Comprehensive Guide on How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

The introduction section is an important section of any academic paper. It not only introduces the topic but also attempts to inform your reader about the logic behind your paper and sets it into context. It also justifies why the project is an important component in academia by narrowing down to a thesis, specific research problem, and hypothesis. Although there is no specified word limit to the introduction, it needs to be concise. In fact it is for this reason that it is always advisable to write the introduction last in order to be concise. It is also advisable to use your outline to structure the introduction for a research paper that is long. The introduction should include some background information, the importance or rationale behind the paper, the limitations of the study and the assumptions in the study.

  • Background
    The first task when writing an introduction to a research paper is setting the scene. This basically means giving the study a context and showing how it aligns with previous studies in the field. However, you should be careful here because in some studies or fields of study an attempt to set the context in the first paragraphs might end up making up a whole new essay. Therefore, it is advisable to be very direct and precise when introducing the background information. Avoid including any background information that can be discussed in the body of the paper.
  • Rationale
    After introducing some background information, you should provide the rationale behind the study. This involves revealing if it is building on previous studies, analyzing something that other researchers in the field have disregarded, or improving on a previous study that produced unclear results. You can then include some sentences on how your current study intends to fill the gaps and present your objectives and methods of inquiry.
  • Limitations
    The other information that you should include in the introduction is a highlight of the weaknesses in the study. It is better to inform the reader about the study’s weaknesses at this point than to make them discover such information in the discussion.
  • Assumptions
    You also need to state any assumptions that you have made regarding the conditions during the study. You need state your fundamental principles before you embark on the investigation since any study will be structured around certain assumptions.

In summary, the trick to writing a strong introduction for a research paper revolves around three main issues. First, you should keep it short and concise by keeping it close to your outline. Secondly, ensure you define the problem clearly and state the rationale behind the study. Lastly, organize the introductory sentences in a way that shows the direction of the paper.