Academic Tips: Research Paper Introduction Paragraph
Reading the introduction to your research paper should give your professor a good overall idea of what direction you plan to take in the discussion and methodology of your subject. If the introduction fails to do this, it should be re-examined with the following criteria in mind.
Does your introduction have a hook?
In order to grab the reader’s attention, your introduction should contain a compelling idea that makes him or her want to read further. Try doing this by writing three different opening sentences, each containing a description of your topic in different words. Choose the catchiest one and write your paragraph around that sentence. Incorporate a bit of mystery and controversy into the introduction so that your professor will be intrigued to know what else you have to say.
Are the three points of research contained in your introduction?
A good research paper must contain your statement, your methodology and a result. These three points should be mentioned in your introduction, but not in detail. A brief description on how you have applied these methods in your research must be mentioned. This information must help your introduction to be catchier, so write it over and over until it does this.
How long is your introduction?
A good introduction should incorporate all the details you want in about 150 words. If it’s longer than this, your introduction might have irrelevant information or it could just be longwinded. Try to keep it as short as possible, but don’t sacrifice any key information that would be useful in hooking the reader to go further. Use your discretion when doing this and go through every word slowly.
Is there any unnecessary information?
Try scrutinizing your work to the degree that all unnecessary words are deleted from your introduction. You can afford to be brutal in this area because an expansion of what you want to say should and will come later when you write the main content.
Have you eliminated any repetition?
Your introduction must be a summary of your main content, but should not use any of the same phrases or sentences contained therein. Try putting all introductory information in different words and even changing your style completely. This is easily done if you write your introduction after the paper is finished. Another type of repetition to avoid is within the introductory paragraph itself. This is a waste of word count so avoid is at all costs.