How to Write a Research Paper Introduction (with Examples)
The research paper introduction section, along with the Title and Abstract, can be considered the face of any research paper. The following article is intended to guide you in organizing and writing the research paper introduction for a quality academic article or dissertation.
The research paper introduction aims to present the topic to the reader. A study will only be accepted for publishing if you can ascertain that the available literature cannot answer your research question. So it is important to ensure that you have read important studies on that particular topic, especially those within the last five to ten years, and that they are properly referenced in this section. 1 What should be included in the research paper introduction is decided by what you want to tell readers about the reason behind the research and how you plan to fill the knowledge gap. The best research paper introduction provides a systemic review of existing work and demonstrates additional work that needs to be done. It needs to be brief, captivating, and well-referenced; a well-drafted research paper introduction will help the researcher win half the battle.
The introduction for a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:
- Present your research topic
- Capture reader interest
- Summarize existing research
- Position your own approach
- Define your specific research problem and problem statement
- Highlight the novelty and contributions of the study
- Give an overview of the paper’s structure
The research paper introduction can vary in size and structure depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or is a review paper. Some research paper introduction examples are only half a page while others are a few pages long. In many cases, the introduction will be shorter than all of the other sections of your paper; its length depends on the size of your paper as a whole.
Table of Contents
What is the introduction for a research paper, why is the introduction important in a research paper, what are the parts of introduction in the research, 1. introduce the research topic:, 2. determine a research niche:, 3. place your research within the research niche:, frequently asked questions on research paper introduction, key points to remember.
The introduction in a research paper is placed at the beginning to guide the reader from a broad subject area to the specific topic that your research addresses. They present the following information to the reader
- Scope: The topic covered in the research paper
- Context: Background of your topic
- Importance: Why your research matters in that particular area of research and the industry problem that can be targeted
The research paper introduction conveys a lot of information and can be considered an essential roadmap for the rest of your paper. A good introduction for a research paper is important for the following reasons:
- It stimulates your reader’s interest: A good introduction section can make your readers want to read your paper by capturing their interest. It informs the reader what they are going to learn and helps determine if the topic is of interest to them.
- It helps the reader understand the research background: Without a clear introduction, your readers may feel confused and even struggle when reading your paper. A good research paper introduction will prepare them for the in-depth research to come. It provides you the opportunity to engage with the readers and demonstrate your knowledge and authority on the specific topic.
- It explains why your research paper is worth reading: Your introduction can convey a lot of information to your readers. It introduces the topic, why the topic is important, and how you plan to proceed with your research.
- It helps guide the reader through the rest of the paper: The research paper introduction gives the reader a sense of the nature of the information that will support your arguments and the general organization of the paragraphs that will follow. It offers an overview of what to expect when reading the main body of your paper.
A good research paper introduction section should comprise three main elements: 2
- What is known: This sets the stage for your research. It informs the readers of what is known on the subject.
- What is lacking: This is aimed at justifying the reason for carrying out your research. This could involve investigating a new concept or method or building upon previous research.
- What you aim to do: This part briefly states the objectives of your research and its major contributions. Your detailed hypothesis will also form a part of this section.
How to write a research paper introduction?
The first step in writing the research paper introduction is to inform the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening statement. The second step involves establishing the kinds of research that have been done and ending with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to address. Finally, the research paper introduction clarifies how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses. If your research involved testing hypotheses, these should be stated along with your research question. The hypothesis should be presented in the past tense since it will have been tested by the time you are writing the research paper introduction.
The following key points, with examples, can guide you when writing the research paper introduction section:
- Highlight the importance of the research field or topic
- Describe the background of the topic
- Present an overview of current research on the topic
Example: The inclusion of experiential and competency-based learning has benefitted electronics engineering education. Industry partnerships provide an excellent alternative for students wanting to engage in solving real-world challenges. Industry-academia participation has grown in recent years due to the need for skilled engineers with practical training and specialized expertise. However, from the educational perspective, many activities are needed to incorporate sustainable development goals into the university curricula and consolidate learning innovation in universities.
- Reveal a gap in existing research or oppose an existing assumption
- Formulate the research question
Example: There have been plausible efforts to integrate educational activities in higher education electronics engineering programs. However, very few studies have considered using educational research methods for performance evaluation of competency-based higher engineering education, with a focus on technical and or transversal skills. To remedy the current need for evaluating competencies in STEM fields and providing sustainable development goals in engineering education, in this study, a comparison was drawn between study groups without and with industry partners.
- State the purpose of your study
- Highlight the key characteristics of your study
- Describe important results
- Highlight the novelty of the study.
- Offer a brief overview of the structure of the paper.
Example: The study evaluates the main competency needed in the applied electronics course, which is a fundamental core subject for many electronics engineering undergraduate programs. We compared two groups, without and with an industrial partner, that offered real-world projects to solve during the semester. This comparison can help determine significant differences in both groups in terms of developing subject competency and achieving sustainable development goals.
The purpose of the research paper introduction is to introduce the reader to the problem definition, justify the need for the study, and describe the main theme of the study. The aim is to gain the reader’s attention by providing them with necessary background information and establishing the main purpose and direction of the research.
The length of the research paper introduction can vary across journals and disciplines. While there are no strict word limits for writing the research paper introduction, an ideal length would be one page, with a maximum of 400 words over 1-4 paragraphs. Generally, it is one of the shorter sections of the paper as the reader is assumed to have at least a reasonable knowledge about the topic. 2 For example, for a study evaluating the role of building design in ensuring fire safety, there is no need to discuss definitions and nature of fire in the introduction; you could start by commenting upon the existing practices for fire safety and how your study will add to the existing knowledge and practice.
When deciding what to include in the research paper introduction, the rest of the paper should also be considered. The aim is to introduce the reader smoothly to the topic and facilitate an easy read without much dependency on external sources. 3 Below is a list of elements you can include to prepare a research paper introduction outline and follow it when you are writing the research paper introduction. Topic introduction: This can include key definitions and a brief history of the topic. Research context and background: Offer the readers some general information and then narrow it down to specific aspects. Details of the research you conducted: A brief literature review can be included to support your arguments or line of thought. Rationale for the study: This establishes the relevance of your study and establishes its importance. Importance of your research: The main contributions are highlighted to help establish the novelty of your study Research hypothesis: Introduce your research question and propose an expected outcome. Organization of the paper: Include a short paragraph of 3-4 sentences that highlights your plan for the entire paper
Cite only works that are most relevant to your topic; as a general rule, you can include one to three. Note that readers want to see evidence of original thinking. So it is better to avoid using too many references as it does not leave much room for your personal standpoint to shine through. Citations in your research paper introduction support the key points, and the number of citations depend on the subject matter and the point discussed. If the research paper introduction is too long or overflowing with citations, it is better to cite a few review articles rather than the individual articles summarized in the review. A good point to remember when citing research papers in the introduction section is to include at least one-third of the references in the introduction.
The literature review plays a significant role in the research paper introduction section. A good literature review accomplishes the following: Introduces the topic – Establishes the study’s significance – Provides an overview of the relevant literature – Provides context for the study using literature – Identifies knowledge gaps However, remember to avoid making the following mistakes when writing a research paper introduction: Do not use studies from the literature review to aggressively support your research Avoid direct quoting Do not allow literature review to be the focus of this section. Instead, the literature review should only aid in setting a foundation for the manuscript.
Remember the following key points for writing a good research paper introduction: 4
- Avoid stuffing too much general information: Avoid including what an average reader would know and include only that information related to the problem being addressed in the research paper introduction. For example, when describing a comparative study of non-traditional methods for mechanical design optimization, information related to the traditional methods and differences between traditional and non-traditional methods would not be relevant. In this case, the introduction for the research paper should begin with the state-of-the-art non-traditional methods and methods to evaluate the efficiency of newly developed algorithms.
- Avoid packing too many references: Cite only the required works in your research paper introduction. The other works can be included in the discussion section to strengthen your findings.
- Avoid extensive criticism of previous studies: Avoid being overly critical of earlier studies while setting the rationale for your study. A better place for this would be the Discussion section, where you can highlight the advantages of your method.
- Avoid describing conclusions of the study: When writing a research paper introduction remember not to include the findings of your study. The aim is to let the readers know what question is being answered. The actual answer should only be given in the Results and Discussion section.
To summarize, the research paper introduction section should be brief yet informative. It should convince the reader the need to conduct the study and motivate him to read further.
1. Jawaid, S. A., & Jawaid, M. (2019). How to write introduction and discussion. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia, 13(Suppl 1), S18.
2. Dewan, P., & Gupta, P. (2016). Writing the title, abstract and introduction: Looks matter!. Indian pediatrics, 53, 235-241.
3. Cetin, S., & Hackam, D. J. (2005). An approach to the writing of a scientific Manuscript1. Journal of Surgical Research, 128(2), 165-167.
4. Bavdekar, S. B. (2015). Writing introduction: Laying the foundations of a research paper. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 63(7), 44-6.
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6 Examples of Research Paper Introductions to Hook Your Readers
Welcome to our guide on research paper introductions!
As you may already know, the introduction is a critical component of any research paper, as it sets the tone for the rest of the paper and establishes the reader’s expectations.
The introductory paragraph in a research paper should give an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the paper.
It should also establish a context for readers who are new to this topic. More importantly, when writing a research paper introduction, it’s best to focus on two key points: the problem being addressed and how this particular study (or studies) addresses it.
If those two points are clear then readers should be able to follow along as they read more into your paper.
In the following sections, we’ll provide you with examples of different types of research paper introductions to help you get started.
Types of Research Paper Introductions
A general introduction is suitable when you’re discussing a range of different topics or subjects within one paper. It provides the reader with an idea of where you stand in regard to the topic at hand and can be followed up with a sentence or two explaining your specific angle.
Topic: The Effect of Social Media on Mental Health
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, and its impact on mental health has become a subject of increasing concern in recent years. While social media platforms have provided a new means of communication and access to information, they have also been linked to negative mental health outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. This research paper aims to explore the relationship between social media use and mental health outcomes. Specifically, we will investigate how social media affects individuals’ perceptions of themselves and their social relationships, as well as the potential impact on their emotional well-being. Through a thorough literature review and original research, we hope to shed light on the complex relationship between social media and mental health and provide insights into effective interventions for those who may be negatively impacted by social media use.
Topic: Formal Presentations at University
Most universities require their graduate-level courses to have some form of formal presentation such as a dissertation, master’s thesis, or doctoral dissertation. These presentations often take the form of an oral defense. Formal presentations provide both teachers and students with feedback in order to make future projects better. Teachers also use these projects to gauge student performance and provide guidance during group discussions throughout the course. What makes these oral defenses different than others is that they must adhere to strict guidelines set forth by the institution overseeing them. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in expulsion from the university. Oral defenses typically contain three major parts: an opening statement, main body, and closing statement. However, some institutions may offer variations of this format. For instance, many institutions now require a written version of the presentation that includes all major aspects required by the institution.
Quote-Based Research Paper Introduction
This type of introduction is ideal for research papers that rely heavily on quotes to establish their point.
In these cases, quoting the most relevant piece of information is usually necessary because doing so will allow the reader to better understand what your discussion entails.
With that said, remember that every quote you include needs to add something significant and/or novel which hasn’t been covered before – otherwise it won’t be worth including in your paper!
Topic: International Student Success at the University Level
Shakespeare once said that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This line from Romeo and Juliet suggests that names don’t matter. Similarly, the fact that someone goes to school in a certain country does not affect the quality of education. Yet research has shown that international students perform worse academically than domestic ones in American colleges and universities. So, the question becomes: How do we foster success among international students? It is possible that differences in culture and socialization contribute to the observed gaps in academic achievement. Given that, our next step should be to examine the challenges faced by international students in an effort to find effective ways of addressing these challenges.
Topic: The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health
As Mark Twain once said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” In today’s world, social media platforms provide us with countless opportunities to compare our lives to those of others, often leading to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. Research has shown that excessive social media use can have a negative impact on mental health, particularly among young adults. Given the increasing prevalence of social media in our daily lives, it’s important to explore this topic in more depth and understand the ways in which social media use can impact mental health outcomes.
Surprising Fact-based Introductions
A surprising fact-based introduction works well with scientific or medical topics where there is surprising new evidence that directly impacts how people view a certain issue. In such cases, it’s often necessary to give some background on what exactly is at stake in order to highlight why it’s important and relevant. Following that, you can introduce the key findings and what they mean.
