How Do You Write a Research Paper Introduction: 5 Useful Ideas to Try
- Begin with a piece of background information. Stating your main idea right away may seem too abrupt. Your first sentence should give readers a hint of what to expect, but at the same time, it should be intriguing. An example of such an approach for a research paper on the Crusades is, “the contradictions between the Western world and the countries of the Middle East date back to the Middle Ages.”
- Explain your purpose and methodology in the first paragraph. Your introduction in a large paper may be two pages long, but you do not need to put your thesis statement off till the end of the second page. If your readers do not understand your goal soon enough, they may get confused and lose interest. In the final sentence of your first paragraph, solve any riddle you have asked in your first sentence. Tell your audience what your research subject is and why it is important. State the hypothesis or hypotheses you are going to test. If your research involves an experiment, you may need to add one more sentence to explain the experiment’s methodology and limitations, as well as your rationale for choosing this research method.
- Provide a brief overview of your whole paper. It is not necessary if your introduction is only a paragraph long, but it may be a good idea when you have to write a page or two. Briefly state your main points, your objectives at each research stage, and the expected results. When readers know what you are going to do and why, they will take more interest in watching how you will do it. This is what a research study has in common with a magic trick show.
- Experiment with your opening sentence. If you have written a standard introduction and you hate it; try starting with a quotation, a reference to a recent discussion, or a news story. Such beginnings can make your paper more engaging. However, do not be too emotional or sentimental. Another way to open your research paper is to compare and contrast two things, people, or ideas.
- Revise your introduction after you have written your last page. In the course of your research work, you might deviate slightly from the initial plan. Make sure to amend your introduction respectively. Check whether there is a smooth flow of thought between your introduction and conclusion. Some people prefer to write an introduction after they have completed the rest of the paper; this way, you can be sure that it is relevant.