I’m not a big fan of telling writers that you need to start papers by “hooking the reader.” I feel the idea that “hooking readers” focuses too much on how to get a reader’s attention and too little on how to keep it.
Too often writers try to hook their readers by starting with hyperbolic statements. Over exaggerating the importance of an essay topic creates a false promise that the essay can’t live up to. That’s not a good thing. A band called Free Beer would almost certainly draw a crowd, but it’s also likely that crowd leaves angry and sober. The same principle is at play in writing.
As everybody knows from “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, grabbing someone’s attention when you don’t have something relevant to say is a great way to guarantee that people will stop listening to you.