How To Work On An Argumentative Research Paper: Writing A Strong Introduction


Writing an argumentative research paper is 90% skill and 10% creativity. The skill can easily be taught through the formatting and organization of the essay. The creativity is much harder to learn; but with some inspiration and idea generating, students can be more comfortable with creativity. Argumentative research papers always have the same formula from start to finish. A strong introduction is the one place where creativity can flourish and draw the reader into the paper.

  • Follow the Instructions
  • The introduction to an argumentative research paper will need to be built based on the formatting style that the instructor assigns. There are subtle differences between MLA, APA, and Chicago style formatting, so be sure you follow the instructions. Despite the subtle differences, students need to be able to craft an introduction that contains the hook, a bridge, and a useful thesis statement. This is the the skill of the paper because every introduction needs to be written this way.

  • Thesis and Hook Rules
  • Students should know that the thesis is the most important part of the research paper because it will guide the rest of the research paper. The hook is also important because it will get the reader interested in what you have to say during the rest of the research paper. All too often, students do not effectively engage the reader. They write silly questions or they do not even write a hook at all. Then, they offer very little information in the bridge before moving into the thesis. There needs to be an easy flow from the hook to the bridge, and then to thesis. Without it, the introduction will feel choppy.

  • Approaching the Hook
  • There are several ways to approach a hook. They include options like using a startling statistic, an interesting quote, or a series of rhetorical questions. The style of the hook should fit with the topic of the research paper, so if you are writing about a literary topic, a startling statistic might not be the best choice.

  • Building the Bridge
  • The bridge should include a bit of a preview of the research paper, but only after it is connected to the hook. Nothing too important should be given away in the bridge, but the reader needs to have some preview of what is to come. The bridge should be a few sentences in length and then it is followed by a thesis statement that is one sentence long.

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