Trust me, I know what I’m talking about
First off, why does the introduction need a hook?
An effective introduction always begins with an engaging hook. The hook starts a conversation with the reader in a way that is interesting and appropriate to the writing. A good hook demonstrates that you know your audience and that you understand what they care about. Most importantly, it makes the reader want to keep reading. A good hook prepares the reader to absorb the nitty-gritty details, facts, statistics and quotations that will be a big part of your text and evidence-based essay, and it does it in a way that motivates the reader to want to go down this path with you.
Begin this hook by introducing an expert on the topic who provides a knowledgeable perspective that supports your thesis. This technique immediately lends credibility to your writing. Look at the following example:
Type of essay: persuasive / argumentative
The prompt: Pit Bulls are commonly considered to be unpredictable and even vicious animals. They are frequently portrayed in the media as enough of a societal threat that they should be subject to stringent leashing requirements and prohibited from public spaces such as playgrounds and dog parks. Do you believe that pit bulls should be singled out and restricted because of their vicious natures?
Camryn Rogers is a professional dog trainer in Southern California and at any given time she owns or houses anywhere from seven to twenty dogs. You could say she is a bit canine-obsessed. Over time, Camryn has learned to reliably assess the relative temperament of most dog breeds. She even has developed a temperament scale which provides a ferociousness/ friendliness score for most common canine breeds. Surprisingly, pit bulls, dogs that are popularly considered to be very aggressive, tend to score in the “friendly” spectrum of this scale. According to Rogers, many of her most docile and loyal dogs are, in fact, American Bull Terriers or pit bulls. “They really are a very misunderstood breed”, says Rogers. Rogers is not alone in her defense of the breed. The evidence shows that despite frequent attempts by the media and public at large to portray pit bulls as vicious and savage animals, they are in fact a friendly and loyal breed, and any attempt to treat them as especially dangerous would be irrational and unfair. This paper will show that despite popular conceptions, pitbulls are statistically…
Why this hook works:
We tend to trust experts, and the expert dog trainer introduced in this hook not only brings a deep knowledge of dogs to the table, she also reveals something we don’t expect – pit bulls actually aren’t the vicious animals everyone would like us to believe they are. The hook works not only because the expert testimony creates a sense of trust and importance, but also because the testimony supports an interesting and unexpected point of view. Also notice how the hook smoothly transitions into the thesis statement.