The first impression your academic paper will have on your audience will determine its success. Hence the need to write an engaging hook that convinces your audience to read your paper in its entirety. Read on to find out how to achieve this.

Hook Definition and Importance

A hook typically refers to the opening sentence(s) of a research paper. Its goal is to introduce your subject and grab your readers’ attention. There are several kinds of hooks. The hook you use will depend on various factors, including the essay topic and your target audience.

Types of Research Paper Hooks

Your choice of hooks for a research paper includes:

Surprising Fact

People love intriguing facts. So starting your term paper with a fact that provides your readers with relevant information is an excellent idea. However, ensure the information you present is relevant to your topic and obtained from a reliable source.


A quote from a well-known expert in your study area makes an ideal hook for a research paper. The quotation you select should be intriguing enough that your readers want to read your writing piece till the end.

Fascinating Statistics

Statistics or other information in data form show your readers what your paper is about, consequently convincing them to read it. Make sure to use data relevant to your essay’s main idea. And any numbers you present that your readers may not understand should be accompanied by a brief text showing their association with your subject.

Rhetorical/Provocative Question

Questions do not commonly serve as research paper hooks, unlike in articles, presentations, and informative or argumentative essays. Typically, you ask a question that your term paper should answer. Rhetorical questions are usually used in argumentative and persuasive writing to evoke an audience’s emotions.


A statement is the most popular kind of hook. A strong thesis statement can appeal to your readers’ curiosity and convince them to keep reading your paper.

Examples of Research Paper Hooks

These hook samples will give you an idea of how to begin an academic paper:

  • Global warming resulting from human impact causes more frequent and severe droughts.
  • There are more than 3.5 billion current smartphone users across the globe.
  • Can humans survive without water?

Tips to Write a Solid Research Paper Hook

  • Always know what the goal of your research paper is. Only then will you identify the suitable hook type for your writing project.
  • Carry out additional research from credible, authoritative sources to find thought-provoking hook ideas. Good sources include textbooks, scientific journals, study surveys, research reports, newspapers, interviews, et cetera.
  • Always build an outline, starting by crafting a thesis statement/ research question. Then consider the main points and evidence you’ll use to back up your claims. Having done that, plan the introduction and how best to engage your readers.
  • Do not include a surprising fact or shocking data that is not relevant to your research paper topic. Besides being relevant, the information presented should explain how the hook relates to your subject.

We hope this article helps you understand how to use effective attention grabbers to start your academic papers. Our tips, combined with your creativity, will help engage your readers and encourage them to get acquainted with the rest of your research paper.

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