An essay is only as strong as its hook. If you can’t grab your reader’s attention right within the first few sentences, you won’t have it throughout the rest of the essay, either. Don’t bore your reader! Instead, use a captivating hook to ensnare them from the first few words.
A hook can be something that is intriguing, hilarious, or even shocking. The goal of a hook is to create a powerful emotional connection with the reader. As the writer, you have a few options. You might consider beginning with a series of questions, a challenging statement, a little-known fact, a quotation, or some fascinating background information. For an essay containing an introduction to climate change, consider a few of the following hooks.
Start with a Quote
Find out a famous person who has touched the discussed issue. Make your audience mull over his/her words as well as provide their own thoughts.
- Start with a quote: “Climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and I think this is perhaps the most serious environmental issue facing us.”-Bill Nye
- Start with a quote: “Humanity faces many threats, but none is greater than climate change. In damaging our climate, we are becoming the architects of our own destruction. We have the knowledge, the tools, and the money (to solve the crisis).”-Prince Charles, U.K.
- Start with a quote: “Global warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening.”- James Hansen
Start with a Fact
Provide some interesting information about the particular issue you disclose. This will make your listeners and readers involved in the problem. Make sure the fact is on point and fresh that no one knows about.
- Start with a fact: “The planet’s average surface temperature has risen by two degrees Fahrenheit since the 1900s. This change is unrivaled by any others in recorded–or estimated–history.”
- Start with a fact: “2016 was the warmest year on record, with eight months setting record temperature highs around the globe.”
Start with a Question
Make your audience discuss the issue. This will help you not only make them interested in the problem but also present their own thoughts that might be also quite catchy to discuss.
- Start with a question: “What have you done lately to help prevent global warming?”
- Start with a question: “Think about how the weather has changed since you were a child. Has the weather gradually turned warmer? Colder? Perhaps you notice more snowfall or hotter summer temperatures. These are all caused directly by climate change and global warming.”
- Start with a question: “How does climate change affect you personally?”
Shock Your Audience
Tell something that will shock your audience. It will make them interested. But again, this has to be a real shock, not something that everyone is talking about for the last three years.
- Start with a shock: “Global sea levels have risen eight inches over the last century. In the last two decades alone, the rate of rise has nearly doubled. This is a direct cause of melting ice caps and increased global temperatures. If this rise continues, entire countries, such as Bangladesh, could be underwater.”
- Start with a shock: “If everyone in the world lives as Americans do, it would take five Earths to produce enough resources. Just five countries, including the United States, contribute to more than 50 percent of the world’s harmful CO2 emissions.”
What do all of these hooks have in common? They tell you just enough information to get you interested but want to learn more at the same time. It is often difficult to write a stellar hook until you have already–or nearly–finished writing your essay. After all, you often don’t know the direction your paper is going to take until it is completed. Many strong writers wait to write the hook last, as this helps guide the direction of the introduction. Consider drafting a few sample hooks and then choose the best. The best essay will be the one that involves revision and updating–keep trying new hooks until you find the perfect, most intriguing, hook of them all.