How to write introductory paragraph for research paper
The writing of the research paper is a multi-aspect process. Because this type of academic assignment consists of several parts. If you fail to complete one of the levels, you will fail the whole paper.
Introduction is not a literal beginning
As you know, the hardest part is just to begin the paper. And what should do student at the beginning? Not writing an outline. And not working on the introduction. He should make a massive research on his topic. You cannot start writing an introduction without having a personal view on the issue that you are going to study. You have to prepare for introduction writing though analyzing facts available online and making notes. If it's hard to do it yourself, the online essay help service will solve this problem instantly!
Why do we need an introduction?
The key aim of introduction is to introduce to the reader the purpose of your research. Just imagine any academic writing starting from the main body section. You cannot pour on the reader your evidence, ideas, arguments without explanation of what are you writing about. In the introduction, you must clearly indicate the hypothesis you want to prove or deny. You must explain the necessity of your research, its urgency and significance for your study and, finally, hook readers to continue reading it!
What information can I get from my search for the introduction?
It depends on the discipline you are writing the research paper on. If your field of studies is Humanities, it is likely that you can find a relevant quote, aphorism, anecdote to introduce your topic to the reader. In case you study tech, social, medical sciences quotes are irrelevant. More precise and specific facts will fit such introduction. There is a general rule for all specialties too. You must find a fact that will intrigue a reader. You must hook him.
Attract the reader in any case
Imagine that your research paper is a product that you want to sell and be paid for it. Figuratively, it is truth because your aim is to be rewarded with high mark. The first thing salesmen do to sell their product is a promotion of it. They put efforts and use various methods to hook clients. So, what should writers do to attract a reader? Even if you write a research paper, and the style of writing is formal, it is still necessary and possible to draw his attention.
For example, your research paper topic is “How has the music industry been affected by the internet and digital downloading?”. After a hasty internet search, you can find out that there are many legendary musicians like Radiohead that gave up being dependant on music labels and started to issue their LP by themselves, online. Also, there is a site Pledge Music that is a popular crowdfunding platform for modern musicians. Such popular synth-pop band as IAMX raises money there to record and promote their albums.
This two facts prove that digital downloading somehow effect music industry, and it is urgent to research this topic to learn the character of this effect.
Writing a thesis statement
What do you feel what you watch a good teaser for the movie? You feel hooked, intrigued and eager to watch the story till the end. The same result you must achieve with the thesis statement in research paper. You must indicate the highlights of your essay, and leave an opened question, a mystery, which the reader will want to learn for sure.
To provide a worthy example of research paper thesis statement lets return to the discussed above topic “How has the music industry been affected by the internet and digital downloading?”.
A thesis statement is a point that you will have to defend. It mandatorily must not be general. For example, if you declare this statement during the conversation, it will surely provoke a conflict and make all people differ in their attitude and take a side.
Wrong way: “Downloading music from internet is bad and we must fight it."
It leaves too many questions to answer. And this statement is a way too objective, it does not reflect the controversy of your topic. The truth is that there are no absolutely good or totally bad phenomenon. And your thesis statement must show the reality.
Right way: “The culture of digital music consumption must be changed because the creations of musicians become worthless due to activity of web pirates and people stop valuing music according to its merit .”
In this example of thesis, I’ve narrowed my argument to consequences of digital music download on culture of music consumption. I’ve also focused on the fact that main harm for music industry present web pirates. It induces readers to assume that I will argue against them in the main body.
To check if you have created a debatable thesis statement for the research paper, you must figure out whether it is debatable. It means that you must make reader argue either for or against this statement.
Wrong way: “The music industry has changed because of era of the internet.”
It is a statement, but not a thesis statement. It is a general truth. There is no point to argue with that fact. You can narrate about that, but not argue and make research to provide proper evidence to prove your point.
Right way: “Free music download sites must become commercial because recording a music is a full-time job of musicians and every work must be rewarded.”
Now it is debatable. Opponents can argue that product that music product is not principal way to earn money for musicians, and internet is a the most effective way to promote their creation and lure audience to visit their concerts, what is a real way to earn money.
Avoid puzzlement. It means that you must not overdo with previous two thesis statement tips. It must be focused and debatable and should also show your side. In the latter example we can easily see that the writer is against free music download because it affects negatively on the work of music industry and he is going to prove why in the main body.
Research paper introduction writing tips
Research paper introduction is essential part of your writing and it must be created according to certain rules. It is true that when you write any kind of text you can push yourself too hard and cross borders of norms. Because academic styles of writing are referred to creative writing as well. You look for information, then analyze it, come up with thoughts, ideas, and reflect it in a coherent text. Next tips will show you how to fulfill the purpose of research paper introduction and get rid of the creative mess.
Size matters. Before a tutor starts reading the article, he reviews it visually. If the size of introduction is too large, it will make a bad impression on your paper. Just remember, all you have to present in the introduction is: definition of the topic idea and its urgency, explanation of the aim of the research, facts to hook the reader and thesis statement.
