Here’s your chance to show off those storytelling skills.
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.
With this hook you drop the reader directly into a compelling scene or setting. This technique allows you to show off some of your narrative/ storytelling skills while setting the scene for a number of different types of essays.
Type of essay: persuasive / argumentative
The prompt: People have a natural, almost primal fear of rattlesnakes. Often the first reaction to seeing a rattler in a residential area is panic and fear. In areas such as such as suburban Southern California, is it possible for rattlesnakes and humans to coexist with one another?
Perfectly still, except for a flickering, forked tongue, lies a prehistoric-looking serpent, sunning itself on the terracotta tiles of somebody’s back porch. It’s eyes are black pinpricks, and its rusty-brown scales glisten like glass. Only when disturbed or annoyed does it sound it’s wickedly dry rattle. “Stay away away or suffer the consequences!” it announces rhythmically. While most cautious folks would take great care to give wide berth to such a creature, the residents of Southern California’s Northridge suburb have grown quite accustomed to the sound of the Mojave rattlesnake in a state of agitation. Does the rattling cause these residents to panic? Not really. The sound creates instead a healthy sense of cautiousness, curiosity and respect. Human beings and rattlesnakes seem a truly unlikely pair, but in many suburban regions of Southern California, Arizona and Nevada people and rattlers have coexisted in the most unexpected ways. You might even call the relationship downright amicable. This paper will focus on examples of…
Why this hook works
The fearsome image of an agitated rattlesnake on the back porch is bound get any reader’s attention. This hook is descriptive, even literary, and it capitalizes on the fear factor. Then it shifts to the unexpected — these deadly snakes aren’t that big of a deal to certain California suburbanites. The hook is effective for three reasons: it creates a sense of excitement; it switches gears unexpectedly; it transitions smoothly into the thesis. Give this technique a try.