How to Write a Research Paper Introduction (with Examples)
The research paper introduction section, along with the Title and Abstract, can be considered the face of any research paper. The following article is intended to guide you in organizing and writing the research paper introduction for a quality academic article or dissertation.
The research paper introduction aims to present the topic to the reader. A study will only be accepted for publishing if you can ascertain that the available literature cannot answer your research question. So it is important to ensure that you have read important studies on that particular topic, especially those within the last five to ten years, and that they are properly referenced in this section. 1 What should be included in the research paper introduction is decided by what you want to tell readers about the reason behind the research and how you plan to fill the knowledge gap. The best research paper introduction provides a systemic review of existing work and demonstrates additional work that needs to be done. It needs to be brief, captivating, and well-referenced; a well-drafted research paper introduction will help the researcher win half the battle.
The introduction for a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:
- Present your research topic
- Capture reader interest
- Summarize existing research
- Position your own approach
- Define your specific research problem and problem statement
- Highlight the novelty and contributions of the study
- Give an overview of the paper’s structure
The research paper introduction can vary in size and structure depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or is a review paper. Some research paper introduction examples are only half a page while others are a few pages long. In many cases, the introduction will be shorter than all of the other sections of your paper; its length depends on the size of your paper as a whole.
Table of Contents
What is the introduction for a research paper, why is the introduction important in a research paper, what are the parts of introduction in the research, 1. introduce the research topic:, 2. determine a research niche:, 3. place your research within the research niche:, frequently asked questions on research paper introduction, key points to remember.
The introduction in a research paper is placed at the beginning to guide the reader from a broad subject area to the specific topic that your research addresses. They present the following information to the reader
- Scope: The topic covered in the research paper
- Context: Background of your topic
- Importance: Why your research matters in that particular area of research and the industry problem that can be targeted
The research paper introduction conveys a lot of information and can be considered an essential roadmap for the rest of your paper. A good introduction for a research paper is important for the following reasons:
- It stimulates your reader’s interest: A good introduction section can make your readers want to read your paper by capturing their interest. It informs the reader what they are going to learn and helps determine if the topic is of interest to them.
- It helps the reader understand the research background: Without a clear introduction, your readers may feel confused and even struggle when reading your paper. A good research paper introduction will prepare them for the in-depth research to come. It provides you the opportunity to engage with the readers and demonstrate your knowledge and authority on the specific topic.
- It explains why your research paper is worth reading: Your introduction can convey a lot of information to your readers. It introduces the topic, why the topic is important, and how you plan to proceed with your research.
- It helps guide the reader through the rest of the paper: The research paper introduction gives the reader a sense of the nature of the information that will support your arguments and the general organization of the paragraphs that will follow. It offers an overview of what to expect when reading the main body of your paper.
A good research paper introduction section should comprise three main elements: 2
- What is known: This sets the stage for your research. It informs the readers of what is known on the subject.
- What is lacking: This is aimed at justifying the reason for carrying out your research. This could involve investigating a new concept or method or building upon previous research.
- What you aim to do: This part briefly states the objectives of your research and its major contributions. Your detailed hypothesis will also form a part of this section.
How to write a research paper introduction?
The first step in writing the research paper introduction is to inform the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening statement. The second step involves establishing the kinds of research that have been done and ending with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to address. Finally, the research paper introduction clarifies how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses. If your research involved testing hypotheses, these should be stated along with your research question. The hypothesis should be presented in the past tense since it will have been tested by the time you are writing the research paper introduction.
The following key points, with examples, can guide you when writing the research paper introduction section:
- Highlight the importance of the research field or topic
- Describe the background of the topic
- Present an overview of current research on the topic
Example: The inclusion of experiential and competency-based learning has benefitted electronics engineering education. Industry partnerships provide an excellent alternative for students wanting to engage in solving real-world challenges. Industry-academia participation has grown in recent years due to the need for skilled engineers with practical training and specialized expertise. However, from the educational perspective, many activities are needed to incorporate sustainable development goals into the university curricula and consolidate learning innovation in universities.
- Reveal a gap in existing research or oppose an existing assumption
- Formulate the research question
Example: There have been plausible efforts to integrate educational activities in higher education electronics engineering programs. However, very few studies have considered using educational research methods for performance evaluation of competency-based higher engineering education, with a focus on technical and or transversal skills. To remedy the current need for evaluating competencies in STEM fields and providing sustainable development goals in engineering education, in this study, a comparison was drawn between study groups without and with industry partners.
- State the purpose of your study
- Highlight the key characteristics of your study
- Describe important results
- Highlight the novelty of the study.
- Offer a brief overview of the structure of the paper.
Example: The study evaluates the main competency needed in the applied electronics course, which is a fundamental core subject for many electronics engineering undergraduate programs. We compared two groups, without and with an industrial partner, that offered real-world projects to solve during the semester. This comparison can help determine significant differences in both groups in terms of developing subject competency and achieving sustainable development goals.
The purpose of the research paper introduction is to introduce the reader to the problem definition, justify the need for the study, and describe the main theme of the study. The aim is to gain the reader’s attention by providing them with necessary background information and establishing the main purpose and direction of the research.
The length of the research paper introduction can vary across journals and disciplines. While there are no strict word limits for writing the research paper introduction, an ideal length would be one page, with a maximum of 400 words over 1-4 paragraphs. Generally, it is one of the shorter sections of the paper as the reader is assumed to have at least a reasonable knowledge about the topic. 2 For example, for a study evaluating the role of building design in ensuring fire safety, there is no need to discuss definitions and nature of fire in the introduction; you could start by commenting upon the existing practices for fire safety and how your study will add to the existing knowledge and practice.
When deciding what to include in the research paper introduction, the rest of the paper should also be considered. The aim is to introduce the reader smoothly to the topic and facilitate an easy read without much dependency on external sources. 3 Below is a list of elements you can include to prepare a research paper introduction outline and follow it when you are writing the research paper introduction. Topic introduction: This can include key definitions and a brief history of the topic. Research context and background: Offer the readers some general information and then narrow it down to specific aspects. Details of the research you conducted: A brief literature review can be included to support your arguments or line of thought. Rationale for the study: This establishes the relevance of your study and establishes its importance. Importance of your research: The main contributions are highlighted to help establish the novelty of your study Research hypothesis: Introduce your research question and propose an expected outcome. Organization of the paper: Include a short paragraph of 3-4 sentences that highlights your plan for the entire paper
Cite only works that are most relevant to your topic; as a general rule, you can include one to three. Note that readers want to see evidence of original thinking. So it is better to avoid using too many references as it does not leave much room for your personal standpoint to shine through. Citations in your research paper introduction support the key points, and the number of citations depend on the subject matter and the point discussed. If the research paper introduction is too long or overflowing with citations, it is better to cite a few review articles rather than the individual articles summarized in the review. A good point to remember when citing research papers in the introduction section is to include at least one-third of the references in the introduction.
The literature review plays a significant role in the research paper introduction section. A good literature review accomplishes the following: Introduces the topic – Establishes the study’s significance – Provides an overview of the relevant literature – Provides context for the study using literature – Identifies knowledge gaps However, remember to avoid making the following mistakes when writing a research paper introduction: Do not use studies from the literature review to aggressively support your research Avoid direct quoting Do not allow literature review to be the focus of this section. Instead, the literature review should only aid in setting a foundation for the manuscript.
Remember the following key points for writing a good research paper introduction: 4
- Avoid stuffing too much general information: Avoid including what an average reader would know and include only that information related to the problem being addressed in the research paper introduction. For example, when describing a comparative study of non-traditional methods for mechanical design optimization, information related to the traditional methods and differences between traditional and non-traditional methods would not be relevant. In this case, the introduction for the research paper should begin with the state-of-the-art non-traditional methods and methods to evaluate the efficiency of newly developed algorithms.
- Avoid packing too many references: Cite only the required works in your research paper introduction. The other works can be included in the discussion section to strengthen your findings.
- Avoid extensive criticism of previous studies: Avoid being overly critical of earlier studies while setting the rationale for your study. A better place for this would be the Discussion section, where you can highlight the advantages of your method.
- Avoid describing conclusions of the study: When writing a research paper introduction remember not to include the findings of your study. The aim is to let the readers know what question is being answered. The actual answer should only be given in the Results and Discussion section.
To summarize, the research paper introduction section should be brief yet informative. It should convince the reader the need to conduct the study and motivate him to read further.
1. Jawaid, S. A., & Jawaid, M. (2019). How to write introduction and discussion. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia, 13(Suppl 1), S18.
2. Dewan, P., & Gupta, P. (2016). Writing the title, abstract and introduction: Looks matter!. Indian pediatrics, 53, 235-241.
3. Cetin, S., & Hackam, D. J. (2005). An approach to the writing of a scientific Manuscript1. Journal of Surgical Research, 128(2), 165-167.
4. Bavdekar, S. B. (2015). Writing introduction: Laying the foundations of a research paper. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 63(7), 44-6.
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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > How to write an introduction for a research paper
How to write an introduction for a research paper
Beginnings are hard. Beginning a research paper is no exception. Many students—and pros—struggle with how to write an introduction for a research paper.
This short guide will describe the purpose of a research paper introduction and how to create a good one.
What is an introduction for a research paper?
Introductions to research papers do a lot of work.
It may seem obvious, but introductions are always placed at the beginning of a paper. They guide your reader from a general subject area to the narrow topic that your paper covers. They also explain your paper’s:
- Scope: The topic you’ll be covering
- Context: The background of your topic
- Importance: Why your research matters in the context of an industry or the world
Your introduction will cover a lot of ground. However, it will only be half of a page to a few pages long. The length depends on the size of your paper as a whole. In many cases, the introduction will be shorter than all of the other sections of your paper.
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Why is an introduction vital to a research paper?
The introduction to your research paper isn’t just important. It’s critical.
Your readers don’t know what your research paper is about from the title. That’s where your introduction comes in. A good introduction will:
- Help your reader understand your topic’s background
- Explain why your research paper is worth reading
- Offer a guide for navigating the rest of the piece
- Pique your reader’s interest
Without a clear introduction, your readers will struggle. They may feel confused when they start reading your paper. They might even give up entirely. Your introduction will ground them and prepare them for the in-depth research to come.
