Writing Introductions and Conclusions for Research Papers

The introduction and conclusion are critical parts of your essay. The introduction is what grabs the reader’s attention (or not!) and makes them want to read what you have to say. The conclusion is the last impression you will leave with the reader, and the last chance to persuade the reader to see your point of view.


There are many ways to begin your paper, but the main consideration is to get the reader’s attention. Sometimes your thesis statement works well enough on its own, but often you will want to start with some other type of attention-grabber before you state your thesis. Below are three ways to consider starting your essay, and an example of each. You can also see how your thesis statement might be adjusted to make the first paragraph flow smoothly.

Thesis:  Although researchers believe that the cause for eating disorders is complicated, media images are one of the main reasons girls develop these disorders.

1. Anecdote

An anecdote is a short narrative, or story, that illustrates your point. This can be effective because the reader will want to know what happens next.


My sister wanted to be a high-fashion model like the girls in the ads she ripped story out of magazines and tacked to her wall. She was tall and beautiful, but she never felt she was thin enough. One day, after passing out in school, she was diagnosed


2. Interesting Information

(to be continued…)

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