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Interesting Ways to Start an Essay: Some Great Tips

If you compare a good essay to a tasty salad, you will be able to see that they have a lot in common. Essay paragraphs are like salad ingredients, linking elements are like the dressing, and the introduction is like a serving. An introduction makes the reader want to taste the essay, and if he or she likes it, it will be enjoyed until the end.

There are certain techniques to start an essay, which are called “hookers”. This is a term that was first introduced by Stephen King, a recognized authority in creating suspense. They range from the use of literary anecdotes to vocabulary entries, and are sure to grab the reader’s attention.

Here is a set of such strategies with examples:

  • Mention the thesis casually but directly.
  • “It is high time to disclose the mystery hidden behind the centuries of Halloween history. The holiday is not as festive and flippant as it seems to be …”

  • Entice the reader to do the research together with you by asking questions related to the topic; answer them yourself.
  • “Why do people neglect their family and friends to spend more time communicating with unknown people through social networks? Can online friends substitute real ones? Is one real friend better than one hundred online friends?”

  • Give an interesting piece of information about your subject.
  • “When Virginia Woolf’s sister started taking her first drawing lessons and executed her first pictures, little Virginia leaped to the conclusion that you have to stand up if you want to create something marvelous. So, she never sat to write her works. This, however, is not the only amazing feature of her literary career.”

  • Show that your thesis was an eye-opener to you.
  • “I was stunned to discover that James Joyce had a number of phobias that influenced his works greatly. If you scan through the first paragraph of Ulysses, you will immediately find two of them …”

  • Use a riddle, an anecdote, or a short humorous story related to the subject.
  • “The last man on the planet was awoken by a knock on the door. Here is an example of a short horror story that externalizes one of the deepest fears of humanity – the fear of the dead.”

  • Build your introduction on a contrast.
  • “Close your eyes and imagine a forest with venerable oaks, motley flowers, and humming bees. Now open them, and you are sure to see a scenery that is completely different. All of this is the result of irresponsible usage of natural resources.”


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