• PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • College University and Postgraduate
  • Academic Writing
  • Research Papers

How to Write a Research Introduction

Last Updated: December 6, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,654,445 times.

The introduction to a research paper can be the most challenging part of the paper to write. The length of the introduction will vary depending on the type of research paper you are writing. An introduction should announce your topic, provide context and a rationale for your work, before stating your research questions and hypothesis. Well-written introductions set the tone for the paper, catch the reader's interest, and communicate the hypothesis or thesis statement.

Introducing the Topic of the Paper

Step 1 Announce your research topic.

  • In scientific papers this is sometimes known as an "inverted triangle", where you start with the broadest material at the start, before zooming in on the specifics. [2] X Research source
  • The sentence "Throughout the 20th century, our views of life on other planets have drastically changed" introduces a topic, but does so in broad terms.
  • It provides the reader with an indication of the content of the essay and encourages them to read on.

Step 2 Consider referring to key words.

  • For example, if you were writing a paper about the behaviour of mice when exposed to a particular substance, you would include the word "mice", and the scientific name of the relevant compound in the first sentences.
  • If you were writing a history paper about the impact of the First World War on gender relations in Britain, you should mention those key words in your first few lines.

Step 3 Define any key terms or concepts.

  • This is especially important if you are attempting to develop a new conceptualization that uses language and terminology your readers may be unfamiliar with.

Step 4 Introduce the topic through an anecdote or quotation.

  • If you use an anecdote ensure that is short and highly relevant for your research. It has to function in the same way as an alternative opening, namely to announce the topic of your research paper to your reader.
  • For example, if you were writing a sociology paper about re-offending rates among young offenders, you could include a brief story of one person whose story reflects and introduces your topic.
  • This kind of approach is generally not appropriate for the introduction to a natural or physical sciences research paper where the writing conventions are different.

Establishing the Context for Your Paper

Step 1 Include a brief literature review.

  • It is important to be concise in the introduction, so provide an overview on recent developments in the primary research rather than a lengthy discussion.
  • You can follow the "inverted triangle" principle to focus in from the broader themes to those to which you are making a direct contribution with your paper.
  • A strong literature review presents important background information to your own research and indicates the importance of the field.

Step 2 Use the literature to focus in on your contribution.

  • By making clear reference to existing work you can demonstrate explicitly the specific contribution you are making to move the field forward.
  • You can identify a gap in the existing scholarship and explain how you are addressing it and moving understanding forward.

Step 3 Elaborate on the rationale of your paper.

  • For example, if you are writing a scientific paper you could stress the merits of the experimental approach or models you have used.
  • Stress what is novel in your research and the significance of your new approach, but don't give too much detail in the introduction.
  • A stated rationale could be something like: "the study evaluates the previously unknown anti-inflammatory effects of a topical compound in order to evaluate its potential clinical uses".

Specifying Your Research Questions and Hypothesis

Step 1 State your research questions.

  • The research question or questions generally come towards the end of the introduction, and should be concise and closely focused.
  • The research question might recall some of the key words established in the first few sentences and the title of your paper.
  • An example of a research question could be "what were the consequences of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the Mexican export economy?"
  • This could be honed further to be specific by referring to a particular element of the Free Trade Agreement and the impact on a particular industry in Mexico, such as clothing manufacture.
  • A good research question should shape a problem into a testable hypothesis.

Step 2 Indicate your hypothesis.

  • If possible try to avoid using the word "hypothesis" and rather make this implicit in your writing. This can make your writing appear less formulaic.
  • In a scientific paper, giving a clear one-sentence overview of your results and their relation to your hypothesis makes the information clear and accessible. [10] X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source
  • An example of a hypothesis could be "mice deprived of food for the duration of the study were expected to become more lethargic than those fed normally".

Step 3 Outline the structure of your paper.

  • This is not always necessary and you should pay attention to the writing conventions in your discipline.
  • In a natural sciences paper, for example, there is a fairly rigid structure which you will be following.
  • A humanities or social science paper will most likely present more opportunities to deviate in how you structure your paper.

Research Introduction Help

tips on how to write a research introduction

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Use your research papers' outline to help you decide what information to include when writing an introduction. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Consider drafting your introduction after you have already completed the rest of your research paper. Writing introductions last can help ensure that you don't leave out any major points. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

tips on how to write a research introduction

  • Avoid emotional or sensational introductions; these can create distrust in the reader. Thanks Helpful 50 Not Helpful 12
  • Generally avoid using personal pronouns in your introduction, such as "I," "me," "we," "us," "my," "mine," or "our." Thanks Helpful 31 Not Helpful 7
  • Don't overwhelm the reader with an over-abundance of information. Keep the introduction as concise as possible by saving specific details for the body of your paper. Thanks Helpful 24 Not Helpful 14

You Might Also Like

Publish a Research Paper

  • ↑ https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185916
  • ↑ https://www.aresearchguide.com/inverted-pyramid-structure-in-writing.html
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/introduction
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/PlanResearchPaper.html
  • ↑ https://dept.writing.wisc.edu/wac/writing-an-introduction-for-a-scientific-paper/
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/planresearchpaper/
  • ↑ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178846/

About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To introduce your research paper, use the first 1-2 sentences to describe your general topic, such as “women in World War I.” Include and define keywords, such as “gender relations,” to show your reader where you’re going. Mention previous research into the topic with a phrase like, “Others have studied…”, then transition into what your contribution will be and why it’s necessary. Finally, state the questions that your paper will address and propose your “answer” to them as your thesis statement. For more information from our English Ph.D. co-author about how to craft a strong hypothesis and thesis, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Abdulrahman Omar

Abdulrahman Omar

Oct 5, 2018

Did this article help you?

Abdulrahman Omar

May 9, 2021

Lavanya Gopakumar

Lavanya Gopakumar

Oct 1, 2016

Dengkai Zhang

Dengkai Zhang

May 14, 2018

Leslie Mae Cansana

Leslie Mae Cansana

Sep 22, 2016

Am I Smart Quiz

Featured Articles

10+ Cute, Fun and Unique Ways to Ask Out Your Crush

Trending Articles

Know if You're Dating a Toxic Person

Watch Articles

Put a Bracelet on by Yourself

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

Get all the best how-tos!

Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter

Writing a Research Paper Introduction (with 3 Examples)

Nail your research paper's introduction! Learn to captivate and inform readers from the start—our guide shows how!

tips on how to write a research introduction

Ertugrul Portakal

Apr 12, 2024

Writing a Research Paper Introduction (with 3 Examples)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A catchy and informative introduction is essential in academic writing, especially if you want your readers to have background information about your paper. However, writing an interesting and informative introduction can sometimes be a time-consuming and tiring process. If you don't know where to start when crafting an introduction, no need to worry - we've got you covered!

In this article, we will explain step by step what an introduction is in academic writing and how to write it!

Ready? Let's start!

  • An introduction is a paragraph that provides information about your entire paper and aims to attract and inform the reader.
  • Before writing an introduction or even starting your paper, you need to research academic sources.
  • The first one or two sentences of an introduction paragraph should be a hook to attract the reader's attention.
  • Afterwards, you need to prepare the reader for your argument by giving background information about your topic.
  • Finally, you should state your argument about your topic with a thesis statement.
  • If you are writing a longer paper, you can inform your readers about the map of your paper.
  • If you are looking for an AI assistant to support you throughout your writing process, TextCortex is designed for you with its advanced features.

What is an Introduction in a research paper?

In any academic writing, including essays and research papers, an introduction is the first paragraph that the reader will encounter. This paragraph should both attract the reader's attention and give them the necessary information about the paper. In any academic paper, the introduction paragraph constitutes 10% of the paper's total word count. For example, if you are preparing a 3,000-word paper, your introduction paragraph should consist of approximately 300 words. You should also write sentences within these 300 words that will attract the reader's attention and provide them with information about the paper.

Importance of an Introduction Paragraph

The biggest function of an introduction paragraph is to prepare the reader for the author's thesis statement. A traditional introduction paragraph begins with a few sentences or questions that will catch the reader's attention. After attracting the reader's attention, necessary background information on the subject is given. Finally, the author explains to the readers what the whole paper is about by stating the thesis. A thesis statement is the final sentence that summarizes the main points of your paper and conveys your claim.

First Things First: Preliminary Research

When working on any academic writing type, it is essential to start by researching your topic thoroughly before beginning to type. What sets academic writing apart from other writing types is the requirement for it to be written using accurate information from reliable sources.

Researching academic sources can be a time-consuming and unnecessary process. One has to read through hundreds of pages, review dozens of articles and verify the accuracy of each source. However, if you're looking to reduce your workload and maximize efficiency by automating repetitive tasks such as literature review, ZenoChat is the perfect solution for you. With its web search feature, ZenoChat can use the entire internet as a data source. Additionally, by activating the "scholar" option of the ZenoChat web search feature, you can ensure that it only uses academic sources when generating output.

How to Create an Introduction for Academic Writing?

Creating an introduction paragraph that is interesting, informative, and conveys your thesis is an easier process than it seems. As long as you have sufficient information about your topic and an outline , you can write engaging introductions by following a few simple steps. Let's take a closer look at how to write an introduction for academic writing.

1-) Start with a Catchy Hook

Your first sentence is one of the factors that most influence a reader's decision to read your paper. This sentence determines the tone of your paper and attracts the reader's attention. For this reason, we recommend that you start your introduction paragraph with a strong and catchy hook sentence.

  • Avoid long and complex sentences
  • Use clear and concise sentences
  • Write a sentence that will spark the reader's curiosity
  • You can ask questions that will encourage the reader to read the remaining paragraph
  • Avoid fact or overly broad sentences
  • Avoid using dictionary definitions as your hook

2-) Give Background Information

After writing a strong hook sentence, you need to provide basic information about your topic so that the reader can understand what they will learn about when they read your paper. In this section, you can benefit from opinions that support or oppose your argument. Additionally, this section should refer to the body paragraphs of your writing.

  • You can write a background information sentence for each body paragraph.
  • The information here should be concise and compact
  • Avoid talking about your evidence and results unless necessary.

3-) State Your Thesis 

After attracting the reader's attention and providing background information, it is time to present your approach and argument towards the topic with a thesis statement. A thesis statement usually comprises one or two sentences and communicates the paper's argument to the reader. A well-written thesis statement should express your stance on the topic.

  • Avoid merely stating a fact
  • Claim your argument

4-) Tell Reader About Your Paper

Although you need to move on to body paragraphs after the thesis statement in short papers, it will be useful to add a few sentences that will guide the reader in your longer papers. This way, your readers can better understand which arguments they will encounter on which pages and the course of your paper. That leads the reader to clearly understand and follow your content.

Let’s Wrap it Up

Writing an interesting and informative introduction is usually a long process that requires a lot of rewriting. You may need to rewrite a sentence dozens of times so that your words and sentences clearly describe your paper and argument. Fortunately, you can generate state-of-the-art introductions using AI tools and use them with a little editing.

When it comes to text generation, paraphrasing, and grammar & spelling checking, TextCortex is the way to go with its advanced LLMs and customization options. With TextCortex, you can generate all writing types, including introduction, from scratch, rewrite your existing texts, change their tone of voice, or fix their grammar. TextCortex is available as a web application and browser extension. The TextCortex browser extension is integrated with 30,000+ websites and apps. So, you can complete your AI-driven writing tasks anywhere and anytime.

Let's examine a few sample introductions generated by TextCortex.

Example Introduction #1

“Should social media platforms be banned from collecting their users' data?”

example research paper introduction

Example Introduction #2

“Do electric vehicles decrease overall emissions?”

example research paper introduction 2

Example Introduction #3

“Is graffiti an act of vandalism or the creation of art?”

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated

One AI copilot that truly gets you.

Connect multiple data sources, define the voice for your AI and taste what it feels like to have a fully-personalized AI copilot on 50,000+ platforms.

Did you like this article? Explore a few more related posts.

tips on how to write a research introduction

How to Create a Strong Thesis?

tips on how to write a research introduction

Top 3 AI Tools That Write Essays (Free & Paid)

tips on how to write a research introduction

5 Main Essay Types & Guide with Examples

Questions  answers..

TextCortex is a powerful AI-powered writing tool that can help you reduce your writing time, handle big tasks, and create high-quality content without errors. With its customizable platform, personalized intelligence experience, advanced writing and research capabilities, and error-free content, TextCortex is the perfect tool for creative professionals who want to be a creative force in their industry.

Our AI copilot learned how to write from more than 3 billion sentences and has the ability to create unique content. However, fact-checking is something which still requires a human approval.

TextCortex supports more than 25 languages including English, Dutch, German, Ukranian, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian.

