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How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper in 5 Steps

Trying to write a research paper introduction and don't know where you should start from? An introductory paragraph is literally the most crucial section in your work. This small part should present key findings and main ideas. Unfortunately, most students don't know where to start. But no worries, we will teach you how to write an introduction for a research paper step-by-step. So stay tuned and don't miss any important detail!

How to Write a Good Introduction for a Research Paper

A good introduction for your research paper can be the most challenging part of an entire work. It should present your topic, literature background, novelty, relevance, hypothesis, and structure of your study. A well-written opening paragraph sets the tone, grabs the reader's attention, and states your thesis.

Your chance to grab your reader's attention to the chosen topic.

NEVER start with "In this paper, I will" or "This paper is about."
Start strong. Try to prepare the readers with exciting information about your topic.

Middle Sentences
This part covers different points of your research.

Don't include every single issue.
If you've already planned in what order to present facts in your research, you already know how to organise your ideas. (Hint: it's the same order).

Last Sentence
All previous sentences have been building up to your hypothesis!

Express your paper's overall ideas and show a supposed statement that you are testing.

Here are some life hacks on how to begin your research paper:

How To Begin Your Research Paper Checklist

A research paper introduction is like your project's business card. It should briefly reflect your work’s essence.
And now, let's check these steps you should take to make it excellent!

Step 1. State Topic of Your Research Paper

Research paper introduction is a great way to intrigue readers with your study topic. Use the "funnel" or "inverted pyramid" method. Start with some general information on this case, smoothly narrowing it down. Then develop it in your problem. Good writing style hooks the reader's attention from the very first lines.

Example on Image: "During the 21th century, our ideas about life on other planets have changed dramatically."

This sentence introduces the topic without limiting it to a narrow framework. Begin your study in such a manner that helps you inform readers about the article's theme and spark their interest.

Step 2. Describe Main Sources of Information

Include a short literature overview in the introduction to your research paper. Consider scientific articles written before you in this field of study. Literature review size depends on your total work's length. This is an essential part of your publication. Show that you have strong knowledge of material and understand current problems in this area.

Informational sources can be formulated as follows:

  • Known problems or tasks (for example, assumptions removed, new conditions accepted)
  • Methods and solutions
  • Known theory outcomes in new conditions
  • Experimental results
  • Original phenomena models development
  • Analysis methods, synthesis, or calculations

Step 3. Emphasize Significance of Research Paper

In the research paper introduction, go from literature review to own work. Imagine it is already published. Can you identify a gap in modern knowledge and fill it with this investigation? Describe values and contributions to the development of a specific ​​study area.

The significance of your research paper:

  • Fills gaps in science
  • Question the problem in modern conditions
  • Reveals your point of view on issues
  • Generalizes gained experience
  • Summarizes and promotes knowledge
  • Sets new problems to attract public attention

In terms of scientific approval, relevance means that you need to obtain fresh data or test new methods, etc. Focus on knowledge gaps, but emphasize contributions you made.

Emphasize Significance of Research Paper

Step 4. Provide Research Paper Thesis

Research paper thesis is as equally important as their solution. It determines strategy and direction. Providing this part of the introduction shows the ability to identify what is already known and unknown to science. Formulate your working hypothesis clearly and concisely. State testing ideas. Indicate a specific contribution and expected work's result. The hypothesis should logically flow from a previous literature discussion on a subject. Avoid the actual word "hypothesis". But it should be clear for readers what to expect from your study. This will make your text look less formal. It is enough to summarize the previous discussion and show your work's purpose.

Research paper thesis example looks like this:

Research Paper Thesis Example: "It was expected that mice deprived of food throughout study would exhibit more sluggish behavior than mice that ate normally."

Step 5. Outline Your Research Paper

Before starting a research paper students should keep its structure in mind. Briefly outline the key points you are planning to cover in your study. In a few sentences simply specify the methods and principles of other text sections. For example, most articles in natural sciences follow a rather strict structure. Studies in humanitarian sciences usually stick to less definite rules.

Basically, the research paper's introduction, just as its body, has beginning, middle and the last part. We prepared a hint to make your writing easier.

Bottom line

Writing an introductory paragraph can be frustrating and slow. But it doesn't have to be so! Introductions should be short. So avoid dull descriptions and instead focus on the latest improvements in this field.
Follow the "inverted triangle" principle, gradually moving from discussing broad issues to narrower ones. After analyzing literature sources, emphasize your own contribution. We believe in you!
But still, don't forget that research paper introduction plays a crucial part in your work. Do you feel too much pressure and anxiety about writing this part? Don't worry; our essay writers got your back and will do it beyond your expectations!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should an introduction be for a research paper?

Research paper's introduction's size may vary slightly with different format guidelines. Generally, it is usually about four paragraphs. It should be about 10% of your general material volume. But keep it short! There is no need for a long watery introduction. It's more significant that you draw the reader's attention and make them read further.

What should an introduction include in a research paper?

Research paper introduction includes:

  • paper topic
  • its essence and relevance
  • issues considered in work
  • hypothesis

A well-written introduction defines your work tone, attracts the reader's attention, and notifies the hypothesis.

Should I use research questions, hypotheses or thesis statements?

Hypotheses, Thesis statements and Research questions are often used in scientific works. Hypotheses basically are guesses based on existing knowledge. They are commonly found in experimental quantitative studies. Thesis statements put forward an idea that needs to be supported or proven. It can be found in all scientific papers. They can explain the hypothesis and how you intend to keep it. Research questions (answer to it) is the knowledge you want as your study's result.

Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.

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