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Writing Center

Research Paper Format
Make your claim; tell the reader what to expect; show relevance

INTRODUCTION (typically 1-2 paragraphs)

PURPOSE: To set up and state one’s claim or introduce a topic or idea
Make your introductory paragraph(s) interesting. How can you draw your readers in?
What background information, if any, do we need to know in order to understand your claim?
STATE your claim at the end of your introductory paragraph(s)

You have multiple options for opening an essay. Some options include:
Anecdote: A little story that frames what your essay is about.
Scene: Give readers a look at some aspect of your topic. Ex: Paper on tropical rainforest
deforestation opens with description of land stripped of trees.
Profile: Introduce a person who is key to your topic. Ex: Case study.
Background: Provide important and surprising info about your topic.
Quotation: Open with a great quote that frames or captures your topic.
Dialogue: Open with a convers