When you are tasked with writing a research paper quickly, you may be unsure of where to begin. One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what the guidelines actually are.
Once you have reviewed the assignment details, you need to ask yourself how long it is supposed to be. Many teachers will give you a wide range for the final product, such as between 10 and 20 pages or between three and six pages.
That being said, the introductory paragraph and concluding paragraphs both must equal about one tenth of the total length of your assignment. So, if you are assigned a simple five page paper, the introductory paragraph should range about one or two paragraphs. If you are instead writing a ten page product, you want the introductory paragraph to take up about one or two pages.
The order of your information is paramount to its success. There is no set order for which you must address the information in your introduction but your order should, at the very least, remain logical.
If you plan on introducing your thesis straight on in the introductory paragraph, you might want it to start at the beginning, as the first sentence.
If you are asking the reader an intriguing question for which your final argument will provide the answer, you want that too to be an opening part of the introduction, so that it really focuses the content and serves as a starting point for the whole of your argument. The topic you select and the context of that topic are both imperative components for the introduction. You must give the reader some context for your topic so that they understand where you are coming from and where you are going with the topic. The topic is not something that can be understood on its own, with no other information or prior knowledge. You need the readers to know what your focus is by either presenting it to them in a straightforward fashion or alleviating all other potential focuses.
Just like starting a game of chess, you need your paper to begin with a successful opening strategy. But how do you do this? What is the best way to start writing? What opening is best? Well, there are many successful opening strategies with which you may start. You might consider using any of the following:
Whatever opening strategy you select, you need to ensure it is related to the focus of your assignment. A quote is not useful as an opening strategy unless it establishes the context of the thesis. If it does not, it will only confuse the reader and guide them off course. You want the opening strategy to be a direct one. Avoid a long distance opening or a funnel opening. This means avoid a final draft which starts “ever since man walked…” or one which begins broadly covering the history of religion only to narrow down to your argument that Jesus had siblings.
Review the guidelines of your paper before you start anything else. Make sure you understand what is expected of you and what you need to do in order to get the grade you want.
It is up to you to decide what amount of space you require to complete your assignment. Your final length must be proportionate to the complexity of the topic you are covering.
The context of your topic can be established within the introductory paragraph. This means that your introduction order can be flexible and meet with your needs.