Topic: The relationship between caffeine and weight loss
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant, which is consumed by millions of people on a daily basis in the form of coffee, tea, energy drinks, or pills. Although it’s unclear how much caffeine is too much for an individual to consume each day, it’s commonly believed that the positive effects of caffeine are canceled out by the increased appetite that results from drinking caffeinated beverages. But did you know that caffeine might actually help you lose weight?! Recent research conducted by a team of investigators from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that the more caffeine an individual consumes, the lower their risk for obesity. That’s right: while it may sound counterintuitive, having one or two cups of coffee per day could actually decrease your chances of becoming overweight or obese.
Topic: The Benefits of Napping on Memory Retention
Did you know that a short nap can help boost your memory retention by up to 30%? Most people think of napping as something reserved for children or lazy adults, but recent research has shown that a short nap can actually be beneficial for cognitive function, particularly in regard to memory. In today’s fast-paced world, we often prioritize productivity over rest, but the science behind napping suggests that we should be doing the opposite. In this paper, we will explore the benefits of napping on memory retention and discuss how individuals and organizations can incorporate napping into their daily routines for optimal cognitive performance.
Explanatory research paper introductions
These types of research paper introductions are used when you’re introducing a new concept or idea that requires the audience to have knowledge of basic facts in order to follow along.
In this case, it’s critical that you provide the necessary background information and then follow up with a statement about why the rest of the research is interesting and/or relevant.
For example, you might say that the paper discusses a recent study on mindfulness and meditation.
In order to fully grasp the research and the claims being made, it’s necessary to first understand what mindfulness is and why it’s relevant. The following paragraphs would therefore serve as an introduction to both topics.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Regular practice of mindfulness can be highly beneficial to both mental and physical health. There are many different techniques for practicing mindfulness: Mindful walking, sitting with an open mind, eating without distractions, listening deeply to others, or simply noticing what you see in your environment. What’s most important is that you develop the ability to pay attention in a way that helps you connect with yourself and the world around you. And just like anything else, mindfulness takes practice. The best way to get started is by taking part in a course or program offered at your local community center, hospital, or online.
Topic: The Effectiveness of Online Learning in Higher Education
As more and more students turn to online learning to pursue their higher education, questions have arisen regarding the effectiveness of this type of education. While online learning offers a number of benefits, such as flexibility and convenience, it also presents unique challenges, including the lack of face-to-face interaction with instructors and classmates. This research paper aims to examine the effectiveness of online learning in higher education and compare it to traditional classroom-based learning. By conducting a literature review and analyzing data from surveys and interviews with students and instructors, this paper seeks to identify the advantages and disadvantages of online learning and provide recommendations for improving its effectiveness.
Narration-based paper introductions
This type of research paper introduction is used when you’re discussing a topic or event in detail.
You could talk about why it’s important, explain what happened and how it relates to your larger point, summarize what happened (as with a timeline), or present an example to prove your thesis.
Whatever you choose, it’s imperative that you make your readers want to keep reading.
This is done by telling a compelling story, using storytelling elements such as tension and conflict, or painting a vivid picture of the scene with sensory details.
Topic: The impact of stress on memory and learning
It’s well known that stress can impair our ability to learn new things, but it also has an impact on our memories. Well, I have first-hand experience with this. The night before my midterm, I had a major fight with my partner. This was one of the worst arguments we’ve ever had and it went on for hours. Needless to say, it stressed me out and there’s no doubt that it hurt my performance on the test. The funny thing is that in the days following the argument, my partner and I were able to clear everything up, so now we’re good again. But this experience taught me one very important lesson: the impact of stress on memory and learning might seem negligible but it can actually have a long-term impact on academic performance.
Topic: The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health
As I sit here scrolling through my Instagram feed, I can’t help but feel a sense of envy and inadequacy wash over me. The seemingly perfect lives of influencers and friends alike are on full display, leaving me to question why I don’t have the same level of success and happiness. It’s no secret that social media has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, with billions of people using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with others and share their lives. But what are the effects of this constant exposure to other people’s carefully curated images and narratives? Are we putting ourselves at risk for developing mental health issues like anxiety and depression? In this paper, I will explore the research that has been done on the topic of social media and mental health, examining both the positive and negative effects that social media can have on our psychological well-being. By the end of this paper, you will have a better understanding of how social media impacts mental health and what steps we can take to mitigate its negative effects.
Teaser-based research paper introductions
The most common types of research paper introductions are teasers.
This simply means that your first sentence is a hook: something to grab your reader’s attention and make them want to read more.
One way to create a compelling teaser is by addressing an interesting question or controversial topic, such as “Why do some people succeed and others fail?”
Another approach is to pose a problem that you plan to solve.
Here are examples of a teaser-based research paper introduction.
Topic: Why do some people succeed and others fail?
Failure is a part of life. We all fail at one time or another, it’s just something that happens. But why do some people fail more than others? And what about people who never seem to fail? You see them every day, they are in your office and everywhere else you go. These people always seem to be successful and highly driven. How do they do it? This is a question that has puzzled psychologists and other social scientists for years. In the past, a lot of psychologists believed that success was due to differences in abilities and intelligence. Others said it depended on luck. Still, others believed that family background determined whether someone succeeded or not. As you can imagine, these explanations led to considerable debate and disagreement among scholars.
Topic: The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
Are we on the cusp of a revolution in healthcare? With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), the answer might just be yes. From machine learning algorithms that can identify diseases faster and more accurately than humans to chatbots that can answer patient questions 24/7, AI is poised to transform every aspect of healthcare. But as with any technology, there are risks and challenges that must be addressed. In this paper, we’ll explore the ways in which AI is being used in healthcare today and the potential implications for patients, doctors, and the healthcare industry as a whole. Buckle up, because the future is here, and it’s powered by AI.
Crafting an effective research paper introduction can be challenging, but with the right approach and attention to detail, you can create an introduction that captures the reader’s attention and sets the stage for the rest of the paper.
Whether you choose a general introduction, a quote-based introduction, a surprising fact-based introduction, or an anecdotal introduction, be sure to clearly state your topic and thesis, provide background information, and engage your readers in meaning.
My goal is to help students achieve their full potential by crafting well-written, well-researched, and original papers that will set them apart from their peers.
Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph
- Choosing Your Topic
- Define Keywords
- Planning Your Paper
- Writing an Introductory Paragraph
The Dreaded Introductory Paragraph
Writing the introductory paragraph can be a frustrating and slow process -- but it doesn't have to be. If you planned your paper out, then most of the introductory paragraph is already written. Now you just need a beginning and an end.
Here's an introductory paragraph for a paper I wrote. I started the paper with a factoid, then presented each main point of my paper and then ended with my thesis statement.
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What this handout is about.
This handout will explain the functions of introductions, offer strategies for creating effective introductions, and provide some examples of less effective introductions to avoid.
The role of introductions
Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.
Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions .)
Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.
Why bother writing a good introduction?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.
Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.
Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).
Strategies for writing an effective introduction
Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will likely be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point. Imagine that you are assigned the following question:
Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
You will probably refer back to your assignment extensively as you prepare your complete essay, and the prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction—start off with a big picture sentence or two and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. Of course, a different approach could also be very successful, but looking at the way the professor set up the question can sometimes give you some ideas for how you might answer it. (See our handout on understanding assignments for additional information on the hidden clues in assignments.)
Decide how general or broad your opening should be. Keep in mind that even a “big picture” opening needs to be clearly related to your topic; an opening sentence that said “Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning” would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. If you have ever used Google Maps or similar programs, that experience can provide a helpful way of thinking about how broad your opening should be. Imagine that you’re researching Chapel Hill. If what you want to find out is whether Chapel Hill is at roughly the same latitude as Rome, it might make sense to hit that little “minus” sign on the online map until it has zoomed all the way out and you can see the whole globe. If you’re trying to figure out how to get from Chapel Hill to Wrightsville Beach, it might make more sense to zoom in to the level where you can see most of North Carolina (but not the rest of the world, or even the rest of the United States). And if you are looking for the intersection of Ridge Road and Manning Drive so that you can find the Writing Center’s main office, you may need to zoom all the way in. The question you are asking determines how “broad” your view should be. In the sample assignment above, the questions are probably at the “state” or “city” level of generality. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context—but that context doesn’t generally have to be as big as the whole galaxy!
Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn’t necessarily true, and it isn’t always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. You may find that you don’t know precisely what you are going to argue at the beginning of the writing process. It is perfectly fine to start out thinking that you want to argue a particular point but wind up arguing something slightly or even dramatically different by the time you’ve written most of the paper. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it’s easiest to just write up all of your evidence first and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the paper.
Don’t be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. That’s fine, but if you are one of those people, be sure to return to your initial introduction later and rewrite if necessary.
Open with something that will draw readers in. Consider these options (remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers):
- an intriguing example —for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery.
- a provocative quotation that is closely related to your argument —for example, Douglass writes that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (Quotes from famous people, inspirational quotes, etc. may not work well for an academic paper; in this example, the quote is from the author himself.)
- a puzzling scenario —for example, Frederick Douglass says of slaves that “[N]othing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries!” Douglass clearly asserts that slave owners went to great lengths to destroy the mental capacities of slaves, yet his own life story proves that these efforts could be unsuccessful.
- a vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote —for example, “Learning about slavery in the American history course at Frederick Douglass High School, students studied the work slaves did, the impact of slavery on their families, and the rules that governed their lives. We didn’t discuss education, however, until one student, Mary, raised her hand and asked, ‘But when did they go to school?’ That modern high school students could not conceive of an American childhood devoid of formal education speaks volumes about the centrality of education to American youth today and also suggests the significance of the deprivation of education in past generations.”
- a thought-provoking question —for example, given all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, why does Frederick Douglass focus his attentions so squarely on education and literacy?
Pay special attention to your first sentence. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.
How to evaluate your introduction draft
Ask a friend to read your introduction and then tell you what he or she expects the paper will discuss, what kinds of evidence the paper will use, and what the tone of the paper will be. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.
Five kinds of less effective introductions
1. The placeholder introduction. When you don’t have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don’t really say much. They exist just to take up the “introduction space” in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.
Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.
2. The restated question introduction. Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. The professor or teaching assistant wrote your question and will be reading many essays in response to it—he or she does not need to read a whole paragraph that simply restates the question.
Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured. Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
3. The Webster’s Dictionary introduction. This introduction begins by giving the dictionary definition of one or more of the words in the assigned question. Anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and copy down what Webster says. If you want to open with a discussion of an important term, it may be far more interesting for you (and your reader) if you develop your own definition of the term in the specific context of your class and assignment. You may also be able to use a definition from one of the sources you’ve been reading for class. Also recognize that the dictionary is also not a particularly authoritative work—it doesn’t take into account the context of your course and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. If you feel that you must seek out an authority, try to find one that is very relevant and specific. Perhaps a quotation from a source reading might prove better? Dictionary introductions are also ineffective simply because they are so overused. Instructors may see a great many papers that begin in this way, greatly decreasing the dramatic impact that any one of those papers will have.
Example: Webster’s dictionary defines slavery as “the state of being a slave,” as “the practice of owning slaves,” and as “a condition of hard work and subjection.”
4. The “dawn of man” introduction. This kind of introduction generally makes broad, sweeping statements about the relevance of this topic since the beginning of time, throughout the world, etc. It is usually very general (similar to the placeholder introduction) and fails to connect to the thesis. It may employ cliches—the phrases “the dawn of man” and “throughout human history” are examples, and it’s hard to imagine a time when starting with one of these would work. Instructors often find them extremely annoying.
Example: Since the dawn of man, slavery has been a problem in human history.
5. The book report introduction. This introduction is what you had to do for your elementary school book reports. It gives the name and author of the book you are writing about, tells what the book is about, and offers other basic facts about the book. You might resort to this sort of introduction when you are trying to fill space because it’s a familiar, comfortable format. It is ineffective because it offers details that your reader probably already knows and that are irrelevant to the thesis.
Example: Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , in the 1840s. It was published in 1986 by Penguin Books. In it, he tells the story of his life.
And now for the conclusion…
Writing an effective introduction can be tough. Try playing around with several different options and choose the one that ends up sounding best to you!
Just as your introduction helps readers make the transition to your topic, your conclusion needs to help them return to their daily lives–but with a lasting sense of how what they have just read is useful or meaningful. Check out our handout on conclusions for tips on ending your paper as effectively as you began it!
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself . New York: Dover.
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The introduction to an academic essay will generally present an analytical question or problem and then offer an answer to that question (the thesis).
