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Research paper writing guide for college students.

Writing a Good Research Paper Introduction Paragraph in Three Steps

Two the most important parts of a research paper are the introduction and conclusion. The first one acquaints your readers with your topic and the latter summarizes your findings. Consider the following guidelines to find out about the essential elements of the introduction and learn how to write an effective opening paragraph.

  1. Introduce your topic.
  2. The first two sentences of your introduction should introduce the topic of your paper to your readers. You should win your audience from the start, so make sure those sentences are useful, interesting, and encouraging. Consider the following techniques of writing the opening sentences.

    • A relevant quotation.
    • You can start by quoting a classic writer or expert from your field of research.

    • An anecdote.
    • If you decide to start with an anecdote, make sure you use it not for fun but with the aim to introduce your topic in a more informal way.

    • Striking statistics.
    • Current statistics pertinent to the issue under discussion will make a good opening.

    • A thought-provoking question.
    • Raise a question that calls for discussion. It will work as a hook for your readers, involving them to read your paper till the end.

  3. Provide the context.
  4. Your second step is to provide the background for your subject matter. Review the recent works of contemporary academics concerning your topic. This way, you’ll demonstrate that you’ve read a lot on your subject and have a clear idea of different views on it. Also, you can emphasize the gaps existing in the current study and promise to shed light on them in the process of your research. It’s very important to show the significance of your paper and its contribution to the general study. Don’t go into details; just indicate some novelties of your research. They can be a specific approach you chose or the underdeveloped part of the issue you decided to improve.

  5. Outline the main questions and write your thesis.
  6. In the third part of your introduction, you should determine the main question that is to be discussed in your paper. It should be logically connected with the previous sentences and include some rephrased keywords (their synonyms) found in the title. Then you can get to writing the most important sentence of the opening paragraph – a thesis statement. This is the point where your argument starts. It concisely states the main direction of your research and is testable. Sometimes, the opening paragraph may be finalized by the outline of the paper structure.