What should you include in an introduction for a research paper?
Research paper introductions are always unique. After all, research is original by definition. However, they often contain six essential items. These are:
- An overview of the topic. Start with a general overview of your topic. Narrow the overview until you address your paper’s specific subject. Then, mention questions or concerns you had about the case. Note that you will address them in the publication.
- Prior research. Your introduction is the place to review other conclusions on your topic. Include both older scholars and modern scholars. This background information shows that you are aware of prior research. It also introduces past findings to those who might not have that expertise.
- A rationale for your paper. Explain why your topic needs to be addressed right now. If applicable, connect it to current issues. Additionally, you can show a problem with former theories or reveal a gap in current research. No matter how you do it, a good rationale will interest your readers and demonstrate why they must read the rest of your paper.
- Describe the methodology you used. Recount your processes to make your paper more credible. Lay out your goal and the questions you will address. Reveal how you conducted research and describe how you measured results. Moreover, explain why you made key choices.
- A thesis statement. Your main introduction should end with a thesis statement. This statement summarizes the ideas that will run through your entire research article. It should be straightforward and clear.
- An outline. Introductions often conclude with an outline. Your layout should quickly review what you intend to cover in the following sections. Think of it as a roadmap, guiding your reader to the end of your paper.
These six items are emphasized more or less, depending on your field. For example, a physics research paper might emphasize methodology. An English journal article might highlight the overview.
Three tips for writing your introduction
We don’t just want you to learn how to write an introduction for a research paper. We want you to learn how to make it shine.
There are three things you can do that will make it easier to write a great introduction. You can:
- Write your introduction last. An introduction summarizes all of the things you’ve learned from your research. While it can feel good to get your preface done quickly, you should write the rest of your paper first. Then, you’ll find it easy to create a clear overview.
- Include a strong quotation or story upfront. You want your paper to be full of substance. But that doesn’t mean it should feel boring or flat. Add a relevant quotation or surprising anecdote to the beginning of your introduction. This technique will pique the interest of your reader and leave them wanting more.
- Be concise. Research papers cover complex topics. To help your readers, try to write as clearly as possible. Use concise sentences. Check for confusing grammar or syntax . Read your introduction out loud to catch awkward phrases. Before you finish your paper, be sure to proofread, too. Mistakes can seem unprofessional.
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The introduction to an academic essay will generally present an analytical question or problem and then offer an answer to that question (the thesis).
Your introduction is also your opportunity to explain to your readers what your essay is about and why they should be interested in reading it. You don’t have to “hook” your readers with a dramatic promise (every other discussion of the topic you’re writing about is completely wrong!) or an exciting fact (the moon can reach 127 degrees Celsius!). Instead, you should use your introduction to explain to your readers why your essay is going to be interesting to read. To do this, you’ll need to frame the question or problem that you’re writing about and explain why this question or problem is important. If you make a convincing case for why your question or problem is worth solving, your readers will be interested in reading on.
While some of the conventions for writing an introduction vary by discipline, a strong introduction for any paper will contain some common elements. You can see these common elements in the sample introductions on this page . In general, your introductions should contain the following elements:
- Orienting Information When you’re writing an essay, it’s helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing someone else’s argument, you will need to identify that argument and possibly summarize its key points. If you are joining a scholarly conversation about education reform, you will need to provide context for this conversation before explaining what your essay adds to the discussion. But you don’t necessarily have to summarize your sources in detail in your introduction; that information may fit in better later in your essay. When you’re deciding how much context or background information to provide, it can be helpful to think about that information in relation to your thesis. You don’t have to tell readers everything they will need to know to understand your entire essay right away. You just need to give them enough information to be able to understand and appreciate your thesis. For some assignments, you’ll be able to assume that your audience has also read the sources you are analyzing. But even in those cases, you should still offer enough information for readers to know which parts of a source you are talking about. When you’re writing a paper based on your own research, you will need to provide more context about the sources you’re going to discuss. If you’re not sure how much you can assume your audience knows, you should consult your instructor.
An explanation of what’s at stake in your essay, or why anyone would need to read an essay that argues this thesis You will know why your essay is worth writing if you are trying to answer a question that doesn’t have an obvious answer; to propose a solution to a problem without one obvious solution; or to point out something that others may not have noticed that changes the way we consider a phenomenon, source, or idea. In all of these cases, you will be trying to understand something that you think is valuable to understand. But it’s not enough that you know why your essay is worth reading; you also need to explain to your readers why they should care about reading an essay that argues your thesis.
- Your thesis This is what you’re arguing in your essay.
Tips for writing introductions
- If you are writing in a new discipline, you should always make sure to ask about conventions and expectations for introductions, just as you would for any other aspect of the essay. For example, while it may be acceptable to write a two-paragraph (or longer) introduction for your papers in some courses, instructors in other disciplines, such as those in some Government courses, may expect a shorter introduction that includes a preview of the argument that will follow .
- In some disciplines (Government, Economics, and others), it’s common to offer an overview in the introduction of what points you will make in your essay. In other disciplines, you will not be expected to provide this overview in your introduction.
- Avoid writing a very general opening sentence. While it may be true that “Since the dawn of time, people have been telling love stories,” it won’t help you explain what’s interesting about your topic.
- Avoid writing a “funnel” introduction in which you begin with a very broad statement about a topic and move to a narrow statement about that topic. Broad generalizations about a topic will not add to your readers’ understanding of your specific essay topic.
- Avoid beginning with a dictionary definition of a term or concept you will be writing about. If the concept is complicated or unfamiliar to your readers, you will need to define it in detail later in your essay. If it’s not complicated, you can assume your readers already know the definition.
- Avoid offering too much detail in your introduction that a reader could better understand later in the paper.
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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction
Published on September 7, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on July 18, 2023.
The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation , appearing right after the table of contents . Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction on a relevant topic .
Your introduction should include:
- Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?
- Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?
- The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?
- Your questions and objectives: what does your research aim to find out, and how?
- An overview of your structure: what does each section contribute to the overall aim?
Table of contents
How to start your introduction, topic and context, focus and scope, relevance and importance, questions and objectives, overview of the structure, thesis introduction example, introduction checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about introductions.
Although your introduction kicks off your dissertation, it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write — in fact, it’s often one of the very last parts to be completed (just before your abstract ).
It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your introduction as you begin your research, to help guide you. If you wrote a research proposal , consider using this as a template, as it contains many of the same elements. However, be sure to revise your introduction throughout the writing process, making sure it matches the content of your ensuing sections.
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Begin by introducing your dissertation topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualize your research and generate interest. Aim to show why your topic is timely or important. You may want to mention a relevant news item, academic debate, or practical problem.
After a brief introduction to your general area of interest, narrow your focus and define the scope of your research.
You can narrow this down in many ways, such as by:
- Geographical area
- Time period
- Demographics or communities
- Themes or aspects of the topic
It’s essential to share your motivation for doing this research, as well as how it relates to existing work on your topic. Further, you should also mention what new insights you expect it will contribute.
Start by giving a brief overview of the current state of research. You should definitely cite the most relevant literature, but remember that you will conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go too in-depth in the introduction.
Depending on your field, the importance of your research might focus on its practical application (e.g., in policy or management) or on advancing scholarly understanding of the topic (e.g., by developing theories or adding new empirical data). In many cases, it will do both.
Ultimately, your introduction should explain how your thesis or dissertation:
- Helps solve a practical or theoretical problem
- Addresses a gap in the literature
- Builds on existing research
- Proposes a new understanding of your topic
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Perhaps the most important part of your introduction is your questions and objectives, as it sets up the expectations for the rest of your thesis or dissertation. How you formulate your research questions and research objectives will depend on your discipline, topic, and focus, but you should always clearly state the central aim of your research.
If your research aims to test hypotheses , you can formulate them here. Your introduction is also a good place for a conceptual framework that suggests relationships between variables .
- Conduct surveys to collect data on students’ levels of knowledge, understanding, and positive/negative perceptions of government policy.
- Determine whether attitudes to climate policy are associated with variables such as age, gender, region, and social class.
- Conduct interviews to gain qualitative insights into students’ perspectives and actions in relation to climate policy.
To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.
Human language consists of a set of vowels and consonants which are combined to form words. During the speech production process, thoughts are converted into spoken utterances to convey a message. The appropriate words and their meanings are selected in the mental lexicon (Dell & Burger, 1997). This pre-verbal message is then grammatically coded, during which a syntactic representation of the utterance is built.
Speech, language, and voice disorders affect the vocal cords, nerves, muscles, and brain structures, which result in a distorted language reception or speech production (Sataloff & Hawkshaw, 2014). The symptoms vary from adding superfluous words and taking pauses to hoarseness of the voice, depending on the type of disorder (Dodd, 2005). However, distortions of the speech may also occur as a result of a disease that seems unrelated to speech, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
This study aims to determine which acoustic parameters are suitable for the automatic detection of exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by investigating which aspects of speech differ between COPD patients and healthy speakers and which aspects differ between COPD patients in exacerbation and stable COPD patients.
I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.
I have provided necessary context to help the reader understand my topic.
I have clearly specified the focus of my research.
I have shown the relevance and importance of the dissertation topic .
I have clearly stated the problem or question that my research addresses.
I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .
I have provided an overview of the dissertation’s structure .
You've written a strong introduction for your thesis or dissertation. Use the other checklists to continue improving your dissertation.
If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:
- A hook to catch the reader’s interest
- Relevant background on the topic
- Details of your research problem
and your problem statement
- A thesis statement or research question
- Sometimes an overview of the paper
Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.
This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .
Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.
They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.
Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .
Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.
Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .
To define your scope of research, consider the following:
- Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
- Your proposed timeline and duration
- Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
- Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
- Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.
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What this handout is about.
This handout will explain the functions of introductions, offer strategies for creating effective introductions, and provide some examples of less effective introductions to avoid.
The role of introductions
Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.
Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions .)
Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.
Why bother writing a good introduction?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.
Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.
Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).
Strategies for writing an effective introduction
Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will likely be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point. Imagine that you are assigned the following question:
Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
You will probably refer back to your assignment extensively as you prepare your complete essay, and the prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction—start off with a big picture sentence or two and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. Of course, a different approach could also be very successful, but looking at the way the professor set up the question can sometimes give you some ideas for how you might answer it. (See our handout on understanding assignments for additional information on the hidden clues in assignments.)
