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They are an accepted element of academic writing intended to keep the reader focused on the research problem by explicitly defining the conceptual boundaries and scope of your study. It addresses any critical questions in the reader's mind of, "Why the hell didn't the author examine this? The Narrative Flow. Issues to keep in mind that will help the narrative flow in your introduction :.

Engaging the Reader. A research problem in the social sciences can come across as dry and uninteresting to anyone unfamiliar with the topic. Therefore, one of the goals of your introduction is to make readers want to read your paper. Here are several strategies you can use to grab the reader's attention:.

This avoids giving an impression that your paper is more flash than substance and does not distract from the substance of your study. Introductions and Conclusions. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Introduction. Department of Biology. Bates College; Introductions. University of North Carolina; Introductions.

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 4. The Introduction

Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sharpling, Gerald. Writing an Introduction. Department of English Writing Guide. George Mason University. Avoid the "Dictionary" Introduction. Giving the dictionary definition of words related to the research problem may appear appropriate because it is important to define specific terminology that readers may be unfamiliar with. However, anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and a general dictionary is not a particularly authoritative source because it doesn't take into account the context of your topic and doesn't offer particularly detailed information.

How to Write a Research Paper: Write a First Draft | Infoplease

Also, placed in the context of a particular discipline, a term or concept may have a different meaning than what is found in a general dictionary. If you feel that you must seek out an authoritative definition, use a subject specific dictionary or encyclopedia [e. A good database for obtaining definitive definitions of concepts or terms is Credo Reference. Saba, Robert. The College Research Paper. Florida International University; Introductions. University of North Carolina. When Do I Begin? A common question asked at the start of any paper is, "Where should I begin?

Research Paper: The Process

Therefore, it is important to lay a foundation for understanding the historical context underpinning the research problem. However, this information should be brief and succinct and begin at a point in time that illustrates the study's overall importance. For example, a study that investigates coffee cultivation and export in West Africa as a key stimulus for local economic growth needs to describe the beginning of exporting coffee in the region and establishing why economic growth is important.

You do not need to give a long historical explanation about coffee exports in Africa. If a research problem requires a substantial exploration of the historical context, do this in the literature review section.

In your introduction, make note of this as part of the "roadmap" [see below] that you use to describe the organization of your paper. Always End with a Roadmap. The final paragraph or sentences of your introduction should forecast your main arguments and conclusions and provide a brief description of the rest of the paper [the "roadmap"] that let's the reader know where you are going and what to expect.

A roadmap is important because it helps the reader place the research problem within the context of their own perspectives about the topic. In addition, concluding your introduction with an explicit roadmap tells the reader that you have a clear understanding of the structural purpose of your paper. In this way, the roadmap acts as a type of promise to yourself and to your readers that you will follow a consistent and coherent approach to addressing the topic of inquiry.

Refer to it often to help keep your writing focused and organized.


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Cassuto, Leonard. Contact us. The Introduction Search this Guide Search. The Introduction This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition The introduction leads the reader from a general subject area to a particular topic of inquiry.

Importance of a Good Introduction Think of the introduction as a mental road map that must answer for the reader these four questions: What was I studying?

Why was this topic important to investigate? What did we know about this topic before I did this study? How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding?

Finally, it's time to write!

Structure and Writing Style I. Structure and Approach The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions for the reader: What is this? Why should I read it? Place your research within the research niche by: Stating the intent of your study, Outlining the key characteristics of your study, Describing important results, and Giving a brief overview of the structure of the paper.


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Delimitations of the Study Delimitations refer to those characteristics that limit the scope and define the conceptual boundaries of your research. Examples of delimitating choices would be: The key aims and objectives of your study, The research questions that you address, The variables of interest [i. The Narrative Flow Issues to keep in mind that will help the narrative flow in your introduction : Your introduction should clearly identify the subject area of interest. A simple strategy to follow is to use key words from your title in the first few sentences of the introduction.

This will help focus the introduction on the topic at the appropriate level and ensures that you get to the subject matter quickly without losing focus, or discussing information that is too general. The study shows that people are able to harm others intentionally if ordered to do so. It provides evidence that this dynamic is far more important than previously believed, and that personal ethics are less predictive of such behavior.

Page Abstract : A short summary of the article. Current theories about the topic. What are the hypothesis for the paper? What method used. What were the results obtained? Discussion and Conclusion. What are our thought about the results compared to other relevant theories. Through the text there are references, sources of knowledge, which you've used.

Citing those will give you more credibility because good research is thought to be based on other knowledge and empirical observed evidence. Tables , Figures , Appendix. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth May 21, Example of a Research Paper. Retrieved Oct 14, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4. That is it. You can use it freely with some kind of link , and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations with clear attribution.

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