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    An effective Hook is like the first line of a sales pitch: the Hook should get your foot in the reader's door.  There are several ways to begin thinking about a Hook.  First, think of the "big picture."  What does your topic mean in the scope of the Historical Event or Era or within the history of the United States?  What is your topic's significance?  Take a step back from your topic and begin to set the scene.  Second, use adjectives and action verbs.   Your Hook must be compelling; that is, it should compel, or persuade, your reader to continue reading whatever you have taken a great deal of time to write.  If your Hook fails, you've written something that nobody might read.


    Their blue-gray glitter was penetrating, leaving very little to imagination. In a single stare, his eyes spoke volumes about his passion, his dedication and his committment to his cause.  Many left the company of John Brown without hearing a word, but feeling changed forever.

    This is a Hook to an essay concerning John Brown, the passionate abolitionist whose crimes cost him his life. Research reveals that one of the most striking features of Brown were his eyes and how he used them.   His eyes defined him.  They were a window to his soul and his beliefs and values.  Adjectives and actions verbs can be powerful tools.  Understand that writing like this takes time - remember, writing is an art - and should not be expected on the first try.


More examples to come soon.

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