It may seem that grabbing everyone’s attention in academic writing is unnecessary. However, capturing minds of readers can be your advantage. An attentive reader is a grateful reader. Here’s what can help prevent readers from yawning and falling asleep.
Introduction and Thesis Statement
The first section of any academic paper takes up to 90% of all attention. It’s your chance to capture the minds of your audience. The following steps have proven to be effective:
- Apply to readers’ fear – say why ignoring the topic under research can be dangerous;
- apply to readers’ self interest – say how the results of research can be beneficial for them;
- play attention tricks – include anecdotes, striking stats, rhetorical questions;
- make your thesis statement logical and informative.
Readers usually proceed to the main body after they are already warmed up by the introduction part. However, you still need to keep them interested:
- Maintain clear logic – every sentence should support your thesis statement;
- start new paragraphs for all new ideas;
- use transition words (thus, however, on the other hand, on the contrary) to make your logic clearer;
- use hamburger structure for your paragraphs;
- include eye candies – graphs or tables whenever it’s appropriate.
Of course, you know that academic writing is all about strong reasoning and clear logic. That’s why the final section, the conclusion, should not include any new information.
- synthesize all the most important conclusions;
- emphasize the value of your research;
- offer directions for further research in this field.
So, the easiest way to grab and maintain your readers’ attention in academic writing is to use clear logic and classic writing formulas.
By the way, what’s your opinion – is capturing readers’ attention important for academic writers? Or, will your readers have to read your papers no matter what and you don’t care?