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Research Paper Writing: 3. Introduction

Introduction Attraction

An introduction explains the paper’s intent to prove an argument. It should be designed to attract the reader’s attention and to provide first hand impression of the paper’s focus. The introduction includes the thesis statement, which is a statement of the paper’s argument that will be proved within the paper.


Strategies of writing an effective introduction

The funnel method

  • The first sentence is broad
  • It introduces the thesis statement
  • As the sentences are constructed they become more narrowed and focused

Define a word or phrase

  • The definition should not be used from a dictionary, but as an interpretation
  • The definition should match the thesis

Asking questions

  • The use of a question can attract the intended audience
  • The paper should answer those questions stated within the introduction

Turn about

  • This strategy starts with an idea, belief or opinion that will be opposite of the thesis
  • Present the opposing claims and then conclude with your point of view

Using an anecdote

  • A short anecdote is another way the introduction can catch the attention of the reader
  • It is useful for setting the stage for the paper
  • It often relays a story related to the theme

Using quotations

  • The use of quotes can be an effective way to start the paper if it pertains to the thesis statement
  • The quote should express the exact idea of the paper
  • It should discuss and build upon the paragraph centered around the quote

Thesis Statement

The purpose of the statement

  • It presents to the audience information that interprets the significance of the topic
  • It is an interpretation of the question that the paper should answer, but is never presented as a question
  • It is a single sentence presented within the first part of the introduction

Why is it important

  • Makes a claim that the audience opposes
  • Is a road map for the paper

How to write a thesis statement

  • Should begin with a purpose statement to start formulating the thesis statement
  • Turn a question from the purpose statement into an assertion
  • Be a statement of the main idea the paper is trying to accomplish

Introduction Example