Essay Hooks Crucible

It's difficult to help you with an attention getter without knowing the specific topic of your essay--what aspect of "The Crucible" are you writing about?

You can always start your essay with a quote--either from the play or from another source. Just make sure you explain where the quote is from and connect it to your topic. If you use a quote, the second sentence of your introduction may be to explain the quote or explain how to relates to your topic.

You may look up what some critics have had to say about "The Crucible" and show how that relates to your topic. Make sure you show where you got the quote.

Another good attention getter is a story, also called an anecdote. It can be funny, serious, true or made up, but should somehow relate to your topic--present the problem you're going to attempt to solve, or the problem you're going to take a stance on.

Another one I've seen work well is taking a well known saying ("Absence makes the heart grow fonder" or "Don't count your chickens before they hatch") and show how your topic either supports or opposes the adage. Similar to using a quote...

Other attention getters include a startling/shocking fact or statement ("There is no such thing as truth"), a definition of a central concept ("truth", "justice") or a statistic. I don't know how well these would work for your essay.

Introductions are often the most difficult part of writing an essay, and sometimes it is easier to write the rest of the paper before writing the introduction. In any case, the purpose of an introduction is to capture interest and prepare your readers for what you are going to say in the rest of the essay.

For an essay on The Crucible, you undoubtedly have a specific focus which you will be writing about,...

Introductions are often the most difficult part of writing an essay, and sometimes it is easier to write the rest of the paper before writing the introduction. In any case, the purpose of an introduction is to capture interest and prepare your readers for what you are going to say in the rest of the essay.

For an essay on The Crucible, you undoubtedly have a specific focus which you will be writing about, and that is a good place to start thinking about your introduction. For example, if you are writing about how pride affects the outcome of these trials, a quote by or reference to Danforth at the end of the play when he refuses to even consider a pardon for Proctor and the others might be useful:

I will not receive a single plea for pardon or postponement. Them that will not confess will hang.... Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now. While I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering.

If you are writing about the redemption of a flawed man, Proctor's plea to let him have the one thing he still has, his name, might be effective. Keep in mind that any quote you might use must be directly connected to the essay or it will be a distraction rather than an effective attention-getting tool.

Asking a question about whether or not your readers have ever made a mistake which ended in serious consequences might be effective for an essay which focuses on that aspect of the play. If you are writing about the lies which caused such tragedy, obviously a short discussion of Abigail Williams is appropriate.

Since this play recounts a semi-fictionalized account of a real event in history, perhaps a quick review of the real Salem Witch Trials information or something interesting about Arthur Miller would be interesting and helpful. The same thing is true of this strategy as of the use of quotations; the information must be applicable in some way to the essay.

I have attached an excellent eNotes site on how to write an introduction. Several suggestions from that site include the following:

  • Start with a quote that is related to your topic, and make sure it's a powerful attention getter.
  • Start with a question, perhaps a question you had yourself before you began your initial research.
  • Begin with an interesting fact that is related to your topic.
  • Use an analogy, but make sure it is concise and easy to understand. You don't want to get too lengthy, because your introduction should be about 10% of your entire essay.
  • Try presenting a paradox if it is related to your topic; readers are interested in the unusual and seemingly unanswerable.

As long as you do the two things--capture interest and prepare readers for what you will be writing about--you will create an effective introduction.

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