Your introduction is also your opportunity to explain to your readers what your essay is about and why they should be interested in reading it. You don’t have to “hook” your readers with a dramatic promise (every other discussion of the topic you’re writing about is completely wrong!) or an exciting fact (the moon can reach 127 degrees Celsius!). Instead, you should use your introduction to explain to your readers why your essay is going to be interesting to read. To do this, you’ll need to frame the question or problem that you’re writing about and explain why this question or problem is important. If you make a convincing case for why your question or problem is worth solving, your readers will be interested in reading on.
While some of the conventions for writing an introduction vary by discipline, a strong introduction for any paper will contain some common elements. You can see these common elements in the sample introductions on this page . In general, your introductions should contain the following elements:
- Orienting Information When you’re writing an essay, it’s helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing someone else’s argument, you will need to identify that argument and possibly summarize its key points. If you are joining a scholarly conversation about education reform, you will need to provide context for this conversation before explaining what your essay adds to the discussion. But you don’t necessarily have to summarize your sources in detail in your introduction; that information may fit in better later in your essay. When you’re deciding how much context or background information to provide, it can be helpful to think about that information in relation to your thesis. You don’t have to tell readers everything they will need to know to understand your entire essay right away. You just need to give them enough information to be able to understand and appreciate your thesis. For some assignments, you’ll be able to assume that your audience has also read the sources you are analyzing. But even in those cases, you should still offer enough information for readers to know which parts of a source you are talking about. When you’re writing a paper based on your own research, you will need to provide more context about the sources you’re going to discuss. If you’re not sure how much you can assume your audience knows, you should consult your instructor.
An explanation of what’s at stake in your essay, or why anyone would need to read an essay that argues this thesis You will know why your essay is worth writing if you are trying to answer a question that doesn’t have an obvious answer; to propose a solution to a problem without one obvious solution; or to point out something that others may not have noticed that changes the way we consider a phenomenon, source, or idea. In all of these cases, you will be trying to understand something that you think is valuable to understand. But it’s not enough that you know why your essay is worth reading; you also need to explain to your readers why they should care about reading an essay that argues your thesis.
- Your thesis This is what you’re arguing in your essay.
Tips for writing introductions
- If you are writing in a new discipline, you should always make sure to ask about conventions and expectations for introductions, just as you would for any other aspect of the essay. For example, while it may be acceptable to write a two-paragraph (or longer) introduction for your papers in some courses, instructors in other disciplines, such as those in some Government courses, may expect a shorter introduction that includes a preview of the argument that will follow .
- In some disciplines (Government, Economics, and others), it’s common to offer an overview in the introduction of what points you will make in your essay. In other disciplines, you will not be expected to provide this overview in your introduction.
- Avoid writing a very general opening sentence. While it may be true that “Since the dawn of time, people have been telling love stories,” it won’t help you explain what’s interesting about your topic.
- Avoid writing a “funnel” introduction in which you begin with a very broad statement about a topic and move to a narrow statement about that topic. Broad generalizations about a topic will not add to your readers’ understanding of your specific essay topic.
- Avoid beginning with a dictionary definition of a term or concept you will be writing about. If the concept is complicated or unfamiliar to your readers, you will need to define it in detail later in your essay. If it’s not complicated, you can assume your readers already know the definition.
- Avoid offering too much detail in your introduction that a reader could better understand later in the paper.
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Purdue OWL - Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Expository/Persuasive Essay
Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Expository/Persuasive Essay
The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:
- What is this?
- Why am I reading it?
- What do you want me to do?
You should answer these questions by doing the following:
- Set the context – provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
- State why the main idea is important – tell the reader why s/he should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
- State your thesis/claim – compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).
Your thesis is more than a general statement about your main idea. It needs to establish a clear position you will support with balanced proofs (logos, pathos, ethos). Use the checklist below to help you create a thesis.
This section is adapted from Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric Reader by David Skwire and Sarah Skwire:
Make sure you avoid the following when creating your thesis:
- A thesis is not a title: Homes and schools (title) vs. Parents ought to participate more in the education of their children (good thesis).
- A thesis is not an announcement of the subject: My subject is the incompetence of the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
- A thesis is not a statement of absolute fact: Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice.
- A thesis is not the whole essay: A thesis is your main idea/claim/refutation/problem-solution expressed in a single sentence or a combination of sentences.
- Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , Sixth Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 56). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences .
Make sure you follow these guidelines when creating your thesis:
- A good thesis is unified: Detective stories are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them (floppy). vs. Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills (concise).
- A good thesis is specific: James Joyce’s Ulysses is very good. vs. James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious.
- Try to be as specific as possible (without providing too much detail) when creating your thesis: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious. vs. James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious by utilizing the findings of Freudian psychology and introducing the techniques of literary stream-of-consciousness.
_____ The thesis/claim follows the guidelines outlined above
_____ The thesis/claim matches the requirements and goals of the assignment
_____ The thesis/claim is clear and easily recognizable
_____ The thesis/claim seems supportable by good reasoning/data, emotional appeal
Summary: This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.
Body Paragraphs: Moving from General to Specific Information
Your paper should be organized in a manner that moves from general to specific information. Every time you begin a new subject, think of an inverted pyramid - the broadest range of information sits at the top, and as the paragraph or paper progresses, the author becomes more and more focused on the argument ending with specific, detailed evidence supporting a claim. Lastly, the author explains how and why the information she has just provided connects to and supports her thesis (a brief wrap up or warrant).
The four elements of a good paragraph (TTEB)
A good paragraph should contain at least the following four elements: T ransition, T opic sentence, specific E vidence and analysis, and a B rief wrap-up sentence (also known as a warrant) – TTEB!
- A T ransition sentence leading in from a previous paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a hand off from one idea to the next.
- A T opic sentence that tells the reader what you will be discussing in the paragraph.
- Specific E vidence and analysis that supports one of your claims and that provides a deeper level of detail than your topic sentence.
- A B rief wrap-up sentence that tells the reader how and why this information supports the paper’s thesis. The brief wrap-up is also known as the warrant. The warrant is important to your argument because it connects your reasoning and support to your thesis, and it shows that the information in the paragraph is related to your thesis and helps defend it.
In order to present a fair and convincing message, you may need to anticipate, research, and outline some of the common positions (arguments) that dispute your thesis. If the situation (purpose) calls for you to do this, you will present and then refute these other positions in the rebuttal section of your essay.
It is important to consider other positions because in most cases, your primary audience will be fence-sitters. Fence-sitters are people who have not decided which side of the argument to support.
People who are on your side of the argument will not need a lot of information to align with your position. People who are completely against your argument - perhaps for ethical or religious reasons - will probably never align with your position no matter how much information you provide. Therefore, the audience you should consider most important are those people who haven't decided which side of the argument they will support - the fence-sitters.
In many cases, these fence-sitters have not decided which side to align with because they see value in both positions. Therefore, to not consider opposing positions to your own in a fair manner may alienate fence-sitters when they see that you are not addressing their concerns or discussion opposing positions at all.
Organizing your rebuttal section
Following the TTEB method outlined in the Body Paragraph section, forecast all the information that will follow in the rebuttal section and then move point by point through the other positions addressing each one as you go. The outline below, adapted from Seyler's Understanding Argument , is an example of a rebuttal section from a thesis essay.
When you rebut or refute an opposing position, use the following three-part organization:
The opponent’s argument – Usually, you should not assume that your reader has read or remembered the argument you are refuting. Thus at the beginning of your paragraph, you need to state, accurately and fairly, the main points of the argument you will refute.
Your position – Next, make clear the nature of your disagreement with the argument or position you are refuting. Your position might assert, for example, that a writer has not proved his assertion because he has provided evidence that is outdated, or that the argument is filled with fallacies.
Your refutation – The specifics of your counterargument will depend upon the nature of your disagreement. If you challenge the writer’s evidence, then you must present the more recent evidence. If you challenge assumptions, then you must explain why they do not hold up. If your position is that the piece is filled with fallacies, then you must present and explain each fallacy.
Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:
In a general way,
- restate your topic and why it is important,
- restate your thesis/claim,
- address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
- call for action or overview future research possibilities.
Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.
The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:
- Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).
- Tell them (body).
- Tell them what you told them (conclusion).
Copyright ©1995-2011 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University .
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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction
Published on September 7, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on July 18, 2023.
The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation , appearing right after the table of contents . Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction on a relevant topic .
Your introduction should include:
- Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?
- Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?
- The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?
- Your questions and objectives: what does your research aim to find out, and how?
- An overview of your structure: what does each section contribute to the overall aim?
Table of contents
How to start your introduction, topic and context, focus and scope, relevance and importance, questions and objectives, overview of the structure, thesis introduction example, introduction checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about introductions.
Although your introduction kicks off your dissertation, it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write — in fact, it’s often one of the very last parts to be completed (just before your abstract ).
It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your introduction as you begin your research, to help guide you. If you wrote a research proposal , consider using this as a template, as it contains many of the same elements. However, be sure to revise your introduction throughout the writing process, making sure it matches the content of your ensuing sections.
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Begin by introducing your dissertation topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualize your research and generate interest. Aim to show why your topic is timely or important. You may want to mention a relevant news item, academic debate, or practical problem.
After a brief introduction to your general area of interest, narrow your focus and define the scope of your research.
You can narrow this down in many ways, such as by:
- Geographical area
- Time period
- Demographics or communities
- Themes or aspects of the topic
It’s essential to share your motivation for doing this research, as well as how it relates to existing work on your topic. Further, you should also mention what new insights you expect it will contribute.
Start by giving a brief overview of the current state of research. You should definitely cite the most relevant literature, but remember that you will conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go too in-depth in the introduction.
Depending on your field, the importance of your research might focus on its practical application (e.g., in policy or management) or on advancing scholarly understanding of the topic (e.g., by developing theories or adding new empirical data). In many cases, it will do both.
Ultimately, your introduction should explain how your thesis or dissertation:
- Helps solve a practical or theoretical problem
- Addresses a gap in the literature
- Builds on existing research
- Proposes a new understanding of your topic
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Perhaps the most important part of your introduction is your questions and objectives, as it sets up the expectations for the rest of your thesis or dissertation. How you formulate your research questions and research objectives will depend on your discipline, topic, and focus, but you should always clearly state the central aim of your research.
If your research aims to test hypotheses , you can formulate them here. Your introduction is also a good place for a conceptual framework that suggests relationships between variables .
- Conduct surveys to collect data on students’ levels of knowledge, understanding, and positive/negative perceptions of government policy.
- Determine whether attitudes to climate policy are associated with variables such as age, gender, region, and social class.
- Conduct interviews to gain qualitative insights into students’ perspectives and actions in relation to climate policy.
To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.
Human language consists of a set of vowels and consonants which are combined to form words. During the speech production process, thoughts are converted into spoken utterances to convey a message. The appropriate words and their meanings are selected in the mental lexicon (Dell & Burger, 1997). This pre-verbal message is then grammatically coded, during which a syntactic representation of the utterance is built.
Speech, language, and voice disorders affect the vocal cords, nerves, muscles, and brain structures, which result in a distorted language reception or speech production (Sataloff & Hawkshaw, 2014). The symptoms vary from adding superfluous words and taking pauses to hoarseness of the voice, depending on the type of disorder (Dodd, 2005). However, distortions of the speech may also occur as a result of a disease that seems unrelated to speech, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
This study aims to determine which acoustic parameters are suitable for the automatic detection of exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by investigating which aspects of speech differ between COPD patients and healthy speakers and which aspects differ between COPD patients in exacerbation and stable COPD patients.
I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.
I have provided necessary context to help the reader understand my topic.
I have clearly specified the focus of my research.
I have shown the relevance and importance of the dissertation topic .
I have clearly stated the problem or question that my research addresses.
I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .
I have provided an overview of the dissertation’s structure .
You've written a strong introduction for your thesis or dissertation. Use the other checklists to continue improving your dissertation.
If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:
- A hook to catch the reader’s interest
- Relevant background on the topic
- Details of your research problem
and your problem statement
- A thesis statement or research question
- Sometimes an overview of the paper
Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.
This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .
Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.
They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.
Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .
Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.
Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .
To define your scope of research, consider the following:
- Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
- Your proposed timeline and duration
- Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
- Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
- Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.
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How to Write a Research Paper Introduction Paragraph
04 Feb 2022
❓What Is an Introduction Paragraph for Research Paper?
✒️How to Write a Research Paper Introduction?
- State Your Research Theme
- Be Original
- Explain Key Terms
- Size Is Important
- Refer to the Keywords
- Follow the Rules of Logic
🚨Common Mistakes and How Not to Slip Up
📑Research Paper Introduction Examples
Just like the alphabet begins with the letter “A,” any essay begins with an introduction. When you’re ready to write a research paper, you should start with an opening section. These are not common sentences but ones that form the entire thesis you will explore in the body paragraphs of a research project. You should guide the reader through the topic and present the importance of your university research and its results.
