The Parts of the Introduction to a Research Paper

Updated April 17, 2017

The Topic Sentence

The topic sentence in the introduction simply states the main idea of your paper. It should be clear and concise yet thorough enough for a reader to understand what will be presented. Thirteen types of topic sentences are outlined in "Step Up to Writing," a booklet that gives basic composition tips. Some of these include the "occasion/position statement," "however statements," the "list statement" and the "compare/contrast statement."

The Thesis Statement

The thesis statement in the introduction makes the main idea of your paper clear to the reader. Examine your outline for direction, then write several thesis statements and choose the one that most appropriately fits your topic sentence. Utilizing expressive words and vivid action verbs help the thesis grab the reader's attention. Refine your thesis statement by reading it aloud several times to ensure clarity and cohesion.

Supporting Sentences

Three to five reasonable arguments should be presented in the form of reasons, details and/or facts. These arguments must support your research. This is where the significance of the researched information can be summarized concisely before you express it in the body. An introduction can contain all reasons, all details, all facts or a combination of the three. Giving this pertinent information further leads the reader to discover why this research is important.

The Conclusion Sentence

The concluding sentence of the introductory paragraph simply recalls the main idea and adds a strong ending to a paragraph. When writing the concluding sentence, rewrite the topic sentence using different words but keep the main idea intact. Also, add a new detail or insight about the main idea. The conclusion should use words that grab the reader's attention.

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About the Author

Victor Seals is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School. He has worked as a journalist in Charlotte, N.C., and South Bend, Ind., as well as Amarillo and Austin, Texas. Seals is currently a high school English teacher in St. Louis, Mo.