Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Writing a Hook -- Hooking Your Reader

Some ideas for hooks include 

1.  an engaging question -- This sort of hook is overused, so try to be more creative than that!  

2.  an unusual detail or statistic,  a startling or striking fact 
        Before efficient extraction methods developed in the late 1880s, aluminum was VERY difficult to mine. As a result, pure aluminum was more valuable than gold. Napoleon gave banquets where the most honored guests were given aluminum utensils, while the   others made do with gold.  (This one is for an informational piece.) 

3. Vivid Description: Paint a word picture for your reader, focusing in on some object, place, or moment that connects to your general topic. If you can create memorable

imagery, your readers will be more likely to engage with your essay.
     Ponyboy Curtis could not hold his breath any longer. He fought desperately to hold his head out of the freezing water of the fountain. He thought he was drowning (Hinton 56).

3.  a strong statement or unexpected claim
“There are more slaves in the world today than at any point in
human history.” This statement seems to be false, but it is actually true. Beginning your essay with an unexpected claim can be very effective.

4.  an anecdote = a brief story
This could be about something you have experienced or something that happened to someone else.   When writing a formal essay, use third person even if telling your own story. 

5.  a quote from the book, or an applicable quote from another source. 

6.  Metaphor: Creating your own metaphor or analogy is a wonderful way to add style  to your writing. Beginning with your own comparison shows you understand so well that you can illustrate nuances through your own figurative language.
Mastering the metaphor should be a goal of any writer.

For example, last year our mock trial students used this metaphor:  The defendant was accused of causing a destructive wildfire.  Our defense attorney compared the rumors and  accusations against our client to a fire that was spreading out of control.