More Examples

The following are examples of alternative ways to start the same essay using different hook strategies. Notice how each paragraph also transitions from the hook to the thesis statement.

Personal Anecdote Hook Strategy

My parents told me never to go swimming by myself; they claimed it was too dangerous. But one summer when I was 13, there was a particularly scorching day, and I needed to cool down. I trekked down to the beach near our house to go for a quick swim. The ocean looked clear and inviting. However, within moments of immersing myself in the cool water, I was thrust away from the shore by an aggressive rip current. My arms flailed, and I cried for help, but the water kept pulling me farther away from shore, and there was no one in sight. For a few minutes, I was sure I was going to die. Luckily there was lifeguard on duty who spotted me from the tower before it was too late. She made her way to me, swimming parallel to the shore to avoid getting sucked into the current, and threw a raft that I grabbed so she could tow me to shore. While some people might think of lifeguards as mere beach ornaments, I know that they are heroes. They should be celebrated because they work in dangerous conditions, prevent accidents, and save lives.

Vivid Description Hook Strategy

A striking figure, clad in red Lycra, surveys her territory from a white tower. Black plastic masks her eyes, which scan the scene below looking for trouble. Suddenly she hears a splash and a scream. In a flash, she dives from her tower into action. Her lightning speed and super strength help her scoop the victim from the water in seconds. Before he knows what happened, the little boy she saved is safe and sound on solid ground. He turns to thank her, but she has already disappeared back to her tower, ready to save the day again. This sounds like the scene from a comic book, but in reality, it is the commonplace occurrence of a public pool. However, like their comic book counterparts, lifeguards perform heroic acts, keeping patrons safe to swim another day. Lifeguards are heroes because they work in dangerous conditions, prevent accidents, and save lives.

Rhetorical Question Hook Strategy

What makes a hero? Is it feats of superhuman strength? Is it incredible cunning and courage? Or is it more self-effacing than that? Could it be that true heroism is working in service to others when you could just as easily be having fun? Lifeguards are the definition of this position: while beach-goers splash merrily in the water, lifeguards are on high alert, scanning the sand and water for perils. They do not go to the pool to have fun; they go to do the important work of keeping us safe. Lifeguards are heroes because they work in dangerous conditions, prevent accidents, and save lives.

Quotation and Analysis Hook Strategy

“That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero” (Stan Lee). Comic book superheroes like Spiderman and Captain Marvel use their extraordinary talents to save citizens from dangerous villains. They set the standard for heroic acts. However, even their famed creator Stan Lee acknowledges that true heroes aren’t defined by their capes; they are defined by a strong moral compass and acts of service to others. Lifeguards are the definition of this position: while beach-goers splash merrily in the water, lifeguards are on high alert, scanning the sand and water for perils. They do not go to the pool to have fun; they go to do the important work of keeping us safe. Lifeguards are heroes because they work in dangerous conditions, prevent accidents, and save lives.


Writing Concepts

The Quote Sandwich