When you meet someone for the first time, you introduce yourself to them. You tell your name and then proceed by telling other information. An introduction is necessary to let others know about you and proceed with the necessary details. Similarly, when you go for an interview, you are asked to introduce yourself. The interviewer decides what kind of person you are based on your introduction. In a similar way, your academic paper’s introductory paragraph is a snapshot of your research topic and what you are aiming to explore.
It is an important part of your academic paper that determines what your research is about, your objectives and how your structure your research paper. You should know how to write an introductory paragraph of an academic paper to convey what your entire research paper is about.
What Are The Three Main Parts Of An Introduction Paragraph?
The opening paragraph of your academic paper is the introductory paragraph, and you place it at the start of your research paper. Whatever you mention in the introduction should engage the reader’s interest. The introductory paragraph must make your readers willing to read more by appealing them. The three main parts of an introduction paragraph are:
- Hook sentence
- Thesis statement
What Are The Four Steps To An Introduction Paragraph?
Your introductory paragraph must start with a hook sentence. A hook sentence should grab your reader’s attention and make them read more without pausing in between. Your hook sentence determines if it keeps your readers involved in the topic or makes them stop reading. Also, it implies that the hook sentence comes first in your introductory paragraph. Hooks must represent the gist of your academic paper and your viewpoint on the issue. The key to crafting a good hook sentence is to start with generic but engaging information about your topic. In this case, you may be giving a broad introduction to your topic but in an appealing way.
For example, you can start your hook sentence with a quotation:
“A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security” (H. Kissinger).
Or you can start your hook sentence with some statistics:
‘In the last three decades, only 35% of millennial women pursued STEM education as their professional career.’
The background information refers to additional facts about your academic topic. While the hook sentence gives an overview of the research topic, the background assists readers in grasping the main concept. It lets the readers know what you are going to write about. Your background information depends on the word limit of your paper, your teachers’ instructions and the kind of topic you have chosen. Your background emphasises and restricts your research topic without going astray. You can achieve this by stating a research question and exploring it throughout your academic paper. Your background also assists the readers to know how important your research topic is and why should they read it.
For example, you may want to add context about why millennial women face difficulty pursuing STEM careers. You may add information regarding how STEM education has taken a toll through the decades for background. You will also add why there is a gender difference in pursuing STEM education.
The third component of your introductory paragraph is your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is a concluding line placed at the end of your introduction. It is clear, concise and compelling so that you present your argument or viewpoint to the audience. Your thesis statement tells your reader about the ideas you aim to address in your academic paper. A strong thesis statement is concise, direct and emphasises the primary argument you attempt to make.
A thesis statement is the most important part of your introductory paragraph. Without it, you will divert your readers from the aim of your academic paper. For this, you must mention a clear objective so that your academic paper is effective. It is better to craft a clear and engaging thesis statement to communicate well with your readers. You can get help from a reliable dissertation writing service like The Academic Papers UK for writing a thesis statement.
It is a good idea to complete the introduction by indicating what you will discuss in each section. You should keep it short and relevant and let your readers know the trajectory of your academic paper’s argument. For example:
‘This research begins by discussing how millennial women face difficulties in pursuing STEM education and the reasons behind it. It then discusses how this research paper will fill in the research gaps and identify the factors responsible for the barriers in STEM education for women. At the same time, it mentions prior literature relevant to the research topic.’
What Is Introductory Paragraph Example?
Following is an example of an introductory paragraph:
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” (Nelson Mandela). Education is a fundamental right, and everyone has the right to attain equal and accessible education. However, in the last few decades, a notable decline in women pursuing STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education has been observed worldwide. Many women fail to pursue STEM careers due to prominent gender differences observed in many countries (Chung, 2018). There has been a wide gender disparity while pursuing STEM subjects as the male-dominant society perceives men as smarter than women. In 2009, the STEM Women survey found that only 15% of women enrolled in STEM subjects, while 45% were men. When surveyed, women often responded that they perceive themselves as less capable and due to long working hours, they decide not to opt for science subjects. Thus, this research explores the barriers women face while pursuing STEM subjects and addresses the research gaps to minimise those barriers.
1st sentence: Hook sentence
2nd to 7th sentence: Background
8th sentence: Thesis statement
You can follow these useful points as a guideline to write an introductory paragraph of an academic paper. An introductory paragraph comprises a hook, background and thesis. You must make your introduction appealing, and it should engage your reader’s interest. The next time you write your academic paper, do not forget to follow this article as a roadmap for your introductory paragraph.