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Interested in Learning How to Create a Research Paper Introduction?

An introduction is an integral part of a research paper outline (structure). It should include more than a thesis statement. It is critical to learn how to start an introduction to a research paper if you want your writing pieces to be noticed and read from cover to cover.

What are the things to include in an introduction? How to do it right? This post has all the answers!

What Is a Research Paper Introduction?

Easily said, an introduction is the initial section of your writing. It is the first section of a paper structure (a.k.a. outline). It is where the topic first shows up. An introductory paragraph is also a stage at which your reader has to decide whether they are interested in reading your research paper or not.

An introductory paragraph for an essay and research is different. You should keep in mind the required elements to start your research correctly. The process of developing an introduction might seem more difficult than writing other sections, so we recommend leaving it to the end. Students will find this element of a research paper structure (outline) simpler to write if they have a body in front of their eyes as well as a nice example.

What Is Included in the Introduction for Research Paper?

An introduction of an academic paper contains most of the elements though it is often the shortest part of an assignment. The thing is that a reader should understand what exactly you will discuss and why. At the same time, unlike in an abstract, a writer should not highlight the outcomes of a study or briefly summarize the entire research. Your raider should learn the topic from your introductory paragraph and decide whether this piece is worth their attention.

The elements of an introduction may vary, depending on the purpose of an assignment and style/tone. For instance, if the paper is less formal, it’s possible to start in a joking manner. However, your introduction still should relate to the topic. You may give a hint to the reader of what you have in a margin, but don’t open all cards from the beginning. Here are the components of a good introduction for a research paper:

  • Hook (optional)
  • Topic presentation
  • Background info and context
  • Brief overview and meaning  
  • Significance of research 
  • Thesis statement 

How to Write an Introduction to a Research Paper: General Tips

So, what are the general rules for crafting a compelling intro for a research paper? We are not speaking about formatting guidelines such as margin or font - they are common for the entire text, depending on the chosen writing style. What matters more for your research introduction is the quality of information and the way you approach it. Many students fail to catch an eye from the opening lines, and that is why teachers grade their papers lower, no matter how good and extended the research is.

If we speak about starting a paper, on the whole, the process begins with choosing a topic and conducting research. Then, students should decide on the structure based on the required formatting. Writing an outline for your research might need some time, but it is an obligatory step. Without it, you risk falling off the main idea.

  • Grab attention - to intrigue the reader, and you may add some drama or suspect to the introduction;
  • Establish credibility by mentioning sources;
  • Mention some advantages of research;
  • Explain the structure to your reader very briefly.

Writing a paper will seem even easier with our further recommendations!

Announce Your Topic: Step 1

Always start your research by introducing the topic. Even if you choose to begin an introduction with a hook, reflect the main idea in it. Writing an introduction to a research paper is all about proving that your work is worth reading. Research costs nothing in terms of value if it covers an already solved issue or outdated theme.

Background Information: Step 2

In this part of a research paper, provide the origins of the topic or problem. You may briefly define the term or stress how it first popped up in the world.

Before writing, collect the results of previous research and studies to have an overall idea and offer already known facts. Your reader might want to take a brief look back into the history of a problem to realize why it still matters.

H3: Rationale: Step 3

It is the primary element of an introduction (well, at least when it comes to research writing). Does it make sense to answer the specific research question? What’s the point of covering the topic of your choice?

Explain why the reader should study your work. You have a large margin for thoughts, no matter what issue you choose. In this part, writers should also show their position on the given topic. Make this part brief and laconic, explaining why this research matters to society. In other words, show the reasons for writing your paper. Add a thesis.

Hook Sentence: Step 4

There are many ways that students may use to attract attention to their writing. In a research paper, hooks are less common than in an essay, but, still, an introduction will benefit from having one. The margin is great - here is an incomplete list of the attention grabbers that researchers may add to the introduction of a paper:

  • The fact or stats
  • The metaphor, allegory, pr another literary device
  • Description or definition
  • Short story
  • The quote
  • Declaration
  • An engaging question

In the case of research paper writing, the best idea is to insert a fact or interesting question in an introduction. You should have a margin of ideas for an intro.

Writing a Good Introduction: Advice From an Expert

After reading most of this post, you may still wonder why a good paper introduction is critical for your writing. It is a chance to make a good first impression: while its cover judges a book, a reader will evaluate your paper based on its topic and introduction. Show the logical flow of your argument(s). Those are the central claims of your paper that serve to support the topic and your position on it.

The primary argument is a thesis statement - do not confuse it with simply a thesis, which is an analogy of a dissertation paper in masters-degree programs. Students should also demonstrate their writing style and tone in a paper opening. From an intro, a reader should understand the quality fo your research and validity of results. Thus, the writers should spend some time to include a brief overview of the sources that they used to compose a paper. Create summaries of the sources during the research. It will save time on writing later.

This paragraph is a short guide explaining and summarizing how to write a research paper intro. Please keep in mind these three words that characterize a perfect paper introduction and overall structure: concise, well-written, engaging. Demonstrate your writing, research, and analytical skills in the opening of your paper. Make sure an opening of your paper ends up with a short description of the organization of other sections.

Research Paper Introduction Examples

Without an example of a research paper, it might be challenging to write one. Without a good example of an introduction, you may have no idea how to begin writing your research paper. That is why we would recommend having a look at a couple of samples before getting to work on your topic! Make sure not to justify the lines of text at the right margin when typing your paper.

Introduction Example 1:

In my research, the existing theories observe personal traits of a human being to interpret actions that are directed towards harming others. Given the specific margin and research limitations, various professionals such as psychologists and sociologists forecasted that a smaller portion of the population (3-4%) would harm people around if commanded. Other participants tend to have their own opinion and will refuse to obey the commands.

Introduction Example 2:

“Did you know that more than 80% of songwriters remain unpaid for their work as it is legal to download music for free on the internet in many countries? The problem first popped-up a decade ago when the services for free music listening and downloads quickly spread online. A platform like Spotify or Soundcloud offers just samples of songs, which forces users to buy the whole tracks if they are interested.

However, many other sites that offer pirate versions are a threat to the modern music industry. Some labels and artists try to fight this problem; even the US government took part by restricting access to downloads per month. Still, it is a massive issue for the rest of the world. It takes plenty of nerves to compose a song, and musicians should be paid for their work just as other professionals. 

In my research paper, I wish to stress the significance of taking measures against music pirates and free websites. Recording music is a full-time job that should be fairly compensated, and getting songs for free is like stealing a physical asset from someone.” (thesis)

Bottom Line

As for the examples of research paper openings above, which one sounds more interesting and persuasive to you? We believe that it is the second one as it contains ALL elements of successful writing. Right, students should include all of the components in this section of the paper structure to grab the reader’s attention and prove the importance of the topic.

A successful introduction to a research paper is half the battle. Once you are done with this element of an outline, you’ll succeed with the rest of its sections for sure!

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