Decide how general or broad your opening should be. Keep in mind that even a “big picture” opening needs to be clearly related to your topic; an opening sentence that said “Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning” would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. If you have ever used Google Maps or similar programs, that experience can provide a helpful way of thinking about how broad your opening should be. Imagine that you’re researching Chapel Hill. If what you want to find out is whether Chapel Hill is at roughly the same latitude as Rome, it might make sense to hit that little “minus” sign on the online map until it has zoomed all the way out and you can see the whole globe. If you’re trying to figure out how to get from Chapel Hill to Wrightsville Beach, it might make more sense to zoom in to the level where you can see most of North Carolina (but not the rest of the world, or even the rest of the United States). And if you are looking for the intersection of Ridge Road and Manning Drive so that you can find the Writing Center’s main office, you may need to zoom all the way in. The question you are asking determines how “broad” your view should be. In the sample assignment above, the questions are probably at the “state” or “city” level of generality. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context—but that context doesn’t generally have to be as big as the whole galaxy!
Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn’t necessarily true, and it isn’t always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. You may find that you don’t know precisely what you are going to argue at the beginning of the writing process. It is perfectly fine to start out thinking that you want to argue a particular point but wind up arguing something slightly or even dramatically different by the time you’ve written most of the paper. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it’s easiest to just write up all of your evidence first and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the paper.
Don’t be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. That’s fine, but if you are one of those people, be sure to return to your initial introduction later and rewrite if necessary.
Open with something that will draw readers in. Consider these options (remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers):
- an intriguing example —for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery.
- a provocative quotation that is closely related to your argument —for example, Douglass writes that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (Quotes from famous people, inspirational quotes, etc. may not work well for an academic paper; in this example, the quote is from the author himself.)
- a puzzling scenario —for example, Frederick Douglass says of slaves that “[N]othing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries!” Douglass clearly asserts that slave owners went to great lengths to destroy the mental capacities of slaves, yet his own life story proves that these efforts could be unsuccessful.
- a vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote —for example, “Learning about slavery in the American history course at Frederick Douglass High School, students studied the work slaves did, the impact of slavery on their families, and the rules that governed their lives. We didn’t discuss education, however, until one student, Mary, raised her hand and asked, ‘But when did they go to school?’ That modern high school students could not conceive of an American childhood devoid of formal education speaks volumes about the centrality of education to American youth today and also suggests the significance of the deprivation of education in past generations.”
- a thought-provoking question —for example, given all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, why does Frederick Douglass focus his attentions so squarely on education and literacy?
Pay special attention to your first sentence. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.
How to evaluate your introduction draft
Ask a friend to read your introduction and then tell you what he or she expects the paper will discuss, what kinds of evidence the paper will use, and what the tone of the paper will be. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.
Five kinds of less effective introductions
1. The placeholder introduction. When you don’t have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don’t really say much. They exist just to take up the “introduction space” in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.
Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.
2. The restated question introduction. Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. The professor or teaching assistant wrote your question and will be reading many essays in response to it—he or she does not need to read a whole paragraph that simply restates the question.
Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured. Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
3. The Webster’s Dictionary introduction. This introduction begins by giving the dictionary definition of one or more of the words in the assigned question. Anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and copy down what Webster says. If you want to open with a discussion of an important term, it may be far more interesting for you (and your reader) if you develop your own definition of the term in the specific context of your class and assignment. You may also be able to use a definition from one of the sources you’ve been reading for class. Also recognize that the dictionary is also not a particularly authoritative work—it doesn’t take into account the context of your course and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. If you feel that you must seek out an authority, try to find one that is very relevant and specific. Perhaps a quotation from a source reading might prove better? Dictionary introductions are also ineffective simply because they are so overused. Instructors may see a great many papers that begin in this way, greatly decreasing the dramatic impact that any one of those papers will have.
Example: Webster’s dictionary defines slavery as “the state of being a slave,” as “the practice of owning slaves,” and as “a condition of hard work and subjection.”
4. The “dawn of man” introduction. This kind of introduction generally makes broad, sweeping statements about the relevance of this topic since the beginning of time, throughout the world, etc. It is usually very general (similar to the placeholder introduction) and fails to connect to the thesis. It may employ cliches—the phrases “the dawn of man” and “throughout human history” are examples, and it’s hard to imagine a time when starting with one of these would work. Instructors often find them extremely annoying.
Example: Since the dawn of man, slavery has been a problem in human history.
5. The book report introduction. This introduction is what you had to do for your elementary school book reports. It gives the name and author of the book you are writing about, tells what the book is about, and offers other basic facts about the book. You might resort to this sort of introduction when you are trying to fill space because it’s a familiar, comfortable format. It is ineffective because it offers details that your reader probably already knows and that are irrelevant to the thesis.
Example: Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , in the 1840s. It was published in 1986 by Penguin Books. In it, he tells the story of his life.
And now for the conclusion…
Writing an effective introduction can be tough. Try playing around with several different options and choose the one that ends up sounding best to you!
Just as your introduction helps readers make the transition to your topic, your conclusion needs to help them return to their daily lives–but with a lasting sense of how what they have just read is useful or meaningful. Check out our handout on conclusions for tips on ending your paper as effectively as you began it!
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself . New York: Dover.
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How to Write a Research Introduction
Last Updated: June 23, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,642,524 times.
The introduction to a research paper can be the most challenging part of the paper to write. The length of the introduction will vary depending on the type of research paper you are writing. An introduction should announce your topic, provide context and a rationale for your work, before stating your research questions and hypothesis. Well-written introductions set the tone for the paper, catch the reader's interest, and communicate the hypothesis or thesis statement.
Introducing the Topic of the Paper
- In scientific papers this is sometimes known as an "inverted triangle", where you start with the broadest material at the start, before zooming in on the specifics.  X Research source
- The sentence "Throughout the 20th century, our views of life on other planets have drastically changed" introduces a topic, but does so in broad terms.
- It provides the reader with an indication of the content of the essay and encourages them to read on.
- For example, if you were writing a paper about the behaviour of mice when exposed to a particular substance, you would include the word "mice", and the scientific name of the relevant compound in the first sentences.
- If you were writing a history paper about the impact of the First World War on gender relations in Britain, you should mention those key words in your first few lines.
- This is especially important if you are attempting to develop a new conceptualization that uses language and terminology your readers may be unfamiliar with.
- If you use an anecdote ensure that is short and highly relevant for your research. It has to function in the same way as an alternative opening, namely to announce the topic of your research paper to your reader.
- For example, if you were writing a sociology paper about re-offending rates among young offenders, you could include a brief story of one person whose story reflects and introduces your topic.
- This kind of approach is generally not appropriate for the introduction to a natural or physical sciences research paper where the writing conventions are different.
Establishing the Context for Your Paper
- It is important to be concise in the introduction, so provide an overview on recent developments in the primary research rather than a lengthy discussion.
- You can follow the "inverted triangle" principle to focus in from the broader themes to those to which you are making a direct contribution with your paper.
- A strong literature review presents important background information to your own research and indicates the importance of the field.
- By making clear reference to existing work you can demonstrate explicitly the specific contribution you are making to move the field forward.
- You can identify a gap in the existing scholarship and explain how you are addressing it and moving understanding forward.
- For example, if you are writing a scientific paper you could stress the merits of the experimental approach or models you have used.
- Stress what is novel in your research and the significance of your new approach, but don't give too much detail in the introduction.
- A stated rationale could be something like: "the study evaluates the previously unknown anti-inflammatory effects of a topical compound in order to evaluate its potential clinical uses".
Specifying Your Research Questions and Hypothesis
- The research question or questions generally come towards the end of the introduction, and should be concise and closely focused.
- The research question might recall some of the key words established in the first few sentences and the title of your paper.
- An example of a research question could be "what were the consequences of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the Mexican export economy?"
- This could be honed further to be specific by referring to a particular element of the Free Trade Agreement and the impact on a particular industry in Mexico, such as clothing manufacture.
- A good research question should shape a problem into a testable hypothesis.
- If possible try to avoid using the word "hypothesis" and rather make this implicit in your writing. This can make your writing appear less formulaic.
- In a scientific paper, giving a clear one-sentence overview of your results and their relation to your hypothesis makes the information clear and accessible.  X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source
- An example of a hypothesis could be "mice deprived of food for the duration of the study were expected to become more lethargic than those fed normally".
- This is not always necessary and you should pay attention to the writing conventions in your discipline.
- In a natural sciences paper, for example, there is a fairly rigid structure which you will be following.
- A humanities or social science paper will most likely present more opportunities to deviate in how you structure your paper.
Research Introduction Help
- Use your research papers' outline to help you decide what information to include when writing an introduction. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Consider drafting your introduction after you have already completed the rest of your research paper. Writing introductions last can help ensure that you don't leave out any major points. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Avoid emotional or sensational introductions; these can create distrust in the reader. Thanks Helpful 50 Not Helpful 12
- Generally avoid using personal pronouns in your introduction, such as "I," "me," "we," "us," "my," "mine," or "our." Thanks Helpful 31 Not Helpful 7
- Don't overwhelm the reader with an over-abundance of information. Keep the introduction as concise as possible by saving specific details for the body of your paper. Thanks Helpful 24 Not Helpful 14
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185916
- ↑ https://www.aresearchguide.com/inverted-pyramid-structure-in-writing.html
- ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/introduction
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/PlanResearchPaper.html
- ↑ https://dept.writing.wisc.edu/wac/writing-an-introduction-for-a-scientific-paper/
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/planresearchpaper/
- ↑ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178846/
About This Article
To introduce your research paper, use the first 1-2 sentences to describe your general topic, such as “women in World War I.” Include and define keywords, such as “gender relations,” to show your reader where you’re going. Mention previous research into the topic with a phrase like, “Others have studied…”, then transition into what your contribution will be and why it’s necessary. Finally, state the questions that your paper will address and propose your “answer” to them as your thesis statement. For more information from our English Ph.D. co-author about how to craft a strong hypothesis and thesis, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper
Table of Contents
Writing an introduction for a research paper is a critical element of your paper, but it can seem challenging to encapsulate enormous amount of information into a concise form. The introduction of your research paper sets the tone for your research and provides the context for your study. In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing an effective introduction that grabs the reader's attention and captures the essence of your research paper.
