How to Write an Opening Paragraph for a Research Report

One of the hardest parts of writing a research report can be writing the introductory paragraph. A good introduction states the purpose of the report by expanding upon the original question that led to the report and summarises the body of the paper. The introduction should also state the results of your research and like the rest of your report, demonstrate knowledge of the subject the report is addressing.

Open your word processing program or take a blank sheet of paper and pen, and write down your original question or thesis statement.

Read your notes and outline your report. The outline should include the original thesis statement or question, your conclusion, and should be divided into at least four sections including "introduction," "beginning," "middle" and "conclusion."

Write two to three things you have learnt in relation to your research. State them in your own words, without looking at your notes or outline. List two to three opinions you have on the subject. Define the conclusion you have reached in one sentence. This is not yet your introduction, these are only basic ideas that you might include in your introduction.

Write your opening line. The opening line should include information about the topic, and should relate to the question that led to the research.

Add the things you have learnt and your opinions related to the subject. Add your conclusion.

Re-read your introduction, and where necessary, edit. Your introductory paragraph should clearly state the purpose of the research paper, the original thesis statement, and demonstrate your knowledge of the subject. It should also be grammatical, and correctly spelt.


Write in third person. Keep your audience in mind when writing and avoid using jargon.

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Living in Phoenix, Arizona since the early '90s, Rena McGee has been blogging since 2002. She has been freelance writing professionally since 2010. She is currently a student in Web graphic design at DeVry and is planning on graduating with her associate degree in 2011.