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Writing Research Paper Introduction Guide

As easy and mundane as writing an introduction for your research paper may seem, it’s actually a crucial step in the process of creating a solid paper. Although the readers won’t stop reading your research paper after the introduction, these first few phrases can make or break your entire work.

From an academic writing point of view, a research paper introduction is the opening paragraph of your academic assignment. This part of the paper can be a few sentences or a few paragraphs long, but the importance of a good introduction for a successfully written research paper cannot be overrated. Here are some tips on writing the best research paper introduction.

What to Include In Your Introduction

Even though writing an introductory paragraph is a deeply creative task, there is still a standard structure that you should follow in order to give your readers the most complete idea about the content of your paper. Your introduction should include the following parts:

  • Title
  • Hook sentence (If you’re wondering how to start introduction, this is the answer)
  • Background information on the subject
  • Thesis statement

Few Sentences to Announce Your Research Topic

The title of your paper is the first time most readers will hear about the subject of your research, which is why you should begin your introduction with an explanation of your research topic. When writing this part, think about the people who have never heard about the concept in question. Introduce your research topic in a clear and concise manner that will help your readers understand what they are about to learn.

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Add a Brief Literature Review

No matter what the topic or the length of your research paper is, you need to include a literature review of the subject of your paper. This is done in order to demonstrate your deep knowledge of the subject and that you spent a lot of time researching the relevant sources. Here are some tips on how to write a convincing literature review for your paper:

  • Remember that your introduction should be brief and informative. There is no need to offer the readers a complete overview of the literature on the topic. Instead, you should concentrate on the most recent and most relevant sources.
  • To keep the focus on your topic and not stray away to the broader range of information, use the inverted triangle model of literature overview, where you progress from a general description of the subject to the more precise information on your topic.
  • The literature review part of your research paper introduction is intended to not only give your readers information on previous research but also give you new ideas on the development of your own paper.

The Right Way to Write Thesis Statement

The purpose of a thesis statement in your research paper is to grab the attention of the reader and convince them to continue reading the paper to see how the thesis statement will be resolved. To meet the goal of captivating the audience with your thesis statement, here are some do’s and don’ts for this part of the introduction:

  • DO: Introduce a conflict with your thesis statement that you will later expand on with the rest of the paper.
  • DON’T: Make the thesis statement too broad - it will be hard to defend it.
  • DO: Make your thesis statement subjective by clearly showing your position on the matter.
  • DON’T: Try to present a fact as a thesis statement - it’s impossible to argue with the truth.

Use Transition Words In Your Introduction

Wondering how to write an introduction like a professional scholar? Transition words and phrases are exactly what separates amateur writers from true academics. These words and phrases are used to seamlessly link the parts of the paper. In the case of the introduction, the transition phrase should be used to go from the last sentence of the introduction to the first sentence of the body of the research paper, where you need to describe the methodology used in your research.

Add Outline At the Final

Describing the structure of the research paper in the outline is not mandatory, but it will instantly make your work look more professional. Instead of offering a detailed description of the research paper outline, you should fit the content of your paper in just 3 or 4 sentences. They will further prepare your audience for the reading and will help you keep focus on the most important parts of the paper.

Professional Writers Tips

If it’s your first or second time writing a research paper, you may not yet have the skills needed to deliver flawless work. Here are some tips for crafting a perfect research paper introduction from professional academic writers.

1. Don’t Make Long Introduction

Your introduction doesn’t need to be too wordy to make an impression on the reader. On the contrary, short and concise introductions are much more likely to convince the audience to continue reading your paper.

2. Include The Key Ideas In A Few Sentences

The introduction for your research paper needs to follow a logical order that you will then keep in the rest of the paper. Introduce the ideas of your paper in a logical way to make it instantly clear what you tried to achieve with your writing and how you did it.

3. Leave Introduction To The Final Step Of Your Work

Even though the introduction is technically the first major part of a research paper, it does not need to be written first. In fact, you will achieve much better results if you write the body paragraphs first and then simply take the main ideas and write your introduction around them.

4. Review Previous Studies Of Your Topic

Your research paper introduction should reference previous research done on this topic. The people reading your paper know that you are not the first one to investigate this topic, so you need to prepare a comprehensive overview of the ways the problem in question has been covered in the literature.

Free Research Paper Introduction Example

An example of an introduction for a research paper can be very helpful when you are trying to understand the requirements for writing your own introduction:

“For four years, from 1972 to 1976, the death penalty was banned in the US. However, it never stopped being a highly controversial topic. There have been many studies on the effect and morality of death penalty, but the citizens still cannot agree whether we, as a society, can use the death penalty as the ultimate punishment for the most heinous crimes. In this research paper, I will offer solid evidence that the death penalty is the indispensable measure of punishment that every society needs.”


An introduction to a research paper is only the first part of the huge amount of work you need to do, but it’s also one of the most crucial parts. Since it’s the first glimpse of your research paper the reader catches, make sure your introduction is clear, attention-grabbing, and informative. With our tips, you will create a strong research paper introduction in no time!

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Research paper introduction paragraph structure

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Example of introduction in research paper

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How to write introduction in research paper

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How to start a research paper introduction

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