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I'm writing a research paper in one of my math classes about the P vs NP problem. I feel the introduction to my paper sounds like a cliche. This is my intro:

In the field of mathematics, there are problems that present an exceptional level of difficulty.

How do I avoid such cliches in my writing and create a strong opening line?

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The best way to avoid overly general openers is to write them.

Go ahead, write them all down. Get them out of your system. If you don't, they're gonna be on your brain distracting you.

Once you finish your opening paragraph, go back and cut it ruthlessly. That first line is out of there. Maybe the second and third line too. Start at the line that matches what you told us the paper is about. That is your intro. The P vs NP problem. I have no idea what that is but your readers will (if they don't all already know, then your intro needs to have a description of it).

Everyone knows math has hard problems. That's what makes it fun. You don't need to tell anyone that. Just tell them what problem you're working on and why.

For other academic work, you might find yourself quoting the dictionary or talking in vague terms about the topic. Write it. Get it completely out of your system. Then slash and burn.

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Get to the point?

In the field of mathematics, there are problems that present an exceptional level of difficulty.

Isn't really the point of your paper is it?

This is just fluff. You lose nothing getting rid of it.

So what's the second sentence? Maybe that should be promoted to the first?

  • You could also try using part of the original sentence to introduce the point of the paper. "An exceptionally difficult problem in the field of mathematics is ______." Then explain further. – only_pro Apr 25 at 14:20

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