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Teacher Tips and Answers

Writing a Research Paper

After fully engaging your sources, you have plenty of remarkable information to convey to your reader. The problem may be figuring out where to begin. What do you share first?

The following activities will suggest many starting points and ending points and other points in between. The strategies below will prime the pump of your ideas, getting them to flow easily into your first draft.

Writing the Beginning Paragraph

Your first job in writing a research paper is to catch your reader's interest. You can experiment with a number of strategies to form an interesting lead sentence.

Write a lead sentence.

Try out some of these strategies for introducing your research paper. Read the examples for ideas. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.


  1. Start with a fascinating quotation.

    "Do things. Be sane. Don't fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are, and be somebody; get action.”
    —Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.


  2. Express what is most interesting about the subject.

    Teddy Roosevelt transformed himself from an asthmatic weakling to a brawler who won in Cuba and Panama, in Washington and on Mount Rushmore.


  3. Provide an anecdote.

    As they charged up San Juan Hill into the teeth of machine-gun fire, Teddy Roosevelt turned to a fellow soldier and shouted, "Holy Godfrey, what fun!"


  4. Ask an engaging question.

    Are heroes born, or are they made?


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