Research Paper Introduction Structure: 4 Points To Consider

Writing an introduction is another part in the process of composing a research paper. There, you should tell the readers more about your topic, its importance and share some background information. Usually, this piece of writing does not have a strict word limit. But it should be as brief and concise as possible. Therefore, it can be tricky to compose your introduction without a hitch.

How to Structure Your Research Paper Introduction

To structure the effective research paper introduction, you should consider the following 4 points:

  1. Compose a strong and catchy opening sentence.
  2. The first sentence makes the first impression, so you should craft it carefully. It is fine to rewrite your opening for a few times to ensure that it fits perfectly. Try to write to the point from the very beginning and avoid general phrases. Consider choosing a quotation as your first sentence.

  3. Provide some background information at the beginning.
  4. It makes sense to begin your introduction with providing vital background information about your subject and related issues. In other words, you should set the scene and add a context to your writing. Sometimes, it is a good idea to write a short historical narrative and mention the most famous researchers in the field.

  5. Describe the rationale for your research.
  6. After the background information, you should describe the rationale for your research. Identify the gap that you are going to fill, explain what impact your work may have, and tell the readers how you are planning to reach the research goals. Here, you can also formulate your thesis and study hypothesis.

  7. Determine limitations and assumptions.
  8. You should point towards the potential weaknesses in your research from the start. You should warn your audience about the shortcomings and assumptions. For example, you can emphasize that data collection could be complicated and, as a result, you may miss some data for analysis. So, you would have to make some generalizations.

Final Comments

If you have a 20 or 30-page research paper, you may need an outline for your introduction as well as for the entire assignment. However, you can compose a shorter assignment having a simple list of ideas in mind. Remember that the introduction should narrow down your research problem and explain your hypothesis. You should do your best to keep it short, define the goal of your work clearly, and organize all the important elements in a logical sequence. This piece of writing should flow and make your readers want to learn more about your research, e.g. to read the entire paper.

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