Be logical. Your introduction will be really strong if it contains key ideas only in few sentences. To reach such result it is important to satisfy logical connection of the thoughts. Your goal is to make reader understand in the end of the introduction what exactly you attempted to achieve in research paper and why this problem worth profound research.
Make it the last part. Many successful students firstly work on the whole outline, write the body of the paper and only then form the introduction. That’s because a person becomes more sure in what direction his research goes only after at least shallow search and analysis of sources.
Review previous studies of your topic. Every person can study the same topic in a different way. Before you start your own research, you must become aware of the discoveries other scholars made on this issue. Any result will be a reliable background for the future work. Note that it is better to indicate recent developments in the primary research rather than a lengthy report.
Research paper introduction example
Finally, when we have analyzed all highlights of introduction writing we can gather all parts of it in one, ultimate part of a paper. Lets refresh the exemplary topic of it: “How has the music industry been affected by the internet and digital downloading?”. Now, have a look at research paper introduction example:
“The musical marketing turns to be digital according to demands of current online epoche. Such underground, but worldwide famous bands like Radiohead and IAMX gain profit from the internet and use it as a primary source to show the audience their creation. On the other hand, many artists find digital era harmful and destructive for their creativity because there are many sites that offer their product for free, giving no profit to the creator. Currently, there are more and more studies that reveal the business side of music industry far from a positive side. This research paper will define whether the culture of digital music consumption must be changed because the creations of musicians become worthless due to an activity of web pirates and because people have stopped valuing music according to its merit.”
As you see, all main components are preserved in the example above. First sentences hook readers, the mid part of the introduction prove the reason of the research and thesis statement puts debatable argument that needs further analysis and right solution.
Integrity is a key
After you created the final paper, be decisive to make necessary changes and correction especially before the submission. It usually happens that in the end of the research a writer can face with inconsistencies in all sections of his writing. If the whole paper does not sound a cohesive text, make improvements. If your main part does not the answer the question raised in the introduction nothing obstructs you from adjusting its sense to the ideas from the main body. A paper with a cohesive text deserve high mark, so rule your writing!
Now you’re a winner
I suppose that before you came across this article you underestimated the value of worthy introductive paragraph. In fact, I have not introduced you another meaningful feature of it. You know that all academic essay must end with a conclusive paragraph. There is an assumption that this is the hardest part of research paper completion. In fact, if you have succeeded in making of impressive introduction, you will significantly facilitate the process of conclusion writing.
Speech introductions are often an afterthought, hastily thrown together at the last second by someone with little knowledge of the speaker, their speech, or the value for the audience.
And yet, speech introductions are critical to the success of a speech.
While a strong speech opening is vital, nothing helps establish a speaker’s credibility more than a carefully-crafted and well-delivered introduction.
This article gives you a series of practical tips for how to introduce a speaker to position them with the best possible chance to succeed.
1. Answer three core questions.
When you are introducing a speaker, your primary goal is to prepare the audience and get them excited for what they are about to hear.
To do this, you must answer these three core questions:
- What is the topic?
- Why is this topic important for this audience?
- Why is the speaker qualified to deliver this talk?
By addressing these three questions, you’ve given the audience a motivation for listening (the topic is important to them), and you’ve reinforced the speaker’s credibility.
2. Prepare and practice adequately.
“While a strong speech opening is vital, nothing helps establish a speaker’s credibility more than a carefully-crafted and well-delivered introduction.”
At all costs, avoid thoughts such as “Oh, I don’t need to prepare… I’m just introducing a speaker.”
Thoughts like that lead to stumbling, bumbling, off-the-cuff introductions which undermine your credibility and the credibility of the speaker.
You should write out (and edit) the full introduction, check it with the speaker, and practice it several times.
3. Memorize it, or minimize your notes.
Try to memorize the introduction; speaking without notes will add to your authority, and the audience will put more weight in your recommendation (that is, to listen to this speaker).
If you are unable to memorize the entire introduction, then use as few notes as you can. Be sure you can you deliver the last sentence of your introduction without notes as this will maximize momentum for the speaker.
4. Be positive and enthusiastic.
The audience takes cues from you. If you seem disinterested, they will be disinterested. If you are (genuinely) positive and enthusiastic, they will be too. Your choice of words, voice, gestures, and facial expressions should all convey enthusiasm.
So, how do you ensure you are enthusiastic?
5. Get to know the speaker.
It is difficult to get the audience excited about the speaker if you aren’t excited yourself.
If the speaker is previously unknown to you — for example, suppose you’ve volunteered to introduce speakers at a large industry event — your introduction may lack sincerity. So, get to know the speaker. Google them. Talk with them. Ask others about them. Research the speaker and their expertise until you are excited by the opportunity to introduce them.
6. Eliminate pronunciation blunders.
A sure way to undermine your own credibility and that of the speaker is to mispronounce their name, the title of their presentation, or any other key terms.
Luckily, this is easily avoided through practice and by confirming the correct pronunciation with the speaker well before the presentation. (Don’t wait until you are delivering the introduction to ask them — this looks amateurish.)