Understanding the Purpose of a Research Paper Introduction
The introduction acts as a road map for your research paper, guiding the reader through the main ideas and arguments. The purpose of the introduction is to present your research topic to the readers and provide a rationale for why your study is relevant. It helps the reader locate your research and its relevance in the broader field of related scientific explorations. Additionally, the introduction should inform the reader about the objectives and scope of your study, giving them an overview of what to expect in the paper. By including a comprehensive introduction, you establish your credibility as an author and convince the reader that your research is worth their time and attention.
Key Elements to Include in Your Introduction
When writing your research paper introduction, there are several key elements you should include to ensure it is comprehensive and informative.
- A hook or attention-grabbing statement to capture the reader's interest. It can be a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, or a compelling anecdote that relates to your research topic.
- A brief overview of the research topic and its significance. By highlighting the gap in existing knowledge or the problem your research aims to address, you create a compelling case for the relevance of your study.
- A clear research question or problem statement. This serves as the foundation of your research and guides the reader in understanding the unique focus of your study. It should be concise, specific, and clearly articulated.
- An outline of the paper's structure and main arguments, to help the readers navigate through the paper with ease.
Preparing to Write Your Introduction
Before diving into writing your introduction, it is essential to prepare adequately. This involves 3 important steps:
- Conducting Preliminary Research: Immerse yourself in the existing literature to develop a clear research question and position your study within the academic discourse.
- Identifying Your Thesis Statement: Define a specific, focused, and debatable thesis statement, serving as a roadmap for your paper.
- Considering Broader Context: Reflect on the significance of your research within your field, understanding its potential impact and contribution.
By engaging in these preparatory steps, you can ensure that your introduction is well-informed, focused, and sets the stage for a compelling research paper.
Structuring Your Introduction
Now that you have prepared yourself to tackle the introduction, it's time to structure it effectively. A well-structured introduction will engage the reader from the beginning and provide a logical flow to your research paper.
Starting with a Hook
Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing hook that captivates the reader's interest. This hook serves as a way to make your introduction more engaging and compelling. For example, if you are writing a research paper on the impact of climate change on biodiversity, you could start your introduction with a statistic about the number of species that have gone extinct due to climate change. This will immediately grab the reader's attention and make them realize the urgency and importance of the topic.
Introducing Your Topic
Provide a brief overview, which should give the reader a general understanding of the subject matter and its significance. Explain the importance of the topic and its relevance to the field. This will help the reader understand why your research is significant and why they should continue reading. Continuing with the example of climate change and biodiversity, you could explain how climate change is one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity, how it affects ecosystems, and the potential consequences for both wildlife and human populations. By providing this context, you are setting the stage for the rest of your research paper and helping the reader understand the importance of your study.
Presenting Your Thesis Statement
The thesis statement should directly address your research question and provide a preview of the main arguments or findings discussed in your paper. Make sure your thesis statement is clear, concise, and well-supported by the evidence you will present in your research paper. By presenting a strong and focused thesis statement, you are providing the reader with the information they could anticipate in your research paper. This will help them understand the purpose and scope of your study and will make them more inclined to continue reading.
Writing Techniques for an Effective Introduction
When crafting an introduction, it is crucial to pay attention to the finer details that can elevate your writing to the next level. By utilizing specific writing techniques, you can captivate your readers and draw them into your research journey.
Using Clear and Concise Language
One of the most important writing techniques to employ in your introduction is the use of clear and concise language. By choosing your words carefully, you can effectively convey your ideas to the reader. It is essential to avoid using jargon or complex terminology that may confuse or alienate your audience. Instead, focus on communicating your research in a straightforward manner to ensure that your introduction is accessible to both experts in your field and those who may be new to the topic. This approach allows you to engage a broader audience and make your research more inclusive.
Establishing the Relevance of Your Research
One way to establish the relevance of your research is by highlighting how it fills a gap in the existing literature. Explain how your study addresses a significant research question that has not been adequately explored. By doing this, you demonstrate that your research is not only unique but also contributes to the broader knowledge in your field. Furthermore, it is important to emphasize the potential impact of your research. Whether it is advancing scientific understanding, informing policy decisions, or improving practical applications, make it clear to the reader how your study can make a difference.
By employing these two writing techniques in your introduction, you can effectively engage your readers. Take your time to craft an introduction that is both informative and captivating, leaving your readers eager to delve deeper into your research.
Revising and Polishing Your Introduction
Once you have written your introduction, it is crucial to revise and polish it to ensure that it effectively sets the stage for your research paper.
Review your introduction for clarity, coherence, and logical flow. Ensure each paragraph introduces a new idea or argument with smooth transitions.
Check for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and awkward sentence structures.
Ensure that your introduction aligns with the overall tone and style of your research paper.
Seeking Feedback for Improvement
Consider seeking feedback from peers, colleagues, or your instructor. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions for improving your introduction. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to refine your introduction and make it more compelling for the reader.
Writing an introduction for a research paper requires careful thought and planning. By understanding the purpose of the introduction, preparing adequately, structuring effectively, and employing writing techniques, you can create an engaging and informative introduction for your research. Remember to revise and polish your introduction to ensure that it accurately represents the main ideas and arguments in your research paper. With a well-crafted introduction, you will capture the reader's attention and keep them inclined to your paper.
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How to Write an Introduction
An introduction for an essay or research paper is the first paragraph, which explains the topic and prepares the reader for the rest of the work. Because it’s responsible for both the reader’s first impression and setting the stage for the rest of the work, the introduction paragraph is arguably the most important paragraph in the work.
Knowing how to write an introduction paragraph is a great skill, not just for writers, but for students and researchers as well. Here, we explain everything you need to know to write the best introduction, such as what to include and a step-by-step process, with some introduction paragraph examples.
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What is an introduction?
Your introduction is a way of preparing your reader for your paper. As the first paragraph of your writing , it makes the first impression and sets the reader’s expectations for tone, voice, and writing style. More importantly, your introduction provides the necessary background for your reader to understand your paper’s purpose and key points.
The introduction is also a way to engage and captivate your reader. An interesting, thought-provoking, or generally entertaining introduction makes your reader excited to keep reading—and an eager reader is an attentive reader.
What to include in an introduction
Introductions generally follow the writing style of the author and the format for the type of paper—for example, opening with a joke is appropriate for some essays, but not research papers . However, no matter what your writing style is or what kind of paper you’re writing, a good introduction includes at least three parts:
- A hook to capture the reader’s attention
- Background for context
- A clearly defined thesis statement or main point of your paper
How to write a hook
The hook refers to anything that grabs (or “hooks”) your reader’s attention and makes them interested. This could be a mystery, such as posing a question and only answering it at the end of your paper. Or it could be a shocking statistic, something that makes your reader rethink what they thought they knew and become curious for more information.
Hooks can be even more creative. Some papers start with an analogy or parable to present complicated topics in a way that someone with little experience can understand. Likewise, many writers opt to use personal anecdotes to show a more human side and spark an emotional connection with the reader.
When all else fails, you can use a poignant quote. If you’re having trouble putting your thoughts into words, maybe one of the great minds from history has already said it well.
You can read all about how to write a hook here, including more detailed instructions and examples.
How to add background information
Not every paper requires background knowledge, but sometimes your reader needs to catch up or understand the context before you make your original points.
If you’re writing about something factual, such as a scientific or historical paper, you may need to provide a small lesson on the basics. For example, if you’re writing about the conflict between ancient Egypt and Nubia, you might want to establish the time period and where each party was located geographically.
Just don’t give too much away in the introduction. In general, introductions should be short. If your topic requires extensive background to understand, it’s best to dedicate a few paragraphs to this after the introduction.
How to write a thesis statement
Every good introduction needs a thesis statement , a sentence that plainly and concisely explains the main topic. Thesis statements are often just a brief summary of your entire paper, including your argument or point of view for personal essays. For example, if your paper is about whether viewing violent cartoons impacts real-life violence, your thesis statement could be:
Despite the rhetoric and finger-pointing, no evidence has connected live-action role-play violence with real-world violence, but there is plenty of evidence for exoneration, as I explain here.
Learning to write a good thesis statement is an essential writing skill, both in college and the world of work, so it’s worth taking the time to learn. The rule of thumb for thesis statements is not to give everything away all at once. Thesis statements, and more broadly introductions, should be short and to the point, so save the details for the rest of the paper.
How to write an introduction paragraph in 6 steps
1 decide on the overall tone and formality of your paper.
Often what you’re writing determines the style: The guidelines for how to write an introduction for a report are different from those for how to write an English essay introduction. Even the different types of essays have their own limitations; for example, slang might be acceptable for a personal essay, but not a serious argumentative essay.
Don’t force yourself to write in a style that’s uncomfortable to you. If you’re not good at making jokes, you don’t need to. As long as your writing is interesting and your points are clear, your readers won’t mind.
2 Write your thesis statement
At the beginning of writing a paper, even before writing the research paper outline , you should know what your thesis is. If you haven’t already, now is the time to put that thesis into words by writing your thesis statement.
Thesis statements are just one sentence, but they are usually the most important sentence in your entire work. When your thesis is clearly defined, your readers will often use it as an anchor to understand the rest of the writing.
The key to writing a good thesis statement is knowing what to ignore. Your thesis statement should be an overview, not an outline. Save the details, evidence, and personal opinions for the body of the paper.
If you’re still having trouble, ask yourself how you’d explain this topic to a child. When you’re forced to use small words and simplify complex ideas, your writing comes across more clearly and is easier to understand. This technique also helps you know which details are necessary up front and which can wait until later .
3 Consider what background information your reader needs
Don’t take your own experience for granted. By this point in the writing process , you’ve probably already finished your research, which means you’re somewhat of an expert on the topic. Think back to what it was like before you learned: What did you wish you had known then?
Even if your topic is abstract, such as an ethical debate, consider including some context on the debate itself. How long has the ethical debate been happening? Was there a specific event that started it? Information like this can help set the scene so your reader doesn’t feel like they’re missing something.
