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How to Write a Research Paper Introduction

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A research paper is basically the first serious scientific work any student has to write. Every part of this paper then is to be carefully considered before put to writing.  It may seem like introduction of research paper is one of the many parts and therefore, has to be approached in the manner all of the sections are written. But it is important to note one has to pay special attention at this stage of writing due to the fact that introduction makes up the beginning of your paper. It is as important as a cover to a magazine so one has to work hard to develop a strong introduction. The question is how to write a research paper introduction so that it would be a strong one?

Follow These Simple Steps

First of all, your introduction has to announce the topic of your paper. That means you have to literally introduce your research subject to readers identifying key concepts and terms. It is better if you do it at the beginning of your introduction. This will give an idea what the whole research is about as well as help readers understand other sections in the context of given introduction.

Secondly, writing an introduction to a research paper is meant for providing a context, which is important for understanding the point of research. There is no need to go into a lengthy discussion to set up the context; be concise and clear instead. Include a literature review as well as overview on recent discoveries relevant to your research. After you outline the literature sources a good idea may be to transition to your own contribution. This way you will narrow down the framework from the literature to a more specific subject of your investigation. Then it would make sense to explain the rationale (that is what value your research has to the field).

Thirdly, you have to specify questions and hypothesis. If you did a good job on putting a literature review and rationale frame then it will be pretty easy to make a transition to the research question. It should have a clear connection to what you have said before and not to come out of the blue. A good research question stated in the introduction will inevitably pose a problem into a hypothesis. An articulation of a hypothesis then becomes the next logical step in writing your research introduction. In other words, specify how your research will make a contribution and what result it will have.

Finally, outlining the paper structure seems to be a good closing point of your introduction. In this part of the introduction you just need to explain how you organized the body of the research paper. Sometimes it is not a must have part of the introduction so one should check the writing conventions for the discipline first.

Concluding Remarks

If you still have questions how to write a research paper introduction you may consider asking yourself several questions. They will help you formulate the sections mentioned above providing you with some ideas of what you can include into them. What were you studying? Why do you think the subject of your investigation is important to have a research paper written about it? Does the research paper make any difference? Will it bring some new knowledge to the area or new understanding of things? Asking these questions will certainly help to have a strong research paper introduction written. If you fail with the introduction, it will lead readers to believe you haven't done a good job on the research. Why make a bad impression then? It is far better to spend more time and have a well-organized introduction section to convince the readers that you know the subject well.

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