Yes, TextCortex is completely free to use with all of its features. When you sign up, you receive 100 free creations. Then you will receive 20 recurring creations every day on the free plan.

Yes, we have a Text Generation API, please talk to us directly to implement it. You can reach out to us at [email protected]

Account sharing is not allowed. If you have a need for more than 5 seats for an account, you can directly contact us at [email protected]

Yes, TextCortex offers 14-day free trial for users to try out all features extensively with higher number of generations. But keep in mind that you can already try everything with the free plan. There is no feature that is locked behind a premium plan.

Overall, TextCortex AI has over 1000 five-star reviews on reputable review sites such as G2, Trustpilot and Capterra.

TextCortex learns and adapts to your unique writing style and knowledge, making it easier for you to write high-quality & personalized content.

Your premium features will be available until the end of your subscription date, then your account plan will be set to Free plan.

General Questions

Your ai copilot is ready to collaborate with you..

Connect your knowledge, customize the style and start collaborating with your AI copilot.

tips on how to write a research introduction

  • Privacy Policy

Research Method

Home » Research Paper Introduction – Writing Guide and Examples

Research Paper Introduction – Writing Guide and Examples

Table of Contents

Research Paper Introduction

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.

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Table of Contents

Table of Contents – Types, Formats, Examples

Appendices

Appendices – Writing Guide, Types and Examples

APA Research Paper Format

APA Research Paper Format – Example, Sample and...

Figures in Research Paper

Figures in Research Paper – Examples and Guide

Research Paper Conclusion

Research Paper Conclusion – Writing Guide and...

Tables in Research Paper

Tables in Research Paper – Types, Creating Guide...

  • 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.
  • picture_as_pdf Introductions

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write a good thesis introduction

tips on how to write a research introduction

1. Identify your readership

2. hook the reader and grab their attention, 3. provide relevant background, 4. give the reader a sense of what the paper is about, 5. preview key points and lead into your thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a good thesis introduction, related articles.

Many people struggle to write a thesis introduction. Much of your research prep should be done and you should be ready to start your introduction. But often, it’s not clear what needs to be included in a thesis introduction. If you feel stuck at this point not knowing how to start, this guide can help.

Tip: If you’re really struggling to write your thesis intro, consider putting in a placeholder until you write more of the body of your thesis. Then, come back to your intro once you have a stronger sense of the overall content of your thesis.

A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire project. There is no single way to write an introduction that will always work for every topic , but the points below can act as a guide. These points can help you write a good thesis introduction.

Before even starting with your first sentence, consider who your readers are. Most likely, your readers will be the professors who are advising you on your thesis.

You should also consider readers of your thesis who are not specialists in your field. Writing with them in your mind will help you to be as clear as possible; this will make your thesis more understandable and enjoyable overall.

Tip: Always strive to be clear, correct, concrete, and concise in your writing.

The first sentence of the thesis is crucial. Looking back at your own research, think about how other writers may have hooked you.

It is common to start with a question or quotation, but these types of hooks are often overused. The best way to start your introduction is with a sentence that is broad and interesting and that seamlessly transitions into your argument.

Once again, consider your audience and how much background information they need to understand your approach. You can start by making a list of what is interesting about your topic:

  • Are there any current events or controversies associated with your topic that might be interesting for your introduction?
  • What kinds of background information might be useful for a reader to understand right away?
  • Are there historical anecdotes or other situations that uniquely illustrate an important aspect of your argument?

A good introduction also needs to contain enough background information to allow the reader to understand the thesis statement and arguments. The amount of background information required will depend on the topic .

There should be enough background information so you don't have to spend too much time with it in the body of the thesis, but not so much that it becomes uninteresting.

Tip: Strike a balance between background information that is too broad or too specific.

Let the reader know what the purpose of the study is. Make sure to include the following points:

  • Briefly describe the motivation behind your research.
  • Describe the topic and scope of your research.
  • Explain the practical relevance of your research.
  • Explain the scholarly consensus related to your topic: briefly explain the most important articles and how they are related to your research.

At the end of your introduction, you should lead into your thesis statement by briefly bringing up a few of your main supporting details and by previewing what will be covered in the main part of the thesis. You’ll want to highlight the overall structure of your thesis so that readers will have a sense of what they will encounter as they read.

A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire project. There is no single way to write an introduction that will always work for every topic, but these tips will help you write a great introduction:

  • Identify your readership.
  • Grab the reader's attention.
  • Provide relevant background.
  • Preview key points and lead into the thesis statement.

A good introduction needs to contain enough background information, and let the reader know what the purpose of the study is. Make sure to include the following points:

  • Briefly describe the motivation for your research.

The length of the introduction will depend on the length of the whole thesis. Usually, an introduction makes up roughly 10 per cent of the total word count.

The best way to start your introduction is with a sentence that is broad and interesting and that seamlessly transitions into your argument. Consider the audience, then think of something that would grab their attention.

In Open Access: Theses and Dissertations you can find thousands of recent works. Take a look at any of the theses or dissertations for real-life examples of introductions that were already approved.

How to make a scientific presentation

How to Write an Introduction For a Research Paper

Learn how to write a strong and efficient research paper introduction by following the suitable structure and avoiding typical errors.

' src=

An introduction to any type of paper is sometimes misunderstood as the beginning; yet, an introduction is actually intended to present your chosen subject to the audience in a way that makes it more appealing and leaves your readers thirsty for more information. After the title and abstract, your audience will read the introduction, thus it’s critical to get off to a solid start.  

This article includes instructions on how to write an introduction for a research paper that engages the reader in your research. You can produce a strong opening for your research paper if you stick to the format and a few basic principles.

What is An Introduction To a Research Paper?

An introduction is the opening section of a research paper and the section that a reader is likely to read first, in which the objective and goals of the subsequent writing are stated. 

The introduction serves numerous purposes. It provides context for your research, explains your topic and objectives, and provides an outline of the work. A solid introduction will establish the tone for the remainder of your paper, enticing readers to continue reading through the methodology, findings, and discussion. 

Even though introductions are generally presented at the beginning of a document, we must distinguish an introduction from the beginning of your research. An introduction, as the name implies, is supposed to introduce your subject without extending it. All relevant information and facts should be placed in the body and conclusion, not the introduction.

Structure Of An Introduction

Before explaining how to write an introduction for a research paper , it’s necessary to comprehend a structure that will make your introduction stronger and more straightforward.

A Good Hook

A hook is one of the most effective research introduction openers. A hook’s objective is to stimulate the reader’s interest to read the research paper.  There are various approaches you may take to generate a strong hook:  startling facts, a question, a brief overview, or even a quotation. 

Broad Overview

Following an excellent hook, you should present a wide overview of your major issue and some background information on your research. If you’re unsure about how to begin an essay introduction, the best approach is to offer a basic explanation of your topic before delving into specific issues. Simply said, you should begin with general information and then narrow it down to your relevant topics.

After offering some background information regarding your research’s main topic, go on to give readers a better understanding of what you’ll be covering throughout your research. In this section of your introduction, you should swiftly clarify your important topics in the sequence in which they will be addressed later, gradually introducing your thesis statement. You can use some  The following are some critical questions to address in this section of your introduction: Who? What? Where? When? How? And why is that?

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement, which must be stated in the beginning clause of your research since your entire research revolves around it, is the most important component of your research.

A thesis statement presents your audience with a quick overview of the research’s main assertion. In the body section of your work, your key argument is what you will expose or debate about it. An excellent thesis statement is usually very succinct, accurate, explicit, clear, and focused. Typically, your thesis should be at the conclusion of your introductory paragraph/section.

Tips for Writing a Strong Introduction

Aside from the good structure, here are a few tips to make your introduction strong and accurate:

  • Keep in mind the aim of your research and make sure your introduction supports it.
  • Use an appealing and relevant hook that catches the reader’s attention right away.
  • Make it obvious to your readers what your stance is.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of your subject.
  • Provide your readers with a road map to help them understand what you will address throughout the research.
  • Be succinct – it is advised that your opening introduction consists of around 8-9 percent of the overall amount of words in your article (for example, 160 words for a 2000 words essay). 
  • Make a strong and unambiguous thesis statement.
  • Explain why the article is significant in 1-2 sentences.
  • Remember to keep it interesting.

Mistakes to Avoid in Your Introduction

Check out what not to do and what to avoid now that you know the structure and how to write an introduction for a research paper .

  • Lacking a feeling of direction or purpose.
  • Giving out too much.
  • Creating lengthy paragraphs.
  • Excessive or insufficient background, literature, and theory.
  • Including material that should be placed in the body and conclusion.
  • Not writing enough or writing excessively.
  • Using too many quotes.

Unleash the Power of Infographics with Mind the Graph

Do you believe your research is not efficient in communicating precisely or is not aesthetically appealing? Use the Mind The Graph tool to create great infographics and add more value to your research.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Subscribe to our newsletter

Exclusive high quality content about effective visual communication in science.

About Jessica Abbadia

Jessica Abbadia is a lawyer that has been working in Digital Marketing since 2020, improving organic performance for apps and websites in various regions through ASO and SEO. Currently developing scientific and intellectual knowledge for the community's benefit. Jessica is an animal rights activist who enjoys reading and drinking strong coffee.

Content tags

en_US

tips on how to write a research introduction

How to Perfect the Introduction for your Research Article

How-to-perfect-the-introduction-for-your-research-article.

Patrick O'Connor, Author, Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps

February 08, 2022

The introduction – it’s an important part of a research article. It gives you the space to back up the claims in your abstract with evidence. The question is, how do you write an introduction for a research paper that successfully conveys the novelty, significance, and relevance your research has.

Guidelines for selecting, ordering, and presenting your evidence effectively are available from the field of Applied Linguistics (AL) over the past 25 years. Here we’ve created an easy-to-use summary just for authors.

6 ‘stages’ in developing your argument in an introduction

Yes, you are writing an argument. Your aim is to convince your reader that the study you have conducted is new, addresses an important question for the field, and is needed at the present time. AL analysis has identified 6 important argument stages that successful authors use to achieve that goal – note that they are not always used in the order listed here.

1. Present the context or background to your study, claiming its importance to the field and to the interests of the journal’s readers.

2. Lay a foundation of information already known by presenting findings of other researchers on aspects of the problem you addressed.

3. Indicate the need for more investigation by highlighting a gap in the existing work, showing a need for extension of the work, or creating a research ‘niche’ that your study fills.

4. Three alternatives here, depending on your research field and the journal’s conventions: a) state the purpose/objectives of your study; OR outline the main activity of the paper or study (e.g. ‘here we analyze … and investigate …’), OR summarize the findings of the study (used in some fields/journals only).

5. Optionally, highlight a positive value or benefit of carrying out the study.

6. In some research fields only – include a ‘map’ of how the rest of the article is organized. You will know whether you need this stage from reading a selection of recent articles from your target journal. This is a very important strategy for all of us as we prepare a manuscript for submission – analyze well-cited examples from your target journal.

Use the writing process to clarify your argument

Our experience indicates that it cuts down the time needed to reach an effective introduction if you begin by writing your Stage 4 – it will come towards the end in the final draft, of course, but writing it first helps you map out what evidence you need in the other stages. The Stage 4 should emerge from robust analysis and interpretation of your results in the context of previous research. Make sure that your Stage 4 sentences are comprehensive and include all the parameters that make your study novel and significant. Once you and your co-authors are happy with the wording of Stage 4, write a clear Stage 3 – don’t leave it to your readers to guess or make assumptions about the gap you are aiming to fill or the problem you are addressing.

Then you can underline the key terms in your Stages 3 and 4 that need to be introduced and justified in the earlier stages of the introduction. You may need to write more than one paragraph of Stage 1/2 information, especially if there are several ‘strands’ to the rationale for your study – but it will be clear what is needed now. Try several ways of ordering this information, to get the clearest logical flow and target the interests of the journal readers at the beginning.

To help develop your skills for writing introductions, it is useful to analyze successful examples from your own field of research.

For more on using this method to improve your skills in writing an effective research article, see our popular book  ‘Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps, 2nd Edition’ .

You can also find help at Wiley Author Services.  Learn more .

tips on how to write a research introduction

Watch our Webinar to help you get published

Please enter your Email Address

Please enter valid email address

Please Enter your First Name

Please enter your Last Name

Please enter your Questions or Comments.

Please enter the Privacy

Please enter the Terms & Conditions

tips on how to write a research introduction

Your Guide to Publishing

tips on how to write a research introduction

3 article-level metrics to understand your work’s impact

tips on how to write a research introduction

How to write a clinical case report

tips on how to write a research introduction

How to Write A Lay Summary for Your Research

tips on how to write a research introduction

Think. Check. Submit your way to the right journal

tips on how to write a research introduction

10 Ways to Reduce the Word Count of Your Research Paper

tips on how to write a research introduction

Writing for Publication- How Can a Structured Writing Retreat Help?

tips on how to write a research introduction

Infographic: 6 Steps for Writing a Literature Review

tips on how to write a research introduction

How to turn your dissertation into journal articles

tips on how to write a research introduction

How to Choose Effective SEO Keywords for Your Research Article | How to Write a Journal Article

Related articles.