4 Think of a good hook
Writing a hook can be the most difficult part of writing an introduction because it calls for some creativity. While the rest of your paper might be presenting fact after fact, the hook in your introduction often requires creating something from nothing.
Luckily, there are already plenty of tried-and-true strategies for how to start an essay . If you’re not feeling very creative, you can use a method that’s already been proven effective.
Just remember that the best hooks create an emotional connection—which emotion is up to you and your topic.
5 Write a rough draft of your introduction without pressure
It’s normal to clam up when writing a rough draft of your introduction. After all, the introduction always comes first, so it’s the first thing you write when you finally begin.
As explained in our guide to writing a rough draft , the best advice is not to pressure yourself. It’s OK to write something that’s messy—that’s what makes this draft rough . The idea here is to get words on paper that make your point. They don’t have to be the perfect words; that’s what revisions are for.
At the beginning, just worry about saying what needs to be said. Get down your hook and thesis statement, and background information if necessary, without worrying about how it sounds. You’ll be able to fix the problems later.
6 Revise your introduction after you’ve written your whole paper.
We recommend finishing the first draft of your entire paper before revising the introduction. You may make some changes in your paper’s structure when writing the first draft, and those changes should be reflected in the introduction.
After the first draft, it’s easier to focus on minutiae like word choice and sentence structure, not to mention finding spelling and grammar mistakes.
Introduction for an essay example
While other kids’ memories of circuses are happy and fun, what I recall most from my first time at a circus was feeling sorry for the animals—I can still remember the sadness in their eyes. [HOOK] Although animal rights in the circus have come a long way, their treatment of animals even under the new laws is still cruelty plain and simple. [BACKGROUND] The way circuses abuse animals needs to be abolished immediately, and we need to entirely rethink the way we use animals for entertainment. [THESIS STATEMENT]
Introduction for a research paper example
What would happen to humanity if everyone just stopped having babies? [HOOK] Although more endemic in some places than others, the global decline in birth rates has become a major issue since the end of the pandemic. [BACKGROUND] My research here shows not only that birth rates are declining all over the world, but also that unless the threats are addressed, these drastic declines will only get worse. [THESIS STATEMENT]
An introduction is the first paragraph in an essay or research paper. It prepares the reader for what follows.
What’s the purpose of an introduction?
The goal of the introduction is to both provide the necessary context for the topic so the reader can follow along and also create an emotional connection so the reader wants to keep reading.
What should an introduction include?
An introduction should include three things: a hook to interest the reader, some background on the topic so the reader can understand it, and a thesis statement that clearly and quickly summarizes your main point.
Home » Research Paper Introduction – Writing Guide and Examples
Research Paper Introduction – Writing Guide and Examples
Table of Contents
Research Paper Introduction
Research paper introduction is the first section of a research paper that provides an overview of the study, its purpose, and the research question (s) or hypothesis (es) being investigated. It typically includes background information about the topic, a review of previous research in the field, and a statement of the research objectives. The introduction is intended to provide the reader with a clear understanding of the research problem, why it is important, and how the study will contribute to existing knowledge in the field. It also sets the tone for the rest of the paper and helps to establish the author’s credibility and expertise on the subject.
How to Write Research Paper Introduction
Writing an introduction for a research paper can be challenging because it sets the tone for the entire paper. Here are some steps to follow to help you write an effective research paper introduction:
- Start with a hook : Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing statement, a question, or a surprising fact that will make the reader interested in reading further.
- Provide background information: After the hook, provide background information on the topic. This information should give the reader a general idea of what the topic is about and why it is important.
- State the research problem: Clearly state the research problem or question that the paper addresses. This should be done in a concise and straightforward manner.
- State the research objectives: After stating the research problem, clearly state the research objectives. This will give the reader an idea of what the paper aims to achieve.
- Provide a brief overview of the paper: At the end of the introduction, provide a brief overview of the paper. This should include a summary of the main points that will be discussed in the paper.
- Revise and refine: Finally, revise and refine your introduction to ensure that it is clear, concise, and engaging.
Structure of Research Paper Introduction
The following is a typical structure for a research paper introduction:
- Background Information: This section provides an overview of the topic of the research paper, including relevant background information and any previous research that has been done on the topic. It helps to give the reader a sense of the context for the study.
- Problem Statement: This section identifies the specific problem or issue that the research paper is addressing. It should be clear and concise, and it should articulate the gap in knowledge that the study aims to fill.
- Research Question/Hypothesis : This section states the research question or hypothesis that the study aims to answer. It should be specific and focused, and it should clearly connect to the problem statement.
- Significance of the Study: This section explains why the research is important and what the potential implications of the study are. It should highlight the contribution that the research makes to the field.
- Methodology: This section describes the research methods that were used to conduct the study. It should be detailed enough to allow the reader to understand how the study was conducted and to evaluate the validity of the results.
- Organization of the Paper : This section provides a brief overview of the structure of the research paper. It should give the reader a sense of what to expect in each section of the paper.
Research Paper Introduction Examples
Research Paper Introduction Examples could be:
Example 1: In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prevalent in various industries, including healthcare. AI algorithms are being developed to assist with medical diagnoses, treatment recommendations, and patient monitoring. However, as the use of AI in healthcare grows, ethical concerns regarding privacy, bias, and accountability have emerged. This paper aims to explore the ethical implications of AI in healthcare and propose recommendations for addressing these concerns.
Example 2: Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet today. The increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has resulted in rising temperatures, changing weather patterns, and other environmental impacts. In this paper, we will review the scientific evidence on climate change, discuss the potential consequences of inaction, and propose solutions for mitigating its effects.
Example 3: The rise of social media has transformed the way we communicate and interact with each other. While social media platforms offer many benefits, including increased connectivity and access to information, they also present numerous challenges. In this paper, we will examine the impact of social media on mental health, privacy, and democracy, and propose solutions for addressing these issues.
Example 4: The use of renewable energy sources has become increasingly important in the face of climate change and environmental degradation. While renewable energy technologies offer many benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and energy independence, they also present numerous challenges. In this paper, we will assess the current state of renewable energy technology, discuss the economic and political barriers to its adoption, and propose solutions for promoting the widespread use of renewable energy.
Purpose of Research Paper Introduction
The introduction section of a research paper serves several important purposes, including:
- Providing context: The introduction should give readers a general understanding of the topic, including its background, significance, and relevance to the field.
- Presenting the research question or problem: The introduction should clearly state the research question or problem that the paper aims to address. This helps readers understand the purpose of the study and what the author hopes to accomplish.
- Reviewing the literature: The introduction should summarize the current state of knowledge on the topic, highlighting the gaps and limitations in existing research. This shows readers why the study is important and necessary.
- Outlining the scope and objectives of the study: The introduction should describe the scope and objectives of the study, including what aspects of the topic will be covered, what data will be collected, and what methods will be used.
- Previewing the main findings and conclusions : The introduction should provide a brief overview of the main findings and conclusions that the study will present. This helps readers anticipate what they can expect to learn from the paper.
When to Write Research Paper Introduction
The introduction of a research paper is typically written after the research has been conducted and the data has been analyzed. This is because the introduction should provide an overview of the research problem, the purpose of the study, and the research questions or hypotheses that will be investigated.
Once you have a clear understanding of the research problem and the questions that you want to explore, you can begin to write the introduction. It’s important to keep in mind that the introduction should be written in a way that engages the reader and provides a clear rationale for the study. It should also provide context for the research by reviewing relevant literature and explaining how the study fits into the larger field of research.
Advantages of Research Paper Introduction
The introduction of a research paper has several advantages, including:
- Establishing the purpose of the research: The introduction provides an overview of the research problem, question, or hypothesis, and the objectives of the study. This helps to clarify the purpose of the research and provide a roadmap for the reader to follow.
- Providing background information: The introduction also provides background information on the topic, including a review of relevant literature and research. This helps the reader understand the context of the study and how it fits into the broader field of research.
- Demonstrating the significance of the research: The introduction also explains why the research is important and relevant. This helps the reader understand the value of the study and why it is worth reading.
- Setting expectations: The introduction sets the tone for the rest of the paper and prepares the reader for what is to come. This helps the reader understand what to expect and how to approach the paper.
- Grabbing the reader’s attention: A well-written introduction can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading further. This is important because it can help to keep the reader engaged and motivated to read the rest of the paper.
- Creating a strong first impression: The introduction is the first part of the research paper that the reader will see, and it can create a strong first impression. A well-written introduction can make the reader more likely to take the research seriously and view it as credible.
- Establishing the author’s credibility: The introduction can also establish the author’s credibility as a researcher. By providing a clear and thorough overview of the research problem and relevant literature, the author can demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in the field.
- Providing a structure for the paper: The introduction can also provide a structure for the rest of the paper. By outlining the main sections and sub-sections of the paper, the introduction can help the reader navigate the paper and find the information they are looking for.
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How to Write a Research Paper Introduction Paragraph
04 Feb 2022
❓What Is an Introduction Paragraph for Research Paper?
✒️How to Write a Research Paper Introduction?
- State Your Research Theme
- Be Original
- Explain Key Terms
- Size Is Important
- Refer to the Keywords
- Follow the Rules of Logic
🚨Common Mistakes and How Not to Slip Up
📑Research Paper Introduction Examples
Just like the alphabet begins with the letter “A,” any essay begins with an introduction. When you’re ready to write a research paper, you should start with an opening section. These are not common sentences but ones that form the entire thesis you will explore in the body paragraphs of a research project. You should guide the reader through the topic and present the importance of your university research and its results.
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What Is an Introduction Paragraph for Research Paper?
Writing a research paper is a mandatory task in almost any educational specialty. You will definitely have to face this kind of task at some point. We know how difficult it can be to collect your thoughts and start doing work by arranging an introduction. That is why we are ready to come to your aid and tell you in detail the rules and share some useful tips on writing the opening passage.
The research paper introductions are pieces of information placed at the beginning of the paper. The size of this section depends on the general requirements for the work and usually is about 350-450 words. Moreover, everything you write in the introduction should attract the reader’s curiosity. This part of your work is designed to help the reader identify whether he or she wants to read the paper.
Check out the example of an abstract for a research paper . That is why it is incredibly important to approach this section's writing responsibly and ensure that you clearly and interestingly position your research topic. A well-written research paper introduction will make you more likely to get a high score.
