plus, people who have their opinion on the matter will be interested to learn your stand on the issue. 

A Question

Starting a paper with a question can be a great way to draw people’s attention. Once they have read your question, they need an answer. That’s just how human nature works. Hence, they’d continue reading just to make sure the answer is somewhere in the text. Curiosity is a powerful thing, and you have to use it to your advantage. 

You can start with the question that you intend to reveal in your thesis statement. You can also set a question that you have no intention of answering. This rhetorical question will be for your readers to think about once they are done reading your work. 

Data and Statistics 

Many argumentative essay hook examples refer to data and statistics. Such an opening would give a hint at where you are going with your research, no matter whether the study is sociology, geology, anthropology or history. It will give away enough information to interest your readers, though not too much to kill the suspense. Beginning your paper with some solid numbers will show your knowledge of the issue and provide readers with some food for thought. 

The Bottom Line 

As you can see, the best essay hooks are those you apply specifically to your paper type. You can pick from a variety of options. However, the best solution here would be to simply follow the requirements of your assignment. As long as you need to write a formal piece, use opening sentences that cut straight to the point. If you are working on a rather creative piece, feel free to search for inspiration from famous literary quotes and personal observations. 

Overall, when it comes to different types of hooks for essays, you should seek the ones that you personally find interesting and inviting. As long as you like your opening sentences, others will do so as well. Don’t neglect a good hook when you have a chance to start with it. This technique will earn you the undivided attention of your readers.