5 Tips For Writing Introductions For Research Papers

Writing the introduction of a research paper can prove to be difficult if you do not follow a systematic way of doing it. The truth is, it is easy to compose one as long as you follow a guide.

Presumably, you need information on how to write the introduction when you are preparing your research proposal. But there are researchers who prefer to write the introduction after they have finished the research activity.

The five tips below apply to the former situation, that is, for those who intend to come up with their research proposal.

1. Have a focus topic.

Writing a research paper requires a focus topic. State the specific issue that you would want to focus your research on.

For example, if you are interested on the extent of damage caused by marshland conversion into housing subdivisions, then your focus topic will revolve around this environmental concern. You can narrow this down further by looking into the value of ecological services lost due to marshland conversion into housing subdivisions.

Your focus topic should be reflected in the title of your research paper.

2. Prepare an outline.

An outline serves as the framework of your introduction. You can start by just randomly writing words or phrases of ideas that you intend to expound on and then arrange them logically.

For example, the introduction based on the focus topic above may be outlined thus:

  • ecological functions of marshlands
  • goods and services derived by man from marshlands
  • synthesis of literature on the value of marshlands
  • rate of conversion of marshlands for the past decade
  • impact of the conversion to wildlife living in the marshlands

Visualize a capital letter ‘V’ in your arrangement of the topics. This means that you write your introduction from a general to specific point of view or deductive perspective.

3. Point out the gaps in knowledge.

What has been done so far about your research paper’s concern? Did somebody attempt to study a similar concern before? If there are studies done ahead of you, explain why your study is different, unique and important.

Reserve the details of the review of literature section in the main body of your research paper. Your discussion in the introduction will just highlight the critical issues that need to be elucidated.

For example, you may write:

Although previous studies noted the adverse effects of wetland conversion into housing subdivisions, no attempt was made to impute monetary value to loss of ecological services. Hence, it is difficult to quantify the costs and benefits of wetland conversion to accommodate human needs for housing.

4. Write the objective/s of your research paper.

This is a critical part of your introduction. What do you really want to achieve in your research paper after having extensively reviewed relevant literature?

Based on the focus topic identified earlier, you might want to have the following as your objectives:

  • The objective of this research paper is to determine the monetary value of ecological services lost due to the conversion of marshlands into housing subdivisions.
  • This study attempts to identify the specific wildlife affected by housing development.

5. Explain how you will resolve the problem.

Since there is a gap in knowledge, what are the specific things you will do to bridge or fill in the gap? This part of your introduction will tell the reader how you intend to resolve the problem or meet the objectives. At the end of the study what are the expected outcomes?

Try to write as concisely as possible without leaving out important details. A two or three page introduction will be sufficient to explain the contents of your research paper. But the length, of course, entirely depends on the issue or concern you are investigating. Make your writing tight.

Essentially, the introduction is a summary or overview of the whole research paper. It provides information on what to expect when the paper is read in full.

Beginner Bird Watching for Hikers

I love hiking. It doesn’t matter where I am or who I am with as long as I am out on a trail somewhere. One of the things I enjoy about it is being out in nature and having silence or just the sounds of some birds. Yes, it seems that no matter where you are hiking you will almost always see or hear some birds. Unlike the big mammals, which are harder to see, birds are ubiquitous. Here are some simple tips to help hikers learn how to be better bird watchers and get more out of their time in nature.

First of all, it is important to stay quiet and listen (unless you are in an area that is heavily used by bears). Birds are always talking and listening. This means that they can hear if there are people around, which can sometimes cause them to be quiet. To prevent them from being quiet you should try to be quiet yourself and listen to your surroundings. You may surprise yourself at how many different kinds and numbers of birds that you can hear at any one place. Once you hear where the noise from the birds is coming from the trick becomes trying to see the bird.