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How to Write a Research Paper Introduction?
After writing your research paper, you will have a broad picture of your entire research and analysis. Being an expert in the research niche of your scientific paper , you will be able to come to valid conclusions and highlight your work's main points. This will help you to create an outline, identify the key notions, and include them in the introduction. You should also define a hook that can catch the reader to increase interest in reading your project.
However, the problem with writing the first section is the difficulty in determining the importance of information. While investigating, you will probably feel that all the data you provide is essential. But to write a good introduction, you need to be concise. Your general erudition of background information, combined with specific knowledge of the general subject area, will help you write a great introduction. There are a few simple guides that can help to make your research paper introduction shine:
1. State Your Research Theme
The first sentences should be common about the general topic, and then you should add some details about your topic. This is called the "inverted triangle" when you start a research paper with a broad theme and then narrow it down. Be concise in your presentation of the research problem to avoid any kind of ambiguity. Your study should be presented as a direct continuation of the introduction. It is crucial to keep the narrative logical.
2. Be Original
If you write a dissertation paper in humanities, you can start the introduction with a quotation or even an anecdote. If your academic area is science or medicine, you can write extremely interesting data or even shocking statistics. Such an approach will help you develop an attractive research paper introduction. However, be careful with fact-checking and sources. All the statistics you provide must correspond to reality. According to the methodology, shocking research should be done by you or reputable institutions.
3. Explain Key Terms
You should provide a list of the notions you used and the definitions that you based on to avoid reader confusion. In science, there is a phenomenon when one term can have different interpretations due to the background. Whenever you find yourself in trouble, ask us to write my research paper , and we’ll come to help. Moreover, the glossary will show your knowledge level in the scientific context and help expand the audience that your article may be useful to.
4. Size Is Important
It would help if you chose your ideal length for the introduction. It should be short enough to be readable and gain the reader's attention and long enough to explain all the main features of your essay. And, of course, remember that the size of the introduction should be directly proportional to the size of your study. You need to briefly describe the main sections that your subject includes to guide your reader.
5. Refer to the Keywords
The keywords should be used in the introduction to give a general overview of the research questions. These could be separate words or word combinations which describe your topic. This trick aims to write a research paper that is easier to find. In addition, they help the reader quickly understand the direction of your research, showing the problem and the subject of investigation.
6. Follow the Rules of Logic
You should be consistent in the writing process. As we mentioned in one of the other sections, your work must be holistic. Each new thought should be a continuation of the previous one. A well-elaborated outline may help in solving this research problem. The first passage should logically introduce the reader to the subject and also give a preview of what will be described next. Logical links between sentences will make your text coherent.
An introduction paragraph of a research paper is essential for readers to get an overall idea of the paper. It helps grab their interest and gives them an understanding of the content’s purpose. Writing an informative and catchy introduction can be difficult, but hiring professional nursing essay writers can help remove the burden. They can provide an excellent introduction that introduces the topic in a detailed and easy-to-understand manner.
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Common Mistakes and How Not to Slip Up
As you can already understand, writing a decent introduction is quite difficult. You should keep in mind the purpose of your university research to stay on the topic. We are going to see the most common research problem to be aware of when writing.
- An extended introduction
When you conduct scientific research, each word you write carries a large amount of necessary information. However, working out a quality introduction, you find that the size is very limited, and you need to spend time filtering unnecessary information.
- Lack of a hook
Good introductions are not limited to just a list of data you have received. It is this paragraph that presents the first impression. Try to make it informative and catchy. If you face some problems elaborating witty hooks for a paper, consult a writing service that can provide you with professional advice.
- Inconsistent Data
The problem of inconsistency in the presentation of information appears when you first write the introduction and then the main body of the study. To avoid the error of lack of previous research, follow our advice. Study the background of the hypothesis you have chosen and then describe the results of your research.
Research Paper Introduction Examples
The theory is good, but the practice is quite different. Read our examples to get good ideas from other researchers about how to write an excellent structure and introduction.
Contemporary literary marketing has become digital because of the demands of the online era. Popular best-selling authors such as J. K. Rowling or Dan Brown profit from the internet and use it as a source for advertising to show the audience their creations. On the other hand, many writers find digital literature harmful and destructive for their livelihood because many users can get their books without paying for them. However, more studies reveal that the business side of the book industry is not far from the negative. This research paper will define whether the culture of digital book consumption has to be changed due to the creations of writers becoming worthless due to online piracy and because people have stopped valuing non-digitized books.
The second sample of the introduction paragraph is on the topic: “Behavioral Study of the Phenomenon of Obedience.”
Modern theories tend to associate misbehavior and intentional actions that harm others with personal characteristics. The psychologists and doctors in a survey predicted that only a small portion of people (about 1-3%) would intentionally harm someone after being told to do so. A good example of this phenomenon is a recent war trial with Adolph Eichmann, who claimed he was only following orders to carry out Nazi war crimes. Therefore, is it possible that people can harm others by only “following orders?” Are people capable of betraying their moral convictions if ordered to do so? During the experiment, we will see whether someone can continue administering painful electric shocks that harm another person simply because he or she is told to do so. It is expected that very few will continue and that most of the participants will not obey the order.
Writing an engaging introduction is equally important as conducting research papers or providing a high-quality context for your issue. In fact, a great intro is even more important for your success! An opening paragraph that attracts attention and keeps the reader engaged is the key to success with this academic work.
The intro is the first thing that a reader sees. It is exactly what helps them get the first impression of your work, which carries their opinion about the merits of your paper while they finish reading it. That’s why it’s so important to get it done right.
How do you create flawless intros for your research papers? These tips and examples in this article should help you deal with this assignment effortlessly while avoiding common mistakes. However, it also requires practice. We encourage students to practice writing as much as they can master these skills and never face difficulties with writing academic papers again!
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- A Research Guide
- Research Paper Guide
How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper
- Purpose of intro
- Key elements
- Writing an effective intro
- Step-by-step guide
- Research intro checklist
- Introduction formats
- Good and bad examples
An introductory paragraph is vital for any academic paper. It allows you to show reviewers why your research topic is worth reading about. In this article, we will explore the tips to make a good introduction paragraph. You’ll get a step-by-step tutorial on writing your paper’s informative yet laconic intro.
What is the purpose of an introduction?
The purpose of a research paper intro is to provide an overview and context for the study being conducted. A research paper engages the reader, establishes the importance of the research topic, and outlines the study’s objectives and scope.
The paper intro also presents the question or hypothesis and summarizes relevant background characteristics and existing literature.
An effective introduction helps the reader understand the significance and relevance of the research paper and sets the stage for the subsequent sections. The introduction captures the reader’s attention and creates a foundation for understanding the research and its contributions.
The key elements of a scientific paper introduction
The introduction of your research paper should include several key elements, including the problem statement, hypothesis/thesis/research question, purpose, and background.
Let’s explore each of these parts of the research paper intro in detail:
- Problem Statement : identifies the specific issue or gap in knowledge that the research paper aims to address. It highlights the problem’s relevance, significance, and potential impact on the field of study. The problem statement sets the stage for the research by clearly stating the project or research gap.
- Hypothesis / Thesis / Research Question : a paper hypothesis predicts the relationship between variables, a thesis statement presents the main argument or claim, and a research question seeks to put a specific aspect on a research paper.
- Purpose: describes the overall objective or goal the research paper aims to achieve. It outlines the researcher’s intention and provides a clear direction for the investigation. The purpose statement typically explains why the research is being conducted and what the researcher hopes to accomplish by the end of the study.
- Background : provides the necessary context and information to familiarize readers with the research paper. It presents a concise review of the relevant literature, previous studies, and theoretical frameworks that have shaped the understanding of the problem.
Shortly, the introduction section of a research paper combines these key elements to introduce the problem, state the hypothesis/thesis/research question, define the paper’s purpose, and provide the background necessary for readers to understand the significance and context of the study.
How to write an effective intro?
To start an introduction for a research paper, consider the following steps:
- Hook the reader : begin with a compelling opening sentence or a thought-provoking statement that grabs the reader’s attention. This could be an interesting fact, a relevant anecdote, or a surprising statistic related to your research paper.
- Provide background information : offer a brief overview of the paper and its significance in the field. This helps to improve the structure of an introduction and demonstrate why it is important to investigate the point further in a paper.
- State the problem : clearly articulate the problem statement or research gap your study aims to address. Explain the specific issue or gap in knowledge that your research paper seeks to explore, emphasizing its relevance and potential impact.
- Present the research question/hypothesis/thesis : formulate a concise and focused research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement in the intro that guides your scientific paper. This sets the direction for your research and provides a clear focus for the reader.
- Outline the purpose and objectives : explain the overall purpose of your research paper and the specific objectives you aim to achieve. This helps readers understand why your study is being conducted and what you hope to accomplish.
- Preview the structure : briefly introduce the organization and structure of your research paper. Mention the main sections or components that will be covered, giving readers a sense of what to expect as they continue reading the paper.
Remember, the intro should be concise and engaging, providing a clear roadmap for your research and capturing the reader’s interest from the very beginning. There are different ways to start a research paper, and you can pick the intro that suits you best.
Writing an introduction to a research paper: key steps
Here’s a short guide on getting you started with an introduction:
- Start with an attention-grabbing opening : begin your intro with a captivating statement, a relevant quote, a surprising fact, or an intriguing anecdote. This will engage the reader’s interest and make them curious about your research paper.
- Provide background information : write a brief overview of the research topic to provide context and establish the importance of the subject matter. Discuss key concepts, definitions, or historical background relevant to your study. This section should help the reader understand the broader context of your research paper.
- State the research problem or gap : clearly define the specific problem or research gap your study aims to address. Explain why this problem is significant and deserving of investigation. This helps the reader understand the purpose and relevance of your research paper.
- Present your research question or thesis statement : formulate a clear and concise research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement that serves as the central focus of your study. This statement should guide your research paper and articulate your introduction format.
- Outline the structure of the paper : write a brief preview of your research paper’s main sections and organization. This helps the reader understand the flow of your paper and what to expect in each section. Provide a roadmap by mentioning the key points or arguments discussed in subsequent sections.
