How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper: Step by Step Guide

Want to write a research paper introduction that’ll leave any reader wowed, and fellow professional researchers excited to cite it? If yes, then you should master how to write a winning research paper introduction.

Why? Well, as cliché as it may sound, people indeed judge a book by the cover, and if your research paper introduction isn’t enticing enough, some readers may not read the rest of your paper.

You’ve worked so hard on your paper and convinced them to read through the title and abstract sections, the last thing you want is to lose them at the introduction for research paper.

Luckily, this guide discusses not only how to begin a research paper, but also walks you through a few introduction paragraph examples, so you walk away a pro-writer.

What is An Introduction?

An important part of knowing how to begin a research paper is understanding what an introduction is and what it entails.

That being said, the introduction is the opening paragraph of a dissertation, research paper, or any other form of academic essay. It establishes the context of the study; offers a glimpse into the methodology and the findings of your research.

The Importance of an Introduction

With everything in your hands, why dedicate precious time to how to write an introduction to a research paper? In other words, why do people seem to fuss so much over the introduction for research paper?

If you are just venturing into research paper writing, you may not see it as a big deal. That is why before we guide you on how to begin a research paper, we outlined why the introduction for research paper is of the essence below;

–          Lays the Foundation for the Rest of the Paper

While learning how to start a research paper introduction, you’ll come across the title page and the abstract.

Although these are the first sections a reader encounters, the introduction for research paper is what readers evaluate to determine if your paper will be worth their time.

 If your introduction is vague and disorganized, they’ll perceive the rest of your research paper negatively even if the rest of the content is top shelf.

In that light, learning how to write an introduction to a research paper is incredibly important because it lays the foundation for the rest of the article.

–            Establishes Your Credibility

Research papers are meant to help contribute to your field of study. They should build on existing research so anyone who uses them in the future can have somewhere credible to begin.

Your introduction should not only pique the reader’s interest but should also establish the credibility of the content of your paper. How you cite your introduction should tell the reader that even the content of your report is based on established facts.

–          Give Overview of What’s to Come

Other than laying the foundation and establishing the credibility of your paper, it would help if you learned how to write an introduction to a research paper because it offers the reader an overview of what’s to come in the paper, so they don’t end up surprised.

Your research paper introduction is like the road-map to your paper, and while the title page and abstract are of the essence in learning how to begin a research paper, the intro is even more crucial.

Writing a Research Paper Introduction: A Step by Step Guide

While there’s no single formula on how to start a research paper introduction, here are some of the steps you should follow to craft an attractive one;

Step 1: Select the Topic

The first step to writing any academic essay or learning how to begin a research paper involves selecting an ideal topic. One would argue that by the time you’re writing your introduction, you’d already know the subject since you’ve written an abstract.

However, note, abstracts are usually written last. That being said, select a topic that fascinates you, research on it extensively, and then follow the second step on how to start a research paper introduction below.

Step 2: Start with a Hook

You want the reader to be impressed by your content from the moment they start reading your introduction for research paper, to the moment they finish.

While there’s no secret recipe on how to start a research paper introduction, you can make yours close to perfect by using a hook that immediately captures the reader’s attention. Here are some popular research paper introduction example hooks you could use;

  1. A rhetorical question
  2. A short humorous story related to your topic
  3. An interesting fact about your subject
  4. A statistic
  5. A common misconception about your research topic

Step 3: Offer Background Info

Now that you’ve managed to capture the reader’s attention using the research paper introduction example hooks above, your next step should be to offer the reader a bit of background information about the topic.

Summarize and cite existing research relevant to your research area. Do this very briefly, and avoid citing excessively.

To achieve this efficiently, you need to research extensively. Do this immediately; you master how to start a research paper introduction. Check out how one of our research paragraph examples does that below;

Ever since the 1964 Civil Rights Acts was approved, America’s academic institutions struggle with increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of faculty members and students alike.

The research paper introduction example above gives the reader an overview of the problem and even tells them how long it has been an issue.

Step 4: State Significance of Your Work

Now that your reader understands the historical context of your research question, very briefly, in two or three sentences, describe the significance of your study.

Step 4: State Your Thesis

An introduction without a thesis statement doesn’t make sense. The thesis statement should be precise and engaging.

It should highlight your specific topic, its importance and limitations, and how your paper will improve on it. For instance, it should tell the reader, “we aim to do X, which is of the essence if we’re to determine Y.”

Research Paper Introduction Example

Based on the steps above, your research paper introduction should be similar to our research paragraph example below

Do you frequently use social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube? If yes, you’re not alone. The modern-day American youths have an array of options when it comes to information and entertainment accessibility.  Although a majority of these options are perceived negatively by older generations, not all technological platforms have a negative impact. The use of these technology platforms can sometimes be positive for both children and the youth because if maximized, they can serve as supplements for in-class academic programs.

Master the Art of Introduction Writing Today

Learning how to write an introduction to a research paper can feel daunting, especially if it’s your first time. You can overcome the challenge it presents by trying out the tips above. Keep in mind that the research paper structure usually resembles an hourglass.

This means your introduction should start broadly (check our research paragraph example above), and then narrow down towards the thesis statement.

Want help learning how to start a research paper introduction? This is just the right place! Get in touch with one of our skilled writers today for professional advice.

What is the meaning of introduction in research paper?

The introduction is the opening paragraph of a dissertation, research paper, or any other form of academic essay, which establishes the context of the study and glimpse into the methodology and the findings of your research.

How to Write a Good Introduction for a Research Paper

Step 1: Select the Topic
Step 2: Start with a Hook that immediately captures the reader’s attention
Step 3: Offer Background Information by summarizing and citing existing research relevant to your research area
Step 4: State Significance of Your Work
Step 4: State Your Thesis Statement highlighting your specific topic, its importance and how your paper will improve on it.

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