The Hook

Ever go fly fishing? Well, it’s all about the lure. And what better lure to hook your reader in an essay than a Snappy Opening Line?

So how do you crush that essay opener? The million dollar question.

Here’s a good benchmark for a successful opener:

1) We shouldn’t know what the essay is about, but

2) We should be ITCHING to read on…

Intrigue. Surprise. Mystery. Boldness. Tease us. Throw us off balance, and make us want more.

A not-so-great opener:

“I have been fascinated by the potential of information technology (IT) ever since I first surfed the web.”

Okay, but… who hasn’t? That’s like saying, “In my humble opinion, Adolf Hitler was a bad guy.” Well, okay, but… hm.

But try this one on for size:

Zero.

That was how much profit I achieved in the first quarter since I joined Roughball Six, Inc.

Yup. I want to know more. Who starts off an essay by loudly proclaiming… failure? This son of a gun just threw me off balance… and now… HE holds all the cards. I’m leaning forward in my seat. Success.

Take a chance here. Don’t be cute for cute’s sake, the fall is steeper! But, try to entice them with just enough to get them hooked. Best way forward is to attempt something a little unpredictable.

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