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Medical Paper Writing: The Sentence Not to Start Your Paper With

The opening sentence of your research paper is vital. It’s the first sentence your reader will see and form an impression about the paper. Thus, it must draw the reader’s attention and tell him how important and interesting your research is.

Think about the other articles you’ve read and referred to while writing your own. You tend to remember the ones which had an influential or eye-catching title as their first sentence.

Let’s take a look at few titles from Science Direct’s top articles:

“Evaluation of the welfare of cattle housed in outdoor feedlot pens”

“Comparison of antimicrobial resistant genes in chicken gut microbiome grown on organic and conventional diet”

“Strategies for the exploration of free energy landscapes: Unity in diversity and challenges ahead”

“Alpha decay as a probe for the structure of neutron-deficient nuclei”

What do these titles have in common?

  • They’re short, straightforward, and to the point
  • They clearly tell you what the paper is about
  • They answer why the paper is important
  • They make you want to read on

So, any title must possess these qualities in order to attract the reader. Though certain titles begin with a question or may put forward a fascinating statistic, but their basic aim is to make the readers want to read on.

Conversely, there are titles that put off the reader’s interest in the paper. Examples include:

“From Urethra With Shove: Bladder Foreign Bodies. A Case Report and Review.”

“Wax on, Wax off: Pubic Hair Grooming and Potential Complications.”

“Head and Neck Injury Risks in Heavy Metal: Head Bangers Stuck Between Rock and a Hard Bass.”

These titles reflect insensitiveness and inappropriate humour on the part of their authors, both of which are sufficient to discourage the reader from reading on further.

So, here we have compiled a list of not-to-do when writing the first sentence of your research paper:

1.Make it long.

Long and complex sentences make it difficult for the readers to grasp their meaning, thus losing interest. However complex your research might be, you don’t need to cover everything in the first sentence. Try to keep it short and simple.

2.Make it irrelevant

Do not talk around the topic of your research in the first sentence. Just give an introductory headline. Save the rest for the introductory chapter of the paper.

3.Be vague

Be specific and clear in what you say in the first sentence. Do not leave any space where your readers have to interpret the meaning of the sentence.

4.Avoid answer to “so what?”

Getting their research paper in front of a large audience is everyone’s dream. This dream can come true if you give your readers an idea of why they should read further.


“As we’ve mentioned a time or twelve before, having excellent copy on your website is one of the most important things you can do for your business — your web content is like an ambassador for your company, and if it’s not on point you’re going to lose out on sales.”

This is the opening sentence of a website that offers tips on web content writing. It clearly states why the readers must read their tips for the benefit of their own business.

5.Be boring

First impression is the last impression and a dull opening could be the exit point for your readers. Think about what you would like to read about the topic and rouse other people with an interesting first sentence.

So, frame your opening sentence wisely and make a lasting impression on your readers. If you have any queries about medical research paper writing please contact our medical manuscript writing service team expert. Wish you good luck!

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