Wiley supports you throughout the manuscript preparation process,

Get a quick understanding of the metrics that matter for your research, what they can show you, and where to find them.

Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Case Reports, Charles Young, discusses what makes a good case report.

Late with a review report? Find out how to handle the situation in this blog post from Andrew Moore, Editor-in-Chief of Bioessays.

Find out more about "Think.Check.Submit", a cross-industry initiative designed to support researchers on the road to publication.

Do you need some guidance on writing concisely? This presentation, originally published on Editage Insights, offers some quick tips to help you keep to your desired word count in academic writing.

Professor Rowena Murray looks back on a recent writing retreat and discusses how such retreats can help overcome writer's block.

This infographic sets out six simple steps to set you on your way to writing a successful and well thought out literature review.

Guidance for PhD students planning to turn dissertations into published journal articles.

Find 5 helpful tips about using keywords in your research article to help journals, and your article, be found more easily by researchers.

tips on how to write a research introduction

Helping authors to bypass article formatting headaches

Improving the author's experience with a simpler submission process and fewer formatting requirements. Release of the pilot program, free format submission.

tips on how to write a research introduction

Get Published: Your How-to Guide

Your how-to guide to get an in-depth understanding of the publishing journey.

FOR INDIVIDUALS

FOR INSTITUTIONS & BUSINESSES

WILEY NETWORK

ABOUT WILEY

Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Governance

Leadership Team

Cookie Preferences

Copyright @ 2000-2024  by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., or related companies. All rights reserved, including rights for text and data mining and training of artificial technologies or similar technologies.

Rights & Permissions

Privacy Policy

Terms of Use

Grad Coach

How To Write A Research Paper

Step-By-Step Tutorial With Examples + FREE Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewer: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | March 2024

For many students, crafting a strong research paper from scratch can feel like a daunting task – and rightly so! In this post, we’ll unpack what a research paper is, what it needs to do , and how to write one – in three easy steps. 🙂 

Overview: Writing A Research Paper

What (exactly) is a research paper.

  • How to write a research paper
  • Stage 1 : Topic & literature search
  • Stage 2 : Structure & outline
  • Stage 3 : Iterative writing
  • Key takeaways

Let’s start by asking the most important question, “ What is a research paper? ”.

Simply put, a research paper is a scholarly written work where the writer (that’s you!) answers a specific question (this is called a research question ) through evidence-based arguments . Evidence-based is the keyword here. In other words, a research paper is different from an essay or other writing assignments that draw from the writer’s personal opinions or experiences. With a research paper, it’s all about building your arguments based on evidence (we’ll talk more about that evidence a little later).

Now, it’s worth noting that there are many different types of research papers , including analytical papers (the type I just described), argumentative papers, and interpretative papers. Here, we’ll focus on analytical papers , as these are some of the most common – but if you’re keen to learn about other types of research papers, be sure to check out the rest of the blog .

With that basic foundation laid, let’s get down to business and look at how to write a research paper .

Research Paper Template

Overview: The 3-Stage Process

While there are, of course, many potential approaches you can take to write a research paper, there are typically three stages to the writing process. So, in this tutorial, we’ll present a straightforward three-step process that we use when working with students at Grad Coach.

These three steps are:

  • Finding a research topic and reviewing the existing literature
  • Developing a provisional structure and outline for your paper, and
  • Writing up your initial draft and then refining it iteratively

Let’s dig into each of these.

Need a helping hand?

tips on how to write a research introduction

Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature

As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question . More specifically, that’s called a research question , and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What’s important to understand though is that you’ll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources – for example, journal articles, government reports, case studies, and so on. We’ll circle back to this in a minute.

The first stage of the research process is deciding on what your research question will be and then reviewing the existing literature (in other words, past studies and papers) to see what they say about that specific research question. In some cases, your professor may provide you with a predetermined research question (or set of questions). However, in many cases, you’ll need to find your own research question within a certain topic area.

Finding a strong research question hinges on identifying a meaningful research gap – in other words, an area that’s lacking in existing research. There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you wanna learn more, check out the plain-language explainer video below.

Once you’ve figured out which question (or questions) you’ll attempt to answer in your research paper, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the existing literature – this is called a “ literature search ”. Again, there are many ways to go about this, but your most likely starting point will be Google Scholar .

If you’re new to Google Scholar, think of it as Google for the academic world. You can start by simply entering a few different keywords that are relevant to your research question and it will then present a host of articles for you to review. What you want to pay close attention to here is the number of citations for each paper – the more citations a paper has, the more credible it is (generally speaking – there are some exceptions, of course).

how to use google scholar

Ideally, what you’re looking for are well-cited papers that are highly relevant to your topic. That said, keep in mind that citations are a cumulative metric , so older papers will often have more citations than newer papers – just because they’ve been around for longer. So, don’t fixate on this metric in isolation – relevance and recency are also very important.

Beyond Google Scholar, you’ll also definitely want to check out academic databases and aggregators such as Science Direct, PubMed, JStor and so on. These will often overlap with the results that you find in Google Scholar, but they can also reveal some hidden gems – so, be sure to check them out.

Once you’ve worked your way through all the literature, you’ll want to catalogue all this information in some sort of spreadsheet so that you can easily recall who said what, when and within what context. If you’d like, we’ve got a free literature spreadsheet that helps you do exactly that.

Don’t fixate on an article’s citation count in isolation - relevance (to your research question) and recency are also very important.

Step 2: Develop a structure and outline

With your research question pinned down and your literature digested and catalogued, it’s time to move on to planning your actual research paper .

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have some sort of rough outline in place before you start writing your paper. So often, we see students eagerly rushing into the writing phase, only to land up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on in multiple

Now, the secret here is to not get caught up in the fine details . Realistically, all you need at this stage is a bullet-point list that describes (in broad strokes) what you’ll discuss and in what order. It’s also useful to remember that you’re not glued to this outline – in all likelihood, you’ll chop and change some sections once you start writing, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is that you have some sort of roadmap in place from the start.

You need to have a rough outline in place before you start writing your paper - or you’ll end up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on.

At this stage you might be wondering, “ But how should I structure my research paper? ”. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, but in general, a research paper will consist of a few relatively standardised components:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Let’s take a look at each of these.

First up is the introduction section . As the name suggests, the purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for your research paper. There are usually (at least) four ingredients that go into this section – these are the background to the topic, the research problem and resultant research question , and the justification or rationale. If you’re interested, the video below unpacks the introduction section in more detail. 

The next section of your research paper will typically be your literature review . Remember all that literature you worked through earlier? Well, this is where you’ll present your interpretation of all that content . You’ll do this by writing about recent trends, developments, and arguments within the literature – but more specifically, those that are relevant to your research question . The literature review can oftentimes seem a little daunting, even to seasoned researchers, so be sure to check out our extensive collection of literature review content here .

With the introduction and lit review out of the way, the next section of your paper is the research methodology . In a nutshell, the methodology section should describe to your reader what you did (beyond just reviewing the existing literature) to answer your research question. For example, what data did you collect, how did you collect that data, how did you analyse that data and so on? For each choice, you’ll also need to justify why you chose to do it that way, and what the strengths and weaknesses of your approach were.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that for some research papers, this aspect of the project may be a lot simpler . For example, you may only need to draw on secondary sources (in other words, existing data sets). In some cases, you may just be asked to draw your conclusions from the literature search itself (in other words, there may be no data analysis at all). But, if you are required to collect and analyse data, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the methodology section. The video below provides an example of what the methodology section might look like.

By this stage of your paper, you will have explained what your research question is, what the existing literature has to say about that question, and how you analysed additional data to try to answer your question. So, the natural next step is to present your analysis of that data . This section is usually called the “results” or “analysis” section and this is where you’ll showcase your findings.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may need to present and interpret the data in one section – or you might split the presentation and the interpretation into two sections. In the latter case, your “results” section will just describe the data, and the “discussion” is where you’ll interpret that data and explicitly link your analysis back to your research question. If you’re not sure which approach to take, check in with your professor or take a look at past papers to see what the norms are for your programme.

Alright – once you’ve presented and discussed your results, it’s time to wrap it up . This usually takes the form of the “ conclusion ” section. In the conclusion, you’ll need to highlight the key takeaways from your study and close the loop by explicitly answering your research question. Again, the exact requirements here will vary depending on your programme (and you may not even need a conclusion section at all) – so be sure to check with your professor if you’re unsure.

Step 3: Write and refine

Finally, it’s time to get writing. All too often though, students hit a brick wall right about here… So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

Well, there’s a lot to be said when it comes to writing a research paper (or any sort of academic piece), but we’ll share three practical tips to help you get started.

First and foremost , it’s essential to approach your writing as an iterative process. In other words, you need to start with a really messy first draft and then polish it over multiple rounds of editing. Don’t waste your time trying to write a perfect research paper in one go. Instead, take the pressure off yourself by adopting an iterative approach.

Secondly , it’s important to always lean towards critical writing , rather than descriptive writing. What does this mean? Well, at the simplest level, descriptive writing focuses on the “ what ”, while critical writing digs into the “ so what ” – in other words, the implications . If you’re not familiar with these two types of writing, don’t worry! You can find a plain-language explanation here.

Last but not least, you’ll need to get your referencing right. Specifically, you’ll need to provide credible, correctly formatted citations for the statements you make. We see students making referencing mistakes all the time and it costs them dearly. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by using a simple reference manager . If you don’t have one, check out our video about Mendeley, an easy (and free) reference management tool that you can start using today.

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are:

  • To choose a research question and review the literature
  • To plan your paper structure and draft an outline
  • To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing

Remember, this is just a b ig-picture overview of the research paper development process and there’s a lot more nuance to unpack. So, be sure to grab a copy of our free research paper template to learn more about how to write a research paper.

You Might Also Like:

Referencing in Word

Can you help me with a full paper template for this Abstract:

Background: Energy and sports drinks have gained popularity among diverse demographic groups, including adolescents, athletes, workers, and college students. While often used interchangeably, these beverages serve distinct purposes, with energy drinks aiming to boost energy and cognitive performance, and sports drinks designed to prevent dehydration and replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during physical exertion.

Objective: To assess the nutritional quality of energy and sports drinks in Egypt.

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study assessed the nutrient contents, including energy, sugar, electrolytes, vitamins, and caffeine, of sports and energy drinks available in major supermarkets in Cairo, Alexandria, and Giza, Egypt. Data collection involved photographing all relevant product labels and recording nutritional information. Descriptive statistics and appropriate statistical tests were employed to analyze and compare the nutritional values of energy and sports drinks.

Results: The study analyzed 38 sports drinks and 42 energy drinks. Sports drinks were significantly more expensive than energy drinks, with higher net content and elevated magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. Energy drinks contained higher concentrations of caffeine, sugars, and vitamins B2, B3, and B6.

Conclusion: Significant nutritional differences exist between sports and energy drinks, reflecting their intended uses. However, these beverages’ high sugar content and calorie loads raise health concerns. Proper labeling, public awareness, and responsible marketing are essential to guide safe consumption practices in Egypt.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Print Friendly

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Introductions

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 they expect 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—they do 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!

Works consulted

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.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make a Gift

Logo of Peer Recognized

Peer Recognized

Make a name in academia

How to Write a Research Paper: the LEAP approach (+cheat sheet)

In this article I will show you how to write a research paper using the four LEAP writing steps. The LEAP academic writing approach is a step-by-step method for turning research results into a published paper .

The LEAP writing approach has been the cornerstone of the 70 + research papers that I have authored and the 3700+ citations these paper have accumulated within 9 years since the completion of my PhD. I hope the LEAP approach will help you just as much as it has helped me to make an real, tangible impact with my research.

What is the LEAP research paper writing approach?

I designed the LEAP writing approach not only for merely writing the papers. My goal with the writing system was to show young scientists how to first think about research results and then how to efficiently write each section of the research paper.

In other words, you will see how to write a research paper by first analyzing the results and then building a logical, persuasive arguments. In this way, instead of being afraid of writing research paper, you will be able to rely on the paper writing process to help you with what is the most demanding task in getting published – thinking.

The four research paper writing steps according to the LEAP approach:

LEAP research paper writing step 1: L

I will show each of these steps in detail. And you will be able to download the LEAP cheat sheet for using with every paper you write.

