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How do I create a hook for an argumentative essay on the topic are zoos necessary?

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When writing an argumentative essay, you are encouraged to take strong positions that might not be appropriate in other types of academic writing.  This is especially true when you are crafting your hook, which is a dramatic statement, usually a sentence or two, designed to capture the reader’s interest and get them interested enough to read the rest of the essay.  You might find this type of task challenging when focusing on a topic like zoos.  However, if you consider how popular the Netflix Series Tiger King was in the summer of 2020, you understand that people are absolutely fascinated with what goes on behind the scenes at some of the most popular smaller zoos in the country. 

In fact, given how popular the series was, we might consider taking a Joe Exotic-based approach when considering hooks for an argumentative essay about why zoos are not necessary.  Some of the topics featured in the documentary that would make a good basis for an argument that zoos are harmful, not helpful, are allegations that zoo animals are fed sub-par diets (specifically spoiled meats), allegations that animals are killed and abused at these facilities, allegations about what happens to animals as they age out of the range for cub-petting programs, and even the bizarre romantic or sexual lives of people like Joe Exotic and Doc Antle.

If taking an approach based on that lurid documentary feels insufficiently academic for you, then we would probably suggest researching the life of Ota Benga, an African man from the Mbuti tribe in the Congo region, who was kept as a zoo exhibit at the Bronx Zoo as late as 1960.  This example and the evolution of the understanding of human rights compared to evolving understandings about animal rights could provide multiple topics for very interesting and controversial hook sentences about your topic.

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