How to Write an Introduction to a Research Paper

Updated March 2021

Though introduction to any writing is frequently associated with beginning, it's not that simple for an introduction to a research paper. Here you can find a guide on how to write an introduction to a research paper, which presents a topic to the reader. While creating an introduction for a research paper students frequently get lost in the consistency of their thoughts. But following the structure and simple rules, you will succeed with your writing and get the desired mark..

What is a Research Paper Introduction?

An introduction is the initial part of a research paper and the part that a reader is likely to read first (at least when focusing deeply and reading your paper in detail). Hence, definitions, notions, and other information required for understanding the paper are presented/listed here.

Every research paper needs context so that readers can understand why you have created it. This is exactly what you can do in your research paper introduction. Of course, this can mean that your introduction is the hardest part of the paper to write first. So, it is essential that you take your time and make sure you get it right.

The introduction of writing is going to set out your rationale, which is what research will be based around. Your readers should be able to tell what they are reading right from the beginning and whether it interests them.

It is essential that you make the beginning of your research paper interesting and engage with your readers from the first line. This will make sure that people continue to read and learn about what you have found out. You should also state a hypothesis and the way you think your work will turn out in conclusion. You must always include an introduction to your paper.

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Writing an Introduction to a Research Paper – What to Include

So, what should you include in your introduction? We will give you a list below so that you can prepare a research paper introduction outline and follow it when you are writing.

  • Introduce your topic.
  • Create some context and background.
  • Tell your reader about the research you plan to carry out.
  • State your rationale.
  • Explain why your research is important.
  • State your hypothesis.

What are the parts of introduction in research?

The introduction of a research paper may contain a few other parts/ elements such as the chief goal(s) and objectives of the research, a brief but informative outline of the following content, explained, concept definitions, a brief history of the research into the topic, recent related discoveries, etc.).

Start with Announcing Your Topic

The topic is the fundament of any writing you prepare. Regarding, the angle you look at your topic, it will reflect different aspects. It’s better to begin with outlining your topic. There is no secret on how to start a research paper intro: you should just state your topic and add some connected with topic issues that bothers you a lot. This is a perfect strategy to intrigue the reader.

It is recommended to start with general info and then narrowing down to specific aspects. Try not to deepen into a state of things in the beginning, but explain your view on the topic. If you are going to use some difficult expressions in the central part of an essay, make them clear to any reader and point out their connection with your topic.

Review the Literature

Developing a statement in the main body, you will need some literature sources to refer to. While your idea can sound a bit subjectively, if you maintain it with citations extracted from works of famous scientists, authors, or philosophers, you will prove your point. Don’t neglect modern time scholars that are being deeply concerned about the issue or opinion you stated. The introduction should briefly state what the literature will be about.

Stress on Rationale

The rationale is the key element of your beginning. Once you stated the topic, it’s time to prove it’s relevant and gives readers food for thought. The rationale serves as an indicator of both the importance of your essay and your attitude to the issue. The rationale should be laconic and precise to show the reader the significance of your research.

State Your Thesis

The thesis statement marks the conclusive part of the introduction for the research paper or research summary and transition to the actual research. This sentence supports all the things you have written before and collects all your ideas in a logical and concise saying. If your subject is too complicated, you should make the thesis statement comprehensible with it. The thesis is what runs through your paper. That’s why the intro where a thesis is stated sets the tone for the entire work.

Your thesis should:

  • Give general info on topic
  • Be engaging and precise
  • Reflect the significance of raised issue

If all these are ready, the only thing left is to make the outline for research paper structure.

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Conclude With the Outline

When all the important work is done, it’s time for the outline of the research paper’s structure. Not every mentor requires the structure overview in the introduction, but sometimes students are asked to stress on few aspects of their future research. This is not about the detailed depiction of every part of your work. The outline is a short paragraph, which consists of 3 or 4 sentences and represents your plan for the entire paper. You can also look for some essay introduction examples to grab some ideas.

View an Example of an Introduction in Research Paper

Sometimes, it is best to explore an example of an introduction in a research paper in order to understand it better. Check out the example that we have created:

Did you know that there are currently over 2.3 million Americans incarcerated for their crimes? While it is widely believed that prison should be the punishment for crime, statistics find that 77 percent of prisoners will re-offend once they are released. This suggests that prison is not working to reduce recidivism. My research paper aims to demonstrate that prison does not work as a way to prevent crime and that alternatives should be considered, such as restorative justice and other community sentencing.

Writing Tips for Students Who Want to Know all About Introduction

So, how to write an intro for a research paper?

  • Define and Explain Concepts

Is writing including concepts that are going to be complicated for the average reader to understand? If the answer is yes, this means that you should take your time to explain them as best as you can in your introduction. This includes any jargon or terms that you think will be important to know before reading your findings and analysis.

  • Start with a Quotation

You want to capture your reader’s attention right from the beginning. If you are not sure how to do that effectively, think about including a quotation that captures the heart of the topic. This will be particularly true if your essay is for social subjects, such as English, History, and humanities. It is going to help create a picture in the reader’s head, and they will remember this when they are reading your work. Depending on the subject of your paper, it could also include a striking statistic.

  • Communicate your Structure

Readers need to know not only why you are conducting a particular research topic, but also how you intend to do it. It means that your introduction should set out the structure that will be followed in your article. It will allow a reader to easily navigate between different parts and make sure that it all makes sense.

Need Additional Help?

As you see, writing research papers introduction is not that challenging if you follow the guide. But sometimes even the smartest students fail in choosing a competitive topic and building a solid thesis. Even if you consider your topic important, it can seem questionable for your professor. How to write an introduction for a research paper and make it flawless?

We present you with professional help from writers who are full of new ideas to reflect them in your paper! Browsing “how to write a research paper introduction” and trying to write a paper on your own you may lose those precious hours of your time. Asking us for help, you will get rid of your constant worries. Can you write my research papers? Yes, we can! Presenting only top-notch content, we help many students achieve the desired outcome and improve their academic performance. Our writers don’t tolerate plagiarism - real professionals create their writings from scratch. We believe that even the most complicated task has the simplest solution and our paper writers can always find it. If you doubt, place your order and get assured we don’t mouth empty words!


How do you write a good intro?

Writing a good intro requires matching well the information in it with the rest of the paper – it must “serve” the needs of the rest of the paper. It should introduce the reader smoothly into the topic and facilitate an easy read (without requiring the excessive aid of external sources).

How do you write an introduction for a research paper?

In case you have difficulties starting with the introduction first, a fairly universal advice is to write it last (apart from the thesis, goals, and objectives). Thus, after writing other sections (that have a clearer/ more rigid structure) you’ll be able to decide both on the type of content that would match better the rest of your paper but also on the word count you can dedicate to this section.

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