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What Is an Introduction Paragraph for Research Paper?
Writing a research paper is a mandatory task in almost any educational specialty. You will definitely have to face this kind of task at some point. We know how difficult it can be to collect your thoughts and start doing work by arranging an introduction. That is why we are ready to come to your aid and tell you in detail the rules and share some useful tips on writing the opening passage.
The research paper introductions are pieces of information placed at the beginning of the paper. The size of this section depends on the general requirements for the work and usually is about 350-450 words. Moreover, everything you write in the introduction should attract the reader’s curiosity. This part of your work is designed to help the reader identify whether he or she wants to read the paper.
Check out the example of an abstract for a research paper . That is why it is incredibly important to approach this section's writing responsibly and ensure that you clearly and interestingly position your research topic. A well-written research paper introduction will make you more likely to get a high score.
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How to Write a Research Paper Introduction?
After writing your research paper, you will have a broad picture of your entire research and analysis. Being an expert in the research niche of your scientific paper , you will be able to come to valid conclusions and highlight your work's main points. This will help you to create an outline, identify the key notions, and include them in the introduction. You should also define a hook that can catch the reader to increase interest in reading your project.
However, the problem with writing the first section is the difficulty in determining the importance of information. While investigating, you will probably feel that all the data you provide is essential. But to write a good introduction, you need to be concise. Your general erudition of background information, combined with specific knowledge of the general subject area, will help you write a great introduction. There are a few simple guides that can help to make your research paper introduction shine:
1. State Your Research Theme
The first sentences should be common about the general topic, and then you should add some details about your topic. This is called the "inverted triangle" when you start a research paper with a broad theme and then narrow it down. Be concise in your presentation of the research problem to avoid any kind of ambiguity. Your study should be presented as a direct continuation of the introduction. It is crucial to keep the narrative logical.
2. Be Original
If you write a dissertation paper in humanities, you can start the introduction with a quotation or even an anecdote. If your academic area is science or medicine, you can write extremely interesting data or even shocking statistics. Such an approach will help you develop an attractive research paper introduction. However, be careful with fact-checking and sources. All the statistics you provide must correspond to reality. According to the methodology, shocking research should be done by you or reputable institutions.
3. Explain Key Terms
You should provide a list of the notions you used and the definitions that you based on to avoid reader confusion. In science, there is a phenomenon when one term can have different interpretations due to the background. Whenever you find yourself in trouble, ask us to write my research paper , and we’ll come to help. Moreover, the glossary will show your knowledge level in the scientific context and help expand the audience that your article may be useful to.
4. Size Is Important
It would help if you chose your ideal length for the introduction. It should be short enough to be readable and gain the reader's attention and long enough to explain all the main features of your essay. And, of course, remember that the size of the introduction should be directly proportional to the size of your study. You need to briefly describe the main sections that your subject includes to guide your reader.
5. Refer to the Keywords
The keywords should be used in the introduction to give a general overview of the research questions. These could be separate words or word combinations which describe your topic. This trick aims to write a research paper that is easier to find. In addition, they help the reader quickly understand the direction of your research, showing the problem and the subject of investigation.
6. Follow the Rules of Logic
You should be consistent in the writing process. As we mentioned in one of the other sections, your work must be holistic. Each new thought should be a continuation of the previous one. A well-elaborated outline may help in solving this research problem. The first passage should logically introduce the reader to the subject and also give a preview of what will be described next. Logical links between sentences will make your text coherent.
An introduction paragraph of a research paper is essential for readers to get an overall idea of the paper. It helps grab their interest and gives them an understanding of the content’s purpose. Writing an informative and catchy introduction can be difficult, but hiring professional nursing essay writers can help remove the burden. They can provide an excellent introduction that introduces the topic in a detailed and easy-to-understand manner.
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Common Mistakes and How Not to Slip Up
As you can already understand, writing a decent introduction is quite difficult. You should keep in mind the purpose of your university research to stay on the topic. We are going to see the most common research problem to be aware of when writing.
- An extended introduction
When you conduct scientific research, each word you write carries a large amount of necessary information. However, working out a quality introduction, you find that the size is very limited, and you need to spend time filtering unnecessary information.
- Lack of a hook
Good introductions are not limited to just a list of data you have received. It is this paragraph that presents the first impression. Try to make it informative and catchy. If you face some problems elaborating witty hooks for a paper, consult a writing service that can provide you with professional advice.
- Inconsistent Data
The problem of inconsistency in the presentation of information appears when you first write the introduction and then the main body of the study. To avoid the error of lack of previous research, follow our advice. Study the background of the hypothesis you have chosen and then describe the results of your research.
Research Paper Introduction Examples
The theory is good, but the practice is quite different. Read our examples to get good ideas from other researchers about how to write an excellent structure and introduction.
Contemporary literary marketing has become digital because of the demands of the online era. Popular best-selling authors such as J. K. Rowling or Dan Brown profit from the internet and use it as a source for advertising to show the audience their creations. On the other hand, many writers find digital literature harmful and destructive for their livelihood because many users can get their books without paying for them. However, more studies reveal that the business side of the book industry is not far from the negative. This research paper will define whether the culture of digital book consumption has to be changed due to the creations of writers becoming worthless due to online piracy and because people have stopped valuing non-digitized books.
The second sample of the introduction paragraph is on the topic: “Behavioral Study of the Phenomenon of Obedience.”
Modern theories tend to associate misbehavior and intentional actions that harm others with personal characteristics. The psychologists and doctors in a survey predicted that only a small portion of people (about 1-3%) would intentionally harm someone after being told to do so. A good example of this phenomenon is a recent war trial with Adolph Eichmann, who claimed he was only following orders to carry out Nazi war crimes. Therefore, is it possible that people can harm others by only “following orders?” Are people capable of betraying their moral convictions if ordered to do so? During the experiment, we will see whether someone can continue administering painful electric shocks that harm another person simply because he or she is told to do so. It is expected that very few will continue and that most of the participants will not obey the order.
Writing an engaging introduction is equally important as conducting research papers or providing a high-quality context for your issue. In fact, a great intro is even more important for your success! An opening paragraph that attracts attention and keeps the reader engaged is the key to success with this academic work.
The intro is the first thing that a reader sees. It is exactly what helps them get the first impression of your work, which carries their opinion about the merits of your paper while they finish reading it. That’s why it’s so important to get it done right.
How do you create flawless intros for your research papers? These tips and examples in this article should help you deal with this assignment effortlessly while avoiding common mistakes. However, it also requires practice. We encourage students to practice writing as much as they can master these skills and never face difficulties with writing academic papers again!
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It’s the roadmap to your essay, it’s the forecast for your argument, it’s...your introduction paragraph, and writing one can feel pretty intimidating. The introduction paragraph is a part of just about every kind of academic writing , from persuasive essays to research papers. But that doesn’t mean writing one is easy!
If trying to write an intro paragraph makes you feel like a Muggle trying to do magic, trust us: you aren’t alone. But there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier—and that’s where we come in.
In this article, we’re going to explain how to write a captivating intro paragraph by covering the following info:
- A discussion of what an introduction paragraph is and its purpose in an essay
- An overview of the most effective introduction paragraph format, with explanations of the three main parts of an intro paragraph
- An analysis of real intro paragraph examples, with a discussion of what works and what doesn’t
- A list of four top tips on how to write an introduction paragraph
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
What Is an Introduction Paragraph?
An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay , paper, or other type of academic writing. Argumentative essays , book reports, research papers, and even personal essays are common types of writing that require an introduction paragraph. Whether you’re writing a research paper for a science course or an argumentative essay for English class , you’re going to have to write an intro paragraph.
So what’s the purpose of an intro paragraph? As a reader’s first impression of your essay, the intro paragraph should introduce the topic of your paper.
Your introduction will also state any claims, questions, or issues that your paper will focus on. This is commonly known as your paper’s thesis . This condenses the overall point of your paper into one or two short sentences that your reader can come back and reference later.
But intro paragraphs need to do a bit more than just introduce your topic. An intro paragraph is also supposed to grab your reader’s attention. The intro paragraph is your chance to provide just enough info and intrigue to make your reader say, “Hey, this topic sounds interesting. I think I’ll keep reading this essay!” That can help your essay stand out from the crowd.
In most cases, an intro paragraph will be relatively short. A good intro will be clear, brief, purposeful, and focused. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s common for intro paragraphs to consist of three to five sentences .
Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts . When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!
Once you figure out the three parts of an intro paragraph, writing one will be a piece of cake!
The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph
In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement . Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay.
Below, we’ll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an effective hook, providing context, and crafting a thesis statement. When you put these elements together, you’ll have an intro paragraph that does a great job of making a great first impression on your audience!
Intro Paragraph Part 1: The Hook
When it comes to how to start an introduction paragraph, o ne of the most common approaches is to start with something called a hook.
What does hook mean here, though? Think of it this way: it’s like when you start a new Netflix series: you look up a few hours (and a few episodes) later and you say, “Whoa. I guess I must be hooked on this show!”
That’s how the hook is supposed to work in an intro paragrap h: it should get your reader interested enough that they don’t want to press the proverbial “pause” button while they’re reading it . In other words, a hook is designed to grab your reader’s attention and keep them reading your essay!
This means that the hook comes first in the intro paragraph format—it’ll be the opening sentence of your intro.
It’s important to realize that there are many different ways to write a good hook. But generally speaking, hooks must include these two things: what your topic is, and the angle you’re taking on that topic in your essay.
One approach to writing a hook that works is starting with a general, but interesting, statement on your topic. In this type of hook, you’re trying to provide a broad introduction to your topic and your angle on the topic in an engaging way .
For example, if you’re writing an essay about the role of the government in the American healthcare system, your hook might look something like this:
There's a growing movement to require that the federal government provide affordable, effective healthcare for all Americans.
This hook introduces the essay topic in a broad way (government and healthcare) by presenting a general statement on the topic. But the assumption presented in the hook can also be seen as controversial, which gets readers interested in learning more about what the writer—and the essay—has to say.
In other words, the statement above fulfills the goals of a good hook: it’s intriguing and provides a general introduction to the essay topic.
Intro Paragraph Part 2: Context
Once you’ve provided an attention-grabbing hook, you’ll want to give more context about your essay topic. Context refers to additional details that reveal the specific focus of your paper. So, whereas the hook provides a general introduction to your topic, context starts helping readers understand what exactly you’re going to be writing about
You can include anywhere from one to several sentences of context in your intro, depending on your teacher’s expectations, the length of your paper, and complexity of your topic. In these context-providing sentences, you want to begin narrowing the focus of your intro. You can do this by describing a specific issue or question about your topic that you’ll address in your essay. It also helps readers start to understand why the topic you’re writing about matters and why they should read about it.
So, what counts as context for an intro paragraph? Context can be any important details or descriptions that provide background on existing perspectives, common cultural attitudes, or a specific situation or controversy relating to your essay topic. The context you include should acquaint your reader with the issues, questions, or events that motivated you to write an essay on your topic...and that your reader should know in order to understand your thesis.
For instance, if you’re writing an essay analyzing the consequences of sexism in Hollywood, the context you include after your hook might make reference to the #metoo and #timesup movements that have generated public support for victims of sexual harassment.
The key takeaway here is that context establishes why you’re addressing your topic and what makes it important. It also sets you up for success on the final piece of an intro paragraph: the thesis statement.
Elle Woods' statement offers a specific point of view on the topic of murder...which means it could serve as a pretty decent thesis statement!
Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis
The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way . The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph.
Whether it’s making a claim, outlining key points, or stating a hypothesis, your thesis statement will tell your reader exactly what idea(s) are going to be addressed in your essay. A good thesis statement will be clear, straightforward, and highlight the overall point you’re trying to make.
Some instructors also ask students to include an essay map as part of their thesis. An essay map is a section that outlines the major topics a paper will address. So for instance, say you’re writing a paper that argues for the importance of public transport in rural communities. Your thesis and essay map might look like this:
Having public transport in rural communities helps people improve their economic situation by giving them reliable transportation to their job, reducing the amount of money they spend on gas, and providing new and unionized work .
The underlined section is the essay map because it touches on the three big things the writer will talk about later. It literally maps out the rest of the essay!
So let’s review: Your thesis takes the idea you’ve introduced in your hook and context and wraps it up. Think of it like a television episode: the hook sets the scene by presenting a general statement and/or interesting idea that sucks you in. The context advances the plot by describing the topic in more detail and helping readers understand why the topic is important. And finally, the thesis statement provides the climax by telling the reader what you have to say about the topic.