Next, try to walk or hike slowly. If you go for a fast hike or walk you are not going to see as many birds as if you were going slower. The best way to see and hear many birds is to walk slowly and pay attention to the sounds and movements along the trail. If you are trying to get some good exercise and want to go fast, then you could try to alternate your pace. For example, try going really fast for 15 minutes, then slow down and walk for 5 or 10 minutes, then go fast again for 15 and so on.

If you still want to hike fast then another option for you, which is even better than just walking slow is to sit still. Actually, this is a great idea for anyone whatever pace he or she is hiking at. Pick a nice spot somewhere off of the trail and just sit or stand still for several minutes. This could be on a rock, a log, or under a tree. By sitting still and keeping your eyes and ears open you will give yourself a chance to see or hear all the birds in the area. The birds may even become accustomed to your presence and begin to get active again.

Fortunately, you can really pick any spot to sit and look for birds because birds live everywhere in all habitats. You can see birds near water, in forests, open meadows, or high up in the mountains. Keeping that in mind, the best places to see the most birds are spots at the edge of two different habitats, such as on the edge of a forest next to a meadow. Another excellent spot to see lots of birds is near water, such as along a creek, river, lake, or a wetland.

While you are walking along or sitting still you should always watch for movement. Often you may just see a flash of movement in the corner of your eye. That movement may turn out to just be some leaves blowing in the wind or it could turn out to be a bird darting from one bush to another. If you hold still and look towards that spot you may see the bird move again. It can be hard to see a bird holding still on a bush or tree. But, once that bird moves you will easily see it and by following its movement you can see where it lands.

Birds tend to be more active at certain times of day, which makes them easier to spot because they are flying or moving around a lot. Luckily for hikers the best times of day to see birds are also good times to be out hiking. The best times to see birds are early in the morning or in the evening, since those are when most birds are the most active. I love hiking in the morning or evening when it is not too warm out and you may even get the added bonus of seeing a sunset.

Following these simple tips will help you see lots of birds the next time you go for a hike. The next step is to learn how to start identifying those birds you are seeing.

Goldfinch Feeders, World’s Best 5 Design Tips

These brilliant wild canaries in their springtime yellow colors can flock to goldfinch feeders in the hundreds. You can keep these birds in your backyard using simple, lifelong techniques. Goldfinch feeders come in a wide variety of designs and materials.

The first bird feeder made for the retail market was the tube bird feeder. This simple design featured a clear, plastic tube with holes, perches and a hangar. From this beginning came the specialty wild bird feeders. The goldfinch feeders are the result of these upgrades.

For many backyard birders, the seed of choice to attract goldfinches is thistle, or nyjer seed. This high fat content seed is about the size of a wisp of hair. Inside is a meaty treat for your wild birds. Using a standard tube feeder for this rather expensive seed can be extremely wasteful. Birds, by their very nature, are messy eaters. They will spill 10 seeds for every one seed they choose. The regular size holes in a standard tube feeder allow goldfinches to waste an enormous amount of thistle seed as they eat. If other birds use this same feeder, they may shovel out the thistle seed as they look for other seed choices. Thistle tube feeders were designed to help eliminate this wasteful spilling created by wild birds.

There are 5 important design features to look for when choosing your next goldfinch feeder:

1.) Look for a tube style bird feeder with tiny holes, about the size of a pencil point. The world’s best goldfinch feeders will have a tear shape hole instead of a round hole. These special portals force the wild birds to remove one thistle seed at a time, completely eliminating the shoveling habit of some birds. This simple design feature, alone, will save you money from wasted seed.

2.) The portals birds eat from should contain a metal shield around the feeding holes. Birds tend to peck at feeders in search of food. This constant pecking will enlarge the tiny holes on the plastic tubes of standard goldfinch feeders. The metal shields protect the tear shaped holes from enlarging any further. Remember, you’ll save a bundle of money if the seed stays in the feeder and not on the ground.

