A research paper has less focus on argument and more focus on informing the audience about an issue. You are still arguing in a sense by presenting certain facts and ideas as more authoritative or reliable than those you do not present or do present and judge as outdated or less reliable; thus you are basically evaluating the information that exists in the public realm on a specific topic by inferring connections and relationships.The introductory paragraph should introduce historical background, the context, and current relevance of the topic. You may use a quote, question, anecdote, and/or background information to attract the reader’s attention, but do not start arguing in the introductory paragraph. Your thesis should capture the main idea of your research and indicate the order of development of the body paragraph topics.
Body paragraphs should have an explicit topic sentence that presents part of the thesis. The paragraph should also present evidence in the form of quote, paraphrase, or summary from at least one, preferably two, of your sources to offer authority and to assist in your analysis of the complexity of the topic. Last, using your own voice and logic, develop an analytical discussion evaluating the evidence and how it supports your thesis.
The conclusion should NOT simply repeat the thesis or body paragraph ideas, but it should also NOT continue to argue and present more evidence. Instead, it should bring the reader full circle on the importance of your analysis of the topic and the points you have discussed in the body paragraphs. Frame your essay.