How to Write the BEST Introduction for a Research Paper

June 6, 2024

research paper introduction

This is a complete guide on how to write an introduction for a research paper.

To be clear, writing the introduction section of a research paper isn’t rocket science, but it can be a little intimidating if you don’t know where or how to start.

To avoid confusion, and to make sure your research paper assignment is a lot less overwhelming, we’ve written this post to give you some handy tips you can use to write a more comprehensive and coherent introduction for your research paper.

Why is the Introduction for a Research Paper Important? 

research paper intro important

Introductions form the thesis of the paper and usually provide a summary of the research issue you plan to investigate and report.

A good introduction for a research paper should do two things very well: make it clear what the topic under investigation is and explain the significance of the research and the results.

There’s no magic bullet to writing the introduction.

Some students opt to leave the introduction to be the final part of the assignment and work on the other parts of the essay first.

Others write the section first. Whichever approach you use, the aim should be to introduce your research in a way that sparks an interest for further reading.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper 

The right approach to writing a good introduction for a research paper is to write it as  the last assignment.

First work on the other parts of the paper and then come back later to work on the introduction.

We do recommend doing this for the simple reason that with the other parts covered, you get a clear picture of the main points and ideas to include in the introduction.

Remember, the aim of the introduction is to get your readers to look into your research paper with the depth that it deserves.

By telling them exactly what to expect in the paper, you easily grab their attention and pique their interest to read further.  

With that said, below are some handy tips that you can use to write a good introduction for your research paper.

1. Understand Your Research Theme 

The human attention span is so short that you have only a few seconds to grab their attention. If the introduction of your research paper is boring or too general, you lose them completely, which means your paper may not attract the attention that it should.

A creative way to hook readers to introduction of a research paper is to use the inverted triangle strategy.

Here’s how this works

The first sentence of the introduction should be about the general topic you wish to explore in your research. You then follow this some details about the specific research question

By starting from a broad topic and then narrowing down to a broad topic, it’s easy to draw a reader’s attention and interest to explore the topic in question even further.

2. Explain Important Terms 

You will use some key terms in different sections of your research paper.

So it’s important to make sure you explain them in the introduction to avoid confusion.

By explaining the key terms in the research paper, you make it easy for readers to understand your investigation.

3. Be Original

Writing a research paper is like holding a contest. You have to craft every section a way that grabs the attention of the reader.

You’re fighting to stand out, and it’s not an easy battle given the number of students you’re competing with. To stand out from the others, you have to be original.

Humans have no limits when it comes to creativity, and you’re not an exception. Provided your creativity doesn’t bend the rules of formal writing, at least in the case of a research paper, you’re good to go.

Being original doesn’t mean re-writing pre-written introductions on the topics so they pass plagiarismIt means trying your best to come up with solid, reasonable, and interesting ideas that no other student in your class has.

Here are two interesting examples:

  • If you’re exploring a topic in humanities, consider starting the introduction to your research paper with a story or a relevant quotation
  • If you’re a science or medical student, include some scientific facts or less known medical anecdotes in the introduction to keep reader hooked.

The two example above are effective strategies that we’ve used in our research paper writing service and they tend to earn students high scores almost all the time.

4. State the Thesis Statement 

While it marks the conclusive part of the introduction, a thesis statement is an important part of the assignment because it transitions a reader from the introduction to the actual research.

The statement should be a sentence long – and you can have a maximum of only two sentences if you wish to give it a bit of a stretch.

Make sure the statement supports everything you said before b putting all your ideas in a logical, concise way.

Generally, your thesis statement should:

  • Give a reader clear information on the topic
  • Be as engaging and precise as possible
  • Highlight the significance of the main issue

5. Mind the Length of the Introduction 

There’s no specific word limit for the introduction for a research paper. That leaves you with the option to find a length that’s ideal for you.

It shouldn’t be too long or too short, just the ideal length necessary to grab the attention of your readers and to communicate your message.

You may have to re-read the introduction and make it shorter or longer depending on the depth of your research.  Doing so is important for two reasons:

  • It helps to ensure you don’t leave out important information
  • You’re able to delete unnecessary words and phrases while retaining the intended message for your audience.

6. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help 

It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed with college and university work that writing your research paper in good time becomes difficult.

However, many assignments should not be the reason why you fail to get your research paper completed.

Take advantage of our research paper writing help and get professional academic insight to complete the assignment on time.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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