But before I tell you how to efficiently write a research paper, I want to show you what is the problem with the way scientists typically write a research paper and why the LEAP approach is more efficient.

How scientists typically write a research paper (and why it isn’t efficient)

Writing a research paper can be tough, especially for a young scientist. Your reasoning needs to be persuasive and thorough enough to convince readers of your arguments. The description has to be derived from research evidence, from prior art, and from your own judgment. This is a tough feat to accomplish.

The figure below shows the sequence of the different parts of a typical research paper. Depending on the scientific journal, some sections might be merged or nonexistent, but the general outline of a research paper will remain very similar.

Outline of a research paper, including Title, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Objective, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, References and Annexes

Here is the problem: Most people make the mistake of writing in this same sequence.

While the structure of scientific articles is designed to help the reader follow the research, it does little to help the scientist write the paper. This is because the layout of research articles starts with the broad (introduction) and narrows down to the specifics (results). See in the figure below how the research paper is structured in terms of the breath of information that each section entails.

How to write a research paper according to the LEAP approach

For a scientist, it is much easier to start writing a research paper with laying out the facts in the narrow sections (i.e. results), step back to describe them (i.e. write the discussion), and step back again to explain the broader picture in the introduction.

For example, it might feel intimidating to start writing a research paper by explaining your research’s global significance in the introduction, while it is easy to plot the figures in the results. When plotting the results, there is not much room for wiggle: the results are what they are.

Starting to write a research papers from the results is also more fun because you finally get to see and understand the complete picture of the research that you have worked on.

Most importantly, following the LEAP approach will help you first make sense of the results yourself and then clearly communicate them to the readers. That is because the sequence of writing allows you to slowly understand the meaning of the results and then develop arguments for presenting to your readers.

I have personally been able to write and submit a research article in three short days using this method.

Step 1: Lay Out the Facts

LEAP research paper writing step 1: Prepare charts and graphics, and describe what you see

You have worked long hours on a research project that has produced results and are no doubt curious to determine what they exactly mean. There is no better way to do this than by preparing figures, graphics and tables. This is what the first LEAP step is focused on – diving into the results.

How to p repare charts and tables for a research paper

Your first task is to try out different ways of visually demonstrating the research results. In many fields, the central items of a journal paper will be charts that are based on the data generated during research. In other fields, these might be conceptual diagrams, microscopy images, schematics and a number of other types of scientific graphics which should visually communicate the research study and its results to the readers. If you have reasonably small number of data points, data tables might be useful as well.

Tips for preparing charts and tables

  • Try multiple chart types but in the finished paper only use the one that best conveys the message you want to present to the readers
  • Follow the eight chart design progressions for selecting and refining a data chart for your paper: https://peerrecognized.com/chart-progressions
  • Prepare scientific graphics and visualizations for your paper using the scientific graphic design cheat sheet: https://peerrecognized.com/tools-for-creating-scientific-illustrations/

How to describe the results of your research

Now that you have your data charts, graphics and tables laid out in front of you – describe what you see in them. Seek to answer the question: What have I found?  Your statements should progress in a logical sequence and be backed by the visual information. Since, at this point, you are simply explaining what everyone should be able to see for themselves, you can use a declarative tone: The figure X demonstrates that…

Tips for describing the research results :

  • Answer the question: “ What have I found? “
  • Use declarative tone since you are simply describing observations

Step 2: Explain the results

LEAP research paper writing step 2: Define the message, discuss the results, write conclusions, refine the objective, and describe methodology

The core aspect of your research paper is not actually the results; it is the explanation of their meaning. In the second LEAP step, you will do some heavy lifting by guiding the readers through the results using logic backed by previous scientific research.

How to define the Message of a research paper

To define the central message of your research paper, imagine how you would explain your research to a colleague in 20 seconds . If you succeed in effectively communicating your paper’s message, a reader should be able to recount your findings in a similarly concise way even a year after reading it. This clarity will increase the chances that someone uses the knowledge you generated, which in turn raises the likelihood of citations to your research paper. 

Tips for defining the paper’s central message :

  • Write the paper’s core message in a single sentence or two bullet points
  • Write the core message in the header of the research paper manuscript

How to write the Discussion section of a research paper

In the discussion section you have to demonstrate why your research paper is worthy of publishing. In other words, you must now answer the all-important So what? question . How well you do so will ultimately define the success of your research paper.

Here are three steps to get started with writing the discussion section:

  • Write bullet points of the things that convey the central message of the research article (these may evolve into subheadings later on).
  • Make a list with the arguments or observations that support each idea.
  • Finally, expand on each point to make full sentences and paragraphs.

Tips for writing the discussion section:

  • What is the meaning of the results?
  • Was the hypothesis confirmed?
  • Write bullet points that support the core message
  • List logical arguments for each bullet point, group them into sections
  • Instead of repeating research timeline, use a presentation sequence that best supports your logic
  • Convert arguments to full paragraphs; be confident but do not overhype
  • Refer to both supportive and contradicting research papers for maximum credibility

How to write the Conclusions of a research paper

Since some readers might just skim through your research paper and turn directly to the conclusions, it is a good idea to make conclusion a standalone piece. In the first few sentences of the conclusions, briefly summarize the methodology and try to avoid using abbreviations (if you do, explain what they mean).

After this introduction, summarize the findings from the discussion section. Either paragraph style or bullet-point style conclusions can be used. I prefer the bullet-point style because it clearly separates the different conclusions and provides an easy-to-digest overview for the casual browser. It also forces me to be more succinct.

Tips for writing the conclusion section :

  • Summarize the key findings, starting with the most important one
  • Make conclusions standalone (short summary, avoid abbreviations)
  • Add an optional take-home message and suggest future research in the last paragraph

How to refine the Objective of a research paper

The objective is a short, clear statement defining the paper’s research goals. It can be included either in the final paragraph of the introduction, or as a separate subsection after the introduction. Avoid writing long paragraphs with in-depth reasoning, references, and explanation of methodology since these belong in other sections. The paper’s objective can often be written in a single crisp sentence.

Tips for writing the objective section :

  • The objective should ask the question that is answered by the central message of the research paper
  • The research objective should be clear long before writing a paper. At this point, you are simply refining it to make sure it is addressed in the body of the paper.

How to write the Methodology section of your research paper

When writing the methodology section, aim for a depth of explanation that will allow readers to reproduce the study . This means that if you are using a novel method, you will have to describe it thoroughly. If, on the other hand, you applied a standardized method, or used an approach from another paper, it will be enough to briefly describe it with reference to the detailed original source.

Remember to also detail the research population, mention how you ensured representative sampling, and elaborate on what statistical methods you used to analyze the results.

Tips for writing the methodology section :

  • Include enough detail to allow reproducing the research
  • Provide references if the methods are known
  • Create a methodology flow chart to add clarity
  • Describe the research population, sampling methodology, statistical methods for result analysis
  • Describe what methodology, test methods, materials, and sample groups were used in the research.

Step 3: Advertize the research

Step 3 of the LEAP writing approach is designed to entice the casual browser into reading your research paper. This advertising can be done with an informative title, an intriguing abstract, as well as a thorough explanation of the underlying need for doing the research within the introduction.

LEAP research paper writing step 3: Write introduction, prepare the abstract, compose title, and prepare highlights and graphical abstract

How to write the Introduction of a research paper

The introduction section should leave no doubt in the mind of the reader that what you are doing is important and that this work could push scientific knowledge forward. To do this convincingly, you will need to have a good knowledge of what is state-of-the-art in your field. You also need be able to see the bigger picture in order to demonstrate the potential impacts of your research work.

Think of the introduction as a funnel, going from wide to narrow, as shown in the figure below:

  • Start with a brief context to explain what do we already know,
  • Follow with the motivation for the research study and explain why should we care about it,
  • Explain the research gap you are going to bridge within this research paper,
  • Describe the approach you will take to solve the problem.

Context - Motivation - Research gap - Approach funnel for writing the introduction

Tips for writing the introduction section :

  • Follow the Context – Motivation – Research gap – Approach funnel for writing the introduction
  • Explain how others tried and how you plan to solve the research problem
  • Do a thorough literature review before writing the introduction
  • Start writing the introduction by using your own words, then add references from the literature

How to prepare the Abstract of a research paper

The abstract acts as your paper’s elevator pitch and is therefore best written only after the main text is finished. In this one short paragraph you must convince someone to take on the time-consuming task of reading your whole research article. So, make the paper easy to read, intriguing, and self-explanatory; avoid jargon and abbreviations.

How to structure the abstract of a research paper:

  • The abstract is a single paragraph that follows this structure:
  • Problem: why did we research this
  • Methodology: typically starts with the words “Here we…” that signal the start of own contribution.
  • Results: what we found from the research.
  • Conclusions: show why are the findings important

How to compose a research paper Title

The title is the ultimate summary of a research paper. It must therefore entice someone looking for information to click on a link to it and continue reading the article. A title is also used for indexing purposes in scientific databases, so a representative and optimized title will play large role in determining if your research paper appears in search results at all.

Tips for coming up with a research paper title:

  • Capture curiosity of potential readers using a clear and descriptive title
  • Include broad terms that are often searched
  • Add details that uniquely identify the researched subject of your research paper
  • Avoid jargon and abbreviations
  • Use keywords as title extension (instead of duplicating the words) to increase the chance of appearing in search results

How to prepare Highlights and Graphical Abstract

Highlights are three to five short bullet-point style statements that convey the core findings of the research paper. Notice that the focus is on the findings, not on the process of getting there.

A graphical abstract placed next to the textual abstract visually summarizes the entire research paper in a single, easy-to-follow figure. I show how to create a graphical abstract in my book Research Data Visualization and Scientific Graphics.

Tips for preparing highlights and graphical abstract:

  • In highlights show core findings of the research paper (instead of what you did in the study).
  • In graphical abstract show take-home message or methodology of the research paper. Learn more about creating a graphical abstract in this article.

Step 4: Prepare for submission

LEAP research paper writing step 4: Select the journal, fulfill journal requirements, write a cover letter, suggest reviewers, take a break and edit, address review comments.

Sometimes it seems that nuclear fusion will stop on the star closest to us (read: the sun will stop to shine) before a submitted manuscript is published in a scientific journal. The publication process routinely takes a long time, and after submitting the manuscript you have very little control over what happens. To increase the chances of a quick publication, you must do your homework before submitting the manuscript. In the fourth LEAP step, you make sure that your research paper is published in the most appropriate journal as quickly and painlessly as possible.

How to select a scientific Journal for your research paper

The best way to find a journal for your research paper is it to review which journals you used while preparing your manuscript. This source listing should provide some assurance that your own research paper, once published, will be among similar articles and, thus, among your field’s trusted sources.

tips on how to write a research introduction

After this initial selection of hand-full of scientific journals, consider the following six parameters for selecting the most appropriate journal for your research paper (read this article to review each step in detail):

  • Scope and publishing history
  • Ranking and Recognition
  • Publishing time
  • Acceptance rate
  • Content requirements
  • Access and Fees

How to select a journal for your research paper:

  • Use the six parameters to select the most appropriate scientific journal for your research paper
  • Use the following tools for journal selection: https://peerrecognized.com/journals
  • Follow the journal’s “Authors guide” formatting requirements

How to Edit you manuscript

No one can write a finished research paper on their first attempt. Before submitting, make sure to take a break from your work for a couple of days, or even weeks. Try not to think about the manuscript during this time. Once it has faded from your memory, it is time to return and edit. The pause will allow you to read the manuscript from a fresh perspective and make edits as necessary.

I have summarized the most useful research paper editing tools in this article.

Tips for editing a research paper:

  • Take time away from the research paper to forget about it; then returning to edit,
  • Start by editing the content: structure, headings, paragraphs, logic, figures
  • Continue by editing the grammar and language; perform a thorough language check using academic writing tools
  • Read the entire paper out loud and correct what sounds weird

How to write a compelling Cover Letter for your paper

Begin the cover letter by stating the paper’s title and the type of paper you are submitting (review paper, research paper, short communication). Next, concisely explain why your study was performed, what was done, and what the key findings are. State why the results are important and what impact they might have in the field. Make sure you mention how your approach and findings relate to the scope of the journal in order to show why the article would be of interest to the journal’s readers.

I wrote a separate article that explains what to include in a cover letter here. You can also download a cover letter template from the article.

Tips for writing a cover letter:

  • Explain how the findings of your research relate to journal’s scope
  • Tell what impact the research results will have
  • Show why the research paper will interest the journal’s audience
  • Add any legal statements as required in journal’s guide for authors

How to Answer the Reviewers

Reviewers will often ask for new experiments, extended discussion, additional details on the experimental setup, and so forth. In principle, your primary winning tactic will be to agree with the reviewers and follow their suggestions whenever possible. After all, you must earn their blessing in order to get your paper published.

