An Effective Guide to Research Introduction Writing

If you want your research paper to be read from start to end, make sure to write a powerful introduction. Analyzing a research introduction example before writing can help you understand the key elements to include in the first paragraph.

A research paper introduction must be engaging, interesting, and catchy to hold your reader’s attention. This article outlines the five key steps to writing an effective research introduction and presenting your topic better.

What Is a Research Paper Introduction?

A research paper introduction is a formal element of the research paper that introduces the topic in general. The introduction should lead the reader from a generalized topic to a specific aspect.

It provides the primary objective of the work and aids in establishing the core idea, context, and value of the research.

It also highlights relevant background information. Besides, it includes a hypothesis and discusses the research methodology. The introduction should explain the structure of the research and the potential outcomes.

Why Is a Research Paper Introduction Important?

In general, a research paper introduction is a section to overview the paper. It may include or highlight the paper’s topic and purpose of the paper. It also consists of the author’s background, the thesis statement, and the significance of the work the paper is about. The introduction is meant to entice the reader and get them interested in the paper.

If your paper offers a bold claim, it must be explained in the introduction. Here, you’ll also discuss how your research will help solve the analyzed problem and answer your research question.

If you pay attention to the intro, you’ll have an impressive thesis you can develop for the rest of your paper.

Why Analyze a Research Introduction Example?

Choosing a research topic can be one of the most challenging parts of a research paper. And once you do, the difficulty is in how to write an effective introduction relevant to the topic.

To better understand how to write a research introduction, analyze a research introduction example of one that has been well written.

A good research introduction does three things:

  • Catches the reader’s attention
  • Provides a convincing introduction to the topic
  • Sets the tone for the rest of the paper
eyeglasses with gray frames on the top of notebook
Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

5 Steps to Write a Research Paper Introduction

The introduction to a research paper is where the readers are introduced to your topic and approach. It presents your topic, provides background information, positions your approach, explains the specific problem, and gives an overall structure of the research.

Here are five key steps to help you write an impactful introduction for your research paper.

1. Introduce Your Research Topic

The first element of the introduction is to state what the topic is and why it’s important or interesting. An effective way to draw the reader’s attention could be using a strong opening hook.

The hook is a powerful first line that conveys the pertinence of your topic. Consider a compelling fact or statistic, a bold assertion, a challenge, or a quick anecdote that will pique the reader’s interest in your subject.

2. Review the Background or Literature

This is where you summarize the main topics of the paper or research. List the key sources, their relevance, and how the research relates to or applies in the field.

Putting some background information at the beginning makes the rest of the paper easy to understand. Provide a brief overview of the paper and the topics you are focusing on.

3. Identify Your Research Problem

Write an opening paragraph that briefly describes your research problem. Include the problem statement, reasoning, and expected results. You should emphasize the rationale of your work at this point.

The rationale is a way to gauge both the importance of your paper and your attitude toward the issue. And the explanation should be clear and concise to convey the significance of your research to the readers.

4. Define Your Goals or Objectives

Your objective should be specific and match the “nature of the research” as stated in the introduction. Also, give clear instructions on what type of research is being conducted.

For instance, you should mention if it is a qualitative study, quantitative study, a case study, or a survey.

Your research objective might be formulated in a variety of ways. Argumentative papers often contain a thesis statement, while empirical papers generally address a research question with a hypothetical answer.

5. Outline the Structure of Your Research

The final task of the introduction is to outline the structure of your research paper. This is to give a brief overview of the rest of the paper.

This is not necessary if your paper follows the standard scientific format of writing a research paper with an introduction, method, result, and discussion.

However, for a different approach to writing, it’s better to provide an outline of your research work to the reader.


Although it sounds complicated, writing an introduction is relatively simple and can be done by all those interested in researching.

To write the perfect introduction, you must be able to successfully analyze an example introduction. So, if you’re looking to help yourself write a research introduction, this article can help you with the key steps to writing one effectively.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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