Many students find the writing of an introduction, especially for a demanding paper such as a research paper, to be a very challenging task. If one knows the strategies to use in writing solid introductions, this part of the research paper can be as easy to write as the other sections of the paper. For a research paper, the introduction paragraph is usually a half page in length although it can sometimes be longer depending upon the overall length of the paper and the required background information needed for the introduction. Just like other kinds of papers, the introduction of a research paper begins with statements that present the primary issue being explored and ends by offering the hypothesis or research questions on which the study or research is to be based. The introduction paragraph of a research paper, and indeed of any other kind of academic paper, should always offer a theoretical framework for the research and enable its reader to gain a clear understanding of the purpose for the research. Without a well-written introductory paragraph, it would be very difficult for readers to determine what the paper is about and to follow the presentation of ideas and evidence.
Academic papers should never be written like works of fiction. While creative writing may leave the reader guessing what will happen next, academic papers always inform the reader at the beginning what the paper is about so the reader can understand and follow the contents of the paper better. The introduction of the research paper does this by providing a thesis statement on which the reader is to focus while reading the rest of the paper. Many informative articles on writing research papers and essays point out that the introduction paragraph should be the last paragraph to be written. This is a good idea because an introduction needs to provide a concise statement as to what the remainder of the paper covers. With that thought in mind, if someone is not confident in writing introduction paragraphs, then it is best to write the rest of the paper first and then finish up by writing the introduction paragraph. Doing so makes it easier to list the main points to be addressed in the body of the paper. In addition, writing an outline can greatly aid one in developing a good introductory paragraph. Once one has created an outline, one can use the information from the outline to generate the contents of the introductory paragraph since the outline already lists the main points to be addressed in the paper.
In summary, it is always recommended that when writing the introduction paragraph, one should begin with a few sentences that introduce the topic of the research paper to the reader. One does not provide extensive information about the topic because this will be the role of the body of the paper. Furthermore, one should strive to make the sentences in the introduction paragraph as interesting as possible. These first sentences should provide the reader with thought-provoking ideas to consider, pulling the reader into the rest of the paper. Finally, the introduction should present the hypothesis or the research questions to be explored through research and presented in the paper.
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