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  • Vanita Pal


Have you ever wondered why you have not been scoring well in your English?

You may have done scores of assessments in school. And all you ever got in return was a barely passing grade from your teacher.

The exams were not much better either. You never managed to clinch the grade you wanted.

And then you decided to concentrate on your other subjects like Math, Chemistry and Social Studies in which you did rather well.

The problem with this attitude is that you have not resolved the English paper and the problem will crop up again and again.

Every time your marks are low, you will wonder why it was so and become frustrated at your grades.

Or maybe you gave it your best shot and you never scored well.

Whatever it is, you have to admit that English is a compulsory subject and you need to do well in it in order to be admitted to a JC, a Polytechnic of your choice or other institutions of higher learning.

There is absolutely no reason to be frustrated as I have 3 formulas for all your compositions which will get you off to a great start.

The FORMULAS are actually 3 ways to create an impact in any of the genres for your compositions.

I How to Write a Fantastic HOOK for a narrative composition

Question - Write about handling a difficult situation.

HOOK - “To the best of

my knowledge, facing everything headlong was the best way of resolving any issue.“

This is a great way to start because it prepares you for something so difficult which will follow, that you will not be able to handle it like this. And then the rest of the story will fall into place.

Note that I have not begun in the usual way about “difficulties” in your life or how the weather was pleasing and everything was fine.

Most students start

with the weather or having a perfect life. The problem is that this is too unnatural and therefore not believable. When writing a narrative/ reflective/ personal recount essay, you should aim for credibility in your style of writing.

I would like to draw your attention to what I actually did in my opening HOOK.

The main focus was on myself and the way I handled problems.

The hidden meaning is implicit, that I had handled everything rather well all along.

The two revealing factors which denote that are as follows:

I am quite a capable person and secondly, this method of facing everything headlong was not going to work eventually.

It is a teaser actually as it sets up the reader to expect something really challenging or nasty which is expected to crop up in the next couple of paragraphs. That means the HOOK prepares the reader for a little bit of suspense.

What is that difficulty which the protagonist will face eventually? Will he face it headlong too and find it too difficult to handle? Will he fail?

This is the way for the HOOK to engage the reader in the story.

II How to Write a Fantastic Hook for an Argumentative Composition

Question – Will Science Have the Solution to Save the World?

HOOK – “The world looks towards scientists to save the world of its many ailments and deteriorating conditions.”

The opening line is factual and mentions information which is trusted. It is irrefutable. The world has not much choice actually and does look towards scientists doesn’t it?

Ailments and deteriorating conditions are always rife in our lives and when we are unable to handle it personally, we always look towards science. That is more or less the premise on which this HOOK rests.

The clever thing to do in a HOOK is to focus on your angle. In this case, the words ‘ailments’ and ‘deteriorating conditions’ are the focus of the writer. This encompasses a large area which means you will never run out of points for your PEELs.

The Hook also seems to be in general agreement that science will have the solution but does not say so explicitly. This will be done in the stand at the end of the paragraph. The first sentence should relay the focus and the general trend the essay is going.

Iii How to Write a Fantastic Hook for a Descriptive Composition

Question – Describe a time when you experienced your first success.

HOOK – “The taste of success cannot be sweeter than when it happens for the very first time.”

This is a great opening line as it promises the story of success. It is engaging, teasing and extends the promise of a great story.

The descriptive essay like this one is all about a carefully built-up description of how you were before the success, how it happened to you and what happened to you after.

These are the 3 stages of descriptions which the HOOK promises.

The use of the words “the taste of success” is a metaphor and as in most cases, poetic language always strikes a chord when it begins the story. There is a charming quality to the story and it immediately arouses curiosity in the reader.

Remember, it is curiosity which will engage the reader all the way to the end of the story, that is unless it turns out to be a big yawn.

Always aim for a slightly different way of starting and make sure that your HOOK really engages with the reader.

The opening line adds credibility, charm and curiosity to the story. It is your best bet in making sure that your composition is a cut above the rest of the essays the marker will be grading. Try to veer away from simplistic opening lines. They will only create boredom.

The HOOK is only one sentence but you can make it as enticing as possible. All you have to do is try the formulas which I have just given you. And make sure that you use it well.


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