Be sure to answer each review query and stick to the point. In the response to the reviewers document write exactly where in the paper you have made any changes. In the paper itself, highlight the changes using a different color. This way the reviewers are less likely to re-read the entire article and suggest new edits.

In cases when you don’t agree with the reviewers, it makes sense to answer more thoroughly. Reviewers are scientifically minded people and so, with enough logical and supported argument, they will eventually be willing to see things your way.

Tips for answering the reviewers:

  • Agree with most review comments, but if you don’t, thoroughly explain why
  • Highlight changes in the manuscript
  • Do not take the comments personally and cool down before answering

The LEAP research paper writing cheat sheet

Imagine that you are back in grad school and preparing to take an exam on the topic: “How to write a research paper”. As an exemplary student, you would, most naturally, create a cheat sheet summarizing the subject… Well, I did it for you.

This one-page summary of the LEAP research paper writing technique will remind you of the key research paper writing steps. Print it out and stick it to a wall in your office so that you can review it whenever you are writing a new research paper.

The LEAP research paper writing cheat sheet

Now that we have gone through the four LEAP research paper writing steps, I hope you have a good idea of how to write a research paper. It can be an enjoyable process and once you get the hang of it, the four LEAP writing steps should even help you think about and interpret the research results. This process should enable you to write a well-structured, concise, and compelling research paper.

Have fund with writing your next research paper. I hope it will turn out great!

Learn writing papers that get cited

The LEAP writing approach is a blueprint for writing research papers. But to be efficient and write papers that get cited, you need more than that.

My name is Martins Zaumanis and in my interactive course Research Paper Writing Masterclass I will show you how to  visualize  your research results,  frame a message  that convinces your readers, and write  each section  of the paper. Step-by-step.

And of course – you will learn to respond the infamous  Reviewer No.2.

Research Paper Writing Masterclass by Martins Zaumanis

Hey! My name is Martins Zaumanis and I am a materials scientist in Switzerland ( Google Scholar ). As the first person in my family with a PhD, I have first-hand experience of the challenges starting scientists face in academia. With this blog, I want to help young researchers succeed in academia. I call the blog “Peer Recognized”, because peer recognition is what lifts academic careers and pushes science forward.

Besides this blog, I have written the Peer Recognized book series and created the Peer Recognized Academy offering interactive online courses.

Related articles:

Six journal selection steps

One comment

  • Pingback: Research Paper Outline with Key Sentence Skeleton (+Paper Template)

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I want to join the Peer Recognized newsletter!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Privacy Overview

CookieDurationDescription
cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional11 monthsThe cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-others11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
viewed_cookie_policy11 monthsThe cookie is set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and is used to store whether or not user has consented to the use of cookies. It does not store any personal data.

Copyright © 2024 Martins Zaumanis

Contacts:  [email protected]  

Privacy Policy 

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Guided Meditations
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2024 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

How to Write an Introduction for a Psychology Paper

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

tips on how to write a research introduction

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

tips on how to write a research introduction

  • Writing Tips

If you are writing a psychology paper, it is essential to kick things off with a strong introduction. The introduction to a psychology research paper helps your readers understand why the topic is important and what they need to know before they delve deeper.

Your goal in this section is to introduce the topic to the reader, provide an overview of previous research on the topic, and identify your own hypothesis .

At a Glance

Writing a great introduction can be a great foundation for the rest of your psychology paper. To create a strong intro:

  • Research your topic
  • Outline your paper
  • Introduce your topic
  • Summarize the previous research
  • Present your hypothesis or main argument

Before You Write an Introduction

There are some important steps you need to take before you even begin writing your introduction. To know what to write, you need to collect important background information and create a detailed plan.

Research Your Topic

Search a journal database, PsychInfo or ERIC, to find articles on your subject. Once you have located an article, look at the reference section to locate other studies cited in the article. As you take notes from these articles, be sure to write down where you found the information.

A simple note detailing the author's name, journal, and date of publication can help you keep track of sources and avoid plagiarism.

Create a Detailed Outline

This is often one of the most boring and onerous steps, so students tend to skip outlining and go straight to writing. Creating an outline might seem tedious, but it can be an enormous time-saver down the road and will make the writing process much easier.

Start by looking over the notes you made during the research process and consider how you want to present all of your ideas and research.

Introduce the Topic

Once you are ready to write your introduction, your first task is to provide a brief description of the research question. What is the experiment or study attempting to demonstrate? What phenomena are you studying? Provide a brief history of your topic and explain how it relates to your current research.

As you are introducing your topic, consider what makes it important. Why should it matter to your reader? The goal of your introduction is not only to let your reader know what your paper is about, but also to justify why it is important for them to learn more.

If your paper tackles a controversial subject and is focused on resolving the issue, it is important to summarize both sides of the controversy in a fair and impartial way. Consider how your paper fits in with the relevant research on the topic.

The introduction of a research paper is designed to grab interest. It should present a compelling look at the research that already exists and explain to readers what questions your own paper will address.

Summarize Previous Research

The second task of your introduction is to provide a well-rounded summary of previous research that is relevant to your topic. So, before you begin to write this summary, it is important to research your topic thoroughly.

Finding appropriate sources amid thousands of journal articles can be a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to simplify your research. If you have completed the initial steps of researching and keeping detailed notes, writing your introduction will be much easier.

It is essential to give the reader a good overview of the historical context of the issue you are writing about, but do not feel like you must provide an exhaustive review of the subject. Focus on hitting the main points, and try to include the most relevant studies.

You might describe previous research findings and then explain how the current study differs or expands upon earlier research.

Provide Your Hypothesis

Once you have summarized the previous research, explain areas where the research is lacking or potentially flawed. What is missing from previous studies on your topic? What research questions have yet to be answered? Your hypothesis should lead to these questions.

At the end of your introduction, offer your hypothesis and describe what you expected to find in your experiment or study.

The introduction should be relatively brief. You want to give your readers an overview of a topic, explain why you are addressing it, and provide your arguments.

Tips for Writing Your Psychology Paper Intro

  • Use 3x5 inch note cards to write down notes and sources.
  • Look in professional psychology journals for examples of introductions.
  • Remember to cite your sources.
  • Maintain a working bibliography with all of the sources you might use in your final paper. This will make it much easier to prepare your reference section later on.
  • Use a copy of the APA style manual to ensure that your introduction and references are in proper APA format .

What This Means For You

Before you delve into the main body of your paper, you need to give your readers some background and present your main argument in the introduction of you paper. You can do this by first explaining what your topic is about, summarizing past research, and then providing your thesis.

Armağan A. How to write an introduction section of a scientific article ?  Turk J Urol . 2013;39(Suppl 1):8-9. doi:10.5152/tud.2013.046

Fried T, Foltz C, Lendner M, Vaccaro AR. How to write an effective introduction .  Clin Spine Surg . 2019;32(3):111-112. doi:10.1097/BSD.0000000000000714

Jawaid SA, Jawaid M. How to write introduction and discussion .  Saudi J Anaesth . 2019;13(Suppl 1):S18-S19. doi:10.4103/sja.SJA_584_18

American Psychological Association. Information Recommended for Inclusion in Manuscripts That Report New Data Collections Regardless of Research Design . Published 2020.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, automatically generate references for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Dissertation

How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

Published on 9 September 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes.

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.

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?

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Be assured that you'll submit flawless writing. Upload your document to correct all your mistakes.

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

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, 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.

The only proofreading tool specialized in correcting academic writing

The academic proofreading tool has been trained on 1000s of academic texts and by native English editors. Making it the most accurate and reliable proofreading tool for students.

tips on how to write a research introduction

Correct my document today

Begin by introducing your research topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualise 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

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

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.

I. Introduction

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.

Checklist: Introduction

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.

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
  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an outline 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 summarise 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 .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

George, T. & McCombes, S. (2022, September 09). How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction. Scribbr. Retrieved 18 June 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/introduction/

Is this article helpful?

Tegan George

Tegan George

Other students also liked, what is a dissertation | 5 essential questions to get started, how to write an abstract | steps & examples, how to write a thesis or dissertation conclusion.

  • Translators
  • Graphic Designers

Solve

Please enter the email address you used for your account. Your sign in information will be sent to your email address after it has been verified.

How to Write an Effective Research Paper Introduction

EditrixJD

The introduction of a research paper has several purposes. It presents your topic, describes the problem your research seeks to solve, and outlines the structure of your paper. It can also inform your audience about how your study differs from the research that has already been done. Generally, the introduction helps you to show your audience why your research topic is worth exploring. It gives you the chance to convince your reader why they should stick around and see what you have to say.

The first 1-2 sentences of your introduction should give an elevator pitch of your work. Be clear, relevant, and to the point. Don't sweat the engagement of your first sentences. You might have heard the advice that, when writing, you should use the first few sentences to wow your readers, transporting them into a lyrical world of imagination. While this is certainly good counsel in creative writing or consumer literature to hook your reader, research papers are another story; you won't need quotes from wise heroes of the past to grab your readers' attention. In most cases, your audience comprises people already interested in the field who are intrigued by your title and want to delve into what you have found through your study, and you don't want to include trite snippets right at the outset. Of course, you don't want to bore your readers either, so strive for clarity and direct information about your study so the readers who navigate to your paper know what they can expect.

To introduce your research paper effectively, include the following elements in your introduction. You will expand on these topics in greater detail in the paper, but in the introduction to your paper, you'll provide a summary of each one.

  • Overview: Provide a focused statement on the subject matter of your research. What questions are you seeking to answer? How will your study make the world a better place? Here you can also briefly describe any problems you encountered while conducting your study (and be sure to state that you will address these problems within the paper!).
  • Prior research: It's important that your audience knows you've already explored the field and looked around at what has already been written. Briefly discuss what past studies have concluded on the subject and what that means for your current study. Maybe in your search, you found that your research is the first to address your specific topic, which is why your study is so valuable. Let your readers know that you've done your homework.
  • Rationale: Make your case regarding why your study is important today. What will your findings bring to the field? Your research could address current issues and events, or it might illuminate gaps in previous research that need to be filled in order to move ahead in the academic field and strengthen future studies.
  • Methodology: In your methodology paragraph, briefly name the processes you applied during your study. Why are these tools the best ones for your specific research? What answers do you get from using these methods? Details on your methodology can bring credibility to your study and help with future application of your findings to similar fields.

Perfecting Your Thesis Statement

  • Outline of the paper: At the conclusion on your introduction, offer a review of what your study will discuss specifically in the sections that follow.

Once you've gathered all of the necessary elements for your introduction, try these tips to make your introduction pop:

  • Try finalizing your introduction after you've finished writing the body of the paper. While it's beneficial to map out what you want your introduction to say before you begin your paper, wait until you've elaborated on your research in detail, and then create your introduction. With the entire work fresh in your mind, you have a clear grasp on what it's about, your purpose in writing it, and what the study results mean for the world.
  • Show, don't tell. When giving a brief summary of your work, give compelling details about why this study is a good one to conduct. Remember, you still want to be brief, but you can accomplish clarity and brevity while also enticing your readers to share your vision. For example, instead of stating, "Dual language educational programs are important for children," consider saying, "Dual language programs help students develop increased cognitive function, future linguistic advantages, and a broadened worldview."
  • Keep it simple. Don't bury the good points of your work in excessive detail within the introduction. Your entire paper is where you will delve into the finer points of the research, so take stock of which ideas are the most important and stick to those nuggets to motivate your audience to read on.
  • Speak to a broader audience. Your research will certainly attract specialists in the field who know every term you could possibly throw at them, but your audience also includes laymen and people who haven't spent as much time in the field as you have, knee-deep in your study. Remember to make your introduction accessible to those who aren't familiar with the industry jargon. The body of the paper is a great place to flex your muscles and the nitty-gritty details of your research results, but the introduction should be consumable by a much more general group. If you have to use specialized language, make sure to define those obscure terms that only a select few people would know.

Your introduction gives your readers greater access to your work. You are the expert, of course, but your goal is to display your findings to a broader audience, and your introduction is the key to accomplishing that objective. Follow these tips and examples to help you create a strong introductory section for your research paper.

  • Academic Writing Advice
  • All Blog Posts
  • Writing Advice
  • Admissions Writing Advice
  • Book Writing Advice
  • Short Story Advice
  • Employment Writing Advice
  • Business Writing Advice
  • Web Content Advice
  • Article Writing Advice
  • Magazine Writing Advice
  • Grammar Advice
  • Dialect Advice
  • Editing Advice
  • Freelance Advice
  • Legal Writing Advice
  • Poetry Advice
  • Graphic Design Advice
  • Logo Design Advice
  • Translation Advice
  • Blog Reviews
  • Short Story Award Winners
  • Scholarship Winners

Elevate your research paper with expert editing services

Elevate your research paper with expert editing services

PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to write an introduction paragraph in 3 steps.

author image

General Education

feature-introduction-intro-once-upon-a-time-pen-writing-cc0

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!

body-question-mark-think-wonder-cc0

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!

body-piece-of-cake

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. 

body_essayfeaturelist

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!

body_tip

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 . 

body-stack-of-textbooks-red

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!

feature-unsure-shrug-what

What's Next?

