Introduction for a Research Paper
The introduction for a reference report is the beginning section of the document that contextualizes the topic and articulates the article's thesis. Introductions for research papers will vary depending on the type of research paper and the length requirements; however, all reference report introductions should contain information that allows the reader to fully understand the topic, the topic's relevance, and the article's thesis before proceeding to more in-depth examination or exploration.
An introduction for a research paper will be quite different from an introduction for an article. An article is a more flexible writing form in which writers are often encouraged to be creative in their presentation. Research papers, on the other hand, must be very straightforward and transparent. Therefore, writers of research papers are encouraged to save their creativity for their analysis rather than their introductions.
The first function of the introduction is to define and contextualize the topic. This means that the topic should first be thoroughly explained and then contextualized through an explanation of the topic's relevance. For instance, if the report were on the gravitational pull of black holes, the introduction would explain what the gravitational pull of black holes is and then give the reason why the gravitational pull of black holes is a relevant topic of data collection. When writing introductions for research papers, learners should be sure to fully explain and contextualize, but should stay on track—the explanation and contextualization are only background information for the thesis, which is the main point of the document. Therefore, the explanation and contextualization should be thorough, but as concise as possible. The length of the introduction for a research paper will often depend on the complexity of the topic, because more complex topics (such as the gravitational pull of black holes) require more lengthy contextualization and explanation
After the topic has been explained and contextualized, the writer should present her thesis statement—her main point or argument regarding the topic. The thesis statement follows the explanation and contextualization of the topic because it is only after the topic has been explained and contextualized that a specific argument about that topic can make sense to the reader. This thesis should be clearly articulated in a sentence or group of sentences that assert the research writer's primary point regarding the topic. Often, introductions for research papers end with the assertion of the thesis statement or a sentence or two that explain and contextualize why the thesis is a relevant topic of inquiry.
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