The thesis statement is the most important part of the intro. Without it, your reader won’t know what the purpose of your essay is! And for a piece of writing to be effective, it needs to have a clear purpose. Your thesis statement conveys that purpose , so it’s important to put careful thought into writing a clear and compelling thesis statement.
How To Write an Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis
Now that we’ve provided an intro paragraph outline and have explained the three key parts of an intro paragraph, let’s take a look at an intro paragraph in action.
To show you how an intro paragraph works, we’ve included a sample introduction paragraph below, followed by an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.
Example of Introduction Paragraph
While college students in the U.S. are struggling with how to pay for college, there is another surprising demographic that’s affected by the pressure to pay for college: families and parents. In the face of tuition price tags that total more than $100,000 (as a low estimate), families must make difficult decisions about how to save for their children’s college education. Charting a feasible path to saving for college is further complicated by the FAFSA’s estimates for an “Expected Family Contribution”—an amount of money that is rarely feasible for most American families. Due to these challenging financial circumstances and cultural pressure to give one’s children the best possible chance of success in adulthood, many families are going into serious debt to pay for their children’s college education. The U.S. government should move toward bearing more of the financial burden of college education.
Example of Introduction Paragraph: Analysis
Before we dive into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this example intro paragraph, let’s establish the essay topic. The sample intro indicates that t he essay topic will focus on one specific issue: who should cover the cost of college education in the U.S., and why. Both the hook and the context help us identify the topic, while the thesis in the last sentence tells us why this topic matters to the writer—they think the U.S. Government needs to help finance college education. This is also the writer’s argument, which they’ll cover in the body of their essay.
Now that we’ve identified the essay topic presented in the sample intro, let’s dig into some analysis. To pin down its strengths and weaknesses, we’re going to use the following three questions to guide our example of introduction paragraph analysis:
- Does this intro provide an attention-grabbing opening sentence that conveys the essay topic?
- Does this intro provide relevant, engaging context about the essay topic?
- Does this intro provide a thesis statement that establishes the writer’s point of view on the topic and what specific aspects of the issue the essay will address?
Now, let’s use the questions above to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this sample intro paragraph.
Does the Intro Have a Good Hook?
First, the intro starts out with an attention-grabbing hook . The writer starts by presenting an assumption (that the U.S. federal government bears most of the financial burden of college education), which makes the topic relatable to a wide audience of readers. Also note that the hook relates to the general topic of the essay, which is the high cost of college education.
The hook then takes a surprising turn by presenting a counterclaim : that American families, rather than students, feel the true burden of paying for college. Some readers will have a strong emotional reaction to this provocative counterclaim, which will make them want to keep reading! As such, this intro provides an effective opening sentence that conveys the essay topic.
Does the Intro Give Context?
T he second, third, and fourth sentences of the intro provide contextual details that reveal the specific focus of the writer’s paper . Remember: the context helps readers start to zoom in on what the paper will focus on, and what aspect of the general topic (college costs) will be discussed later on.
The context in this intro reveals the intent and direction of the paper by explaining why the issue of families financing college is important. In other words, the context helps readers understand why this issue matters , and what aspects of this issue will be addressed in the paper.
To provide effective context, the writer refers to issues (the exorbitant cost of college and high levels of family debt) that have received a lot of recent scholarly and media attention. These sentences of context also elaborate on the interesting perspective included in the hook: that American families are most affected by college costs.
Does the Intro Have a Thesis?
Finally, this intro provides a thesis statement that conveys the writer’s point of view on the issue of financing college education. This writer believes that the U.S. government should do more to pay for students’ college educations.
However, the thesis statement doesn’t give us any details about why the writer has made this claim or why this will help American families . There isn’t an essay map that helps readers understand what points the writer will make in the essay.
To revise this thesis statement so that it establishes the specific aspects of the topic that the essay will address, the writer could add the following to the beginning of the thesis statement:
The U.S. government should take on more of the financial burden of college education because other countries have shown this can improve education rates while reducing levels of familial poverty.
Check out the new section in bold. Not only does it clarify that the writer is talking about the pressure put on families, it touches on the big topics the writer will address in the paper: improving education rates and reduction of poverty. So not only do we have a clearer argumentative statement in this thesis, we also have an essay map!
So, let’s recap our analysis. This sample intro paragraph does an effective job of providing an engaging hook and relatable, interesting context, but the thesis statement needs some work ! As you write your own intro paragraphs, you might consider using the questions above to evaluate and revise your work. Doing this will help ensure you’ve covered all of your bases and written an intro that your readers will find interesting!
4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph
Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay.
Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt
If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!
Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph . For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!
The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim.
Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro... like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!
Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic
You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly—and you need to be specific.
For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!
Instead, you should narrow broad topics to identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.
So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph .
Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to hit the books!
Tip 3: Do Your Research
This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers—even ones that aren’t technically research papers.
Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic—whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media— will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context.
You don't want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers.
Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts
Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro—but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts .
Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper.
Here’s why this approach can work: as you write your paper, you’ll probably come up with new insights on your topic that you didn’t have right from the start. You can use these “light bulb” moments to reevaluate your intro and make revisions that keep it in line with your developing essay draft.
Once you’ve written your entire essay, consider going back and revising your intro again . You can ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your intro:
- Is my hook still relevant to the way I’ve approached the topic in my essay?
- Do I provide enough appropriate context to introduce my essay?
- Now that my essay is written, does my thesis statement still accurately reflect the point of view that I present in my essay?
Using these questions as a guide and putting your intro through multiple revisions will help ensure that you’ve written the best intro for the final draft of your essay. Also, revising your writing is always a good thing to do—and this applies to your intro, too!
Your college essays also need great intro paragraphs. Here’s a guide that focuses on how to write the perfect intro for your admissions essays.
Of course, the intro is just one part of your college essay . This article will teach you how to write a college essay that makes admissions counselors sit up and take notice.
Are you trying to write an analytical essay? Our step-by-step guide can help you knock it out of the park.
Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!
Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.
Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.
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Home » Research Paper Introduction – Writing Guide and Examples
Research Paper Introduction – Writing Guide and Examples
Table of Contents
Research Paper Introduction
Research paper introduction is the first section of a research paper that provides an overview of the study, its purpose, and the research question (s) or hypothesis (es) being investigated. It typically includes background information about the topic, a review of previous research in the field, and a statement of the research objectives. The introduction is intended to provide the reader with a clear understanding of the research problem, why it is important, and how the study will contribute to existing knowledge in the field. It also sets the tone for the rest of the paper and helps to establish the author’s credibility and expertise on the subject.
How to Write Research Paper Introduction
Writing an introduction for a research paper can be challenging because it sets the tone for the entire paper. Here are some steps to follow to help you write an effective research paper introduction:
- Start with a hook : Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing statement, a question, or a surprising fact that will make the reader interested in reading further.
- Provide background information: After the hook, provide background information on the topic. This information should give the reader a general idea of what the topic is about and why it is important.
- State the research problem: Clearly state the research problem or question that the paper addresses. This should be done in a concise and straightforward manner.
- State the research objectives: After stating the research problem, clearly state the research objectives. This will give the reader an idea of what the paper aims to achieve.
- Provide a brief overview of the paper: At the end of the introduction, provide a brief overview of the paper. This should include a summary of the main points that will be discussed in the paper.
- Revise and refine: Finally, revise and refine your introduction to ensure that it is clear, concise, and engaging.
Structure of Research Paper Introduction
The following is a typical structure for a research paper introduction:
- Background Information: This section provides an overview of the topic of the research paper, including relevant background information and any previous research that has been done on the topic. It helps to give the reader a sense of the context for the study.
- Problem Statement: This section identifies the specific problem or issue that the research paper is addressing. It should be clear and concise, and it should articulate the gap in knowledge that the study aims to fill.
- Research Question/Hypothesis : This section states the research question or hypothesis that the study aims to answer. It should be specific and focused, and it should clearly connect to the problem statement.
- Significance of the Study: This section explains why the research is important and what the potential implications of the study are. It should highlight the contribution that the research makes to the field.
- Methodology: This section describes the research methods that were used to conduct the study. It should be detailed enough to allow the reader to understand how the study was conducted and to evaluate the validity of the results.
- Organization of the Paper : This section provides a brief overview of the structure of the research paper. It should give the reader a sense of what to expect in each section of the paper.
Research Paper Introduction Examples
Research Paper Introduction Examples could be:
Example 1: In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prevalent in various industries, including healthcare. AI algorithms are being developed to assist with medical diagnoses, treatment recommendations, and patient monitoring. However, as the use of AI in healthcare grows, ethical concerns regarding privacy, bias, and accountability have emerged. This paper aims to explore the ethical implications of AI in healthcare and propose recommendations for addressing these concerns.
Example 2: Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet today. The increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has resulted in rising temperatures, changing weather patterns, and other environmental impacts. In this paper, we will review the scientific evidence on climate change, discuss the potential consequences of inaction, and propose solutions for mitigating its effects.
Example 3: The rise of social media has transformed the way we communicate and interact with each other. While social media platforms offer many benefits, including increased connectivity and access to information, they also present numerous challenges. In this paper, we will examine the impact of social media on mental health, privacy, and democracy, and propose solutions for addressing these issues.
Example 4: The use of renewable energy sources has become increasingly important in the face of climate change and environmental degradation. While renewable energy technologies offer many benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and energy independence, they also present numerous challenges. In this paper, we will assess the current state of renewable energy technology, discuss the economic and political barriers to its adoption, and propose solutions for promoting the widespread use of renewable energy.
Purpose of Research Paper Introduction
The introduction section of a research paper serves several important purposes, including:
- Providing context: The introduction should give readers a general understanding of the topic, including its background, significance, and relevance to the field.
- Presenting the research question or problem: The introduction should clearly state the research question or problem that the paper aims to address. This helps readers understand the purpose of the study and what the author hopes to accomplish.
- Reviewing the literature: The introduction should summarize the current state of knowledge on the topic, highlighting the gaps and limitations in existing research. This shows readers why the study is important and necessary.
- Outlining the scope and objectives of the study: The introduction should describe the scope and objectives of the study, including what aspects of the topic will be covered, what data will be collected, and what methods will be used.
- Previewing the main findings and conclusions : The introduction should provide a brief overview of the main findings and conclusions that the study will present. This helps readers anticipate what they can expect to learn from the paper.
When to Write Research Paper Introduction
The introduction of a research paper is typically written after the research has been conducted and the data has been analyzed. This is because the introduction should provide an overview of the research problem, the purpose of the study, and the research questions or hypotheses that will be investigated.
Once you have a clear understanding of the research problem and the questions that you want to explore, you can begin to write the introduction. It’s important to keep in mind that the introduction should be written in a way that engages the reader and provides a clear rationale for the study. It should also provide context for the research by reviewing relevant literature and explaining how the study fits into the larger field of research.
Advantages of Research Paper Introduction
The introduction of a research paper has several advantages, including:
- Establishing the purpose of the research: The introduction provides an overview of the research problem, question, or hypothesis, and the objectives of the study. This helps to clarify the purpose of the research and provide a roadmap for the reader to follow.
- Providing background information: The introduction also provides background information on the topic, including a review of relevant literature and research. This helps the reader understand the context of the study and how it fits into the broader field of research.
- Demonstrating the significance of the research: The introduction also explains why the research is important and relevant. This helps the reader understand the value of the study and why it is worth reading.
- Setting expectations: The introduction sets the tone for the rest of the paper and prepares the reader for what is to come. This helps the reader understand what to expect and how to approach the paper.
- Grabbing the reader’s attention: A well-written introduction can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading further. This is important because it can help to keep the reader engaged and motivated to read the rest of the paper.
- Creating a strong first impression: The introduction is the first part of the research paper that the reader will see, and it can create a strong first impression. A well-written introduction can make the reader more likely to take the research seriously and view it as credible.
- Establishing the author’s credibility: The introduction can also establish the author’s credibility as a researcher. By providing a clear and thorough overview of the research problem and relevant literature, the author can demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in the field.
- Providing a structure for the paper: The introduction can also provide a structure for the rest of the paper. By outlining the main sections and sub-sections of the paper, the introduction can help the reader navigate the paper and find the information they are looking for.
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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > How to write an introduction for a research paper
How to write an introduction for a research paper
Beginnings are hard. Beginning a research paper is no exception. Many students—and pros—struggle with how to write an introduction for a research paper.
This short guide will describe the purpose of a research paper introduction and how to create a good one.
What is an introduction for a research paper?
Introductions to research papers do a lot of work.