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.

author image

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.

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Get Informed

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Follow us on Facebook (icon)

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Research paper

How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.

Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.

Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:

  • Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
  • Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
  • Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.

Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.

Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services

Discover proofreading & editing

There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.

You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.

You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.

Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:

  • A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
  • A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.

Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?

In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”

A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.

The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.

You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

tips on how to write a research introduction

A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.

A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.

Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:

  • Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
  • Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
  • Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.

You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.

Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.

Example paragraph

George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.

Citing sources

It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.

You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.

What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.

Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?

How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.

The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.

One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:

  • topic sentences against the thesis statement;
  • topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
  • and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.

Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.

Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.

You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.

You should not :

  • Offer new arguments or essential information
  • Take up any more space than necessary
  • Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)

There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.

  • Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
  • Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
  • Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
  • If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.

The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible. You can speed up the proofreading process by using the AI proofreader .

Global concerns

  • Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
  • Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
  • Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.

Fine-grained details

Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:

  • each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
  • no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
  • all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.

Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .

Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading  or create an APA title page .

Scribbr’s professional editors can help with the revision process with our award-winning proofreading services.

Discover our paper editing service

Checklist: Research paper

I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.

My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.

My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .

My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .

Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.

I have used appropriate transitions  to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.

My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.

My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.

My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.

I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.

I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .

I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).

You've written a great paper. Make sure it's perfect with the help of a Scribbr editor!

Open Google Slides Download PowerPoint

Is this article helpful?

Other students also liked.

  • Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide
  • Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide
  • Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

More interesting articles

  • Academic Paragraph Structure | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples
  • Checklist: Writing a Great Research Paper
  • How to Create a Structured Research Paper Outline | Example
  • How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples
  • How to Write Recommendations in Research | Examples & Tips
  • How to Write Topic Sentences | 4 Steps, Examples & Purpose
  • Research Paper Appendix | Example & Templates
  • Research Paper Damage Control | Managing a Broken Argument
  • What Is a Theoretical Framework? | Guide to Organizing

What is your plagiarism score?

tips on how to write a research introduction

Get science-backed answers as you write with Paperpal's Research feature

How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

tips on how to write a research introduction

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

tips on how to write a research introduction

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

tips on how to write a research introduction

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster.  

Get accurate academic translations, rewriting support, grammar checks, vocabulary suggestions, and generative AI assistance that delivers human precision at machine speed. Try for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime starting at US$19 a month to access premium features, including consistency, plagiarism, and 30+ submission readiness checks to help you succeed.  

Experience the future of academic writing – Sign up to Paperpal and start writing for free!  

Related Reads:

  • What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)
  • How to Paraphrase Research Papers Effectively
  • How to Cite Social Media Sources in Academic Writing? 
  • How Long Should a Chapter Be?

Similarity Checks: The Author’s Guide to Plagiarism and Responsible Writing

Types of plagiarism and 6 tips to avoid it in your writing , you may also like, how to structure an essay, leveraging generative ai to enhance student understanding of..., how to write a good hook for essays,..., addressing peer review feedback and mastering manuscript revisions..., how paperpal can boost comprehension and foster interdisciplinary..., what is the importance of a concept paper..., how to write the first draft of a..., mla works cited page: format, template & examples, how to ace grant writing for research funding..., powerful academic phrases to improve your essay writing .

Rasmussen homepage

Writing Lab

Parts of the paper, writing the introduction, example of an introduction.

  • Body Paragraphs
  • Conclusion Paragraph

The development of your introduction can make or break your paper. Once you have determined the purpose of your writing and have a topic in mind, you can begin writing the introduction. Three main parts must be included to establish a well-written introduction: introduce your topic, interest the reader, and make the last sentence your thesis statement. Watch the following video to see an introduction come together.

Introduce the topic

When introducing your topic, you want to grab the reader's attention. Here are some ways to do:

  • A bold statement: George Washington was the most significant American president.
  • Use a rhetorical question: Will America spiral into the depths of Hell because of the 2010 health reform?
  • Define the problem: The problem with women is men because …
  • A personal experience: Last year, I went on a trip to Washington, D.C. While there, I took a tour of the White House. It was beautiful. …
  • An interesting quote: “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” – Margaret Thatcher
  • Start with a statistic: In 2009, nearly 1 in 5 children were considered obese.

Look at the following example of grabbing the reader's attention:

How important is an attachment? It is said that without a secure attachment, human development can be severely impaired, and in extreme cases death can occur (Huffman, 2009).  Different aspects of attachment have been studied by many researchers, like John Bowlby, and Mary Ainsworth, and through their research and an experiment of my own I will show how important attachment is to human development.

Why is the topic important?

How will the topic develop (thesis statement).

The purpose of the thesis statement is to inform the audience, in one sentence, how the chosen topic will develop throughout the entire paper. If you list three points that will support your thesis, you will address each of those three points in your paper in the same order you listed them. (If you find that after you start writing the paper, you have added ideas that were not stated in your thesis, you will have to revise your thesis to mirror your paper.)

Let's look at an example. The bolded sentence is the thesis. 

How important is an attachment? It is said that without a secure attachment, human development can be severely impaired, and in extreme cases death can occur (Huffman, 2009).  Different aspects of attachment have been studied by many researchers, like John Bowlby, and Mary Ainsworth, and through their research and an experiment of my  own I will show how important attachment is to human development.

  • Next: Thesis >>
  • Last Updated: Jun 14, 2024 9:43 AM
  • URL: https://guides.rasmussen.edu/parts-of-the-paper

Explore Jobs

  • Jobs Near Me
  • Remote Jobs
  • Full Time Jobs
  • Part Time Jobs
  • Entry Level Jobs
  • Work From Home Jobs

Find Specific Jobs

  • $15 Per Hour Jobs
  • $20 Per Hour Jobs
  • Hiring Immediately Jobs
  • High School Jobs
  • H1b Visa Jobs

Explore Careers

  • Business And Financial
  • Architecture And Engineering
  • Computer And Mathematical

Explore Professions

  • What They Do
  • Certifications
  • Demographics

Best Companies

  • Health Care
  • Fortune 500

Explore Companies

  • CEO And Executies
  • Resume Builder
  • Career Advice
  • Explore Majors
  • Questions And Answers
  • Interview Questions

How To Introduce Yourself Professionally (With Examples)

  • How To Introduce Yourself Professionally
  • Welcome New Employee Announcement
  • Welcome Letter
  • Thank You Note To Colleague
  • 30/60/90 Plan
  • Getting To Know You Questions
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Team Building Activities
  • At Will Employment
  • Company Culture
  • Corporate Culture
  • How To Succeed At Your New Remote Job
  • How To Prepare For New Job Orientation
  • How To Create An Employee Handbook

Find a Job You Really Want In

It’s important to know how to introduce yourself professionally, as a solid introduction leads to further connection. Whether you’re preparing for a career fair, interview, or sales call, it’s important to practice your self-introduction.

In this article, we’ll cover how to introduce yourself professionally, and we’ll give examples of introductions. We’ll also explain why it’s essential to have a professional introduction ready to go.

Key Takeaways:

Whether you’re sitting down for an interview, meeting a new coworker, or giving a presentation, your self-introduction is the first glimpse into the kind of person that you are.

When introducing yourself, you need to consider the context of the meeting.

Make sure you are using positive body language such as eye contact and smiling and are being an active listener.

When introducing yourself, make sure you are confident because confidence draws people into what you have to say.

How to Introduce Yourself Professionally (In an Email, In an Interview, To a New Team, and More)

How to introduce yourself professionally

How to introduce yourself examples, why are professional introductions important, tips for introducing yourself, job interview self-introduction tips, introducing yourself professionally faqs, expert opinion on introducing yourself professionally.

  • Sign Up For More Advice and Jobs

To introduce yourself professionally, you need to consider the situation you’re in, use positive body language, and briefly provide information about who you are. If appropriate, ask questions of the person or people you’re introducing yourself to as well.

Consider the context of the introduction. Adapting your self-introduction to the situation you’re in is imperative. An introduction that is professional at a presentation will seem strange at a job interview .

Additionally, speaking as casually as you might on a first date is inappropriate when interviewing for an open position.

Before speaking, the first step is to understand the context of the scenario you’ll be introducing yourself in and adjust your approach accordingly.

Job interviews The first day of a college class Welcoming new co-workers Meeting people at a job fair or conference Giving a presentation to a large group Conducting a sales call

Use positive body language. People are strongly influenced by body language , even if they don’t realize it consciously. Using positive body language draws the other party into what you have to say and who you are.

Eye contact Shaking hands Smiling Nodding Standing upright Arms uncrossed

Give a little information about who you are. The thing about an effective introduction is that it’s a push-and-pull in exchange for information. Spend equal time speaking and listening .

In the case of a job interview, this means briefly explaining your professional background while highlighting your responsibilities and achievements . Explain what jobs you’ve worked in previously and what the responsibilities in those roles entailed.

When you’re introducing yourself in a social situation, it’s okay to include some career-related information, but try to extend the description past that to give a more well-rounded depiction of who you are.

Ask questions. It’s not an attractive quality to be self-absorbed, whether in a professional or social setting. One way to avoid this perception is by asking the other person questions about themselves, the position you’re applying for, or the company you hope to work for.

Questions demonstrate a genuine interest in the other person or professional role, and that makes them respond more positively.

Asking questions also helps the interaction flow naturally from an introduction to a relaxed conversation .

What do you like about working here? What are the biggest challenges I’d be facing in this position? What are you most looking forward to about this conference? What do you do?

Presenting yourself professionally and politely is important no matter the context. Here are some examples of how to do this in a wide variety of situations:

How to introduce yourself in an interview for a job

“Hello, it’s nice to finally meet you in person. Even though we spoke over email, I wanted to formally introduce myself. My name is Sally Jones, and I’m a passionate social media manager . “I’ve been a professional social media manager for the past five years after graduating with my bachelor’s degree in communications from New York University. I’ve led teams that handled high-profile clients and improved their sales margins by upwards of 4%. “I’ve always admired your organization’s mission, and I’d love to be able to use my leadership skills and industry knowledge to further it.”

How to introduce yourself to a new employee

“Hi, my name is Connor. What’s your name? Nice to meet you, _____. I understand that you’ve recently been hired for the job of administrative assistant , which means that we’ll be working together a lot. “I just wanted to introduce myself and extend a warm welcome to the team. “Please let me know if there’s anything I can help you with while you’re getting adjusted to the new role.”

How to introduce yourself in an email

Dear Mrs. Adams, How are you doing? I hope this email finds you well. My name is Jackson King, and I’m a school librarian . I have ten years of experience working as a librarian in the public schooling system, which has awarded me strengths in collaboration and patience. I’m emailing you today because I know that you are the hiring manager for Woodbridge City School District, and I wanted to pass my resume along in case any positions open up that fit my experience and skills. I’d love to have a further discussion about the education philosophies at Woodbridge City School District. I can be reached via [email protected] or (923-742-6336). Thank you for reading my email in full, and I hope to hear back soon. Sincerely, Jackson King [email protected]

How to introduce yourself at a hiring event

“Hi there, how are you? My name is Matthew Shelton. I’m a recent graduate from the University of Texas with a degree in engineering. While I haven’t had much paid professional experience, I participated in a competitive internship with Cisco Systems for six months. “I wanted to come over and introduce myself to you because I saw that you’re representing Flash Energy Solutions. I’ve heard incredible things about this company’s innovation, and I’m curious to find out more about their open positions. Are you available now to talk more about opportunities at Flash Energy Solutions?”

How to introduce yourself to a university professor

“Good afternoon, Professor Johnson. My name is Abigal Morris, and I’m a sophomore here at The University of Washington. I just wanted to formally introduce myself and say I’m looking forward to learning more in your course this semester.”

