Starting a research paper can be one of the hardest parts when completing an assignment. Before writing the introduction one should conduct extensive research in order to get relevant content for your paper. Writing a strong introduction is not an easy task since it requires a combination of creativity and good writing skills. An effective introduction should draw the attention of your readers, provide background information on your topic, and reveal your essay’s purpose.
What Is a Research Paper?
A research paper is a type of academic writing that involves conducting an analysis of the topic, interpretation, and argument based on extensive independent research. Research papers are more similar to academic essays except that they are usually longer and more detailed. They are assigned to the research and writing skills of a student. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong understanding of your topic, the ability to find relevant sources, and strong argumentative skills. Furthermore, one will have to identify and evaluate the weaknesses and strengths of the research question.
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A good way to start a research paper is to introduce your topic to the reader by telling them what you are writing about. Your introduction should begin with an opening statement that will grab the attention of the readers. You can do this by including an interesting fact or some surprising statistical data. Sentences should be clear, concise, and engaging. A good introduction provides background information on the topic since it provides the reader with critical information and knowledge about the subject.
How to write a research paper
The following guidelines will help you come up with a compelling and effective research paper:
Step 1. Understand the assignment
Before you begin your research paper, make sure you understand the instructions and purpose of the assignment. Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method. Ensure that you clarify anything confusing with your professor or instructor.
Step 2. Choose a research paper topic
The best way to start writing a research paper is brainstorming for ideas and choosing a topic you are interested and familiar with. This will make it easier and more comfortable to find and research for information. The primary purpose of choosing a good research topic is to keep your audience interested and motivated. The topic should be specific enough that you can find enough information and supporting evidence to describe and explain the topic thoroughly.
After choosing the topic, you should narrow the focus to a specific aspect of the topic so that you can explore it in details. Narrowing down a topic will provide you with a specific organization of your paper and the research you will undertake. When writing your research paper, make sure to include your opinion on the issue in your introduction to make your topic sound more personal and relevant to your readers.
Step 3. Do extensive research on your essay topic
A writer needs to do proper and thorough research to find meaningful and relevant content for their articles. However, successful writing involves more than just doing research but relies on the ability of the writer to analyze and interpret the information in a confident and well-structured style. It’s also vital to follow all the instructions provided on the topic of research and follow the correct formatting.
Step 4. Provide Background Information and Context
Background information consists of all the information that a reader requires in order to have a deeper understanding of the topic being discussed. Background information usually appears after the hook or attention grabber in the introduction. Both are intertwined, as the hook cannot be separated from the background information.
The main purpose of background information is to make readers aware of what is going to be discussed in the essay. It makes readers conscious of the strengths and weaknesses of the topic, and gives room for further exploration. Background information should be sufficient enough, and should not leave any gaps or unanswered questions in your research. It also helps the readers get a good a measure of amount of what to expect and how it will be presented.
Step 5. Include a compelling thesis statement
A thesis statement appears at the end of the first paragraph and identifies the topic under discussion. It informs the reader of the direction and significance of your essay. A thesis statement captures the position of the principal or central ideas. It usually focuses on your ideas in one or two sentences. Your thesis statement also helps guide your writing and keeps your thoughts and arguments focused.
An excellent thesis statement controls the subject matter of the essay and states useful and relevant content to the reader. An effective thesis statement should be clear, debatable, specific, and include evidence to back your point of view. A weak thesis statement is often not clear and is too broad, making it difficult for the reader to understand the direction and your position in the essay.
Here is a quick checklist for writing a thesis statement:
- Your thesis statement should be specific- For your thesis statement to be effective; it should be as clear and specific as possible. It should cover what you will discuss in your paper, and it should also be supported with concrete evidence or facts.
- Your thesis should be clear– An excellent thesis statement should be clear and concise so that the reader can quickly identify it and efficiently understand the meaning and purpose of the paper.
- Show the purpose of the essay- Your thesis statement should let the reader know the purpose of your essay by describing the reasons, scope, and practical relevance of your research.
- Ability to be argued- Your thesis statement should present a point of view that can be debatable and supported with relevant evidence.
- Ability to be demonstrated- All the claims or arguments you make in your thesis should provide reasons and relevant examples for your opinions.
- You should include your position on the issue- A strong and compelling statement should not just present the topic or issue at hand, but also reveal your position.