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.

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!

Woodpeckers – Tips to Keep Woodpeckers Away

First, you must realize that woodpeckers are not damaging your house or interrupting your sleep because they have a personal vendetta against you. There is a reason behind this assault on your senses, especially early in the morning. In fact, there could be several reasons. Once you know them, you will be better able to apply the proper solution.

Why Are Woodpeckers Trying to Destroy My House and/or My Sanity?

1. To Attract a Mate

2. To Establish a Territory

3. To Make a Cavity for a Nest

4. To Find Food

Since woodpeckers do not have a song to sing that will capture the heart of a prospective mate, they do what comes naturally-they become hammerheads! A woodpecker has a reinforced skull that also has been outfitted with essential padding to cushion its brain. Pecking away at 20 times per second you can easily see how they could give themselves a major migraine, if not a concussion, without such natural protection.

Their natural targets are trees, of course, but any tall object will do. It doesn’t even need to be wood, as my metal chimney pipe can attest. Utility poles are another good drumming surface. This banging sound will echo and be heard for very long distances. If there are potential mates around, this form of communication is no fail.

Woodpeckers do have calls that they use along with the drumming on surfaces. Those calls consist of, among others, ‘pit-pit’ or ‘chick-chick’, sometimes high- pitched, depending upon the circumstances. I have a red-bellied woodpecker that comes swooping in on the bird feeders, while uttering its loud and high-pitched ‘chink-chink’ call. It’s like he’s saying “gang way, here I come”! This strategy is very effective as all the other birds scatter before it.

Another very important reason for woodpeckers to bang on surfaces is to establish their territory.

They fly from tree to tree; hammering on each one to make sure any would be interlopers know they are not to cross certain lines. Each tree produces a different sound which will create a kind of musical chart. Woodpeckers revisit this chart daily, often many times a day especially in the spring when territories and mates are most important.

Woodpeckers are natural cavity nesters. The wood on your house is no different to this bird than a tree would be, so it is a potential nesting spot. With all the urban development and loss of natural habitat, woodpeckers take what they can get in order to survive. Normally a dead tree or ‘snag’ would serve this bird’s purpose very well. However, most people don’t like to have unsightly, and perhaps dangerous, dead trees around their property. Well you can see the problems arise, as always, when humans and animals are forced into the same habitat.

Food sources like insects and their larvae reside in wood, even sometimes in your wood siding. If a woodpecker continues to peck at the same spot, especially when it isn’t springtime, then you may have an infestation. These birds can sense the vibrations bugs and their babies set up in the wood. Equipped with barbed tongues up to 4″ long, woodpeckers are able to reach into holes or under bark and easily latch onto their meals. Continual banging in the same spot should have you consulting the yellow pages for a professional exterminator. At the very least the exterminator can determine if carpenter bees or some other insects are indeed present in your wood. In that case, you have the woodpecker to thank for the alert!

Okay, so now we know why these drummers do what they do, what can we do to stop them?

These are my recommendations for natural and non-toxic remedies to your woodpecker problem:

1. Depending upon where on your house the damage is occurring, try a natural non-toxic spray repellent. These repellents taste and smell bad to a woodpecker.

2. Again depending on the position of the damage and how easily accessible it is for you, there are netting products that can be draped across the area in question.

3. Consider installing a woodpecker nesting box to provide a cavity in which they can nest. Consult a bird identification guide to determine what size nesting box would be appropriate. Where I live, there are 3 different woodpeckers that come to my bird feeders year round: hairy, downy and red-bellied. I use a particular pneumonic to help me remember which is which because, both the hairy and downy females have the same black and white markings; the male downy woodpecker has a red patch on its head, while the male hairy woodpecker has one on the back of its head; but are different sizes. That is: hairy=huge compared to downy, which is dainty. The red-bellied woodpecker has black and white on its wings, and a red head and neck, with a hint of red on its stomach, and it is large. Each has different nest box needs.

4. This never fails for me. Add a suet feeder and keep it filled year round. They now have no-melt suet, which is safe for use in warmer weather. Magically my woodpecker woes disappear when I supply them with suet. A jelly feeder and/or mealworm feeder never hurts either. Woodpeckers really do have a sweet tooth and can taste sweetness. They regularly visit my oriole nectar feeder and the hummer feeder that has a larger perching area.

5. As a last resort you can hang shiny mylar strips near the area where woodpeckers are pecking. Shiny objects that move with the wind unpredictably will help deter their efforts and encourage them to move on. Look for them online or at your local hardware store. Those fake owls and hawks-save your money–woodpeckers soon learn they are not real.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES KILL A WOODPECKER, NO MATTER HOW ANNOYING THEY ARE. ALL WOODPECKERS ARE PROTECTED BY LAW, AND YOU WILL FACE STIFF FINES AND POSSIBLE JAIL TIME!

Insecticide use is one of the largest threats to our woodpecker populations because they eliminate their natural food sources. The other problem is loss of dead trees in which to nest and forage for food. In my woods I have many poplar trees. These are beloved by the largest woodpecker in North America-the Pileated Woodpecker. The males arrive early in the spring and begin ‘calling’ for a mate. They don’t have a song, per se, but a very distinctive call. It is said that Woody Woodpecker of cartoon fame was loosely modeled after a pileated woodpecker. I just think they are a very cool looking bird!

I know that my woodpeckers are constantly patrolling the woods nearby. In this way they are protecting the environment from onslaughts of unwanted insect infestations. Living from 4 years up to an astonishing 11 years, they can eliminate a lot of bugs in their lifetimes. So I can live with my springtime chimney pipe concerts!