How to introduce yourself to your network

Hi, Samantha. How are you? I hope all is well. My name is Jessica Lane, and I’m a gallery director for Elegance Art Studios. I’m reaching out to you today because I recently came across some of your artwork online. Specifically, I saw a painting titled “Oblivion” that I thought was immaculate. I’d like to see your other work and speak further about the possibility of building a working relationship with Elegance Art Studios. If you’re interested, please email me at [email protected] or call me at (558)-292-6868. Thank you. Sincerely, Jessica Lane

How to introduce yourself on social media

Hello, Catherine, my name is Sadie Michaels, and I represent a clothing company called Free Air Designs as a marketing coordinator . I came across your Instagram profile while I was searching through my Top Posts page . I think you have a keen eye for social media development, and I enjoy your style. I was wondering if you’d be interested in collaborating on a few targeted posts involving Free Air Designs. Let me know if you’d be interested in talking more. Thanks! -Sadie

How to introduce yourself to a stranger on a plane

“Hello, I don’t mean to bother you, but since we’re going to be on this 12-hour flight, I figured I’d introduce myself. I’m Tom. What’s your name? It’s a pleasure, ____. What brings you on a flight to Milan?”

How to introduce yourself at an office party

“I don’t think we’ve met before. My name is Eric. I work in accounting. What’s your name? Awesome, it’s great to meet you, ____. How long have you been working here? Eight years? Wow, I’ve only been here for two. Have you been at this location all along?”

How to introduce yourself in class

“Hi everyone, my name’s Madeline Johnson. I’m a sophomore English major in the NEAG education program. I was interested in this class as a way of broadening my knowledge of teaching techniques for toddlers. When I’m not stuck in a book, I like to spend my time fishing at the Housatonic River.”

How to introduce yourself in a letter

Dear Mrs. Sels, “My name is John Buck and I’m a freelance writer with a background in e-commerce and the technical space. Naturally, I thought I’d be a good fit for XYZ Technica, an industry leader in technical e-commerce.”

How to introduce yourself to a group

“Hello everyone, my name’s Tim Thompson. I’ve been working in finance for 10 years, and what I specialize in is client support and education. Being able to bring some of this esoteric, but important, information from our field to more people is the most rewarding part of my job.”

How to introduce yourself in a meeting or presentation

“Hi everyone, my name is Riley Cooper and I’m the head of our content marketing team. What we excel at is making bespoke content calendars that match your brand’s voice, as well as monitoring the success of those campaigns.”

How to introduce yourself to a potential new client

Hello, my name is Chris Trager, and I’m a representative for Campbell Paper. I wanted to introduce myself and let you know about our 30% off sale happening throughout the month of August. We provide high-quality paper products and custom-printed materials to many schools like yours, and I’d love to discuss how we can meet your paper and printing needs. Is there anything in particular you’re looking for for an upcoming project? I really enjoy working with education-based clients like you, and I’d love to send you a sample book and help you find solutions at a price point that works for you. Please feel free to respond to this email or call or text me at 333-444-5555. I look forward to talking with you. Chris Traeger Sales Representative Campbell Paper

How to introduce yourself in a new company

Good morning, Ashley, We haven’t met yet, but I’m the new graphic designer working in the marketing department, and I was assigned your ESL class poster. Would you mind sending me the class times whenever you get the chance? Once I have those, I’ll be ready to send the poster to you to look over. I’m looking forward to working with you, and I hope to be able to meet you in person soon! Thanks, Caleb Olson Graphic Designer 222-333-4455

Professional introductions are important because how you demonstrate your character in the first moments of meeting another person dictates their perception of you moving forward, even if that doesn’t accurately describe who you are .

In situations where there is limited time to interact, such as a job interview, making a positive and professional first impression is crucial in achieving a desirable outcome. The confines of a 30-minute interview are all a candidate has to demonstrate themselves as the perfect choice for a job.

This is truly a test of first impressions as job-seekers are asked to perform well in a brief introduction before being hired.

Making a strong self-introduction is more complicated than simply stating your name and shaking hands. Consider the following tips for introducing yourself to leave a lasting positive impression on people you meet:

Dress well . Clothing is the first impression that a job interviewer or colleague has of you before you speak. Dressing well for a professional event ensures that you’re portraying yourself in a professional light.

Be confident. Refined confidence draws people into what you have to say. While sounding conceited repeals most people, a healthy dose of security in your ability to do a job establishes you as a dependable candidate.

Look for opportunities to further the conversation. An introduction that goes back and forth between two people only lasts a few minutes at most before it gets boring. To avoid a boring discussion, be on the lookout for opportunities to further the conversation.

Understand the culture. Before an interview or meeting, you should do research on the company to understand its culture. This will give you a better understanding of whether they are more straightforward or more casual.

If they are more casual, you can include some light humor in your introduction, just make sure it’s appropriate. If they are more straightforward and formal, keep a professional demeanor.

Prepare what you want to say. Practicing how you want to say something can help with stumbling over words and possibly saying something wrong. Try writing down what you want to say beforehand and practicing what you want to say. It may seem silly to be doing so at the time, but it could be helpful if you are nervous and have new meeting anxiety.

Introducing yourself at a job interview is a bit different than in most social contexts. You’ll want to pay special attention to the following in order to ensure the hiring manager likes you from the get-go:

Research the company. Before the interview, check out how the company presents itself to the public via social media. Are they casual and hip, or formal and serious? That’s your first clue for what sort of tone to strike.

Research the interviewer. Figure out whether the interviewer is an HR representative or someone who you’d be working under directly. You can also learn about their background to see what sort of information they’re most likely to appreciate in an introduction.

Plus, you might find an interesting connection that can be a nice segue out of your self-introduction into a shared, natural conversation.

Be hyper-relevant and brief. The job description is your ultimate cheat sheet for which qualifications to hype up as you introduce yourself at your job interview. Don’t go crazy trying to stuff the whole list into your intro, though.

Talk contributions. Introducing yourself shouldn’t be a laundry list of where you worked, when you graduated, etc. — that’s what your resume is for . Instead, get animated and share why you’re passionate about the field, interesting stories from your background, major milestones from your professional career, etc.

Don’t stop at your job title. When you simply give your name and job title, you’re basically saying, “There’s nothing more interesting about me than the function I can possibly fulfill” — not exactly a thrilling candidate.

Don’t try too hard to be funny. Humor is a great thing, but unless you’re a stand-up, you should wait until you’ve developed a bit of rapport before diving into too many jokes. No matter how much research you’ve done on your interviewer, you won’t know what they find funny or inappropriate, so it’s best to play it safe.

How do I introduce myself professionally?

Introduce yourself professionally with positive body language and relevant information about yourself. This relevant information about yourself should be related to the context of the situation. For example, if you are introducing yourself to someone once you have been referred, you may bring up your reference.

What is a unique way to introduce yourself?

To be unique, talk about your values in your introduction. Your values, even if they are common, define your personality. This helps you set the stage to talk about your goals and accomplishments, which should be tied to your values. Just make sure to keep them relevant and appropriate.

How do you introduce yourself in 3 lines?

To introduce yourself in 3 lines: state your name, why you are there, and ask an open-ended question about the other person. It is especially important to explain your purpose in a natural way, so tie it back to the context of the situation. Then, by using an open-ended question, you provide an opportunity for the other person to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.

What is a good introduction?

A good introduction should gain attention and interest in a positive manner. You will have introduced yourself successfully because people will be curious to learn more about you. This creates a flow to whatever topic is at hand while keeping your presence relevant.

How do you start an introduction to introduce yourself?

To start an introduction when introducing yourself, greet the person, give your name, and share a little bit about yourself. This information will change depending on the context. In a job interview, for example, you’ll give a quick overview of your experience or skills, while at a professional conference, you’ll share your job title.

How To Introduce Yourself Professionally?

tips on how to write a research introduction

Amanda Halkiotis Owner and Chief Resume Writer

If you have a hard time thinking of ways to break the ice over email, you can always ask those close to you how you come across to others. Are you funny? Charming? Outgoing? Sincere? Good-natured and kind? Find a characteristic that resonates with you and use it to brand yourself. If you are looking for a financial services job at a fintech firm, for example, a great opening line might be something like, “I have been a math geek my whole life and I started building computers when I was in high school.”. The first line is key to getting the reader interested, so I cannot stress enough the importance of having a “hook” that makes you stand out as an individual.

When introducing yourself personally, manners and confidence matter. Make eye contact and stand up straight, but try to be relaxed and not too stiff. I also recommend being complimentary but a bit subtle about it, for example, saying, “Thank you so much for meeting with me today” followed by, “Your office is such a lovely building” or “I knew we would have a lot in common when we talked based on our email exchange”. A little flattery goes a long way! I like to have three to five points about myself memorized when meeting someone for the first time in an interview setting. Something biographical, something personal, and something professional. So, for me, if someone says, “ Tell me about yourself “, I can reply with, “I grew up in Connecticut and have been in New York City for 14 years, I’m a middle child, I love to travel, cooking, and hiking, I am not afraid of a challenge and I find that I do my best work when I get to work with clients and build relationships”. To sum it up, have an elevator pitch to go along with the brand you promoted over email!

For anyone who gets nervous meeting new people, I suggest practicing in front of a mirror or doing mock interviews with a friend or relative. For virtual interviews (so many are being done on Zoom these days), you can do a mock version by doing a video recording on your phone and looking it over. A few minutes before the actual interview, try a technique called box breathing to calm your nerves.

Lastly, one of my personal heroes who is a true master when it comes to this type of advice is Vanessa Van Edwards. She is a well-known human behaviorist who has been featured on the Today Show, has done a Ted Talk, and has a great YouTube channel. Trust me, you’ll love her.

Harvard Business Review – A Simple Way To Introduce Yourself

Western Michigan University – Introduce Yourself With A Personal Commercial

Yale University – Office of Career Strategy

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

' src=

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

Recent Job Searches

  • Registered Nurse Jobs Resume Location
  • Truck Driver Jobs Resume Location
  • Call Center Representative Jobs Resume Location
  • Customer Service Representative Jobs Resume
  • Delivery Driver Jobs Resume Location
  • Warehouse Worker Jobs Resume Location
  • Account Executive Jobs Resume Location
  • Sales Associate Jobs Resume Location
  • Licensed Practical Nurse Jobs Resume Location
  • Company Driver Jobs Resume

Related posts

tips on how to write a research introduction

How To Brainstorm At Work (With Examples)

tips on how to write a research introduction

Flexible Work Schedules And What You Need To Know

tips on how to write a research introduction

12 Characteristics Of A Good Mentor

tips on how to write a research introduction

How to Date a Coworker (and Not Get Fired)

  • Career Advice >
  • Life At Work >
  • Introduce Yourself Professionally
  • Resume Templates Simple Professional Modern Creative View all
  • Resume Examples Nurse Student Internship Teacher Accountant View all
  • Resume Builder
  • Cover Letter Templates Simple Professional Modern Creative View all
  • Cover Letter Examples Nursing Administrative Assistant Internship Graduate Teacher View all
  • Cover Letter Builder
  • Clinical Research Coordinator

Susan Shor

Clinical Research Coordinator cover letter example

Clinical Research Coordinator cover letter example

When hiring a clinical research coordinator, HR personnel look for someone who understands how to conduct scientific studies and maintain standards at all times. A clinical research coordinator cover letter must impress upon the hiring manager that the candidate focuses on the details of the clinical trial while managing all that it entails.

While resumes give a broad overview of all that you have accomplished in your career, it is within your cover letter that you can express your views on clinical studies, how you work with the principal investigator to ensure the integrity of the trial, and your style in collaborating with the entire research team, the participants, and any other stakeholders.

It’s true that not every employer will read your cover letter, but the extra effort you put into it will make a difference with those employers who do read it, so, yes, you need a cover letter. 

This one-page letter may seem a bit daunting when you are staring at a blank screen, the writing guide below will take the mystery out of the process. 

When you are finished reading the writing guide and corresponding clinical research coordinator cover letter example, you will know:

  • Why cover letters are important parts of your application package
  • How best to approach composing an effective cover letter
  • The components of a cover letter (introduction, middle part, and closing) and what goes into them
  • Common mistakes to avoid in a clinical research coordinator cover letter

Clinical research coordinator shows the technical knowledge with people skills in cover letter

If you’re looking for some additional resources, we have you covered. Take a peek at our similar cover letter samples below now: 

  • Medical Assistant Cover Letter Sample
  • Pharmacist Cover Letter Sample
  • Physical Therapist Cover Letter Sample
  • Medical Receptionist Cover Letter Sample
  • Dental Assistant Cover Letter Sample
  • Occupational Therapy Cover Letter Sample
  • Pharmacy Technician Cover Letter Sample
  • Pharmacy Assistant Cover Letter Sample
  • CNA Cover Letter Sample
  • Healthcare Cover Letter Sample
  • Medical Cover Letter Sample
  • Physician Assistant Cover Letter Sample
  • LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) Cover Letter Sample
  • Doctor Assistant Cover Letter Sample
  • Phlebotomist Cover Letter Sample

Best format for a clinical research coordinator cover letter

Research requires precision, process, and consistency. You wouldn’t begin a medical trial without creating methods for ensuring those three aspects of the trial are in place. The  formatting of your clinical research coordinator cover letter gives you a framework for creating those components in your application document. Before you jump into writing, you need to know what goes into your letter.

