Guide on How to Write a Hook for a Research Paper

Why do I need a great research paper hook? Picture this. You are presented with two gifts and asked to select one. One gift is wrapped in old stained magazines while the other is wrapped in a glamorous gift wrapper with a pleasant note attached to it. 

If you are like me, you’d settle for the former gift as it looks well thought of and more appealing. However, this does not necessarily imply that the first gift was of lower value than the second. The packaging influenced your decision-making. 

Like the gifts, a hook determines your reader’s attitude toward your paper. A great hook sparks curiosity in your reader, guiding them to go through your work in a bid to scratch their intellectual itch. This article will highlight tips on how to write a good hook for a paper and reel in many readers from the scholarly sea. 

What is a hook in a research paper?

The mention of a hook conjures an image of a curved shiny metal used for fishing. Like the fisherman’s hook, an essay hook is a catchy element that pulls your readers into your work. 

This opening sentiment is found in the introduction of your research paper and highlights the importance of your research. The hook may do this by highlighting a popular fallacy or indicating the extent of the existing research gap that your research will bridge. 

How to write a hook for a research paper

Writing a hook for a research paper often proves a daunting task for many students. often, students may struggle with their introduction and fail to capture the essence of their work. Here, we will highlight some steps for writing a great research paper hook.

  1. Gauge your audience

A research paper is often geared towards a knowledgeable audience of scholars. However, the interests of scholars may vary depending on the topic and niche of your paper. Ideally, refrain from complex jargon in your hook as this may obfuscate its meaning, rendering it worthless.

Also, gauge the interests of scholars in your discipline and write a hook that appeals to these interests. For instance, check the common debates regarding your topic and capture the alluring components of these debates to appeal to your reader’s interests. 

  1. Create an outline

An outline is essential for understanding the entirety of your research paper’s argument. We recommend that you design an outline and prepare a hook that complements your key argument.

If you select rhetorical questions, settle for one that accentuates your key arguments. 

  1. Gauge the purpose of your paper

The hook for research paper should set the mood for your introduction and your paper’s arguments. For instance, a funny hook would barely have an impact when introducing a complex topic. At best, this may give a reader the idea that your paper will not address the topic with the seriousness it calls for. 

You must prepare your thesis statement and work towards a hook that highlights the importance of your research. Also, consult your peers for an analysis of how well your hook introduces your topic. 

Easy ideas for a hook in a paper

If you are stuck with your hook, here are some research paper hook examples to guide your selection.

  1. Question Hook

Question hooks are usually rhetorical and open-ended. These questions are geared to get a reader curious about a particular matter. 

Often, the questions should challenge a popular notion in your field or explore options that have been previously ignored in previous studies. 

e.g., What impact would a television set add in a classroom setting? Are we too fixated on the futuristic tech that we overlook the applications of the available teaching-learning resources?


Quotes are popular in scientific writing. However, you don’t always have to rely on quotes from famous people. Instead, find quotes that are relevant to your topic or those that provoke a desired line of thought.

e.g., teach me and I will forget. Show me and I might remember. Engage me and I will learn. A popular quote that highlights the importance of engaging all senses in the teaching-learning process. While many teachers settle for the lecture method, research shows that various learners have varied methods of study… 

  1. Statistical Facts

Like the former, facts are a staple for introductions in academic journals. The facts selected for your hook should be relevant to the topic and informative for your reader. Also, facts should feature an in-text citation to show their legitimacy. 

e.g., 65,000 people in the US suffer from mental issues and fail to seek help for fear of stigmatization (king, 2012). How can this be addressed to ensure maximum productivity of our workforce?

  1. Clarifying a Popular Misconception

Another way to open your research paper is by challenging a belief that is popular in your discipline. 

e.g., Do poor academic results show the difference in learners’ cognitive capacities or rather highlight the ineptitude of a teacher’s methodologies? Since most classes cover a wide range of learners, is it not necessary to find each learner’s preferred mode of learning and guide them with proper tools?

Final take

We hope that this guide has answered your questions on writing a research paper hook. If you are still struggling with your paper, feel free to consult our experts for custom assistance. 

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