The Introduction And The Conclusion: The Hardest Paper Sections To Write

Most college students agree: the introductory and conclusion sections of research papers are the most difficult to write. It is incredibly hard to find a compelling an non-clichéd way of starting and closing a paper, especially a research paper that must follow a strict professional tone.

Despite this, the intro and conclusion sections are easily the most vital parts of the entire research paper. These opening and closing chapters provide your readers with an invaluable guide to your research and is broader meaning and scope. The introduction and conclusion hooks the reader’s attention, sets up the study, and remains prominent in the reader’s memory long after the rest of the paper has faded. So no matter how much you loathe writing these sections, it is imperative that you compose them carefully and properly. Here are some tips.

  1. Both sections should use slightly more casual and approachable language than the rest of the paper. Do not begin or close your research paper with excessively technical language.
  2. Do not begin or end research papers with irrelevant anecdotes, literary quotes, personal stories, or other banal information. Unlike regular essays, research papers must conform to a consistent academic standard throughout.
  3. Begin with a compelling and broad fact or observation, and return to it at the end of the paper. Creating such “bookends” will help your readers to make sense of the paper as a whole, and will create a memorable effect of parallelism.
  4. In your conclusion section, you should restate your findings in language that is easy to understand. Use short sentences and eschew jargon or statistical terminology. Really “sell” your results and their overall theoretical and social import.
  5. In your introduction, give the reader a sense of the “stakes” for your research question. Why does you topic matter at the present time, and how does it affect humanity as a whole? Do not be afraid to be broad.
  6. Do not speak about statistics or research methods in either your introduction or conclusion sections of your research paper. Focus instead on the theoretical points, which should be more important and more interesting to your readers.
  7. Do not make any novel claims or new statements in either your introduction or conclusion sections. These sections should be used to set up your paper and summarize your findings, respectively, not to introduce new facts for consideration.
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