It may seem obvious, but introductions are always placed at the beginning of a paper. They guide your reader from a general subject area to the narrow topic that your paper covers. They also explain your paper’s:
- Scope: The topic you’ll be covering
- Context: The background of your topic
- Importance: Why your research matters in the context of an industry or the world
Your introduction will cover a lot of ground. However, it will only be half of a page to a few pages long. The length depends on the size of your paper as a whole. In many cases, the introduction will be shorter than all of the other sections of your paper.
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Why is an introduction vital to a research paper?
The introduction to your research paper isn’t just important. It’s critical.
Your readers don’t know what your research paper is about from the title. That’s where your introduction comes in. A good introduction will:
- Help your reader understand your topic’s background
- Explain why your research paper is worth reading
- Offer a guide for navigating the rest of the piece
- Pique your reader’s interest
Without a clear introduction, your readers will struggle. They may feel confused when they start reading your paper. They might even give up entirely. Your introduction will ground them and prepare them for the in-depth research to come.
What should you include in an introduction for a research paper?
Research paper introductions are always unique. After all, research is original by definition. However, they often contain six essential items. These are:
- An overview of the topic. Start with a general overview of your topic. Narrow the overview until you address your paper’s specific subject. Then, mention questions or concerns you had about the case. Note that you will address them in the publication.
- Prior research. Your introduction is the place to review other conclusions on your topic. Include both older scholars and modern scholars. This background information shows that you are aware of prior research. It also introduces past findings to those who might not have that expertise.
- A rationale for your paper. Explain why your topic needs to be addressed right now. If applicable, connect it to current issues. Additionally, you can show a problem with former theories or reveal a gap in current research. No matter how you do it, a good rationale will interest your readers and demonstrate why they must read the rest of your paper.
- Describe the methodology you used. Recount your processes to make your paper more credible. Lay out your goal and the questions you will address. Reveal how you conducted research and describe how you measured results. Moreover, explain why you made key choices.
- A thesis statement. Your main introduction should end with a thesis statement. This statement summarizes the ideas that will run through your entire research article. It should be straightforward and clear.
- An outline. Introductions often conclude with an outline. Your layout should quickly review what you intend to cover in the following sections. Think of it as a roadmap, guiding your reader to the end of your paper.
These six items are emphasized more or less, depending on your field. For example, a physics research paper might emphasize methodology. An English journal article might highlight the overview.
Three tips for writing your introduction
We don’t just want you to learn how to write an introduction for a research paper. We want you to learn how to make it shine.
There are three things you can do that will make it easier to write a great introduction. You can:
- Write your introduction last. An introduction summarizes all of the things you’ve learned from your research. While it can feel good to get your preface done quickly, you should write the rest of your paper first. Then, you’ll find it easy to create a clear overview.
- Include a strong quotation or story upfront. You want your paper to be full of substance. But that doesn’t mean it should feel boring or flat. Add a relevant quotation or surprising anecdote to the beginning of your introduction. This technique will pique the interest of your reader and leave them wanting more.
- Be concise. Research papers cover complex topics. To help your readers, try to write as clearly as possible. Use concise sentences. Check for confusing grammar or syntax . Read your introduction out loud to catch awkward phrases. Before you finish your paper, be sure to proofread, too. Mistakes can seem unprofessional.
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Research paper introduction paragraph
How to Start a Research Paper – Introduction
All academic research papers must have an introduction, body, and conclusion. But how long does it take you to write a research paper introduction? 2, 5 or 30 minutes? How do you start off a research paper? Well, once you read this tutorial, it should take you the shortest time possible. We give you a research paper writing step-by-step guide and useful tips to keep in mind when handling your paper’s intro.
The introduction aims at presenting what the reader should expect to learn from the paper, stating the thesis statement, and giving definitions.
Since it introduces the reader to the topic, it should motivate the reader to continue reading. So, an excellent introduction should invoke a feeling or desire for more.
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Discussion section of a research paper
How to conduct research for a research paper, types of research papers.
- How to write the methods section of a research paper
It is essential to make the beginning of your research paper interesting and engaging. These will help capture the reader’s attention and create interest. Remember, your first lines will help decide whether or not the reader will read through the whole paper. You cannot afford to miss out on any point.
A research paper must have a context that will help readers understand why you decided to study and how your research is useful. Focus on answering the two questions in your introduction section, so take your time and make sure you get it right.
It is best practice to do the introduction paragraph last. First write the other parts of the paper first and then later focus on preparing an ideal opening paragraph.
How to write an introduction paragraph in a research paper
Unlike other forms of writing, research papers focus on facts, studies, and it’s quite a challenge for most students to come up with its introduction.
But remember, you need readers to go through the research. Therefore, entice them at the beginning of your paper.
Here are what should appear in your opening paragraph:
- Context of your research and background
- Explaining the significance of your research
- Stating your rationale and hypothesis
- Telling the reader about the research, you intend to carry out
- Introducing your topic
Now that you already know what should appear in that first paragraph let’s take a look at this step by step guide and have a better understanding.
Step 1. Announce your topic
When writing any academic essay, it is always advisable to start with the general information and then narrow down to specific details. Avoid going into more detail when drafting an introduction. Instead, aim at giving your view on the topic.
A topic in the central part of the writing of any paper you prepare, so it is only wise to start by stating your case and then add some issues connected with the given topic.
Step 2. Review the literature
Literature sources are needed when developing a statement in the main body. Present the bases and give citations without forgetting to avoid plagiarism, which is a punishable offense. In your introduction, briefly explain what the literature will entail.
Step 3. State your thesis statement
A research paper thesis statement is more like the aim of your paper. The statement serves a very crucial role in marking the introduction for the research paper and the transition of the actual research. You cannot afford to leave it out. The thesis statement collects all the ideas in a concise and logical sentence. It tells the reader what will run through the paper setting the tone.
Step 4. Draft an outline
An outline will give the research paper a structure. It will help you remember all the essential points and decide what to write when and where. An overview may be a short paragraph representing your plan for the entire paper or the quick notes you made while reading through the sources.
Tips on Writing a Flawless Research Paper Intro
We make writing an introduction for your research paper easier by our easy to follow steps. But to improve your writing experience, here are some useful tips to keep in mind.
- Aim at communicating your structure
- Start the paragraph with a quotation
- Define an explain concepts
- Be brief and concise
- Capture the reader’s attention using catch sentences and topics
- Start broadly and then narrow down
- Always give an overview of your paper
- Check the journal requirements
- Cite thoroughly but not excessively.
Writing an introduction can be a bit tricky. Sometimes you will be forced to write the rest of your paper before coming up with an introduction. But with the steps and tips mentioned about learning how to write a research paper introduction has been made easier.
With you having read through the whole article, it is now time to practice what you just learned. Remember, practice makes perfect!
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Top Research Paper Introduction Examples to Ace Your Grades
- 1. What is a Research Paper Introduction?
- 2. What are the Key Features of a Research Paper Introduction?
- 3. What to Include in the Research Paper Introduction?
- 4. Research Paper Introduction Example – A Detailed Illustration
- 5. Research Paper Introduction Examples
- 6. Things to Keep in Mind Before Writing the Research Paper Introduction
- 7. Summing Up
Research paper writing is an essential part of the academic process. Writing a research paper entails several stages, including selecting a topic, gathering information, analyzing data, and presenting findings. However, the introduction of a research paper is a crucial section as it sets the tone for the rest of the document. In this blog, we will elaborate on the key components of a research paper introduction and share some fascinating comprehensive research paper introduction examples, which will provide insight into writing an effective introduction for your research paper. In the meantime, if you feel like you need an expert to help you with your coursework, don’t hesitate to connect with our write paper service .
What is a Research Paper Introduction?
A research paper introduction is the opening section of a research paper that provides an overview of the research. It reflects more than just introducing the topic of the study. The introduction gives a comprehensive yet concise overview of the research topic and tries to establish its significance in front of the readers.
In a research paper introduction, the writer provides background information on the topic, states the research problem or question, and presents the thesis statement or main argument that will be supported in the rest of the paper. Writers may also provide a brief overview of the research methodology that will be used in the research, as well as any limitations or scope that should be considered. Overall, the goal of a research paper introduction is to provide the readers with enough information to understand the context of the research and why it is important, while also setting up the rest of the paper for success.
You might also be interested in getting a detailed understanding of how to write a research paper abstract .
What are the Key Features of a Research Paper Introduction?
A research paper introduction is a fundamental part of both the research paper and the proposal. It goes beyond providing a brief overview of the research paper topics , as it includes crucial elements such as background, aims, objectives, and research questions.
- The introduction must answer the ‘why’ questions related to the research, such as why the study is being conducted, why it is important, and why this particular topic was chosen.
- Additionally, the introduction helps to identify knowledge gaps and addresses them throughout the paper.
- To ensure effectiveness, it is important to use concise and clear language when presenting the introduction.
What to Include in the Research Paper Introduction?
According to a structured research paper outline , there are several key components that you should include in the research paper introduction to effectively set the stage for your research and engage your audience. Here are the fundamental elements to include in the introduction:
- Introduction to the Topic/ Hook
The hook is the opening sentence or phrase of your introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and draws them in. It should be interesting, relevant, and perhaps even surprising. A good hook could be a provocative question, a startling statistic, a relevant quote, or an anecdote that sets the stage for your research.
- Research Background
The research background provides context for your study by explaining the background of the subject you are researching. This could include explaining why the topic is important, what has been done on the topic in the past, and any relevant background information that the reader needs to know. The purpose of the background section is to provide context and establish the relevance of the research.
- Problem Statement
The problem statement is a specific, focused, and concise statement that outlines the research problem or questions that your study aims to address. The problem statement should make it clear what you are researching and exemplify its importance.
The research rationale explains the justification for your study and why it is important to address the research problem. This component should explain the significance and relevance of your research in the context of the larger field or industry.
The research aim is a general statement that describes the overall goal of your study. It should be broad enough to encompass the scope of your research but specific enough to provide direction for your research objectives.
- Research Objectives
The research objectives are specific, measurable, and achievable goals that you aim to accomplish through your research. They should be closely linked to your research problem and aim and should provide a clear roadmap for your research.
A research hypothesis is a statement that predicts the relationship between two or more variables in your study. It should be testable and provide a clear direction for your research. Not all research papers will have a hypothesis, but they are common in quantitative research.
- Research Questions
Research questions are specific, focused questions that you aim to answer through your research. They should be closely linked to your research problem and aim and should guide your research methodology and analysis.
- Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is the central argument or research question of your paper. It should be clear and concise and should summarize the main argument or research question that you will support with evidence and analysis in the body of your paper.
You may briefly outline the methodology and approach that you will use in your research. You can also provide the research limitations or scope. The methodology section should provide an idea of how you will conduct your research and what you hope to accomplish.
Finally, you must explain the significance of your research and what it can contribute to the field. This could include implications for practice, policy, or future research. The significance section should make it clear why your research is important and what impact it could have on the field.
Overall, these components work together to provide a clear and compelling introduction to your research paper, outlining the context, purpose, and direction of your study.
Research Paper Introduction Example – A Detailed Illustration
Below we have curated a detailed research paper introduction example that covers all the components discussed above for aiding you with better comprehension.
Topic: The impact of minimum wage laws on small businesses
The minimum wage is a highly debated topic in politics and economics. While minimum wage laws aim to improve the standard of living for workers, they also have potential consequences for small businesses, which often have limited resources. The purpose of this research paper is to examine the impact of minimum wage laws on small businesses.
Minimum wage laws have been a topic of debate for decades, with proponents arguing that they improve the standard of living for workers and opponents claiming that they lead to job loss and increased prices. In recent years, several states and cities in the United States have increased their minimum wage rates, which has raised concerns about the impact on small businesses.
The research problem for this study is to determine how minimum wage laws impact small businesses. Specifically, we aim to answer the question: What are the potential consequences of minimum wage laws for small businesses?
Understanding the impact of minimum wage laws on small businesses is important for several reasons. Small businesses are often the engine of economic growth, and any negative consequences of minimum wage laws could have far-reaching implications for local and national economies. Additionally, the political debate around minimum wage laws is often focused on the impact on workers, with less attention paid to the potential consequences for small businesses.
This study aims to determine the impact of minimum wage laws on small businesses. Specifically, we aim to identify the potential consequences of minimum wage laws for small businesses and explore strategies that small businesses can use to mitigate these consequences.
The objectives of this study are as follows:
- To review the existing literature on the impact of minimum wage laws on small businesses.
- To analyze the potential consequences of minimum wage laws for small businesses, including changes in employment, pricing, and profitability.
- To identify strategies that small businesses can use to mitigate the potential negative consequences of minimum wage laws.
