Research paper introduction is where you present the background and context for the rest of your article. Craft a strong opening sentence that will engage the reader. Just because you’re writing an academic research paper doesn’t mean you have to be dry and boring. Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic. (Is this a factual report? An analysis? A persuasive piece?) Describe how you’ve organized your approach to the topic. Conclude the introductory paragraph with your thesis statement.
Annotating your research can take quite a bit of time, but needs to be taken one step further in order to add a bit more clarity for the outlining process. Organize your notes by collecting all of your highlighted phrases and ideas into categories based on topic. For example, if you are writing a paper analyzing a famous work of literature, you could organize your research into a list of notes on the characters, a list of references to certain points in the plot, a list of symbols the author presents, et cetera.
Chicago formatting is used mainly for historical research papers and uses footnotes at the bottom of each page rather than in-text citations and works cited or references page.
If you are struggling to come up with a topic that feels “just right,” ask your professor or coworkers/classmates for advice. They will likely have great ideas that, even if they aren’t options for you to choose, can inspire you with new ideas. Asking a professor for help may seem frightening, but if they are worth anything as a professor, they want you to be successful with your work, and will do what they can to make that happen.
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