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How to Start a Research Paper Introduction

This article is a part of the guide:

❶List the pieces of information that you will need to explain in order for your reader to be able to understand the following contents of the paper.

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7 Steps On How To Begin A Research Paper Easily


Research doesn't involve just gathering sources. It also involves reading and mentally digesting the source material.

Some students have difficultly with the introduction because they don't understand the topic. Create a map or outline of your paper. You must understand the direction your paper is going before you can properly write the introduction. By creating an outline, you highlight the important elements that your paper will explore, which makes writing the introduction easier than if you just dive right into it without a sense of direction or purpose.

By definition, an introduction introduces the paper topic. Your intent should be to summarize the extent of your research in one or two paragraphs, without necessarily giving away the ending. Write multiple rough drafts of your opening paragraph. You should complete each one independently of the others and of your paper outline.

You shouldn't ignore your paper outline; instead, attempt to write the introduction without directly relying on the outline. This allows your creative juices to flow and provides new insights about developing the paper's body and conclusion. If you can't write the introduction without looking at source material, you don't grasp your research.

Choose the best version of your introduction and revise it. This is much better than making them wait until you point the weaknesses out in the discussion. You should also highlight any assumptions that you make about conditions during the research.

You should set out your basic principles before embarking upon the experiment: For example, if you were performing educational research, you may assume that all students at the same school are from a very similar socio-economic background, with randomization smoothing out any variables.

By alerting the reader to the fact that these assumptions have been made, you are giving them the opportunity to interpret and assess the results themselves.

After all, a weakness in your paper might later inspire another research question, so be very clear about your assumptions early on. There are a few tips that can help you write a strong introduction, arouse interest and encourage the reader to read the rest of your work.

A long and rambling introduction will soon put people off and lose you marks. Stick closely to your outline for the paper , and structure your introduction in a similar way. The entire introduction should logically end at the research question and thesis statement or hypothesis. The reader, by the end of the introduction, should know exactly what you are trying to achieve with the paper. In addition, your conclusion and discussion will refer back to the introduction, and this is easier if you have a clearly defined problem.

As you write the paper, you may find that it goes in a slightly different direction than planned. In this case, go with the flow, but make sure that you adjust the introduction accordingly.

Some people work entirely from an outline and then write the introduction as the last part of the process. This is fine if it works for you. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Jun 24, How to Write an Introduction. The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing.

A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic.

BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct.

Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper. Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place.

You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids.

Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible. Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page.

Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline.

Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e.

If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again.

Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Did I follow my outline?

Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay?


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Writing a research paper is a challenge for many high school and college students. One of the biggest hang-ups many students have is getting started. Finding a topic and doing the research may be half the battle, but putting words to paper or starting an introduction often proves to be an intimidating task.

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Aug 17,  · If you are writing a research paper that analyzes a primary source, you should start by closely examining your primary materials. Read them closely, look at them closely, and take careful notes. Consider writing down some initial observations that will help ground you%(9).

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Many students delay writing a research paper from the very beginning of the writing process. This happens due to many reasons. Most often, students experience writer’s block where they open a document but can’t start writing. Before we begin writing our research paper, let's take a look at the definition.A research paper is a type of writing in which the author does an independent analysis of the topic and describes the findings from that investigation.

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Take the first step: Make sure to start right away and begin collecting your resources. Several weeks may seem like plenty of time to complete a research paper, but time can slip away leaving you with a week (or less) to finish. After you have picked a research paper topic, begin to focus it by writing down anything you can think about the topic of your comedyq.ga to consider as you narrow your topic: Your opinion about it.