By following these steps, you can create an introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and sets the stage for the rest of your research paper, clearly understanding your study’s problem, purpose, and structure.
Writing a checklist for a proper college paper introduction
Here’s a short writing checklist for a research paper intro:
- Attention-grabbing opening:
- Does the research paper introduction example start with a compelling statement, relevant quote, surprising fact, or intriguing anecdote?
- Is the opening engaging enough to capture readers’ attention and make them curious about the research paper?
- Background information:
- Have you provided a concise overview of the research topic, including relevant definitions, concepts, or historical context?
- Does the background information help the reader understand the broader context and importance of the subject matter?
- Clear problem statement:
- Have you clearly stated the specific problem or research gap that your study aims to address?
- Does a research introduction have a well-defined, strong, and significant problem statement?
- Research question or thesis statement:
- Have you presented a clear and concise research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement that guides your paper?
- Does the research question or thesis statement align with the problem statement and set the direction for your research paper?
- Structure and organization:
- Did you write a brief overview of the structure and organization of the research paper?
- Does the introduction outline the main sections or components covered in the paper?
- Coherence and flow:
- Is the intro logically organized? Does it have smooth transitions between ideas and paragraphs?
- Does the intro flow smoothly from the opening to the problem statement, research question, and purpose?
- Conciseness and clarity:
- Have you kept the introduction concise, avoiding unnecessary details or tangents?
- Is the language clear, avoiding jargon or overly technical terms that may confuse the reader?
- Relevance and significance:
- Have you clearly explained the relevance and significance of the research topic and the paper’s potential impact?
- Does the introduction effectively communicate why your research is important and worth exploring?
This checklist will help you to review your research essay introduction to ensure it effectively grabs the reader’s attention, provides necessary background information, states the problem clearly, presents a focused research question or thesis statement, outlines the structure of the paper, and maintains coherence and clarity throughout.
Types of intro formats
Different academic disciplines may follow specific formatting styles for research introduction, such as MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), Chicago, ASA (American Sociological Association), and AMA (American Medical Association).
To write an introduction paragraph, you should understand the differences between the most common academic formats for your future paper.
MLA (Modern Language Association):
- Primarily used in humanities, literature, and arts disciplines.
- Features in-text citations using the author-page format (e.g., “Smith 45”).
APA (American Psychological Association):
- Commonly used in social sciences, psychology, and education.
- Utilizes in-text citations with the author-date format (e.g., “Smith, 2019”).
- Often used in history, humanities, and some social sciences.
- Offers two styles: the notes-bibliography system and the author-date system.
- Includes a bibliography page to list all sources used.
ASA (American Sociological Association):
- Primarily used in sociology and related social sciences.
- Utilizes in-text citations with the author-date format (e.g., “Smith 2019”).
AMA (American Medical Association):
- Commonly used in medical, health, and biological sciences.
- Features in-text citations with a superscript number (e.g., “Smith^1”).
- Emphasizes accuracy and consistency in citation style.
All formatting styles mean a set of rules and guidelines for citing sources, formatting headings, page layout, and referencing. It’s important to consult the specific style guide or manual associated with your field of study before you write.
These might include guidelines provided by your institution to ensure proper paper formatting and adherence of a research introduction to the chosen style.
Research introduction sample
Now that you know how the idea goes in the introduction of a research paper, let’s see the practical examples of good and bad introductions and discuss their differences.
Title: “Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity: A Comprehensive Analysis”
Climate change is a pressing global issue that has far-reaching consequences for our planet. Its effects on various ecosystems, particularly biodiversity loss, have attracted significant attention from researchers and policymakers alike.
This research paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the impact of climate change on biodiversity, focusing on key regions and species vulnerable to these changes. By examining the latest scientific literature, empirical studies, and expert opinions, we will explore the complex interplay between climate change and biodiversity loss, shed light on the underlying mechanisms, and propose potential mitigation strategies.
Understanding these dynamics is crucial for developing effective conservation strategies and promoting sustainable practices that will help preserve our planet’s invaluable natural heritage.
Title: “Climate Change and Biodiversity”
Climate change and biodiversity are two important topics that have received considerable attention recently. Climate change refers to the long-term alteration of temperature and precipitation patterns, while biodiversity encompasses the variety of life forms found on Earth.
In this research paper, we will discuss the impact of climate change on biodiversity and explore various examples and case studies. The paper will also highlight the significance of addressing this issue and present potential solutions.
By delving into this subject, we aim to contribute to the existing body of knowledge and raise awareness about the importance of protecting biodiversity in climate change.
To begin an introduction paragraph, don’t provide too much background or theory at once. Remember to arrange your thoughts concisely while keeping the important information for the paper body.
A good intro should answer the four basic questions:
- What was I studying?
- Why was this topic important to investigate?
- What did we know about this topic before I did this study?
- How will this study advance our knowledge?
Remember that you might not get a second chance to create a positive first impression. That’s why it’s equally important to keep your paper laconic and to end an introduction paragraph with a call to action to read your research paper.
- Writing a Research Paper
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- Introduction Section of Research Paper
Research Paper Introduction
Beginning with the introduction is a vital step in writing an academic paper. This section creates intrigue and sets the tone for what will come later, so it’s essential to get it right! A good starting point is knowing why people read introductions at all: they want more information about your topic than you’ve given them yet.
To capture their attention early on, make sure that this section gives readers enough thought-provoking material to pique their curiosity–this can be done by including compelling statistics or anecdotes from experts who are knowledgeable about your subject matter as well as evidence of how much research has already been conducted into this area before yours was started (including books published recently).
Best way to start a research paper
The introduction to a research paper is where you introduce the reader to your topic and strategy. Its main objectives are as follows:
- Introduce your topic and pique the reader’s curiosity.
- Provide background information or a summary of previous studies.
- Create your strategy.
- Describe your research problem in detail.
- Give an overview of the structure of the paper.
It Should be included in the introduction:-
The things which you should include in the introduction section of the research paper are:
- Summary of content in a research paper and its significance in the educational field.
- Objectives of investigation and application of findings.
- Potential issues and techniques for resolving them.
- Target audience and sources of literature
Purpose of the introduction in a research paper
- The main purpose of the introduction in an academic paper is to provide the reader with ease in getting an idea about the issue.
- It is the section that intends to demonstrate the importance of the research paper.
- This section also aims to represent the objective of writing an academic paper .
- The objective of the introduction section in an academic paper is to direct the reader from the general problem to the specific.
When you should write the research paper’s introduction?
You can write the introduction part of a research paper after completing the methodology, results, and discussion part. It is always advised able to write the introduction before the conclusion.
Let’s look at an example of an introduction in an academic paper.
Research Paper Introduction: Example Globalization has bought a big transformation in the business world. It has bought drastic improvement in the way various actives are executed. Globalization is basically a phenomenon that involves the integration of the economy. It is the phenomenon that has given rise to stiff competition in industries. Many companies in the retail industry are facing difficulty in concentrating on core business functions and maintaining profitability. The aim is to identify the issues faced by a firm due to globalization. The objective of the study is to find a specific solution for issues faced by the firm due to globalization. The qualitative investigation will be used for conducting an investigation to identify the main issue faced by the firm. A survey is the technique would be utilized.
How to write a research paper introduction?
Let’s understand the step-by-step procedure of writing an introduction. The 7 step procedure will help you in writing a good introduction for the research paper.
Step 1: Select and define the topic
you need to define the topic. You need to just write the topic and link it with some specific problem. It is one of the best strategies for gaining the attention of the reader. You should start an introduction by providing basic information and then narrow it down to specific aspects of the problem or topic.
At this step, you need to clearly define the aspects of the topic. At the time of writing the introduction, you should first demonstrate a knowledge gap. You should also state Why there is a need for filling it. Finally, you need to define how the knowledge gap will be filled.
Tips : While writing the starting paragraph of the research paper you should consider that an audience will judge the quality of selected arguments on the basis of the introduction section. You can start the first paragraph of the introduction from hook sentences. As it will provide you ease in capturing the attention of the reader. Hook sentences can be inserted in any form such as Quote, Anecdote, Quote of a popular person. While writing the introduction part of the research paper you should make sure that it answers mainly two key questions these are: Why investigation on specific topic or subject is executed for bridging the gap in scientific knowledge. Another question of why specific gaps should be filled.
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Step 2: Write background information
It is a step, where you need to provide background information about the topic. This is a step where you should demonstrate the way your research work is relevant and the same as an investigation conducted by other researchers. You should only include crucial information related to the topic when writing an introduction.
Step 3: Writing aims and objectives
Defining the aims and objectives is very important while writing an introduction part of a scientific paper. You need to clearly state What you intend to accomplish. You need to highlight techniques that you will apply for conducting research. The aim and objectives should be very much specific.
Step 4: Explain the types of investigation
In the introduction section of the research paper, you should define the types of investigation that you will execute. You should also specify the reason for performing a particular type of research . At this step, you also need to provide some key information about techniques that would be utilized for performing an investigation.
Step 5: Write a thesis statement
If you want to develop an understanding of how to write a compelling introduction, so the answer is that you should include a thesis statement in the introduction. At this step, you should provide a complete explanation about the first and other research on a specific topic.
The introduction will have no meaning without a thesis statement. While writing the introduction in APA. You need to begin a paragraph with a thesis statement. In the next two paragraphs of the introduction section, you need to define the issue.
Note: While writing the thesis statement in the introduction, you should consider that it consists of the following :
Background information about the subject or problem Significance of the problem on which discussion has taken place. Precision and engagement
Step 6: Write a reason for research
It is a step where you need to provide a proper Explanation of the Research method selected for investigation. You should also justify different methodologies applied in research . The strength and limitations of each method can also be discussed at this phase.
Step 7: Write the significance of the issue
While writing the introduction, it is very much essential for you to state the significance of the investigation. You need to relate specific issues to a case study. For demonstrating the importance of your study.
You can include other things such as the outline of content, the definition of the complex term, recent observations, etc. A few lines about the history of existing literature on a particular topic can also be a part of the introduction section.
After developing an understanding of how to write an introduction to an academic paper? Now let’s develop an understanding of When to write the introduction part of the research paper?
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Self-driving vehicles are steadily becoming a reality despite the many hurdles still to be overcome – and they could change our world in some unexpected ways.