We hypothesize that minimum wage laws have a negative impact on small businesses, leading to job loss, increased prices, and reduced profitability. However, we also believe that small businesses can take steps to mitigate these negative consequences, such as increasing productivity and finding new revenue streams.
- What is the existing literature on the impact of minimum wage laws on small businesses?
- How do minimum wage laws impact small businesses in terms of employment, pricing, and profitability?
- What strategies can small businesses use to mitigate the potential negative consequences of minimum wage laws?
Thesis Statement: “While minimum wage laws aim to improve the lives of low-wage workers, they often have unintended consequences for small businesses, including increased operating costs and reduced employment opportunities.”
Significance: The minimum wage laws are a widely debated policy issue with potential impacts on both workers and businesses. Understanding the effects of these laws on small businesses is crucial for policymakers and business owners alike, as it can inform decisions regarding minimum wage legislation and business practices.
Research Paper Introduction Examples
Below we have provided two elucidative research paper introduction examples to help understand how an introduction is typically written.
Title: Exploring the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Sustainable Weight Loss and Improved Health Outcomes in Individuals with Obesity
Obesity is a major public health concern, with nearly 40% of American adults classified as obese. In recent years, the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, leading to a rise in related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. While many factors contribute to the development of obesity, including genetics and environmental factors, dietary habits and physical activity levels are two of the most important modifiable risk factors. However, traditional weight loss interventions such as diet and exercise programs have had limited success in producing sustained weight loss. As a result, there is a need for innovative approaches to weight management that address the underlying behavioral and psychological factors that contribute to obesity. This paper aims to explore the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in promoting sustainable weight loss and improving overall health outcomes in individuals with obesity. Through a comprehensive review of the existing literature and a randomized controlled trial, this study aims to contribute to the development of more effective weight management strategies that can have a significant impact on public health.
Breakdown: In this example, the hook is the statistic on the prevalence of obesity and its related health problems. The background provides context on the contributing factors to obesity and the limitations of traditional weight loss interventions. The research problem is the need for innovative approaches to weight management that address behavioral and psychological factors. The research rationale is the potential impact of these approaches on public health. The research aim is to explore the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions. The research objectives are to conduct a literature review and a randomized controlled trial. The research hypothesis is that mindfulness-based interventions will lead to sustained weight loss and improved health outcomes. The research questions are what is the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in promoting weight loss and improving health outcomes in individuals with obesity? Lastly, the thesis statement is that this study aims to contribute to the development of more effective weight management strategies that can have a significant impact on public health.
Title: The Impact of Early Childhood Education on Academic Achievement
Education is a fundamental right for all children, and quality early childhood education (ECE) has been shown to have a significant impact on a child’s academic achievement. Research indicates that children who participate in high-quality ECE programs perform better in school, have better social skills, and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. However, not all children have access to high-quality ECE programs, and there is a significant achievement gap between children from low-income families and their peers. This research paper aims to explore the impact of early childhood education on academic achievement, with a focus on the factors that contribute to successful ECE programs and how to ensure that all children have access to high-quality ECE. The research problem is the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their peers, and the research objectives are to identify the characteristics of effective ECE programs, examine the impact of ECE on academic achievement, and explore policies that promote access to high-quality ECE for all children. By understanding the impact of early childhood education on academic achievement, this research can inform policies and practices that promote equity and opportunity for all children.
Note: In both examples, the introduction is written in a single paragraph, however, there is no hard and fast rule about how many paragraphs a research paper introduction should be written in. Some introductions can be effectively written in a single paragraph, while others may require more than one paragraph to adequately introduce the topic and set the stage for the research.
The most important consideration is to ensure that the introduction is clear, concise, and effectively sets up the research to follow. If that can be accomplished in a single paragraph, then that is perfectly acceptable. However, if multiple paragraphs are necessary to fully introduce the topic and research objectives, then that is also acceptable.
Ultimately, the length and structure of the introduction should be determined by the needs of the research and the expectations of the target audience.
Things to Keep in Mind
Before starting to write the introduction of a research paper, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Understand the assignment requirements: Make sure you fully understand the assignment requirements and guidelines for the research paper, including the required length, format, and citation style.
- I dentify your audience: Consider who your target audience is and what they are expecting to learn from your research paper. This will help you tailor your introduction to meet their needs.
- Conduct thorough research: Before writing the introduction, ensure that you have conducted thorough research on the topic. This will help you understand the background and context of the research and provide a strong foundation for your introduction.
- Develop a clear thesis statement: Your thesis statement is the backbone of your research paper and should be clear, concise, and specific. Develop a strong thesis statement that sets the tone for the rest of the paper.
- Create an outline: An outline can help you organize your thoughts and ideas, and ensure that your introduction flows smoothly and logically.
- Write a draft: Once you have conducted research and created an outline, write a draft of your introduction. This will help you refine your ideas and identify any areas that need further development or clarification.
- In-text citations: It’s important to keep in mind the need for accurate and consistent in-text citations while writing the introduction and throughout your paper. Make sure to properly cite any sources you use, including direct quotes, paraphrased information, and any ideas or data that you have used. This not only ensures that you give credit where it is due, but it also helps to strengthen the credibility of your research.
- Revise and edit: After writing a draft of your introduction, revise and edit it to ensure that it is clear, concise, and effective. Make sure that the language and tone are appropriate for your audience, and that all necessary information is included.
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A well-crafted introduction is just as important as the research itself, as it can greatly contribute to the success of the paper. To achieve a strong introduction, it is crucial to be concise yet compelling, maintain clarity in research problems and objectives, and organize the content effectively. This guide aims to assist in crafting an effective research paper introduction. However, if further concerns arise, you can seek help from our essay writing help. We have a team of experienced academic writers who can assist with various assignments, so let us know if you require any assistance.
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Four Examples of Introductory Paragraph for Your Essay or Paper
- 30th October 2023
Writing an academic paper comes with many challenges, not the least of which is fleshing out an introductory paragraph . Knowing where to start can often be tricky.
But fear not! In today’s post, we provide four examples of introductory paragraphs for different types of essays . We hope these examples will give you some inspiration to start writing.
1. Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay clearly defines the author’s stance on a topic or debate, often providing evidence and looking at both sides of an issue.
Why the paragraph works.
It engages with current issues: By referencing the current interconnected nature of society, the introduction places the essay in a contemporary context and makes the topic relatable to the reader.
It clearly states the debate: The writer presents two opposing views on online privacy in a clear, simple, and succinct way.
It sets expectations: The essay makes the reader aware that it will explore both sides of the debate.
2. Descriptive Essay
In descriptive essays , you describe something, such as a place or an experience, in vivid detail. These essays often employ imagery and descriptive language.
It provides vivid imagery: The descriptions of the sunset and the waves instantly create a picture in the reader’s mind.
It evokes emotion: The mention of an escape from daily life elicits a sense of calm, peace, and longing.
It maintains concision: The introduction is short but powerful in setting the mood; it shows rather than telling .
3. Compare and Contrast Essay
In a compare and contrast essay , you discuss two subjects by looking at their similarities and differences.
It presents the subjects: The introduction clearly identifies the two works being compared.
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It highlights the main differences: The primary contrasts between the two works are introduced up front.
It sets the course: The reader knows that the essay will delve deeper into how each author conveys their message.
4. Personal Narrative Essay
A personal narrative essay tells a story about a personal experience you’ve had.
It provides a personal touch: The introduction gives a hint of personal significance and the transformative power of the experience.
It sets an intriguing scene: The opening line paints a picture, placing the reader at the scene and sparking curiosity about how it impacted the writer’s life.
It resonates emotionally: By mentioning self-discovery and life-changing moments, the introduction connects with readers on an emotional level.
Feeling inspired? We hope this post helped you to come up with some ideas for the introductory paragraph of your essay or paper. And once you have a first draft, make sure you send it our way for editing and a final proofread.
We’ll check your work for grammar, spelling, word choice, readability, formatting, consistency, referencing, and more! We’ll even proofread your first 500 words for free .
What makes an introductory paragraph effective?
An introductory paragraph should introduce the topic clearly, intrigue the reader, and set accurate expectations for what the rest of the essay will cover.
What are the different types of essays?
Some common types of student essays are narrative, descriptive, compare and contrast, persuasive, argumentative, expository, and process.
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Introduction Paragraph Examples and Writing Tips
Abstract | Introduction | Literature Review | Research question | Materials & Methods | Results | Discussion | Conclusion
In this blog, we look at how to write the introduction paragraph of a research paper. We will go through a few introduction paragraph examples and understand how to construct a great introduction paragraph for your research paper.
1. What is the purpose of the introduction paragraph?
The opening paragraph is the first paragraph of your research paper. The opening paragraph is where you want to attract your readers and draw them into your paper. This typically occupies one or two paragraphs. The introduction section must provide necessary background knowledge, so that the readers can understand the motivation behind your experiments and appreciate your findings. After reading your introductory paragraph, the reader should be familiar with the main idea of your paper and understand why your topic is important.
2. What are the 5 parts of an introduction paragraph?
The introduction paragraph of a research paper should typically contain the following components.
Hook You can start with a hook . A hook is nothing but an attractive opening statement.
A broad introduction to the field Here, you can define the general topic of your research.
The specific topic of study Then, the next step is to narrow down your topic and reveal the specific focus of your paper.
Problem definition Then you have to define your problem. You must explain clearly what problem your paper is trying to address or solve.
Importance of your work Then you need to establish why the topic is timely or important?
Benefits of conducting research Here, you can explain the benefits your work and how it will advance the current understanding of the topic.
3.1. What is a Hook?
The opening paragraph typically should start with a sentence that piques the interest of your readers. This is called a hook. The idea is to hook your reader and reel them in. Just like using hooks with bait to capture a fish in a pond. These are statements designed to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more of your paper.
3.2. How to Write a Hook?
One thing to bear in your mind is that most people reading your paper will have some background knowledge about the topic. So you have to find a way to say things that people already know in a slightly different and interesting manner. The trick is to use statistics, facts, quotations, and questions to make things interesting to the readers. These are called hooks.
3.3. Hook Examples
Now, let’s look at some examples of hooks.
3.3.1. Hook Example #1
Here is an opening statement. Here we are trying to establish that breast cancer is a pretty bad disease. This statement is not very punchy. It is pretty bland and doesn’t convey the seriousness of the situation.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States.
Now, Let’s use some statistics and rewrite the statement. Look at this statement now, the readers will instantly understand how deadly breast cancer is, because you are using numbers to put things into perspective. This will get the reader’s attention straight away, and they will be keen to read more of your paper to find out if you are proposing something to fix this terrible situation.
In 2020, 43,700 females died from breast cancer in the US. It is the most common cancer in women accounting for 30% (or 1 in 3) of all new female cancers.
3.3.2. Hook Example #2
Here is another example. Here is an opening statement about global warming. There is nothing new here. Most people know that global warming is bad.
Global warming is causing damage to the environment due to increase in Co2 emissions.
Now, let’s frame this as a question with some facts and numbers. How about this? This sounds way much better because it conveys the urgency of the situation.
Did you know that the Last Decade Was the Hottest in 125,000 Years and there is more Co2 in our atmosphere than at any time in human history?
4. Introduction Paragraph Examples
Let’s look at some examples of introduction paragraphs. The examples we have chosen are quite short, so that it is easy for you to understand. We have chosen examples from different fields and of different formats.
4.1 Example #1 (Social sciences paper)
Here is an introduction paragraph example from a social sciences research paper, and it is about AI, which stands for artificial intelligence. We are providing a broad overview of the topic in the first couple of lines. We are talking about the popularity of the AI, and the recent advancements that has happened in the field.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has received considerable attention in recent years due to its application in various fields such as manufacturing, healthcare, security, etc. In recent years, methods have been proposed to produce sufficiently intelligent software capable of reprogramming. Such production presents a number of challenges as AI may threaten human employment in the future. The development of new programmes will facilitate a better understanding of just how far AI can go. _ Broad overview _ Narrowdown topic _ Problem definition _ Importance of topic
Then, we move on to the problem definition. The problem is about AI threatening the human employment in the future by taking up all the jobs. Then, in the next statement we are talking about the importance of exploring the issue, so that we can understand how far AI will impact our lives in the future.
You can see that this passage ticks all the boxes, there is relevant background information, a clear definition of the problem, and information about the importance of conducting research on this topic.
4.2 Example #2 (Business & Marketing paper)
This introduction passage example is from a marketing and business paper. In this example, we are using a lot of numbers to establish why it is important and timely to conduct research in this domain. We are telling the readers that there are millions of Asians living in UK and their numbers are increasing every year. They have this huge spending power and not many researchers have looked into how and where they spend their money. So, the time has come to explore this market. A lot of interesting data and facts are provided to the readers. And, that is the reason why this is such a good introduction.
