Quotes are often familiar and emotional, and appeal to a reader’s pathos.
Note that in the above examples, the quotes don’t merely stand alone, but the writer goes on to derive meaning from them.
The US has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but it has almost one quarter of the world’s prisoners.
Actually, there are several startling statistics in this paragraph, but each one is more startling than the previous, concluding with the most shocking.
To be effective, an anecdote has to relate to the theme of the essay, and engage the reader in the first sentence. Later on in the essay, you can use looser anecdotes, but not at the beginning. That’s very dangerous if you’re not sure that the vast majority of your readers are going to: (1) answer the question the way you anticipate, and (2) find the question engaging enough to continue reading.
What I’d suggest is read the opening lines of some famous novels. But they’re written not just to grab attention, but also to pull the reader into the story.
The writer’s ability to derive meaning from the quote and connect it to his or her argument is a great way to lead the reader on toward the thesis.
Posing a provocative question to your audience that inspires interest and concern is a great way to get the reader thinking about your topic.
It keeps the reading audience intrigued to the end.
An excellent hook sentence is engaging and interesting; it is a perfect method to start an argumentative or persuasive paper.