The Parts of the Introduction to a Research Paper
The introduction to a research paper simply introduces the topic being researched. The introduction contains a topic sentence, a thesis statement, then three to five reasons, details and/or facts supporting your research followed by a conclusion. It should be relatively brief, concise and clear. The thesis statement and the supporting sentences provide the background information the reader needs about the topic. An introduction doesn't explain findings in detail. It provides the setup for the paper.
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.
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.
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.