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How to Write a Good Hook for a Research Paper: Guide

You can have a quality topic as you like and perform research and flawless writing to match your topic. Without a quality opening, however, you could lose your reader’s interest, washing all your effort down the drain.

How can you win your reader’s attention in a research paper? Ideally, the hook for a research paper should be logical and convince the reader of the relevance of your research topic. Here, we’ll highlight various tips on how to grab the reader’s attention and lay a foundation for various claims within your paper. 

What is a hook in a research paper?

A hook is a sentence that grabs a reader’s attention and turns their focus to the subject matter. A good hook should evoke a reader’s curiosity and set a base for your research objectives. 

How to hook a reader in a research paper

Your research paper hook varies depending on the research paper topic and the effect you want to create on the reader. Hooks for papers vary from factual hooks, rhetorical questions, and statement hooks to anecdotal hooks.

Without further ado, let’s check various types of hooks and highlight some research paper hook examples to guide you on employing various openings for your paper. 

  1. Statistical hooks

A statistical hook relies on factual data and figures to evoke a particular reaction from the reader. These statistics should be relevant to the topic and accurately represent the severity of your research problem. 

The statistics should be selected from a credible source and be relevant to your topic. Ideally, select statistics that highlight a research problem and build upon this information with your background study or research objectives.

e.g., According to, 80% of college students have abused drugs in the course of their college program. This data shows the severity of drug abuse in schools, raising a question about the approaches to curb this abuse. In this paper, we will analyse various approaches to control drug abuse in school and run interviews to determine the driving forces behind the high rates of drug use among students. 

  1. Rhetorical questions

Question hooks are a staple for a wide range of research paper topics. These questions should be open-ended to evoke curiosity towards the research problem. Rhetorical questions should also build upon each other to narrow your focus to the specific subject matter.

e.g., Why do college students abuse drugs? Are the impacts of drug abuse detrimental to academics or just another method to let off steam after a tedious day of study? Is it possible to curb the menace of drugs and substances within academic institutions? This paper will analyse the reasons for drug abuse in college and research methods that can be employed to deter drug use within school settings. 

  1. Statement hooks

These hooks are direct and straight to the point. A statement hook starts off with your thesis, allowing your reader to either agree or disagree with your stance. 

e.g., Modern teaching-learning methods are a frivolous indulgence with minimal academic returns. As such, teachers should revert to the traditional methods allowing learners to interact with content free of technological disruptions. 

  1. Quotations

Sometimes, you might struggle with opening an essay with a stand without making an emotive argument. When you are looking to open your opinion, we recommend that you start off with a relevant quote from an authority figure in your niche. 

This allows you to build on their arguments and also to build on their ideas as you introduce your perspective. 

e.g., ‘Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.’ Confucius. Although this quote is often thrown around, it has often been overlooked in academics with lecture methods making the bulk of teaching-learning methods in institutions. In this research, we will investigate the productivity of various teaching approaches to determine the best methods for teaching various subjects. 

  1. Narrate a scenario

When writing personal essays, you may opt to start off by narrating a scenario to tease your readers with the gist of your argument. This approach evokes curiosity in a reader while setting the grounds for your essay. 

e.g., No amount of preparation is adequate to prepare you for college. This was the harsh truth I discovered after my first week in college. How had I allowed this to happen? What would my parents think of me after finding out what I had done?

Final take

The importance of a hook in a paper cannot be overlooked. However, different topics may call for varying openings. These tips should come in handy to help you master your hooks and evoke the reactions you intend to get from your readers.

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