If you find yourself struggling to write an engaging introduction, you may wish to write the body of your paper first.
Writing the body sections first will help you clarify your main points. You may have a better sense of how to introduce the paper after you have drafted some or all of the body.
In contrast, the body of your paper will cite sources extensively.
As you present your ideas, you will support your points with details from your research.
No matter when you compose the conclusion, it should sum up your main ideas and revisit your thesis.
The conclusion should not simply echo the introduction or rely on bland summary statements, such as “In this paper, I have demonstrated that.…” In fact, avoid repeating your thesis verbatim from the introduction.
For this reason, some writers prefer to write their conclusions soon after they have written their introduction. Other writers prefer to write their conclusion at the end of the paper, after writing the body paragraphs.
No process is absolutely right or absolutely wrong; find the one that best suits you.
Research papers generally follow the same basic structure: an introduction that presents the writer’s thesis, a body section that develops the thesis with supporting points and evidence, and a conclusion that revisits the thesis and provides additional insights or suggestions for further research.
Your writing voice will come across most strongly in your introduction and conclusion, as you work to attract your readers’ interest and establish your thesis.