Hook 2: Find a relevant quote
This hook is also fun to find, simply go to Google, and type in “quotes about _______”, fill in your topic here. Then read a bunch of quotes until you find one that you think says something interesting about your topic. In my case I found this quote by J. R. R. Tolkien. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” and a world with fewer environmental problems I would add. Reading all of the different quotes gave me a good overview as to how people think about and talk about food. It is also like reading an inspirational comedy with sprinkles of wisdom.
Hook 3: Find a fact that will provoke some kind of emotional reaction
Again, simply go to Google and type in “facts about ___________” and any number of interesting things will come up. Read a bunch of them and choose one that makes you feel something. I found an interesting fact on the Foodtank website written by Emily Nink which claims that “Food waste generates 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide, which accelerates global climate change”. I don’t know about you, but that surprises me and makes me feel a bit scared. There is nothing more motivational than finding out that your topic is in fact, really important.
Hook 5: Give a common misconception
Think about what many people misunderstand about the topic.
Many people think of food waste as inevitable and throwing away food is no big deal. If it is difficult to think of any misconceptions, it is possible to turn to Google again and type in “misconceptions about _____________.” This is a great way to think about the topic because it makes it abundantly clear why doing this research is important and why lots of people should read the essay you are writing.
On Friday I asked my students to write 5 different hooks for their research essays and bring them to the next class. They will show their hooks to their classmates who will then vote on the one they think is the most interesting for each person. The researcher is free to take his or her classmates advice or choose the one he/she likes best. I know that I personally am the most attached to the “tragic rainbow” hook that I made but I would love to hear what other people think.
How do you help your students hook their audiences?
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