A research introduction is the same important part of the paper as its body or conclusion. And the same or even more challenging. In your introduction, you have to announce the topic of your research, provide its context and set the tone for the whole paper.
Also, it is important for the intro to communicate the thesis statement. Your introduction must be catchy and attract the readers’ attention. Seems not so easy to do, right?
However, when applying several simple rules, you can avoid most of the difficulties connected with writing your paper’s introduction.
Introduce your topic
To make it clear for the readers, it is required to start your introduction with several sentences that announce your topic and indicate the question you will be asking in it. This beginning must give an impression of a broader issue that you will introduce later in your introduction and focus on it more closely.
One more piece of advice that can help you is to use a quotation or even an anecdote for introducing your topic. Why not? Especially if your paper is on humanities of social science topic it would be more than acceptable to use more literary tone.
Remember to refer to the keywords
If your research is supposed to be published later, you will have to add a list of keywords to it. They will make it easier to indicate the areas of research you are addressing to.
Define the key terms and concepts
If there are any in your paper, define them at the very beginning in your introduction. Your readers must understand what you are talking about the same as understanding your arguments. For that purpose, they have to be aware of the meanings of the terms.
Add a literature review
It is important to provide a list of literature on your topic to show that you are knowledgeable in the field and familiar with the recent researches published. Besides, you can use literature to move to your own research then and show its contribution to the existing works.
Indicate the importance of your research
Speak about the importance and value of the research you have made. Describe its strong sides and its positive contribution to the field. It is called the rationale.
State the research question or questions
Now, it is time for the research question. Remember that the question or questions must be easily developed from the previous parts of your introduction such as the literature review and rationale. Also, it is important for the questions to be closely focused and placed closer to the end of the introduction. And don’t forget to pay attention to the fact that your questions must recall at least some of the keywords from the earlier parts of the intro.
Set the thesis statement
After you introduced your research questions, you have to provide a thesis statement. What you have to keep in mind is that your thesis statement shall make it clear that your research will contribute to the existing field and reach a clear result. Also, it has to give basic information regarding your topic, be clear and precise, be interesting and finally, your thesis statement shall reflect the importance of the issue raised.
It would be nice if you could provide a brief overview of the structure of your paper. In this case, your readers will know how the whole paper is organized, which will make it easier for them to navigate among the sections of the paper.
Don’t make it too long
You don’t want the readers to get bored while reading your introduction, do you? That is why it will be better if you don’t make it too wordy. Five or six informative and concise sentences will be quite enough.
As you can see, writing a research paper introduction turned out to be not that scary as it seemed at first if you take these tips into account. However, the more seriously you approach the task the better result you will get. Keep that in mind and everything will be fine!