research paper prompts

Creating a Substantial Introduction of College Term Paper

By now everyone has heard the term ‘first impressions are everything’. Well, no truer words have ever been spoken, especially when it comes to writing an introduction paragraph of a college term paper. The introduction is meant to instantly grab and keep the attention of your reader as well as provide some facts about the topic. There are two components to an introduction paragraph; the first sentence and the thesis statement. Many students assume that the thesis statement is the end-all of the introduction but that simply is not the case. Sure, you want a strong thesis statement, but you want the rest of the paragraph to be just as strong.

Constructing the First Sentence

Regardless if the entire paragraph will be short or long, your first sentence has to pack a powerful punch. There are a few different ways to construct the first sentence so that it is not cut-and-dry. Here are a few different suggestions:

  • Use a not so well-known fact of some sort as your first sentence. This is probably the most effective way to grab the attention of the reader. Just make sure your fact is accurate.
  • Try using humor. You can tell a joke or develop your first paragraph to be a funny story, making the topic sentence the focal point.
  • Use a quote. Depending on the topic, you can use a well-known quote. You can also dig deeper in your research and use a quote few people have heard of.

Tips for a Strong First Paragraph

The rest of the first paragraph should follow suit as the first sentence; make it an attention grabber. The standard rule is that the first paragraph will have a powerful first sentence, a thesis statement, and will include relevant facts about the topic. It will also give a brief outline of what the paper is about and what the reader can expect to find. Once you finish your first draft, chances are you will have to go back to adjust your introduction paragraph. You may also find it necessary to go back and change it during your research process. Remember, when the topic changes, the introduction paragraph changes.

Last thing to remember about writing a killer introduction is that it needs to have a second set of eyes read it and critique it. Proper proofreading and editing will give you a paragraph you can be proud of.

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