“A sure way to undermine your own credibility and that of the speaker is to mispronounce their name, the title of their presentation, or any other key terms.”
7. Be accurate.
Being accurate is as important as correct pronunciation, perhaps more so. Make sure you know the precise years, facts, or details.
If you make factual errors, many speakers will feel an irresistible compulsion to correct you. This is a lousy way for them to begin their speech, and will almost certainly kill their momentum.
8. Don’t alter the speech title.
Many speakers craft their presentation title very carefully, and the words matter to them. The title may be a phrase they want the audience to remember, it may reflect language used on accompanying slides, or it may be a humorous play on words.
Don’t change it under any circumstances. (And, of course, know how to pronounce it.)
9.Should you attempt humor?
In most circumstances, no. Your objective is to get the audience excited about the topic and the speaker, and this is not the time to tell humorous anecdotes about the speaker. Save those for a roast!
There are exceptions (as there are to all public speaking advice), and you’ll have to use your judgment. If this speech is part of a longer event, and the preceding talk has been particularly sad or low on energy, then it may help to lift the spirits of the audience. If you need to do this, do it early in your introduction, and then move on to the more thought-provoking content leading to your climax.
10. Don’t give an outline of the speech.
I was once introduced by someone who had seen a longer presentation I gave on the same topic two years prior. Not only did they ignore the introduction I had written for them, but they gave a detailed outline of my whole talk, including which parts were their favorites! Unfortunately, my outline had changed substantially, and they had created unreasonable expectations and sabotaged my talk.
Avoid undermining the speaker by giving too many details about the speech, telling anecdotes from their speech, or making promises about details in their presentation. It is the speaker’s job to decide how and when they reveal their outline. Keep your introduction at a high level, unless they have specifically asked you to do otherwise.
11. Stick to relevant expertise of the speaker.
One very common mistake is to recite a lengthy list of biographical details (education, awards, former job titles, publications, etc.) which may or may not be relevant to the topic being presented. This is especially common at academic conferences.
For example, avoid introductions such as:
Our speaker grew up in Seattle and graduated at the top of her mechanical engineering class at Carnegie Mellon University. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Harvard. She is a member of the Automotive Engineers Association, and a two-time recipient of the Stone Award for Distinguished Linguistics Research. She was previously the Director of Research at Hasbro, and is currently the CEO for the Miami Dolphins.
Her talk today is entitled “How to Build Authentic Shaker Furniture.”
A much better introduction would touch on how many years the speaker had been building shaker furniture, whether she had been trained or self-taught, and that she had written a book on this topic.
Okay, maybe that example was a bit extreme. But, even if the speaker has a lengthy list of biographical details that are related to her talk, there’s no need to recite them all. Pick a small number (about three) that are most relevant — usually the most recent details.
Why not give all the details?
12. Don’t overdo it.
Long introductions filled with biographical details are bad for two main reasons:
- Long introductions are boring. Nobody attends an event to listen to the introducer go on and on.
- Long introductions are pompous. Reciting dozens of professional accolades gives the impression that the speaker cares only about himself and his ego.
Keep your introduction just long enough to accomplish your goals:  what’s the topic,  why does it matter, and  why is the speaker credible?
“Keep your introduction just long enough to accomplish your goals:  what’s the topic,  why does it matter, and  why is the speaker credible?”
I’m a big fan of short introductions in just about all situations. Sixty or ninety seconds is usually ample time. For really long presentations (e.g. keynote addresses lasting an hour or more), then two or three minutes may be warranted.
13. Avoid cliches.
How many times have you heard: “This speaker needs no introduction…” ? While the speaker may indeed be well-known to the audience, nearly every speech benefits from a brief introduction.
14. Avoid exaggerated hype.
Your introduction should get the audience excited about the presentation, but don’t take it too far.
For example, it is reasonable to claim that the presentation will help the audience solve a business problem, save time, or understand the complexities of tax policy.
But, it doesn’t help anyone to claim that “this presentation will solve all your problems“, or that it is “the best presentation you’ll ever hear“, or even that “you’ll be amazed by what you are about to hear“. Lofty expectations will actually have a detrimental effect, because the audience will feel challenged to prove you wrong.
15. Build to a climax.
Your vocal delivery (strength and volume) should build toward the end of your introduction. (Keep it reasonable… there’s no need to yell.) By doing so, the audience will be compelled to welcome the speaker with loud applause.
One effective way to do this is to end with the speaker’s name and explicitly encourage applause:
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming our guest speaker, Donna Primeau!
16. Ensure a smooth transition.
Know where the speaker will be as you speak your last words so that you can turn in that direction to greet them.
Etiquette dictates that you should wait for them to come to you (e.g. on the stage, or at the lectern) and then shake hands before you leave. Shaking hands is a symbolic gesture that indicates you are “handing the floor” to them.
Occasionally, the speaker may have a special entrance planned. (e.g. entrance music, a staged stunt, something with a prop) Make sure you ask the speaker about this, and do whatever you can to support them in a successful entrance.
What tips can you share for great introductions?
What introduction blunders drive you crazy?
How long should introductions be?
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