It's a late night in the Metro area of Phoenix, Arizona. Under the artificial glare of street lamps, a car can be seen slowly approaching. Active sensors on the vehicle radiate a low hum. A green and blue 'W' glows from the windscreen, giving off just enough light to see inside – to a completely empty driver seat.
The wheel navigates the curb steadily, parking as an arrival notification pings on the phone of the person waiting for it. When they open the door to climb inside, a voice greets them over the vehicle's sound system. "Good evening, this car is all yours – with no one upfront," it says.
This is a Waymo One robotaxi, hailed just 10 minutes ago using an app. The open use of this service to the public, slowly expanding across the US, is one of the many developments signalling that driverless technology is truly becoming a part of our lives.
The promise of driverless technology has long been enticing. It has the potential to transform our experience of commuting and long journeys, take people out of high-risk working environments and streamline our industries. It's key to helping us build the cities of the future, where our reliance and relationship with cars are redefined – lowering carbon emissions and paving the way for more sustainable ways of living. And it could make our travel safer. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. "We want safer roads and less fatalities. Automation ultimately could provide that," says Camilla Fowler, head of automated transport for the UK's Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).
But in order for driverless technology to become mainstream, much still needs to change.
"Driverless vehicles should be a very calm and serene way of getting from A to B. But not every human driver around it will be behaving in that way," says David Hynd, chief scientist for safety and investigations at TRL. "It's got to be able to cope with human drivers speeding, for instance, or breaking the rules of the road."
And that's not the only challenge. There's regulation, rethinking the highway code, public perception, improving the infrastructure of our streets, towns, cities, and the big question of ultimate liability for road accidents. "The whole insurance industry is looking into how they're going to deal with that change from a person being responsible and in charge to the vehicle doing that," says Richard Jinks, vice president of commercial at Oxfordshire-based driverless vehicle software company Oxbotica, which has been testing its technology in cars and delivery vehicles at several locations across the UK and Europe.
The ultimate vision experts are working towards is of completely driverless vehicles, both within industry, wider transport networks, and personal-use cars, that can be deployed and used anywhere and everywhere around the world.
But with all these hurdles in place, what exactly does the next 10 years have in store for autonomous vehicles?
Two years from now
The biggest hurdle for those in the driverless technology industry is how to get the cars to operate safely and effectively in complex and unpredictable human environments. Cracking this part of the puzzle will be the major focus of the next two years.
At the Mcity Test Facility at the University of Michigan, experts are addressing this. The world's first purpose-built testing ground for autonomous vehicles, it's a mini-town of sorts, made up of 16 acres of road and traffic infrastructure. It includes traffic signals and signs, underpasses, building facades, tree cover, home and garage exterior for testing delivery and ride-hailing, and different terrains such as road, pedestrian walkways, railway tracks, and road-markings which the vehicles must navigate. It's here that experts test scenarios that even the most experienced of drivers may be pressed to handle, from children playing in the street to two cars trying to merge on a junction at the same time.
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"In order to test driverless technology like this, it depends on hundreds of different variables in any given situation," explains Necmiye Ozay, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan. Her solution is to create a group of varied thinkers.
"We're trying to bring people from different parts of the university – not only engineers, but we have people from across disciplines such as psychology, more human-machine-interaction type people, because there are lots of angles to this problem we are trying to solve when it comes to safety," says Ozay. In the facility, Ozay and her team can test different traffic scenarios, as well as explore how autonomous vehicles communicate with each other yet keep vehicle and personal data secure from hackers.
That self-driving taxis are already on the roads in Phoenix, Arizona, is due to a prolonged testing process like the one Ozay's team is conducting. Currently only available as a test service to the public in small defined areas, in the next two years there are plans to release the taxis on a greater and wider scale. For example, US-based company Waymo is currently rolling out to new city test sites that could very realistically see robotaxis operational in San Francisco and New York by 2023. But their co-chief executive Tekedra Mawakana was cautious to say what further roll out of its service there might be, and where, because "safety takes time ".
AutoX, a start-up funded by Alibaba, launched its fully driverless RoboTaxi in Shanghai, China in 2020. By 2023 it's likely their service will be available in other cities across China, as well as in California .
Much of the driverless technology already in use exists in industrial settings like mines, warehouses, and ports, but Hynd believes in the next two years we can expect to see this extended to "last mile delivery". This means the final part of a journey for goods and services – the point at which they are delivered to the consumer. For example, autonomous HGV trucks on motorways or even delivery vehicles for products and groceries.
Five years from now
While Apple says it is aiming to launch fully self-driving electric cars four years from now, industry experts are more cautious about what the near-future holds.
According to Fowler, the conversation around regulation and insurance companies' new role within this transport space needs to mature. "It's got to be a very iterative approach where we're starting with pods and shuttles, or we're starting with off-highway vehicles where you can see such a benefit, and you've got a more controlled environment potentially, and what works with that," she says. "Then we can scale it up and across more vehicle types, more use cases."
One new space we can expect to see driverless technology deployed in is high-risk environments, from nuclear plants to military settings, to limit the dangers to human life, says Fowler. A Rio Tinto mine in Western Australia, for example, is currently operating the largest autonomous fleet in the world . The trucks are controlled by a centralised system miles away in Perth.
"If you can take people out of that and you can have vehicles that are driving themselves, and are fully automated even, if you've got somebody who's remotely needing to control that vehicle in that high-risk environment then that's got to be good," says Fowler.
In the next five years most driverless technology will remain behind the scenes. TRL is investigating the potential for driverless HGVs on motorways, including the idea of platooning vehicles. Platoons are a group of semi-autonomous vehicles that drive a close distance between each other, stopping other vehicles from separating them. By driving closer together, vehicles in a platoon can be more fuel efficient by taking advantage of the slipstream of the truck in front while also helping to reduce congestion as the lorries take up less overall space on the road. Also in this space is Plus , the first self-driving truck manufacturer, whose European pilots commenced this year after a successful trial on Wufengshan highway in China's Yangtze Delta economic centre.
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Away from these industries, Ozay further predicts that "we will possibly see lighter robotic vehicles that can potentially use sidewalks and bike paths with limited speeds – for delivering things such as food and groceries."
When it comes to public transport, Oxbotica is also working with German-based vehicle systems specialist ZF over the next five years to make the driverless shuttle a true mainstay for European cities, operating on roads, as well as at airports, much in the same way buses do now. "The shuttles in airports we see today on rails won't need those rails in five years from now. This means driverless shuttles have the potential to transport you from the car park to the airport, then straight through to your gate and the plane," Jinks explains.
For users, this could mean more reliable and cost-efficient transport systems. "Interlinking autonomous transport systems to bring a public transport system that is as efficient as you jumping in your own car and driving it yourself has got to be the answer to congestion in the future," adds Jinks.
Seven years from now
All experts agree that the next seven years will depend on the successes and failures of initial deployments, and how safety and public trust evolves accordingly. However, most hope that city redesigns will enable more adoption of the technology and help move us into modern, and more efficient ways of living. "If you live in a dense, urban area, the hope is that you'd be able to rely on mobility as a service. You could dial up the car, it would arrive in two minutes, and you make your journey. You wouldn't need to have those vast rows of parked cars in your street, which makes the street more navigable for the automated vehicle," says Hynd.
Without parked cars lining the street, roads could be narrower, making way for more green spaces. But while proponents of self-driving vehicles insist they will make our roads safer, there are some who feel pedestrians and autonomous vehicles simply can't mix . It could mean that our cities and the way we use them may need to be reimagined.
Some of this thinking is already taking place. In 2018, IKEA developed a concept autonomous vehicle that can double up as meeting rooms, hotels, and stores. The impact this type of innovation would have is reduced requirement for travel in the first place, offering instead interchangeable, on-demand environments as and when we need them. Our needs could be met right where we are.
Ozay expects many more self-driving options to be available for customers during this time, including in the passenger vehicle space. "My hope is that cars will be smart enough to say 'yes' or 'no' when asked if they can reliably and safely get a non-driver from point A to point B on a given day, by analysing the weather and traffic conditions beforehand," she explains.
10 years from now
Despite all the developments and innovations the next decade is likely to hold, some experts still feel we might be a way off from full deployment of driverless vehicles. By 2031, "full-self driving – human-level or above, in all possible conditions, where you can put kids by themselves in the car to send them to arbitrary locations without worrying – is not something I expect to see," says Ozay.
Hynd agrees that full automation is unlikely on this timescale. "With anything transport infrastructure, anything that society uses, so many other things need to come into play. And I don't just mean regulation," he says. Safety will be a major hurdle, especially for countries slower to adopt the change because of the huge costs involved. Infrastructure will also dictate how fast and effectively this technology can roll out, and public perception and willingness to use autonomous vehicles will need to increase according to Hynd.
But not everyone agrees. Jinks is confident that we'll see autonomous vehicles on the roads at the same time as human-driven vehicles in 10 years from now. In this vein, you may very well be stepping onto a driverless shuttle at the airport, then into a self-driving taxi to take you to your final destination.
Owning a driverless car in the next 10 years is less likely – it'll still be too expensive for most people, according to Hynd. But the promise of driverless technology is about unchaining us from our reliance on cars, and how that can transform the use of our time and our environment.
"This is one of the biggest engineering problems that we're trying to solve in a century," Jinks says. "It will be an evolution over time from less complex environments and capabilities, to more complex, to everywhere. It's a continuum, and think about that continuum... It will keep improving over time. These things will continuously learn from each other."
Much in the same way that electric charging stations have slowly entered car parks, side streets, and service stations, so too will autonomous vehicles eventually make their way into our everyday worlds. Years from now, we may well be wondering how we ever lived without them.
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Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph
- Choosing Your Topic
- Define Keywords
- Planning Your Paper
- Writing an Introductory Paragraph
The Dreaded Introductory Paragraph
Writing the introductory paragraph can be a frustrating and slow process -- but it doesn't have to be. If you planned your paper out, then most of the introductory paragraph is already written. Now you just need a beginning and an end.
Here's an introductory paragraph for a paper I wrote. I started the paper with a factoid, then presented each main point of my paper and then ended with my thesis statement.
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- Last Updated: Oct 17, 2023 9:10 AM
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