Sample APA introduction and sample paper

Here is a sample research paper and here is an analysis of a student introduction.

Below is a sample APA introduction.  As you can see, the first paragraph uses statistics to show the significance of the topic, the second goes into the past–the government policies that led to diversity.  The third paragraph summarizes the future of diversity and the fourth describes the controversy over diversity, briefly stating the main point of each side.  The last paragraph, the plan of the essay, includes the topic, the research question and the list of subtopics.

Note that the writing is detailed.  Specific groups, numbers, policies, etc. are named.  The introduction is not abstract.

Students should adapt this format to their specific topic and research question.  The introduction can have four paragraphs instead of five (of course, it must have a plan of the essay).  Student papers must be double spaced.


The Challenge of Diversity

Today in the United States, a remarkable social experiment is under way: the development of a truly multicultural society. In California, for example, 90 percent of the immigrants settling in Los Angeles are so-called visible minorities from the Third World. The constant flow of new arrivals adds to the large communities of Laotians, Cambodian, Mexicans, Koreans, Chinese, Guatemalans, Iranians, Armenians and others who already live there. Eighty- one languages, only a small proportion of which are European, are spoken in the elementary school system of the city.

The increasing ethnic and racial diversity of the country is associated with the government policies. Washington’s immigration policy between 1965 and 1990 is the principal factor in the nation’s growing diversity today. The federal government’s support for diversity is visible in legislation that requires school districts to offer bilingual education and which provides funding for it; It can also be seen in other laws that ban discrimination on the basis of race or national origin and that encourage employers to hire minority workers.

Ethnic and cultural diversity will be an even more significant feature of life in the United States of the 21st century. If recent U.S. immigration and population trends persist, the total population of so-called other races (i.e. nonwhite, nonblack) will rise from its present level of approximately 8.5 million to 19.5 million by the year 2025, This increase in numbers, because of the much slower rates of population growth among whites and blacks will also mean an increase in the percentage of the population represented by other racial groups. In 1990, other races represented 3.5 % of the total population of the United States; in 2025, according to government projections, they will make up 6.5 % of the population.

The U.S. experiment in multiculturalism, however, is controversial. Its supporters point to the country’s history as a nation of immigrants and argue that cultural diversity has always been a source of strength for American society. However, there are many others who are opposed to the experiment. They feel that it will inevitably encourage the maintenance of social groups not interested in becoming part of the larger national community. The existence of such groups, according to the opponents of multiculturalism and diversity, could over time lead to social disruption and the ultimate disintegration of U.S. society. To see the potential dangers of promoting cultural diversity, they argue, we need only look at what used to be Yugoslavia, where a multi cultural society has been torn apart by ethnic hostility.

The topic of this research paper is the controversy over ethnic and cultural diversity in the United States. The research question is, how can the problems associated with diversity be addressed? The paper will address the following subtopics:

1. What has brought about the present level of ethnic and racial diversity?
2. In defense of diversity
3. Objections to policies that promote diversity
4. Some the problems associated with such policies
5. How can some of these problems be addressed?


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