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Introductions and Conclusions

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A hook is a way to catch the reader's attention. Much like a fishing hook helps reel the fish out of the water, a hook in writing helps draw the reader into the paper. It could more appropriately be called bait. The hook is meant to evoke interest and cultivate appetite for the topic. 

There is no right way to hook a reader, and some genres are not appropriate for hooks. A creative title could essentially hook a reader. A reader may be hooked by the first four very compelling paragraphs.

Being familiar with student writing, instructors are familiar with and, therefor, may have their own preferences regarding a limited number of hooks. These hooks start essays with quotes, definitions, questions, anecdotes, narratives, and statistics. Below are examples of each. 

  • Quote
    “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times” -- one of the most famous quotes to ever start a novel. This quote originated from John Steinbeck’s “Tale of Two Cities” and accurately depicts the experiences of many people during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Definition
    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective method of therapy and focuses on the impact of client’s beliefs and emotions on their behavior (Corey, 2015). Started by Albert Ellis, CBT was popularized by researchers such as Aaron Beck, Christine Padesky, and Donald Meichenbaum, and has branched out into three main genres: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Therapy (CT), and Strengths Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (SB-CBT). 
  • Question
    Was Thomas Edison the first person to invent the light bulb? For countless years, schools have been accrediting Edison as the first creator of the light bulb, yet Sir Humphrey Davey was the original inventor of this frequently used light source. This example along with many others, explains how history teachers, unbeknown to them, are skimming the surface of the past and teaching common historical fallacies as fact.
  • Statistic
    Video games are so versatile that 25% of Americans aged 65 or older played digital games in 2015 (Kaufmen et al., 2016). Video games are often associated with younger generations; however, many older adults use gaming technology. The rise in video games among different age groups has prompted researchers to examine the effects of video gaming on cognitive abilities. 
  • Narrative
    It is five o’clock on a Wednesday evening: a big pot roast is broiling in the oven, slightly damp clothes are raised on the line to dry, and kids are playing ball right outside the kitchen window eager to be called in for a steaming hot meal. Historically, this was an average day’s work for an attentive, hard-working mother. Today, mothers revoke this standard and demand a reformation.
  • Personal Anecdote
    A couple of years ago, I visited my friend’s house and, on her couch, laid the fluffiest kitten I had ever seen. The grey-pawed Siamese was rolled up like a cinnamon roll; he was resting peacefully. I slowly approached the little cat ready to carefully stroke its fur, when out of nowhere, the creature extracted out its claws and pounced on my face. A tender battle scar is still embedded in my cheek memorializing that day. I used to think cats were the best pets, but now I know the only friendly four-legged animals I will ever own are the ones that go “woof.”

Thesis Statements

 Check out our resources on our Thesis Statements and Research Questions page. 

Research Questions

 Check out our resources on our Thesis Statements and Research Questions page.



Conclusions are meant to end the writing on agreeable terms between the reader and the writer. The writer's role in the crafting a conclusion is to leave the reader with no illusions about the state of the topic. This portion of the paper can do a variety of tasks for the topic: clarify or reiterate, demand follow-up or inspire action, or concede vulnerabilities or celebrate strengths. Sometimes a conclusion drops the mic; other times, it hands the mic to the reader. 

Being familiar with student writing, instructors are familiar with and, therefor, may have their own preferences regarding a few strategies in conclusions: summarizing writing, reflecting on the topic, pointing to further research, calling the reader to action,  and including a quote. Instructors may have indifferent to strong feelings about these strategies. 

  • Summarizes writing
     Feminist art historians have focused on female African art and its impact on African communities. Past historic research has placed greater value on male African art and viewed female artwork as mundane. African women contribute relevant artwork to their communities and societies, especially through their political organizations, domestic artwork, and contemporary artwork. African female organizations demonstrate social and economic power with their visual demonstrations and protests. Within various communities across Africa, women utilize their domestic duties to express their artistic abilities, demonstrate cultural and social awareness, and contribute to the economy. Contemporary female African artists continue to bring female representation to the field of art through their use of the female body and their focus on issues such as gender, race, and identity. These women, from different African countries and communities, share core themes that have helped increase their representation in society and politics. Female African artists continue to create valuable artwork and use it as an effective tool in their fight for equality
  • Reflects topic
    Although the plot of Medea is merely fictional it reflects some truths about how men were encouraged to perceive women in Classical Athenian society. Throughout the play, Medea’s unpredictable and emotional behaviors were utilized as a fear tactic; a tactic meant to make men fearful of women gaining too much power. Furthermore, Euripides laid out the approved role for women in Athenian society -- obedience. According to the play, women should take on a more submissive role in society because their deceitful, emotional behaviors should prevent them from negatively influencing society. The play provides important insight on how women in Classical Greek society were encouraged to be viewed--as inferior to men. Plays became a persuasive platform in Grecian politics because they could discretely impart viewpoints on large masses of citizens. Whether these viewpoints would support or revoke social inequalities, they have now become an influential lens from which historians can interpret the past.     
  • Points to further research
    Video games can be used to improve cognitive functioning. Currently, action and focused video games have led to the largest effects on cognition, which is attributed to their ability to train executive function. These types of video games are promising in that they have the capability to improve learning in children and younger adults, and slow cognitive decline in older adults. Although there are many studies that show the benefits of video games, more are needed to develop a consensus on what types of video games are most beneficial and for which cognitive abilities. As discussed by Mayer et al. (2019), there is conflicting research on this topic and video games currently on the market may not sufficiently improve cognition. Future research should explore the characteristics of video games that target executive functioning with different age groups and summarize these results with a meta-analysis. Once these characteristics are identified, gaming companies can create video games geared towards improving specific cognitive abilities. Video games are more than just entertainment, they are a medium that scientists can use for improving cognition abilities. 
  • Call to action
      Art historians have researched and exhibited the beauty and functionality of African art, however, ignore and devalue artwork produced by African women. The history of African art cannot be accurately depicted without acknowledging the artistic craftsmanship and societal impact of artwork created by African women. Although feminist art historians are advocating for female African artists and working to decrease sexism in the field of art history, there is still a gender gap in the representation and interpretation of artwork. Art historians need to accurately represent African artwork by acknowledging gender bias and reexamining how labels are used to uplift male African artists and devalue female African artists. Art history resources and African art history course syllabi should be revised to include African female artists and access to artwork produced by women should be as easily accessible to consumers as artwork by men. African art cannot be accurately presented without placing value on the artwork of African women. 
  • Includes a quote
     Quality time can help families get through hard times, as it helped the Takei family with the difficult position they were put in at the camps. George and his family were often filled with confusion, but when Mr. Takei was presented with the opportunity to take his family on a trip, he did. George’s parents were beyond thrilled to take their children on this jeep ride because they have always believed that quality time creates good family memories. As George had written in his memoir, “…that wonderful jeep ride is a fond memory that glows radiantly with warmth, which proves that through the traumatic and unpleasant experiences the family had at the camps, quality time makes for unforgettable memories. Taking the trip on the jeep as a family, away from the horrible camps, helped the Takei family stay strong and push through the trials and tribulations together.