How to Write an Introduction to a Research Paper

For experienced students writing an introduction to a research paper is actually a piece of cake. They’ve done it so many times that they are able to do it smoothly already; moreover, at this point they had probably developed their own approach to writing. However, for the less experienced students the process of writing an introduction of a research paper is very tricky. And it isn’t surprising at all.

While the whole research paper writing process is challenging in general (especially for those students who aren’t very confident about their writing), introduction research paper writing is probably one of the trickiest parts of this process. Why does this happen? Why there are so many students who are desperate to find out how to write a good introduction paragraph for a research paper? Well, because an introduction has to achieve a few goals at once.

Main goals of an introduction

An introduction for research paper has to:

1. Catch attention. A reader has to understand why they should continue reading as well as become interested in your research paper topic. That’s why it’s nice to start an introduction with a couple of interesting facts or a certain detail that will demonstrate your knowledge of the topic as well as encourage them to keep reading.

2. Create a good impression. An introduction is the first thing the readers see when they start reading your paper. So your goal here is to win not only their attention and interest but their sympathy too. An introduction of research paper should show that you are a really good writer – and you have to do your best to achieve such result.

3. Give some details. While readers do see the topic of your research paper, you should explain it a bit further at this point, providing some details as well as background. Saying a few words about why this topic seems important to you is also a good idea.

4. Define a thesis. A thesis is the main part of every research paper – basically, it’s the main idea of your research. It’s important to define it right in the introduction to research paper.

As you see, there are quite a few goals that have to be achieved at once. So, it’s no wonder that many students ask themselves “How do I write an introduction to a research paper?” because they want to know how to achieve all these goals successfully. There are two ways to do that: you either use research paper help for students or learn how to write an introduction to a research paper on your own.

How to do an introduction to a research paper?

If you want to find out how to make an introduction paragraph for a research paper, I’m here to help you. Here are 8 tips that can ease the whole process for you and help you write a nice introduction.

1. Organize it well.

It’s important to know not only how to start a research paper introduction but also when to start writing it in order to achieve the best result. Some people prefer to write it first, sticking to a structure, while some prefer to write it last.

If you aren’t experienced in introduction writing, I suggest you also write it last as it is much easier this way. When you write an introduction first, you don’t know exactly what point will be covered in your research paper – you just assume it. There’s a possibility that the end result will differ from what you’ve expected and so, you’ll have to rewrite an introduction completely.

On the contrary, when you write an introduction after your paper is finished, you know exactly what points are covered and what the main idea of your paper is. In this case, you won’t have to rewrite an introduction later.

2. Keep it short.

Yes, an introduction paragraph for research paper is important – but this doesn’t mean that it has to be long. Actually, the most complex thing about introduction writing is that you have to fit so much information in only few sentences. Your readers won’t like it if an introduction is too long because it usually means that it’s very abstract.

However, if you struggle with keeping it short, don’t limit yourself at first. Write as many sentences as you want and then think how you can shorten them. After you do so, double check everything: if you are able to remove one or two sentences from the introduction without it losing its meaning, do that!

3. Define the problem.

Research paper topics are usually very broad; the papers themselves, however, are more narrow most of the times. The main idea of your research probably differs a bit from the one defined in a topic, so it’s important to deliver the problem you’ve been working on as well as briefly explain why it is so important.

4. Look at some examples.

While this advice definitely doesn’t fit all of us, for some of us it could be really helpful. If you are a person who understands things better with the help of examples, you should consider finding an introduction for a research paper sample and looking at it in order to create your own later.

However, for some of us, this advice could do more harm than good. You should do so only if you know that someone else’s writing won’t confuse you, as some people find it hard to come up with something of their own after they see others’ examples.

5. Experiment.

If you have enough time, don’t settle with only one variant of introduction – try to write a few of them. Maybe you’ll like the last one the most or maybe you’ll settle with the first one, after all. What matters the most is that you will be able to experiment with different approaches in the writing process, finally ending up with the one that seems the best to you.

6. Remember about the types of papers.

Various research papers are written to achieve various goals. Some are written to inform the readers about something while some want to argue a certain theory, an argument, or a point of view. Think about the purpose of your research paper and be sure to write an introduction according to that purpose. By the end of an introduction, the readers should understand the goal of your paper as well as what you’ll be trying to achieve with the help of your research.

7. Warn the reader.

We aren’t always able to complete our research in the way that we wanted to. That’s understandable; however, it could ruin the impression of your research paper if you don’t say it in advance. This is why it is so important to tell the readers if there’s something they should be warned about: for example, if your paper is focused only on a certain part of the main problem, or if you’ve used only a certain part of recommended sources, etc. This is much better than let readers find this out only when they reach the middle of your research paper, for example.

8. Review it.

By this time you know all the most important things about how to write an introduction for a research paper. However, there’s still one final tip left – you shouldn’t forget about reviewing it.

The best way to do so is to make a small pause after you finish writing. Distract yourself from the introduction a bit and then return to it and think of the ways that could help you improve it. Remember that an introduction shouldn’t overwhelm the reader with the amount of information packed into it. The best introduction is catchy, interesting to read, and short – and reviewing could help you make it that way.

If you have enough time, be sure not only to review it but also to save each revision – this will allow you to re-read all of them later and find the best possible one to use in your research paper.

That’s all – now you know how to write a research paper introduction. Of course, perfection only comes with practice, but I hope that this article will help you understand how you should approach the process and what points you should cover no matter what.

Remember, that despite the fact that an introduction is an important part of a research paper, it shouldn’t scare you much. Nervousness and fear can only lead to you losing focus and making it worse than you could, so do your best to stay motivated while studying and writing your research paper and its introduction.

While these tips were helping me during my college years and I do consider them useful, I also understand that they are not the only ones. Don’t settle with them only – search for other ways to make an introduction writing process easier for you and maybe even come up with your own tips to do so.

If you also have some tips you want to share, I encourage you to do so in a comment section below. Good luck with your papers!