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 • Research and the Research Paper
 • Grammar
 • The Writing Process
 • Special Kinds of Writing
 • Modes of Exposition
 • Critical Thinking

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InfoTrac College Edition

Writing the Introduction and Conclusion

The opening and closing of anything you write is important. The way you introduce your subject to your reader in the first few lines will greatly determine how they will approach your ideas or even if they will continue reading at all. The introduction of a research paper is especially important because research papers tend to be long and complex.

The Introduction

Your introduction should accomplish key goals:

  1. Grab attention -- open with a quote, fact, statistic, or short narrative.
  2. Convince readers that your paper is worth reading -- demonstrate the importance of your subject.with details.
  3. Explain the basic context of your subject
  4. Narrow the topic to a specific thesis that clearly states your position

You can also use the introduction to explain or justify your research methods or address reader objections.

The Conclusion

Your conclusion should accomplish specific tasks:

  1. Bring the paper to an interesting, logical end
  2. End with a final fact, quote, or comment to provoke readers to accept your ideas and think about the topic on their own
  3. Reinforce the main points of the essay without unnecessary repetition
  4. Speculate about future action

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From The Sundance Reader, Third Edition, Web Site by Mark Connelly.