Example of an introduction to a research paper

As recycling paper becomes more common throughout the world, new uses for the reprocessed product are increasing. In the recycling process the waste paper is broken down and reformed. A result of the process is that the new paper has shorter fibres and is more brittle, with less tensile strength than the original paper. Finding ways of adding strength to the recycled product, therefore making it a more usable material was the purpose behind this research project.

This passage would then be followed by a thesis statement or by a hypothesis. ■ A sample thesis statement for this opening would be:

Recycled paper products with added Hemp (Cannabis sativa) fibres are stronger and more durable than products made of recycled paper alone.

Your thesis statement expresses the central idea of your paper. It is your conclusion, and the rest of the paper has to prove it through evidence and examples. The thesis statement needs to be clearly, concisely and precisely stated.

■ Many research papers propose a hypothesis instead of a thesis statement, especially if they are presenting research and findings and the conclusions are only tentative. The hypothesis states succinctly what the research is attempting to prove and this directs the structure of the experiment.

A hypothesis for the above research might be:

It was hypothesised that the longer fibres of the Hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), when added to the shorter recycled paper fibres during the manufacturing process, will result in stronger recycled paper products.

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