3.) Look at the bottom of the goldfinch feeder. If it is a tube style, be sure that the last holes are at the very bottom of the feeder. Birds can only obtain seed that is near the holes. Better still, properly designed goldfinch feeders will stop nyjer seed from going below the last portals. Some models have an inside shield that stops seed from going all the way to the bottom. Reason being, any seed below the bottom holes will never be touched and create a moldy mess. This will contaminate the rest of the seed in the goldfinch feeder.

4.) The world’s best goldfinch feeders will allow you to attach a tray to the bottom. Trays are very useful in keeping most seed shells off the ground. Yes, thistle seeds have shells that the finches have to crack open. Seed trays allow more birds to eat at the same time, increasing the attractiveness of your backyard to the large flocks of goldfinches.

5.) Cleaning a goldfinch feeder can be a tricky situation. Over a short period of time, compacted thistle seed turns into a cement-like substance that is impossible to remove. Choose a feeder with a removable bottom for simple cleaning. The best goldfinch feeders allow you to remove the base with a simple twist of the hand, no tools are needed.

In many areas of the country, goldfinches will be happy to entertain humans year round. Clean feeders and fresh thistle seed are the two most important ingredients backyard birders must provide to keep these magnificent wild birds around.

Best Tips For Outwitting Bird Feeder Hogs Like Starlings And Grackles

Seeing a soiree of starlings, a bevy of blackbirds, or a gaggle of grackles descending upon my backyard feeding station sends me into a state of panic! It just makes me cringe to think of all that expensive black oil sunflower seed ending up in their stomachs instead of my beautiful songbirds’ bellies.

But the situation isn’t hopeless, far from it. Here are 7 remedies to keep these feeder hogs from wiping out your precious seeds. You may need to use one or more to ensure success.

1. Take down your feeders for a week or two. Hopefully these hungry birds will see that the easy meal has evaporated and move on to another place. This option should only be considered if it’s summertime. Otherwise try one of the other remedies below.

2. Having large beaks can be at once a blessing and a curse. Opt for a caged feeder that is meant to accommodate smaller-beaked birds only. Or there are small plastic satellite-type feeders which grackles and starlings as well as pigeons, mourning doves and crows cannot access.

3. Do not use a ground feeder or scatter seeds on the ground for the birds. Flocks of invasive foragers find this irresistible. Also, be sure to rake up all the stuff that falls from the bird feeders on a regular basis so it can’t accumulate.

4. Use grey striped sunflower seeds. Grackles especially have softer beaks and find it impossible to remove the outer hard shells of these seeds. Also, do not use cracked corn or millet, which are favorites of all the feeder hogs.

5. If your suet feeders are the entree du jour, try using those clever upside-down suet feeders. None of the feeder hogs can figure out how to cling to them and chow down, while upside down.

6. Using tube-style feeders will limit the number of birds that are able to use them at the same time. That might prove frustrating enough to send your big eaters like house sparrows and mourning doves on their way.

7. Feeders that close when larger, heavier birds or squirrels land on them can foil a lot of big birds at once. Squirrels however will eventually figure out how to get around the perch and be able to dine at their leisure. As with all pests, they are clever, tenacious and persistent. That is the key to a squirrel’s success!

Try any or all of these remedies to see what works on your particular bird feeder ’emptier’. Even if you have to employ more than one, it will be worth it to keep the majority of your precious seeds for the beautiful songbirds.

On the other hand, grackles, blackbirds and starlings eat a ton of flies. They gorge themselves on everything from the blue-bottle fly to the common house fly. They are very fond of gypsy moths and their caterpillars as well.

Even though they are a major bird feeder problem, I have to say I love the starlings’ iridescent purple and blue feathers, with all those little white spots that look like stars in a night sky. Starlings are closely related to myna birds, and are very gifted mimics. They can imitate humans as well as other birds.

All of these bird feeder hogs are preyed upon by hawks, owls and falcons. So if you have a neighborhood hawk patrolling, chances are these pest birds won’t be emptying your feeders for very long!