The format of a clinical research coordinator cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting/salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

For a general overview of writing cover letters, turn to the comprehensive cover letter guide, but below you will find specific advice on how to maximize the effectiveness of each specific letter paragraph and section. 

This clinical research coordinator cover letter example will give you a blueprint for writing your own cover letter:

Dear Professor Varane,

With a Bachelor of Science in Biology and over five years of experience coordinating clinical research in academic and pharmaceutical environments, I believe my expertise makes me a perfect fit for the clinical research coordinator role.

At Pines, I was responsible for managing a variety of clinical trials across different therapeutic areas, such as oncology, neurology, and cardiology. I have personally overseen the successful completion of 24 clinical studies and was instrumental in recruiting over 600 patients, with a 90% enrollment rate. 

I enjoy working with clinicians, principal investigators, data managers, and laboratory staff in cross-functional teams. It is important to streamline processes and ensure that everyone is synchronized in their work. I undertook a project at my previous employer which increased the efficacy of data collection by 25%. I have participated in several research projects that have combined data science with AI analysis and hope to develop my skills more in this area.

On the administration side, I have a proven track record in preparing and submitting regulatory documentation, such as Investigational New Drug (IND) applications and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals. My meticulous attention to detail and regulatory compliance contributed to zero findings during a recent FDA audit. 

I was alerted to the role by your colleague Sarah Hatton, having worked with her previously at Pines. She felt that my methodical approach would fit in well with the Lansley team. I hope to have the opportunity of an interview to find out more about the potential fit.

Christian Root

Cover letter header

A standard letter does not provide any visual interest, but an application letter does. Your clinical research coordinator cover letter has a header that provides an opportunity for a bit of creativity, but with the caveat that the most important aspect is clear, legible contact information.

Clinical research is serious, scientific work, so you should choose a header design that conveys organization and professionalism. Coordinate this style with the one you choose for your resume. (Our cover letter templates have corresponding resume layouts.)

Your header should contain your name, title, LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts, and the best email and phone number with which to contact you.

Cover letter greeting

The greeting of your clinical research coordinator cover letter is your textual first impression. While you want to use the hiring manager’s name ( addressing people by name creates a feeling of respect and recognition), you also want to stick with their title and last name.

When making professional contact, stay businesslike. Your best bet is “Dear Dr./Mr./Ms./Mx. [surname]. In your profession, it is likely that the principal investigator has a doctorate or a medical degree. Make sure you get their title and the spelling of their name correct. In a detail-oriented career such as yours, you cannot afford to get the details wrong.

A simple call to the lab or company may net you the correct person to address if the job listing lacks a contact person. Otherwise, you may use “Dear Research Team,” or “Dear Science Department.” Do not fall back on the stilted and outdated “To Whom It May Concern.”

The aim of the cover letter greeting: engage your reader by addressing them personally, but professionally.

Cover letter introduction

Just as it sounds, the introduction gives an overview of who you are in experience and temperament. It also sets the tone for the remainder of your document. A clinical coordinator cover letter should sound professional, but that does not mean resorting to a lot of jargon. 

Start off with a sentence about your experience working on clinical research and your area(s) of expertise. The purpose of your entire document is to make a case for your employment, so make sure you include your thesis sentence here. You will spend the rest of your letter offering evidence to support your reason.

The introduction should also state why you want this position. It’s not simply that you want to be a clinical research coordinator, but you want to work in this specific environment, for this lab or company, on this type of research. This, of course, means that you must rework your cover letter for each different position.

The purpose of the introduction: hook the reader with your most impressive career highlight and explain your interest in the position.

Who are clinical research coordinators?*

  • First-time coordinators usually have a bachelor’s degree and five years of research experience
  • More than 80 percent of clinical research coordinators are women
  • The mean annual salary is $137,900
  • People with the following qualities are attracted to clinical research coordinator positions: cooperative, dependable detail-oriented, having integrity and self-control, and self-motivation.

*Source: My Next Move

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle part of your clinical coordinator cover letter expands upon your introduction by adding evidence of your skills and knowledge. If you’ve already compiled your resume but needed more room to fully explain one or two of your bullet points, this is the place to do it.

Choose one clinical trial you coordinated or worked on if you are looking for a promotion. Take a few sentences to describe it and your role in its success. As a coordinator, you are responsible for many moving pieces and must ensure that all protocols are followed to the letter. Any missed steps could negate the entire study, so be sure to explain your organizational structure.

Try to anticipate interview questions and answer them at this stage. Here are a few you may consider answering in the body of your letter:

  • What is the most important quality of a clinical coordinator?
  • Why do you want to work in this particular area of research?
  • How do you ensure compliance with all regulations during a clinical trial?
  • Describe your collaboration style.
  • How do you explain risk and ensure trial participants understand all aspects of the study?

You may have space to answer only one of these questions, or you may choose to focus on summarizing and highlighting your successes instead, but be aware that some of these questions will come up if you are granted an interview.

Because a cover letter is text heavy, it is a good idea to use a bulleted list within the body. There’s no need to cut and paste from your resume. Instead, you may describe a trial and then use bulleted items to briefly mention the aspects of the trial you coordinated or to enumerate the findings of the study and your role in those findings.

The goal of the middle part: Stack the evidence in your favor by detailing the successful trials you have worked on.

How to close a clinical research coordinator cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

Your reader has made it this far – great! It’s time to remind them of why they were intrigued. Use the ending of your clinical research coordinator cover letter to reframe your main point and let them know without a doubt that you want to discuss the opportunity further.

If you have space, you may reveal a personal detail, such as a connection to the type of research you are applying to coordinate, but keep it professional. Your call to action, or request for an interview, should be positive without making assumptions.

The aim of the conclusion: remind your reader of your key point and request an interview.

Basic mistakes in a clinical research coordinator application letter (and how to avoid them)

  • Shifting or inappropriate tone. Maintain a consistently professional tone throughout your letter. You will be communicating with trial participants and you need to demonstrate that you can be authoritative, yet friendly when you explain the potential risks and answer their questions.
  • Errors. Simply put, any mistake in your clinical coordinator cover letter is unacceptable. Clinical trials cannot afford errors (although everyone makes a small one every now and then), so proofread and use spelling and grammar tools to avoid this pitfall.
  • Neglecting to personalize your letter. Every job is different and employers will have different priorities and needs. You need to do more than change the name in your greeting if you want to demonstrate that you understand your prospective employer’s needs and know how to fill them.
  • Being too modest or too confident. Find the balance between taking too much credit for success and not acknowledging your strengths. Give others credit where it is due. It is fine to say that you achieved success with your team. In fact, the ability to work in a team is a sought-after skill.

Key takeaways

  • A great cover letter offers employers details about your personality and career that don’t fit into the tight format of a resume.
  • Clinical research coordinators work closely on the day-to-day functioning of research trials and must adhere to strict regulations.
  • A friendly greeting that addresses a person by name is the best way to start your cover letter but keep your tone professional throughout.
  • Use the middle part of your application letter to head off one or two potential interview questions, or go into detail about a clinical trial you worked on.
  • Make sure the hiring manager knows you’re interested by requesting an interview.

Free professionally designed templates

IMAGES

  1. How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

    tips on how to write a research introduction

  2. How to Write a Research Introduction: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

    tips on how to write a research introduction

  3. How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper Step-by-Step?

    tips on how to write a research introduction

  4. How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

    tips on how to write a research introduction

  5. how to write a research paper introduction in four simple steps

    tips on how to write a research introduction

  6. Research Paper Introduction: Comprehensive Guide

    tips on how to write a research introduction

VIDEO

  1. HOW TO WRITE RESEARCH TITLE?

  2. How To Write Research Questions

  3. HOW TO WRITE IN RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

  4. How to write a Research paper introduction

  5. How to write a Captivating Research Introduction

  6. HOW TO WRITE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY #researchmethods

COMMENTS

  1. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  2. How to Write a Research Paper Introduction (with Examples)

    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.

  3. How to Write a Research Introduction: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

    Download Article. 1. Announce your research topic. You can start your introduction with a few sentences which announce the topic of your paper and give an indication of the kind of research questions you will be asking. This is a good way to introduce your readers to your topic and pique their interest.

  4. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  5. Writing a Research Paper Introduction (with 3 Examples)

    1-) Start with a Catchy Hook. Your first sentence is one of the factors that most influence a reader's decision to read your paper. This sentence determines the tone of your paper and attracts the reader's attention. For this reason, we recommend that you start your introduction paragraph with a strong and catchy hook sentence.

  6. 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.

  7. How to Write a Research Paper Introduction in 4 Steps

    Hannah Skaggs. Hannah, a writer and editor since 2017, specializes in clear and concise academic and business writing. She has mentored countless scholars and companies in writing authoritative and engaging content. A great research paper introduction starts with a catchy hook and ends with a road map for the research. At every step, QuillBot ...

  8. Introductions

    In general, your introductions should contain the following elements: 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 ...

  9. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    Overview of the structure. 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.

  10. How to write a good thesis introduction

    2. Hook the reader and grab their attention. 3. Provide relevant background. 4. Give the reader a sense of what the paper is about. 5. Preview key points and lead into your thesis statement. Frequently Asked Questions about writing a good thesis introduction.

  11. How to Write an Introduction For a Research Paper

    Be succinct - it is advised that your opening introduction consists of around 8-9 percent of the overall amount of words in your article (for example, 160 words for a 2000 words essay). Make a strong and unambiguous thesis statement. Explain why the article is significant in 1-2 sentences. Remember to keep it interesting.

  12. how-to-perfect-the-introduction-for-your-research-article

    2. Lay a foundation of information already known by presenting findings of other researchers on aspects of the problem you addressed. 3. Indicate the need for more investigation by highlighting a gap in the existing work, showing a need for extension of the work, or creating a research 'niche' that your study fills. 4.

  13. How To Write A Research Paper (FREE Template

    Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature. As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question.More specifically, that's called a research question, and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What's important to understand though is that you'll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources - for ...

  14. 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.

  15. How to Write a Research Paper: the LEAP approach (+cheat sheet)

    How to write a research paper according to the LEAP approach. For a scientist, it is much easier to start writing a research paper with laying out the facts in the narrow sections (i.e. results), step back to describe them (i.e. write the discussion), and step back again to explain the broader picture in the introduction.

  16. How to Write an Introduction for a Psychology Paper

    At a Glance. Writing a great introduction can be a great foundation for the rest of your psychology paper. To create a strong intro: Research your topic. Outline your paper. Introduce your topic. Summarize the previous research. Present your hypothesis or main argument.

  17. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    Overview of the structure. 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.

  18. How to Write an Effective Research Paper Introduction

    Generally, the introduction helps you to show your audience why your research topic is worth exploring. It gives you the chance to convince your reader why they should stick around and see what you have to say. The first 1-2 sentences of your introduction should give an elevator pitch of your work. Be clear, relevant, and to the point.

  19. How to Write an Introduction: 3 Tips for Writing an Introductory

    How to Write an Introduction: 3 Tips for Writing an Introductory Paragraph. An introductory paragraph summarizes the main points of an academic paper or essay, preparing readers for what's to come. Read on for tips on how to write an introduction that hooks your readers. An introductory paragraph summarizes the main points of an academic ...

  20. How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in 3 Steps

    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.

  21. How to Write a Research Paper

    Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft. The revision process. Research paper checklist. Free lecture slides.

  22. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  23. Introductions

    gument. A good introduction grabs the reader's attention and sets the stage for the rest of the paper to hold that attention by outlining the steps the writer will take in the rest of the paper. There is no one right way to write an introduction. The length and content of an intro-duction will change based on the type of writing you are doing.

  24. RasGuides: Parts of the Paper: Introduction Paragraph

    Once you have determined the purpose of your writing and have a topic in mind, you can begin writing the introduction. Three main parts must be included to establish a well-written introduction: introduce your topic, interest the reader, and make the last sentence your thesis statement. Watch the following video to see an introduction come ...

  25. How To Introduce Yourself Professionally (With Examples)

    Tips for introducing yourself. Making a strong self-introduction is more complicated than simply stating your name and shaking hands. Consider the following tips for introducing yourself to leave a lasting positive impression on people you meet: Dress well. Clothing is the first impression that a job interviewer or colleague has of you before ...

  26. Clinical Research Coordinator Cover Letter Examples & Expert Tips

    The formatting of your clinical research coordinator cover letter gives you a framework for creating those components in your application document. Before you jump into writing, you need to know what goes into your letter. The format of a clinical research coordinator cover letter should contain the following elements: The cover letter header