What Are Attention Getters for Essays?
Have you ever wondered what makes some essays attractive? Why do you read some of the essays till the end and stop reading others halfway?
The key word in the answers to these questions is the “getter.” The getter that catches the readers’ attention and encourages them to read further than the title and the first paragraph.
If you know how the getter or hook differs from the lead, whether they can match, and what types of hooks exist, you can safely say that you know everything about the attention getters for essays.
The Difference between a Lead and a Hook
Some authors consider these terms interchangeable but technically they are very different.
Lead is a summary of a newspaper article (placed before the article itself). It is the first (most important) message in the bulletin, information message, etc. In journal publications, the lead is an introduction to the topic of the article.
- A hook is what makes the reader to continue reading.
- Hooks complement the lead by suggesting another reason to read the article to the end. A good hook gives answers to the readers’ questions: “Why should I read this?” or “What is there for me to read here?”
Lead-hook is indispensable, first, in short publications. Secondly, it works fine where the number of characters for an essay is limited and there is a lot of information.
The Importance of the First Paragraph
Professional editors recommend throwing out the first paragraph of the text. In most cases, this is a just requirement. In the pursuit of logic, the authors often make the beginning of an essay similar to school composition. As a result, the first paragraph does not fulfill the main function: it does not attract the attention of the audience. On the contrary, the beginning of the material becomes uninteresting, heavy, and repulsive. This happens when the author uses the following unsuccessful methods:
- Begins the article with an explanation of the intentions. You probably encountered such examples as “The purpose of this essay is to tell you about…”, “In this essay I will talk about…”, “I ran into… and decided to talk about it in my essay.” Such constructions are not absolute taboo. They can be used at the end of the first paragraph, when you have already interested the audience in reading. However, you do not need to start the text with them.
- Begins the essay with the definition. This makes the looks like a SEO text.
- Comes from afar. The authors do not have time to warm up the audience. Readers want to immediately receive the necessary information. If the first paragraph does not confirm that the essay has the necessary data, the reader stops reading.
- Shows uncertainty. If the reader doubts the author’s expertise, they will not read the material. Avoid the following introductions: “I think…,” “I’m not completely sure, but…,” “I beg your pardon for….” Usually such words at the beginning of the text are inappropriate.
7 Good Attention Getters for Essays
- Ask a question. It should make the readers think. If this happens, you can be sure that the audience will finish reading your essay. In addition, using questions, you can form expectations and manage the needs of the audience.
- Shock, surprise, and interest the audience. This can be done by facts, provocative comparisons, and unusual analogies.
- Use the contradictions, contrast the two opposite phenomena.
- Start with a quote or proverb. Words of famous people or folk wisdom always attract attention. Starting with a quote immediately shows the writer’s non-standard thinking.
- Begin with a unique shopping offer. This approach works if you are writing about a product that really differs from similar offers from competitors.
- Tell a joke and play with words. This is a great way to interest the audience.
- Tell a story. Remember that this is the first paragraph so the story should fit in a few sentences.
The Formula of the Ideal First Paragraph
A good first paragraph consists of several sentences. The first catches the audience and makes it pay attention to the essay. The following 2–3 sentences are informational in nature: they formulate a problem, tell the reader about the material, etc. The concluding 1–2 sentences explain the idea of the material to the audience, talk about its usefulness, and promise benefits. Use this formula to always write good first headlines. Use the described methods so that you could grab the attention of the readers with the first phrases and make them read your essays.
Stories as Attention Getters for Essays
- Stories help to win the attention of readers. The main goal of the entry is to attract the attention of the audience and motivate them to read further. Stories can do this naturally. Such a getter leaves more questions than answers and before readers understand something, they will find themselves in the middle of your essay.
- The stories draw you closer to the readers. The London businessman and the Indian farmer live in completely different realities. But they both get pleasure when the job is done well and both are afraid of losing a loved one. They are united by emotions. If you share your emotions with readers, they will treat you as an equal.
- Stories make the story clear and truthful. If you want to explain something, the story will fit perfectly. It will show how this or that lesson worked in real life. The story is the proof of the usefulness of your advice. Just a couple of sentences about some true story from your life will show the readers that your recommendation is working in practice.
- Stories entertain and make a difference. People like to have fun. Even if a person is looking for educational information, he or she will choose the essay that will present it in a lively way. Share with the reader something funny, awesome or outrageous. Insert at least one paragraph. Your essay will not lose its informativity and you will certainly attract the attention of the audience.
- Stories inspire people to take action. One of the best ways to complete your essay is to motivate to action. Use the story to describe the bright opportunities for the readers that will open up if they use your recommendations. Such a method will inspire accomplishments more than the most useful post.
Things You Need to Avoid in the First Paragraph
As it was already mentioned, the most important thing in the essay is the beginning. After all, according to the first paragraphs, the readers judge whether they want to continue reading your paper. If you have not interested the reader on the first page, it is possible that you have lost the chance to ever interest this reader at all. It is very important to get people interested from the first lines using interesting attention getters for essays. Below you can see the things you need to avoid to make an intriguing beginning for your paper.
- Don’t talks about the weather. Very many essays begin with a description of the weather. Forget about it. If you do not work in weather forecasting and do not write a work about it, forget about the weather. If you really want to write about rain, use an interesting hook for that, like a quote or an anecdote.
- Do not write about nature. The description of nature, as well as the weather, will be boring for readers especially if it is described with the help of long and fanciful sentences. If you really want to describe the landscape, let the emotions do that for you. Write how lament you were because you were standing in the middle of the desert or forest. The main thing is do not overdo it with descriptions.
- Do not use banalities. Do not tell again that time goes by, life does not stand still, leaves fall in autumn, and it snows in winter. Describing what everyone already knows is boring the reader. Leave alone all the known truths, or at least keep them for other pages of your essay.
- Do not be philosophical. The presence of philosophical reasoning is a good thing. However, if there is too much of philosophy in the essay, it will make it boring. Your paper should entertain the readers and not everyone can entertain themselves reading philosophical essays.
- Avoid clichés. If you have met the same beginning in at least two papers, there is a high chance you might see it again. Readers get bored reading the same thing over and over again. Try to make your entry as original as possible.
- Be concise. Do not start writing describing unnecessary things or descriptions that you will never talk about in the essay itself. In an ideal beginning, you should talk about everything that you will mention in the main part of the paper. The first lines are a reflection of your entire composition. They should be dynamic as the rest of the essay. They should reflect the things that are reflected in the main text. But remember that the first page is not an abstract. Do not retell everything that will happen later.