Hello Kalise, below is the basic definition of things along with some examples and questions you can ask yourself to get started!
Hook: Catches the attention of the writer
- Usually one to three sentences (depending on the length of your paper)
- Could be: a short story, a terrifying statistic, a ethical/logical/philosophical/legal/medical question that launches the reader into the essay response
Thesis: Typically a single sentence that focuses the reader on the issue at hand
- You can narrow down your topic by asking yourself questions like the following:
- "Do I want to tell a story, draw attention to an under-recognized aspect of my subject, or dispute a widely held viewpoint?"
- "What are some controversial issues regarding my subject?"
- "What would my audience want to know about my subject"
- "What aspect of my subject interests/fascinates/is meaningful to me?"
- Your thesis will be the summary of your response to the above WH questions. It should also answer the question, "What is the main point I want my reader to take away from this essay?"
- Here are some format examples for your thesis (depending on what type of essay you are writing):
- "Although some people/sources claim [disputed perspective], this cannot be so because [summary of your perspective]"
- "This paper will seek to clarify/draw attention to/summarize [specific aspect of your topic]"
- "It is important that people [whatever you want them to understand/do etc.]"
Also, don't be afraid to temporarily just put something down for your hook and background info. You can always come back and change it up. Sometimes it's actually easier that way! Writing is a recursive process, meaning "finishing" a part of your paper often doesn't mean its actually done. As an example, when I write, my "placeholder" intros usually become my conclusion, and as a result, my hook and intro statements usually end up being one of the last things I compose!
Anyway, good luck with your paper, and feel free to reach out if you have anymore questions!