In this guide, we’re going to cover how to set the tone for your paper and impress from the get-go and how to wrap up your paper with a powerful conclusion section that will leave your teacher impressed. As we cover in our guide on basic assignment structure, these two sections are an essential part of any academic paper and should not be left out without good reason.
What should you write in an Introduction section?
Let’s look at the introduction section in more detail. The main thing that needs to go in here is some background information to give some context about what your paper is about and ease the reader into the topic.
Here’s a standard introduction checklist which you can use for the introduction section:
1. Start with a broad sentence about the topic
2. Provide a high-level statistic, fact, or figure related to the topic
3. Define the specific topic or problem which you are looking into
4. Explain the relevance of the topic or problem
5. Briefly explain how you will be researching this problem
If the assignment which you are writing is an essay, you can start off with a hook that captures the attention of the reader right away. Don’t know how to write good hooks? Well, you’re in luck because we have a handy guide right here on how to write hooks in essay assignments.
If your assignment is not an essay, then it would probably be better to keep things formal and straightforward, so just start off with a broad overview in just a sentence or two about your chosen topic. You can then follow that up with a high-level statistic or factoid backed by a credible reference.
If you’re not sure whether the source that you have found is credible or not, then this checklist for website credibility evaluation by students should be helpful for you.
The next point which you need to cover in this section is to explain why your chosen topic is relevant and what significance it holds. For example, if your paper is on a company and a potential issue it may be facing (which is a common staple in business management modules), you could try to state the problem it may be facing and what could potentially happen if this is left unaddressed.
Lastly, if you still have some word count allowance and are unsure what else you could write, you could try to briefly explain how you have approached this problem and how you will researching the related aspects of the topic (such as looking up relevant academic theories, news articles, annual reports of the company and so on).
What should you write in the Conclusion section?
A point that we often teach the students whom we help is that the conclusions section should never contain any new information or inference which has not already been included or at least alluded to within the other parts of your paper. So don’t overthink this, because the answer is right in the name – what teachers expect to see in this section is just the key conclusions which you have arrived at based on your research. In a way, what you say in the conclusions section is simply a snapshot of what you have understood about the topic which you have written the paper on.
Here’s a standard introduction checklist which you can use for the conclusion section: