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Introduction to research paper

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Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:39 am
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brainychic212 says...



I have to do a research paper for English. I'm doing it on how vampires are depicted in teenage fantasy novels. I pretty much know what I'm going to be talking about in the body of the essay but I'm not too confident about my introduction. Could you please read it and tell me whether or not it's interesting enough?

Everyone has heard of the vampire Dracula, the terrifying, blood-drinking monster. Dracula is sometimes said to be the father of all vampires. Since his time, though, vampires have presented in a much different light, especially in teenage literature. Writers today are making vampires more supernatural than undead. They have given vampires the same eomtional qualities as humans but physically, vampires are more god-like than anything.
"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment."
-Pride and Prejudice

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Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:57 pm
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Antigone Cadmus says...



*cracks knuckles*

Let's see...

Everyone has heard of the vampire Dracula,


Never assume everyone knows what you are talking about when writing a research paper. What if I haven't heard of Dracula?
Instead, I would start by talking about the legend of the vampire, and the mythology that surrounds it.
Instead of simply calling Dracula the "father of all vampires", I would instead mention the book, Dracula, by Bram Stoker.
And do you know about the real Dracula -- Vlad Dracula, also known as "Vlad the Impaler," the Romanian monarch? I would mention him.

Since his time, though,


When was Dracula's time? Again, don't assume I know.
Mention when the book Dracula was published, and how it sparked fear and interest in vampires.

Writers today are making vampires more supernatural than undead.


Undead = supernatural :wink:

Overall

I noticed some grammar issues, and I can point those out if you'd like.
Also, it doesn't sound as if you did much research. Sure, I know Dracula was a vampire, but what about him? When was his book published? Give me more information.

Hope this helped,
Sakura
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nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
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Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:22 pm
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Rosey Unicorn says...



Just want to add something here since I know a little bit on vampires.

Dracula had more to him that simply being terrifying. He was also very charming. Part of what made him so terrifying was his charm.

And about Sakura's "undead=supernatural" thing, try to clear up those two terms a bit more. Do you mean supernatural in terms of myth, while undead are simply sacks of rotting flesh and protruding bone? Use more descriptive language in your work instead of some rather similar terms. ;)

And when it comes to Sakura's other points, I agree with them. Give us more concrete points, dates and times to make this interesting.

Hope I helped,

~Rosey
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:10 pm
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JabberHut says...



Alrighty. Let's see if I can come up with anything new or additional!

Everyone has heard of the vampire Dracula, the terrifying, blood-drinking monster. Dracula is sometimes said to be the father of all vampires. Since his time, though, vampires have presented in a much different light, especially in teenage literature. Writers today are making vampires more supernatural than undead. They have given vampires the same eomtional qualities as humans but physically, vampires are more god-like than anything.


Methods

First, when writing an intro, there are a few ways to approach it.

-- Anecdote
-- Statistics/Interesting facts
-- Quotation analysis
-- Questions/Make the reader think
-- Other methods

I, personally, prefer the anecdote. An anecdote is basically a story, and as a writer, it's more fun to write. xD For instance, I recently wrote a paper on Shakespeare and his lost play. Well, a favorite TV show of mine did an episode all about this play, so I started my paper describing the point of the TV show--telling the story.

    "It is 1599 in London, England—a world in which, “they’ve got recycling,” “water cooler[s],” “global warming,” and “entertainment” (Doctor Who). You walk with the most intelligent man in fictional existence—the Doctor: a master of time travel and a genius in science and logic..."


This is part of my intro for the research paper I just got back. (A!) You're actually starting a story like you would write a short story. This is flash fiction basically, and the reader loves stories.

I explain this because I believe that is what would help you with this paper. You're talking about Dracula and vampires in teen fiction. That has story written all over it, don't you think? ^_~ Create a flash fiction that shows the reader how he's so terrifying, describe what he looks like with great, impressive detail, or however else to go by it. This sets the atmosphere of your paper: vampires. They are terrible beasts! We should be afraid of them, even though teen fiction sometimes thinks otherwise, assuming that's what the paper's covering. xD

Focus/Thesis Statement

A thesis is an important part to your paper.

A thesis or focus statement is one or two sentences covering the topic of your paper. There are two types of theses as far as I am aware of:

    Generalization: You're generalizing. xD You say what you're arguing in your paper or what the paper's about, no questions asked.

    Three-Point: This is a generalization with the points you're making in the thesis. Take your typical 5-paragraph essay. The three paragraphs in the middle are usually your points, right? Well, the three points you cover in those three paragraphs are included in a Three-Point thesis. (Mind, it doesn't necessarily have to be three points. xD)


Whatever your focus of your paper is should be included in the intro. Don't make it paper cutout though! Many people fall for that! Make it tie into your intro. It shouldn't hit the reader in the face. They're smart. They should be able to find your focus just by reading your intro. That's how they decide whether they want to read the rest of your paper or not: if it interests them. ^_~

Length

An intro doesn't have to be a paragraph long, though by this point in your life, your teachers probably want one paragraph introductions. My papers usually start off with the flash fiction/anecdote, then the next paragraph provides the main point or focus of my paper, tying the anecdote into my paper ('cause that story wasn't there for nothin'!).

If your intro's short, it's probably not well-developed. Pretend you picked up someone's essay and you read the first paragraph. What pulls you into an essay? Or even a story? Some stories start with background information before they get into characters and plot. Others jump right into the story. An essay shouldn't appear to be a boring ol' essay. It should make the reader happy to read! And the intro is what convinces the reader to read your paper.

So considering how you expect papers or stories to begin (so that you keep reading), how can you do the same? You're a writer, so it's already a tad easier to think of a way to get your point across, to pull the reader in, to lightly tell them to pay attention to you. ^_~

--------------------

Hopefully I provided some information to help you in your adventures of intro-making. It's kind of long, so apologies. I tend to jabber when I actually *know* something. xD

Feel free to PM me for any questions!

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Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:04 pm
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brainychic212 says...



Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this. I already knew some of what you were telling me but it still helps to hear someone tell you.

I did redo my introduction and I turned the paper in last week. We got our grades back for it today and I got a 96! It's so much better than what I expected. My teacher said it was "excellently written". I was so excited.

But back to my point: I just wanted to thank everyone that commented on this. It truly did help me. If any of you ever need help with something, I would be happy to help as best as I can.
"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment."
-Pride and Prejudice

"Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."
-E.L. Doctorow