7 Ways to Write a Good Hook for a Research Paper
By Space Coast Daily // November 9, 2021
A research paper is long and complex, and it can take a massive effort to turn a pile of research into a coherent argument with a clear and compelling thesis. But all of the work that you do on your research paper won’t amount to anything if you don’t have a great hook to lure the reader in from the first line.
After all, a paper that starts in a boring or generic way just won’t have the same impact as a paper that makes the reader wonder what is going to happen next. In this article, we’ll take a look at seven proven strategies for writing a great hook to draw the reader in and set them up to look favorably on your paper.
So, you might ask, why do you need a great hook? Isn’t your instructor paid to read your paper no matter what? There is a good reason that you should use a powerful hook in your paper every time: Your instructor will read dozens, if not hundreds, of essays, and most of them will be boring.
You want your instructor to be predisposed to think positively about your paper, and providing an exciting and compelling opening will help to get your instructor psyched up to read your paper and ready to give it high marks. After all, you don’t want to bore your instructor or make the instructor think you didn’t put time, effort, and creativity into your assignment.
That’s why you should choose an opening strategy like these:
Ask an Interesting Question
People are curious, so if you ask them a question that piques their curiosity, you’ll be more likely to get them interested in reading your paper. A good opening question is open-ended rather than close-ended and gives the audience something to think about and wonder about.
It should not be a yes-or-no question. And most importantly: When you ask a question to open your essay, you should be sure that you provide the answer before the end of the essay so the reader doesn’t feel deceived.
Make a Powerful Declaration
This hook makes a strong and compelling statement about a topic, taking a stand that the rest of the essay will back up. This kind of hook can be engaging when the strong statement is unusual, counterintuitive, or especially impactful. But you need to be careful with this kind of opening because it can also turn far too easily into a generic opening that simply states a fact that the reader already knows, lessening the overall impact and leaving the reader feeling bored.
Make sure that the declaration you make has an impact and that readers will find it compelling rather than rote.
Open with a Dramatic Fact or Compelling Statistic
You can grab attention with a compelling statistic or a dramatic fact that makes the reader stop and take notice. The more impressive the number or intriguing the fact, the more your reader will want to learn more about it. That doesn’t mean that just any fact will do.
You can’t tell the reader something bland or common knowledge they already know and expect that the reader will want to learn more. The facts need to be new to the reader and so amazing that the reader wants to learn more.
Use Figurative Language
Opening a paper with a metaphor or a simile is a great way you lure the reader in with something unusual and intriguing. For example, you might make an unexpected comparison to spark the reader’s imagination and make them more interested in learning more about the reasoning behind your ideas. Consider this: A husband is not really a pig, but he often behaves like one. That makes you wonder where the paper will go from there.
Begin with an Intriguing Anecdote
A great way to start your paper is with an anecdote that will draw the reader in with an interesting story. It’s a fact that people like stories, and people tend to remember information embedded in stories better than raw information on its own. When you use a brief but fascinating anecdote, you’ll get the reader’s attention and set them up to remember your essay better. But be sure the story you tell is brief—a story that’s too long will overwhelm the essay.
Open with a Description
Similar to an anecdote, a descriptive hook will use a vivid word picture to set the scene and draw the reader in from the very first line. The more vivid it is, the stronger your opening will be.
Start with a Compelling Quotation
One of the most-used openings is the compelling quote. Opening with someone else’s words can draw interest, as long as the quote itself is interesting and memorable. Otherwise, your opening could be bland.
If you need help with your paper, you can pay someone online to provide you with a compelling opening or help with any other part of your academic paper.
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Again, why does your scientific project need a hook? When you create a research proposal in college, hooks can help attract attention to your writing and increase your chances for a better grade or additional benefits (like a scholarship for research, for example).
We do hope that the tips above were helpful, and now you know enough to start your research paper with an engaging hook. To make sure you have understood everything we said correctly and now can use it freely, write several test hooks and ask your peers to assess them. Practice, as always, makes perfect.