Essay Tips: How to Catch Readers' Attention?

Capturing the attention of a reader when it comes to essays cannot be done with big graphics and fonts. It has to be done via more subtle means. Here it is exposed two different means of capturing the attention of the reader and suggest both sides of each method, both the potential negative and positive repercussions of using such attention catching techniques.

Dramatic essay headers

An online article works better if it has dramatic headers. This is because the average online reader will skim read down the page to get an idea of what is on it. Some skim read very quickly, only stopping at the bits that interest them, and some skim read to get an idea of the article before reading it fully.

How does this apply to essay writing? The fact is that the world looks at the Internet. Even people in the jungle have heard of the Internet, and the person marking your essay will be accustomed to reading texts online. You are simply making your essay slightly more like a piece that is found online so that the essay marker is in his or her comfort zone. There is also the fact that dramatic essay headers make the piece more interesting and fun to read, and the essay marker is probably sick to death of the same old thing every day.

Dry essay headers

They are not as eye catching, but there are some essay markers that are not looking to be entertained. Sure, they are human, but they are just doing their job and are looking to get it done as quickly and easily as they can. Something dramatic just means they have to think about the essay a little more and they may resent that.

A shocking essay topic

If you want to capture the attention of anyone, then you do need to pull them out of their reality a little. Give them the unexpected and they naturally pay attention. This means a sea of sterile and dry topics may be broken up with a shocking essay topic. This is even more true when you consider that the essay marker has to deal with hundreds of dry and sterile essay topics per month. The essay marker is going to notice an essay that is a little more shocking or out of ordinary.

The shocking essay topic may also breed higher scores if you can bring it to a successful conclusion. For example, if you make a bold statement, then you are a shoe-in for good marks if you can back that bold statement up and create a good essay from it.

A sterile essay topic

Whilst in the higher level English classes at high school you may have had a very good English teacher. If you did then you would have received tips and information that you won't find in text books and at seminars. You may have even been shown a few of the highest scoring essays from previous years. Did your teacher ever point out how boring and sterile they were?

A sterile essay topic may not seem very interesting, but it has the potential to be very high scoring. There are people who have carried this premise into higher education and have done some of the most boring and seemingly pointless dissertations, but they score incredibly highly.

If you are having trouble thinking about it in terms of quality, then consider the TV show Star Trek. Imagine an essay written by Tuvok (Voyager) or Spock (Classic) and think of how sterile and matter of fact they would be. Now imagine an essay by Scotty (Classic) or Picard (Next Gen); you know they would be of a high quality and very exciting to read, but would not hold a candle to what Tuvok or Spock may create.


Is an essay really the place to be catching the readers' attention? One assumes people reading essays are doing so for research and therefore do not need “Attracting.” There is also the fact that an essay marker has to mark your essay anyways, so keeping his or her attention is pointless. Still, there are options out there where you may capture the attention of the reader without having to resort to bigger fonts and graphics.