hook meaning in english essay

hook meaning in english essay

Exploring the Meaning of “Hook” in English Essay Writing

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1. Introduction

Due to the importance of hook, writing books always mention about finding hook, but those hooks mean at least two different concepts, lead-in and hook. However, those books do not explain the difference between them, rather confuse readers who are troubled to make their hook. To prevent readers from being confused, it is necessary to make clear the differences. In spite of their similarities, in terms of content, a lead-in is basically different from a hook. These differences are closely related to its purpose, the information focus. Thus, the distinction between a hook and a lead-in is mainly decided by its purpose and information focus of content. To precisely recognize two types of hooks, it is requisite to review systematically how writings have been defined and classified. In the next chapter, I will investigate this topic, and review some previous studies on hooks.

Hook, which is often the first sentence in an essay, is important for catching reader’s attention. So, people exert many efforts on finding hook. However, they commonly choose the wrong hooks and fail to carry out their purposes. In this study, I will examine 34 undergraduates’ writing experiences and how they understand the meaning of hook differently. The subjects, who were enrolled in an advanced English writing course in a national university in South Korea, stated that hooks are what readers find first when they start to read essays; based on them, the first impression on essays is made.

2. Defining “Hook” in English Essays

On reviewing some 2013 to the present revision booklets, exercises, essays, and rubrics posted by English teachers on their websites, the word “hook” was not found, though “beginning,” “introduction,” and only rarely “a hook,” “an engaging beginning,” or “a lead” were used. In contrast, in 2021 revision presents, exercises, essays, and rubrics on teachers’ websites in middle and high schools, “an engaging beginning,” “a hook,” and “lead” are more frequently used. And as mentioned above, hook is being found in writing textbooks. The intention of the present study was to explore how teachers are addressing the term hook within their middle and high school English Language Arts and composition classes. This information will allow me to inform English teacher educators about current practice in the field, and will enable English teacher educators to do more research into this aspect of the essay and present writing teachers with results and suggestions that may be disseminated among the teacher population to design and align writing activities.

Exploring the meaning of “hook” in English essay writing. “The hook” is a term used in recent years to signal the first one, two or more sentences of an English essay that are intended to capture a reader’s attention. As defined in The American Heritage Dictionary, a hook is a trap or a snare (or something else that catches), and in its definition of “hook” in Humanities Language Arts course material, Core Knowledge Foundation describes a hook as something that pulls the reader into the piece of writing and makes it compelling. Another way to think of the term is as the tap on the shoulder that says, “Hey, reader! Look here.” And along with that tackle, the reader is meant to be engaged in the essay until the final period. The elements of writing hooks are now found in many writing textbooks, and they are part of essay writing instructions to students in middle and high schools. Teachers say they “guide” students “with creating a hook.”

3. Importance of a Strong Hook

Although the process of essay writing has largely seen little or no change during the past 40 years, students today need as few as 1000 words to be up to date in a social media society where attention deficit seems to restrain curated content to 280-character tweets and photo captions. For those who may think the parts of an essay are remedially too immature to compare to the complexities of the thesis and of the conclusion, those parts, respectively, have rhetorical duties to invite a reader into and to provoke him or her to deeper readings of the autoethnographic, dialectic engagement of the wants of mind in the body, and in the passionate anagnorisis, or the discovery of those housed by tacitly collective disciplines of the soul. Before there can be a glare, there must be a dimming, a pullback, and then a gradual retightening of the interest toward the essay’s purpose, where engagement will properly discolor the diaphanous epiphany. Reviewing the demands for the work of the hook is significant to understanding why this application in English composition remains so bristly to define.

Gunning: The hook is the essay’s adolescent stage, its creative struggle to grow a fully mature contextualization. As the thesis of an essay shapes a reader’s reason to read, a robust hook offers the reader an incentive to proceed far enough to find the wants of mind, which are carefully aligned with the reward of provision that politely, respectfully, discreetly, and persuasively lead a reader to their as-yet-undefined wiser self, which then concludes the essay’s aha moment. But a thesis is a bully, needing to be so self-defining that it promotes its orderly resolution of ideas. A hook, however, is like a lover who prefers the wooing to the capitulation — indeed, the subplot of an essay parallel the linear development of the hook, following the gradual rewiring of the reader’s wants of mind.

4. Types of Hooks in Essay Writing

However, the linguistics students are quite concerned about the quantity of selection among these kinds of those Openings, rarely being exposed to changes in selection with regard to good academic essay writing because the ‘good’ class is focused especially on the content of the hook sentence. Consequently, almost all Opening Formulas applied by undergraduate students, by itself, may not be as insufficient or clichéd as their repetition or inadequacy in terms of the properties, such as attention-arousing ability, perspective creating, non-challenge-threatening capability etc. that a hook must have. Since the method offers by the teacher is generally based on the teacher’s own method during that kind of lesson (e.g. either based on the required content in an abstract, subjective, or describe-the-situation topic; or on the required areas of interest—memory, reality, fantasy, or story in general due to thinking where the reader can identify with), opportunities for autonomous study in the first-year student essay draft writing stage may be predominantly overlooked. In addition to that, we suspect that students think employing the Opening Formula and constructing an introductory hook are the same in task and simultaneously are not likely to frequently write just a hook sentence. Therefore, the students are less able to notice a hook aside from a synopsis and they mainly agree if both openers should be the same, assuming that a beginning always needs to reveal the topic and why it is significant (why it matters or should matter to the general community).

In the writing of students’ essay introduction sections, we find many nationals find this task challenging. Our undergraduates’ responses to the questions of which method is preferred to employ showed the prevalent adoption of the Opening Formula. It is often noted that the students prefer using these formal types; that is, narrating a scenario in a generic or existing wrap-up way. Often this is just because they are easier to write since students are offered with ideas probably from past education or beneficial sources accessed primarily for an English lecture.

3. The types of hooks applied in EFL academic essay writing

5. Crafting an Effective Hook

One specific way to make something challenging more approachable and relatable, then, is by telling a compelling story. A story offers readers the opportunity to better understand and engage with the essay’s call-to-action. However, because the hook has the potential to set the tone for the whole essay, a poor choice could hamper reader interest in the essay subject. To avoid this outcome, writers might reference a personal experience connected directly to the topic at hand when crafting the intro. And while this personal reference is not necessarily important, most writers find it easier to write a story that has a personal connection because it is an experience that only they carry in their backpack.

Some essayists argue that examples used in introductions are often bad sources for the essay’s body or conclusion, failing to establish a meaningful connection to the subject at hand. To be effective in an introduction, however, the usefulness of these examples lies in how well they provide a bridge between writer and reader. When examples are chosen well, they have the potential to reflect how both writer and reader may need to think critically about and navigate the topic under discussion. If this does not occur, the examples are likely poorly chosen, failing to draw readers’ attention to the essay’s main subject. Using appropriately chosen examples can provide readers with a framework upon which they can hang comfortably as the essay unfolds.

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