Approximately 60.5 million Asians lived in the United Kingdom in 2022, and this will grow at a rate of approximately 13.19% over the next five years. The purchasing power of this demographic is expected to reach over $2.26 trillion by 2025. This market is a growing and relatively unexplored segment in the marketing literature. Researchers and practitioners should therefore be interested in the increasing importance of this market and the potential it holds for businesses. _ Hook _ Problem definition _ Importance/timeliness of topic
4.3 Example #3 (Medicine paper)
Here is an introduction paragraph example from a medicine paper. We are starting the passage with a hook by providing an interesting statistic about obesity. After starting with a broad statement, we are narrowing down the topic. We are dropping a hint that our paper is to do with vitamin d and obesity. With the next statement, we are establishing the importance of the topic. We are saying that a lot of people are dying due to obesity, and vitamin D is causing a lot of health issues, so we must do something about it.
Obesity is a worldwide disease. In 2020, more than 2 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. There is a general consensus in the research community that there is a strong association between obesity and Vitamin D. This represents an important and timely topic because obesity is currently fifth greater risk of mortality, and Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with variety of diseases. Better understanding of this link will greatly aid medicalpractitioners in effective treatment of obese patients. _ Hook _ Problem definition _ Importance/timeliness of topic _ Benefits of conducting research
Then, in the final statement of the intro paragraph, we explain how conducting research in this field will benefit the community. In our case, doctors will be able to prescribe better treatment options for obese patients. This is a well written introduction paragraph that nicely introduces the main idea of your paper and tells the readers why your topic is important.
4.4 Example #4 (Engineering paper)
Here is another introduction paragraph example from an engineering paper. Here, we are starting the passage with the problem definition itself. We are saying that it is challenging to perform measurements on a complex system, because there are so many different things you have to consider. Then, we emphasis the popularity of the topic by saying that there is an active research community investigating this issue at the moment. Then, we finish off the passage by explaining the benefits we will enjoy if we manage to solve this problem. And, we have listed all the applications that will benefit from this research.
Obtaining an accurate measurement of a complex system is a challenging task, as it can make it difficult to account for all of the variables that may affect the measurement. Research in this area is of great interest and with a very active research community. Obtaining an accurate measurement is useful for a number of applications, including modelling and forecasting, quality control, and data analysis. _ Problem definition _ Importance/popularity of the topic _ Benefits of conducting research
5. Frequently Asked Questions
The opening paragraph of the introduction should be one or two paragraphs long. The entire introduction section comprising the opening paragraph, literature review, and research questions should be around 10% to 15% of the total length of the research paper.
Please do not cram your introduction with large amounts of text. Don’t treat your readers as if they don’t know anything. Most people who are reading your paper will have some knowledge about the field. Be selective and decide what is important for your readers.
If you have a super long introduction, then it means that you don’t have a lot to say about the actual research you have done. Most reviewers won’t like this, and your paper is likely to be rejected. So, keep it short and sweet.
(1) Make sure you use scientific jargon that is relevant to your field in your text. Scientific jargon are technical terms specific to your discipline. Using scientific jargon has two advantages, number one, you are using the language used by your peers in your field, and number two, it makes your text significantly shorter.
(2) Don’t delve on the broad topic for too long in your introduction. Try to narrow down to the specific topic as soon as possible. The readers are less interested in the general area of research. They want to quickly learn what is the specific topic of your research.
(3) Introduction paragraph is the best place to introduce notations and technical definitions. This can include symbols, characters, terminologies, abbreviations, acronyms etc. Notations and definitions can help you to express very large names and numbers in a form that is easy to understand to your readers.
Conclusion Section Examples and Writing Tips
In this blog, we will go through many conclusion examples and learn how to present a powerful final take-home message to your readers.
Formulating Strong Research Questions: Examples and Writing Tips
In this blog, we will go through many research question examples and understand how to construct a strong research question for your paper.
Discussion Section Examples and Writing Tips
In this blog, we will go through many discussion examples and understand how to write a great discussion for your research paper.
Results Section Examples and Writing Tips
In this blog, we will go through many results section examples and understand how to write a great results section for your paper.
Literature Review Examples and Writing Tips
In this blog, we will go through many literature review examples and understand different ways to present past literature in your paper.
Writing a Medical Clinical Trial Research Paper – Example & Format
In this blog, we will teach you step-by-step how to write a clinical trial research paper for publication in a high quality scientific journal.
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Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs
Grab your reader's attention with the first words
- Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
- M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
- B.A., English, State University of New York
An introductory paragraph, as the opening of a conventional essay , composition , or report , is designed to grab people's attention. It informs readers about the topic and why they should care about it but also adds enough intrigue to get them to continue to read. In short, the opening paragraph is your chance to make a great first impression.
Writing a Good Introductory Paragraph
The primary purpose of an introductory paragraph is to pique the interest of your reader and identify the topic and purpose of the essay. It often ends with a thesis statement .
You can engage your readers right from the start through a number of tried-and-true ways. Posing a question, defining the key term, giving a brief anecdote , using a playful joke or emotional appeal, or pulling out an interesting fact are just a few approaches you can take. Use imagery, details, and sensory information to connect with the reader if you can. The key is to add intrigue along with just enough information so your readers want to find out more.
One way to do this is to come up with a brilliant opening line . Even the most mundane topics have aspects interesting enough to write about; otherwise, you wouldn't be writing about them, right?
When you begin writing a new piece, think about what your readers want or need to know. Use your knowledge of the topic to craft an opening line that will satisfy that need. You don't want to fall into the trap of what writers call "chasers" that bore your readers (such as "The dictionary defines...."). The introduction should make sense and hook the reader right from the start .
Make your introductory paragraph brief. Typically, just three or four sentences are enough to set the stage for both long and short essays. You can go into supporting information in the body of your essay, so don't tell the audience everything all at once.
Should You Write the Intro First?
You can always adjust your introductory paragraph later. Sometimes you just have to start writing. You can start at the beginning or dive right into the heart of your essay.
Your first draft may not have the best opening, but as you continue to write, new ideas will come to you, and your thoughts will develop a clearer focus. Take note of these and, as you work through revisions , refine and edit your opening.
If you're struggling with the opening, follow the lead of other writers and skip it for the moment. Many writers begin with the body and conclusion and come back to the introduction later. It's a useful, time-efficient approach if you find yourself stuck in those first few words.
Start where it's easiest to start. You can always go back to the beginning or rearrange later, especially if you have an outline completed or general framework informally mapped out. If you don't have an outline, even just starting to sketch one can help organize your thoughts and "prime the pump" as it were.
Successful Introductory Paragraphs
You can read all the advice you want about writing a compelling opening, but it's often easier to learn by example. Take a look at how some writers approached their essays and analyze why they work so well.
"As a lifelong crabber (that is, one who catches crabs, not a chronic complainer), I can tell you that anyone who has patience and a great love for the river is qualified to join the ranks of crabbers. However, if you want your first crabbing experience to be a successful one, you must come prepared."
– (Mary Zeigler, "How to Catch River Crabs" )
What did Zeigler do in her introduction? First, she wrote in a little joke, but it serves a dual purpose. Not only does it set the stage for her slightly more humorous approach to crabbing, but it also clarifies what type of "crabber" she's writing about. This is important if your subject has more than one meaning.
The other thing that makes this a successful introduction is the fact that Zeigler leaves us wondering. What do we have to be prepared for? Will the crabs jump up and latch onto you? Is it a messy job? What tools and gear do I need? She leaves us with questions, and that draws us in because now we want answers.
"Working part-time as a cashier at the Piggly Wiggly has given me a great opportunity to observe human behavior. Sometimes I think of the shoppers as white rats in a lab experiment, and the aisles as a maze designed by a psychologist. Most of the rats—customers, I mean—follow a routine pattern, strolling up and down the aisles, checking through my chute, and then escaping through the exit hatch. But not everyone is so dependable. My research has revealed three distinct types of abnormal customer: the amnesiac, the super shopper, and the dawdler."
– "Shopping at the Pig"
This revised classification essay begins by painting a picture of an ordinary scenario: the grocery store. But when used as an opportunity to observe human nature, as this writer does, it turns from ordinary to fascinating.
Who is the amnesiac? Would I be classified as the dawdler by this cashier? The descriptive language and the analogy to rats in a maze add to the intrigue, and readers are left wanting more. For this reason, even though it's lengthy, this is an effective opening.
"In March 2006, I found myself, at 38, divorced, no kids, no home, and alone in a tiny rowing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I hadn’t eaten a hot meal in two months. I’d had no human contact for weeks because my satellite phone had stopped working. All four of my oars were broken, patched up with duct tape and splints. I had tendinitis in my shoulders and saltwater sores on my backside.
"I couldn’t have been happier...."
– Roz Savage, " My Transoceanic Midlife Crisis ." Newsweek , March 20, 2011
Here is an example of reversing expectations. The introductory paragraph is filled with doom and gloom. We feel sorry for the writer but are left wondering whether the article will be a classic sob story. It is in the second paragraph where we find out that it's quite the opposite.
Those first few words of the second paragraph—which we cannot help but skim—surprise us and thus draw us in. How can the narrator be happy after all that sorrow? This reversal compels us to find out what happened.
Most people have had streaks where nothing seems to go right. Yet, it is the possibility of a turn of fortunes that compels us to keep going. This writer appealed to our emotions and a sense of shared experience to craft an effective read.
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Management Paper Blog Academic Writing Guides And Tips
- Three Research Paper Introduction Examples: Learn How to Initiate and Hook
- Apr 13, 2021
A research paper introduction holds perhaps the most importance for a study to be successful. After a good research paper abstract , it is the introduction that builds the interest in a reader to continue reading the research paper. If the introduction turns out to be dull and drab, then the study would be a failed one.
A good research paper needs a lot of background study, which you often fail to do. To make your work easier, Management Paper is there for you to help you write yours efficiently.
Key Features of a Research Paper Introduction
- It forms the basic part of both the research paper as well as the research proposal .
- Apart from giving a general notion about the research paper topic , it includes important elements such as background, aim, objectives, questions and many more.
- It must contain the questions ‘WHY’: why is the research conducted, why it is important, why this chosen topic and so on is.
- It helps in pointing out the knowledge gaps and fills them up throughout the paper.
- Use precise and clear points.
The Most Commonly Included Elements in The Research Papers
There are different kinds of research papers like essays, reports, dissertations and journals. The introduction which is generally used in case of all other types of research paper except dissertations are similar in nature. Such an introduction is similar to a summary of the topic, defining the problem, stating the aims and objectives that are going to be established through the research.
But in case of dissertation, in a good research paper format the introduction is presented in great detail by dividing the section into the following parts:
- Research background
- Research problem
- Research rationale
- Research aim
- Research objectives
- Research hypothesis
- Research questions
Apart from this, many papers include time plan, scope and limitations of the research too. The experts from the team of Management Paper can help you with your paper writing and also make you understand the various aspects of a research paper.
Some Significant Examples of Research Paper Introduction
Research paper introduction example #1, topic: impact of leadership effectiveness on employees for the company amazon (dissertation).
The history and the various past events related to the topic are being mentioned in this section. Thsi supplies context to the paper and contains both relevant and important studies. Authenticating your information is a must by in-text citations.
The research problem states a specific area of concern, a bothering question, a difficulty which is to be eliminated or a condition that demands improvement. The missing knowledge about the topic is being found out through this and then only you can do further research about the problem.
The rationale answers the question of why the research is being conducted and thus states its importance.
The things that are expected to be achieved at the end of the research are generally mentioned here.
The objectives are the various goals or targets that are to be established and achieved throughout the study.
The research question points out the facts that are to be established through the paper and provides the research with a clear focus and purpose.
This is a specific predictive statement about the possible future outcome of the study which is mostly based upon the relationship between different variables or on a single variable.
Research Paper Introduction Example # 2
Topic: implementing online customer support service through chat portal at aldi, research paper introduction example # 3, topic: compare and contrast the policies for the aged people in various countries.
In both the second and the third example, the introduction is written in a single paragraph. In the first line itself you must introduce the topic. Try to avoid embellishments. Write any remarkable event about the topic then. Explain the problem and the purpose of the research. Try to build a reasonable thesis statement. Then with few lines, insert a smooth transition to make a shift from the introduction to the body.
You can check out more examples from the page of Management paper, and can also avail paper writing service from them with ease. We do not compromise with quality and believe in time management.
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