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How to Start off a Research Paper

Opening Line Strategy #1

❶Its job is to make you read this second sentence, which has the singular task of propelling your eyes towards the third sentence. Even better, give two or three more — it shows initiative always looks good.

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Opening Line Strategy #3

Some classes will require you to write a paper that is heavily based on outside research you've done. Others will require you to use the course materials, like novels, or textbooks, for the basis of your paper, and to draw your own conclusions, though almost every good essay is based on solid research.

If you have any questions, talk to your teacher well before the day the assignment is due to clarify any concerns you may have. Master the different types of essays. There are many different types of essays you may have to write in college, and it's good to be aware of the variety of essays out there so you know what is expected of you.

Here are the basic types of essays that you should master: This essay will ask you to persuade your readers to see your perspective on an issue. For example, an essay showing readers all the reasons why personal handguns should be banned will be a persuasive essay. This type of essay is most common in literature courses. This essay will ask you to read a work and to analyze the words, themes, characters, and meaning using your own ideas as well as other scholarly sources for the topic.

This type of essay will pick a process or situation and will explain the important aspects of this subject, such as describing the daily lives of college students. This essay will ask you to dig deeper into a topic by researching it and informing your readers of its history, uses, or relevance.

The compare and contrast essay. This type of essay will ask you to compare and contrast two topics and to show how they are similar or different. For example, an essay analyzing all of the similarities and differences between living in New York City and Los Angeles is a compare and contrast essay.

Are you writing for your professor, for your classmates, for experts in your field, or for people who are new to the subject? If you're writing for experts in the field, then you don't have to define basic terms and can use a more advanced vocabulary, but if you're writing for people who don't know much about the topic, like analyzing a film for readers who haven't seen it, then you'll have to give more basic details.

If you're writing a research paper on a topic that may be esoteric or unfamiliar to your readers, then you'll have to explain the research you've found in great detail. What is your purpose in writing the essay?

Is it to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to define, to compare and contrast, to analyze, to synthesize, or to tell a story? Knowing your purpose right away can help you frame your argument and reach the right people in the right way. For example, if your goal is to persuade people, you'll have to develop a logical argument with compelling main points that convince your readers to see your point of view.

If your goal is to compare and contrast, then you'll have to be knowledgeable about the differences and similarities of two topics. If your purpose is to inform, then you'll have to thoroughly study a topic and help your readers understand it better. Tone is another important aspect of writing a successful college essay. For most essays, your tone should be professional, detached, and informative. If you use too much biased language to try to convince your research, then you won't sound authoritative.

If you use slang or write in the first person, then you won't sound professional. But if you're writing a personal essay for a course on writing a memoir, for example , then you'll get to use more comfortable, informal language. Your tone is your attitude toward the subject you're presenting.

Is your tone detached, amused, slightly cynical, suspicious, or more passionate? Whatever the tone is, it has to be appropriate to the subject matter. If you're writing an essay about stem-cell research, for example, your tone should be objective and detached; if you were writing an essay about online dating, you could take a more amused or playful tone.

Though it may be fun to jump right into an essay without knowing exactly what you're talking about, the best thing you can do is to do your research first so you build a solid foundation for your thinking.

Get the texts you need, take notes, and read them until you feel that you've mastered the topic and have enough information to write an essay or formulate an argument. Make sure that the materials you use are credible and come from established professionals. Don't do your research on Wikipedia.

Take enough notes to be comfortable with the subject. Know what makes an appropriate thesis statement. Once you've done your research, you'll need to write a thesis statement, which will be the central argument or point that you'll be making throughout the paper.

Right after your title is the introductory paragraph. You want start your paper on a positive note by putting forth the best writing possible. Like writing the title, you can wait to write your introductory paragraph until you are done with the body of the paper. Some people prefer to do it this way since they want to know exactly where their paper goes before they make an introduction to it.

When you write your introductory paragraph is a matter of personal preference. Your introductory paragraph needs to accomplish three main things: There are a variety of ways this can be achieved. Finding a topic and doing the research may be half the battle, but putting words to paper or starting an introduction often proves to be an intimidating task.

If done correctly, an introduction is a simple and effective way to write the entire paper quickly. Conduct your research thoroughly.

One problem students run into when starting a research paper introduction is failing to properly research the topic. Research doesn't involve just gathering sources.

It also involves reading and mentally digesting the source material. Some students have difficultly with the introduction because they don't understand the topic. Create a map or outline of your paper. You must understand the direction your paper is going before you can properly write the introduction. By creating an outline, you highlight the important elements that your paper will explore, which makes writing the introduction easier than if you just dive right into it without a sense of direction or purpose.

By definition, an introduction introduces the paper topic. Your intent should be to summarize the extent of your research in one or two paragraphs, without necessarily giving away the ending. Write multiple rough drafts of your opening paragraph. You should complete each one independently of the others and of your paper outline.


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State your thesis briefly and directly (but avoid making a bald announcement, such as "This essay is about"). It is time, at last, to speak the truth about Thanksgiving, and the truth is this. Thanksgiving is really not such a terrific holiday.

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On this page, you can find a few tips along with samples to help you start and end your paper more effectively. The introduction is one of the most important parts of your writing project as it should attract your readers' attention while giving them an expectation of of what you plan to do in your writing.

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Four basic strategies on how to start an essay with an attention grabber 1. An intriguing question. Ask a question that you’ll answer in the body of your paper, or ask a question that will get readers thinking about your topic. Check out these examples. The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process. where it serves as the jumping-off point for the middle, or main body, of the essay. opening, which aims to establish a context for the essay by getting a long running start: "Ever.

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How to Start a Research Paper Introduction Writing a research paper is a challenge for many high school and college students. One of the biggest hang-ups many students have is getting started. WRITING A PROCESS PAPER. Just start the car and go, because 10, fellow students are vying for your parking place, and that's just on the freeway off-ramp. Follow the stream of cars into the parking lot and circle once or twice to make sure a close spot has .