Read the attached lecture notes, visit this website, and view this video for tips on introduction strategies. Write the introduction for the research paper and be sure to give credit to your sources using APA format for in-text citation.




The introduction can be the most challenging part of a paper, since many writers struggle with where to start. It helps to have already settled on a thesis. If you’re feeling daunted, you can sometimes write the other sections of the paper first. Then, when you’ve organized the main ideas in the body, you can work “backward” to explain your topic and thesis clearly in the first paragraph.

Present Main Ideas

The introduction to a social-science paper should succinctly present the main ideas. The goal of the introduction is to convince the reader that you have a valid answer to an important question. In order to do that, make sure your introduction covers these five points: the topic, the question, the importance of the question, your approach to the question, and your answer to the question.

Structuring Your Ideas

A popular introduction structure is the concept-funnel—begin with general information about your topic, narrow the focus and provide context, and end by including your paper’s specific focused idea (thesis statement). As you move from general background information to the specifics of your project, try to create a road map for your paper. Mirror the structure of the paper itself, explaining how each piece fits into the bigger picture. It is usually best to write the introduction after you have made significant progress with your data analysis to ensure you have enough information to write an accurate overview.

Papers in the sciences generally aim for an objective voice and stay close to the facts. However, you have a bit more freedom at the beginning of the introduction, and you can take advantage of that freedom by finding a surprising, high-impact way to highlight your issue’s importance. Here are some effective strategies for opening a paper:

  • Make a provocative or controversial statement
  • State a surprising or little-known fact
  • Make a case for your topic’s relevance to the reader
  • Open with a relevant quote or brief anecdote
  • Take a stand against something
  • Stake a position for yourself within an ongoing debate
  • Talk about a challenging problem or paradox

Establishing Relevance

After you engage your reader’s attention with the opening, make a case for the importance of your topic and question. Here are some questions that may help at this stage: Why did you choose this topic? Should the general public or your academic discipline be more aware of this issue, and why? Are you calling attention to an underappreciated issue, or evaluating a widely acknowledged issue in a new light? How does the issue affect you, if at all?

Source: Boundless. “Introduction and Thesis.” Boundless Writing. Boundless, 08 Jan. 2016. Retrieved 04 Mar. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/writing/textbooks/boundless-writing-textbook/writing-across-disciplines-254/writing-in-the-natural-and-social-sciences-the-research-paper-and-the-imrad-model-275/introduction-and-thesis-80-10363/


Strategies for Writing Introductions:

The introduction should be designed to attract the reader’s attention and provide an idea of the essay’s focus.   The introduction captures your audience’s attention, gives background on your topic, develops interest in your topic, and guides your reader to your thesis.


  1. Begin with an attention grabber. The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas:


    • Startling information
      This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesn’t need to be totally new to your readers.  It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make.  If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with a sentence or two of elaboration.


    • Anecdote or Illustration.
      An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point.  Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully.


    • Dialogue
      An appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point.  Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration.


    • Summary Information
      A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis.


  • Begin with a quotation.

A direct quotation shows you have explored what others have to say about your topic.      You can then proceed to agree