Matthew's Big Blog of Adventure!

Saturday, October 23

How to Write a Paper


An introductory paragraph with a story or an example or an attention-getting statement is appropriate here. Next, we transition into briefly describing the main parts of the paper. This leads almost naturally into a combination clincher/thesis statement which says the main point of the paper along with an encapsulation of the main points.

The first sentence of the first content paragraph clearly states the first idea. Subsequent sentences provide supporting information for the main point. Examples and illustrations fall naturally into place after these explanation statements. By interspersing examples and statements, the paper will become more readable. Rephrasing the main point of the first idea in a rousing clincher sentence should be the last thing the reader see in a paragraph, giving the reader a solid sense of finishing a thought.

Not only should the first idea be clearly stated and set up in a nice paragraph all its own, in the first sentence of the next paragraph, you should have a transition statement that relates the next idea to the previous in some way. After that introduction, include supporting material. Then additional examples, then more sub-points, etc. End, again, with a nice “clincher” sentence.

The main thesis is restated in the first sentence of the final paragraph to remind the reader of the whole point of the research paper. This gives a sense of closure and through all the highs and lows of amazing prose which you have written (and they have enjoyed) they will feel like they have gone through a journey with you, and have come out a richer, more knowledgeable person from it. They will love you, they will forget your minor sins of shoddy research and grammar, and thanks to a rousing final sentence, give you an A in the class.