Even the most experienced writers find a problem drafting introduction and conclusion chapters of an academic paper. The idea is to grab the attention of the reader as early as possible with a saucy introduction. On the other end, you create a memorable conclusion that summarizes your argument in the most memorable way. There are many writing activities that can help you create a stronger introduction or conclusion.
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Crafting a winning introduction and conclusion requires a strategy. Experts will tell you, among other tips, to craft the introduction once you are done with the body of your paper. You have a better idea of the discussion you are introducing.
The conclusion also requires attention to the ideas you have discussed in the paper. Avoid introducing new ideas in the conclusion. Summarize the points discussed in the body of your paper. Since it is the last engagement a reader will have with your paper, it must be memorable. It should also link the thesis statement with the conclusions you have made after literature review and data analysis.
Here are tips on how to craft the most effective introduction and conclusion chapters of your paper.
1. Look for Suitable Models
Ask your teacher for examples of well-written papers. Use different colors of highlighters to highlight commonalities among the essays after you have collected ten strong essays. Take note of the patterns in the introductions, conclusions and how the thesis is presented. Also take note of the hooks that the essay gives the reader.
Notice the use of statistics on these examples. Other writers choose to use anecdotes while others quote distinguished scholars. All these are tricks to spice the introduction. They put your discussion into perspective or create a context that will allow you to make the point strongly.
The conclusions can summarize the body paragraphs or take the analysis one step further. Write your papers by thinking about the similarities in well-written papers and using those strategies to write your papers.
If the models are to effectively guide you in writing, they must come from credible sources. Your tutor is the best source of trustworthy examples. Check the library as well. All materials stocked in the library are thoroughly scrutinized to ascertain quality. The library also comes with variety, making it easier to compare the features.
2. Keep your Introduction to the End
Instead of writing a paper from the beginning to the end, you should start your essay by stating your argument in your body. These body paragraphs will give you a better understanding of the purpose of your essay. Writing an argument can often lead to a more complex thesis than you could have imagined before. Once you have established your argument, you can go back to the beginning to describe the main points of your essay.
Writing your introduction at the end also ensures that you capture all the ideas discussed in the paper. While you research, new ideas, beyond what you had initially thought or captured in your outline, will emerge. You might also change your perspective in the process. For this reason, craft the thesis statement at the beginning but finalize the introduction at the end of your writing process.
3. Begin and end with a Bang
Consider your favorite movies and books. Many of these books and movies end or begin with an explanation of the argument or theme. You can grab your reader’s attention by asking a question or using a concrete image to draw their attention. This will help you keep them interested in your argument, from the beginning to the end.
A conclusion that is as strong and engaging as the paper’s beginning will help you to end it the same way, giving the reader satisfaction and closure. The satisfaction comes from making a logical conclusion. Refer to the thesis statement and align it with the information you have unearthed in your research. It must be as logical as possible. Even the reader should feel that it was the best possible conclusion you would have made.
4. Make the introduction and conclusion chapters unique
What will cause a reader to peruse through your paper and not any other? They can find other writers with similar or better ideas elsewhere. They will only choose your paper if it is different. Choose a language and perspective that arouses curiosity to cause the reader to desire to peruse your paper to the end.
Choose your words carefully so that your communication is strategic. Identify words that can help you to make a point. Use technical language that your kind of readers can identify with. Such uniqueness instantly captures the attention of a reader. The reader will be more engrossed in your writing. It will be easier to absorb your arguments.
5. Keep the introduction and conclusion short
How long should the introduction of an essay, research paper, thesis, or dissertation be? How long should the conclusion be? There is no standard length for the introduction or conclusion. It will depend on the actual length of the entire paper.
The introduction can be as short as one paragraph if you are writing an essay that is a page or two long. For a dissertation or thesis that would run into a few hundred pages, it can be a page or two long.
The same lengths apply to the conclusion. The idea is to keep it brief enough to capture the idea without preempting your discussion in the introduction or repeating the points in the conclusion. Keep it short and sweet to make an impact.
6. Take a call to action
Students are encouraged to view a conclusion as a summary of the ideas in their paper. A stronger way to conclude an argument is to show how it works on a larger scale. You can make your reader understand why your analysis is important beyond what was written on the page. Your argument will resonate with a wider audience than one teacher if it is connected to other issues.
The best introduction and conclusion summarize your work. They capture your idea in the least number of words possible. You must have an idea of the entire discussion in the paper to craft the best introduction or conclusion. It is for this reason that you are advised to write these two chapters after completing the body of your paper.