Though introduction to any writing is frequently associated with beginning, this is not about an introduction to a research paper. Here introduction serves as a crucial outlining part, which presents your topic to the reader. While creating an introduction for a research paper students frequently get lost in the consistency of their thoughts. But following the structure and simple rules, you will succeed with your academic writing.
Start with announcing your topic
Your topic is basically the fundament of any writing you prepare. Regarding, from which angle you look at your topic, it will reflect different aspects. Thus, it’s better to begin with outlining your topic. There is no secret on how to start a research paper intro: you should just state your topic and add some connected with topic issues that bothers you a lot. This is a perfect strategy to intrigue the reader.
It is recommended to start with general info and then narrowing down to some concrete aspects. Try not to deepen into a state of things in the beginning, but explain your view on the topic. If you are going to use some difficult expressions in the central part of an essay, make them clear to any reader and point out their connection with your topic.
Review the literature
Developing your statement in the main body, you will need some literature sources to refer to. While your idea can sound a bit subjectively, if you maintain it with citations extracted from works of famous scientists, authors or philosophers, you will prove your point. Don’t neglect modern time scholars that are being deeply concerned about the issue or opinion you stated. Your introduction should briefly state what the literature will be about.
Stress on rationale
The rationale is the key element of your beginning. Once you stated the topic, it’s time to prove it’s very relevant and gives readers food for thought. The rationale serves as an indicator of both – the importance of your essay and your attitude to the issue. The rationale should be laconic and precise to show the reader the significance of your research.
State your thesis
Thesis statement marks the conclusive part of the introduction for research paper and transition to the actual research. This sentence supports all the things you have written before and collects all your ideas in a logical and concise saying. If your subject is too complicated, you should make it comprehensible with your thesis statement. The thesis is what runs through your complete essay, that’s why the intro where a thesis is stated sets the tone for the entire paper.
Your thesis should:
- Give general info on topic
- Be engaging and precise
- Reflect the significance of raised issue
If all these are ready, the only thing left is to make the outline of a structure.
Conclude with the outline
When all the important work is done, it’s time for the outline of your paper’s structure. Not every mentor requires an essay structure overview in the introduction, but sometimes students are asked to stress on few aspects of their future research. This is not about the detailed depiction of every part of your work. The outline is a short paragraph, which consists of 3 or 4 sentences and represents your plan of the entire paper. You can also look for some research paper introduction example to grab some ideas.
Need Additional Help?
As you see, writing research papers introduction is not that challenging if you follow the guide. But sometimes even the smartest students fail in choosing a competitive topic and building a solid thesis. Even if you consider your topic important, it can seem questionable for your professor. How to write an introduction to a research paper and make it flawless?
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Since the dawn of man, writing has been used to communicate ideas. In academic settings, ideas are typically communicated using formal types of writing such as essays. Most academic essays contain an introductory paragraph, which includes a thesis.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines an introduction as, “A preliminary explanation prefixed to or included in a book or other writing; the part of a book which leads up to the subject treated, or explains the author’s design or purpose. Also, the corresponding part of a speech, lecture, etc.”
Michigan State University student Sally used to have a lot of difficulty writing introductions. Once she had suffered through writing dozens of painful introductions, she decided to look up some tips on how to introduce your essay, and after that she got a lot better.
Introductions can be tricky. Because the introduction is the first portion of your essay that the reader encounters, the stakes are fairly high for your introduction to be successful. A good introduction presents a broad overview of your topic and your thesis, and should convince the reader that it is worth their time to actually read the rest of your essay. Below are some tips that will make writing an introduction a little less daunting, and help us all to write essays that don’t make our professors want to bang their heads against the wall.
- Start your introduction broad, but not too broad. When I first started writing formal essays, I didn’t really know how broad to go with my intros. A brief paragraph on Hamlet would suddenly include irrelevant details about Shakespeare’s childhood, then grow out to be a history of Western literature, and then a history of the universe itself. Do not write an introduction like this; this kind of intro is confusing and makes the reader wonder where exactly you’re going with your essay.Your introduction should provide the reader with a sense of what they should expect out of your essay, not to expound upon every piece of knowledge ever developed by man. Go ahead and start relatively broad, then narrow to your thesis, but make sure you’re still on topic.
- Provide relevant background, but don’t begin your true argument. It’s fine to give a bit of context to your essay in the introduction, but the real meat of your argument should be located in your body paragraphs. A good test to see if information should go in a body or introductory paragraph is to ask yourself a few questions. Is this providing context or evidence? Does this introduce my argument, or try to prove it? True evidence or proof deserves a body paragraph. Context and background most likely belong in your introduction.
- Provide a thesis. The majority of the time, your thesis, or main argument, should occur somewhere towards the end of your introduction. It is a typical convention to put your thesis as the last sentence of your first paragraph. My personal opinion is that it can sometimes be awkward to shove your thesis in one specific place if it doesn’t necessarily fit, but if your thesis works in that position, that is the best place for it. That being said, if you absolutely can’t include your thesis in that location, go ahead and stick it somewhere else.
- Provide only helpful, relevant information. Anecdotes can be an interesting opener to your essay, but only if the anecdote in question is truly relevant to your topic. Are you writing an essay about Maya Angelou? An anecdote about her childhood might be relevant, and even charming. Are you writing an essay about safety regulations in roller coasters? Go ahead and add an anecdote about a person who was injured while riding a roller coaster. Are you writing an essay about Moby Dick? Perhaps an anecdote about that time your friend read Moby Dick and hated it is not the best way to go. The same is true for statistics, quotes, and other types of information about your topic.
- Try to avoid clichés. Some types of introductions may have once been successful, but have been used so often that they have become tired and clichéd. Starting your essay with a definition is a good example of one of these conventions. At this point, starting with a definition is a bit boring, and will cause your reader to tune out.
- Don’t feel pressured to write your intro first. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out exactly what information is relevant to your introduction until you’ve written the piece itself. Personally, I find that my writer’s block is always strongest when writing the introduction. If you are having trouble with your intro, feel free to write some, or all, of your body paragraphs, and then come back to it. You might find it a bit easier to write your introduction once you’re more comfortable with the essay as a whole.
- Convince the reader that your essay is worth reading. Your reader should finish the introduction thinking that the essay is interesting or has some sort of relevance to their lives. A good introduction is engaging; it gets the audience thinking about the topic at hand and wondering how you will be proving your argument. Good ways to convince your reader that your essay is worthwhile is to provide information that the reader might question or disagree with. Once they are thinking about the topic, and wondering why you hold your position, they are more likely to be engaged in the rest of the essay.
Basically, a good introduction provides the reader with a brief overview of your topic and an explanation of your thesis. A good introduction is fresh, engaging, and interesting. Successful introductions don’t rely on clichés or irrelevant information to demonstrate their point. Be brief, be concise, be engaging. Good luck.