Writing an effective research paper introduction is absolutely vital to your success as a student because it not only informs the reader about what he or she will learn but also sets the tone and makes them want to read the rest of your paper, too.
But how do you write an outstanding introduction that captures the interest of your readers and inspires them to read on?
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to write a research paper introduction and walk you through a few examples so that you can start writing your own.
Importance of a research paper Introduction
The introduction is one of the most important parts of your academic research paper.
It should provide background information on your topic, state your thesis, and explain how your paper will support your thesis.
A good introduction will make your readers want to read your paper.
A bad introduction will make them want to put it down.
The other thing you will need to do in your introduction is set up the structure of your paper by explaining what each subsequent paragraph will cover.
To do this, use specific statements with action verbs such as explore or discuss instead of words like a discussion.
Remember to tell readers which way they should be reading by following either chronological order, cause-and-effect order, or compare-and-contrast order
Types of Research Paper Introductions
There are four types of research paper introductions: Emergent, Developmental, Conjunctive, and Disjunctive.
Emergent introductions are the most common type of introduction used in scientific papers. They state the problem being studied, its importance, and the gap in current knowledge that your study will fill.
Developmental introductions begin with a broad overview of the topic before narrowing it down to your specific thesis statement.
Conjunctive introductions are like developmental introductions, but they connect what is known with what you want to know by linking them together.
Disjunctive introductions take two existing viewpoints on an issue and point out their similarities and differences. The idea behind this type of introduction is to challenge or refute one side or the other and leave it up to the reader to decide which viewpoint has more merit.
Here is a summary of each type of intro:
- Emergent — What does current knowledge say? (What we currently know) — What does our study say? (What we found) — Where does our study leave us?
- Developmental– Current thoughts about subject A (A’s impact on people’s lives) — Current thoughts about subject B (B’s impact on people’s lives)
- Conjunctive– Two different points of view about a question– Which one do I agree with?
- Disjunctive– Discussion of two opposing views– Who’s right?
Planning Your Research Paper Introduction
A research paper introduction is the first paragraph of your paper, so it is one of the most important pieces.
To get started on your Introduction, you need to ask yourself four questions.
- What am I going to talk about?
- Why do I want to talk about this?
- How will I go about talking about this?
- And how does my work relate back to other people’s work on this topic?
The next step in writing an Introduction is to determine your point of view.
Am I taking a positive or negative stance? What are my intentions for writing this paper? Do I want to prove something or disprove something? Answering these questions will help you determine what tone your introduction should take.
Once you know that, make sure that the thesis statement reflects that tone.
Creating Specific Thesis Statements
What you primarily want your reader to take away from your research paper introduction is your thesis statement.
Having a specific, clear thesis statement will help you narrow down what you will discuss in more detail in later paragraphs of your paper.
Your thesis statement needs to be three things: Relevant, Strong, and Logical.
In order for it to be relevant, it must provide an interesting perspective on the topic that you are covering. It needs to be strong enough to stand alone as a cohesive argument without using any further evidence.
Finally, it should logically follow your introductory paragraph.
Choosing Effective Words for the Introduction
When writing your first draft of the introduction, it is easy to get too wordy. This can be a challenge because you want your thesis statement to sound as powerful as possible.
One way to cut down on the number of words you use is to focus on creating sentences that contain only one idea.
For example, There are many ways to start a research paper. Focus on shortening the sentences by eliminating unnecessary words such as also, in fact, actually, therefore, because, if only. These words add extra information that isn’t necessary to convey the meaning.
They can be replaced with single words. Use verbs instead of nouns, state facts instead of opinions, and stick to simple sentence structures instead of trying to come up with fancy clauses. The fewer words you use, the more powerful your paper introduction will be.
Examples of Research Paper Introduction
Example of a research paper introduction to Bipolar disorder Treatments Paper
The American Psychiatric Association defines bipolar disorder as a condition in which people have extreme mood swings. Bipolar disorder symptoms come in episodes that are categorized as either manic or depressive, but they can overlap with each other. The person experiencing the episode may not be able to function well in society. Mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, which control the extremes of mood, can help manage a bipolar episode. Treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, group psychotherapy, family-focused therapy, individual psychotherapy, medication management, medication monitoring, mindfulness meditation/mindfulness-based cognitive therapy/mindfulness-based stress reduction may also be helpful. Though, some patients with severe or psychotic features are often treated with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments. The ultimate goal is to minimize the risk of relapse and limit the severity of future episodes.
Example research paper introduction paragraph with Cyberbullying thesis statement
Cyberbullying has become a major issue in recent years. Numerous studies show that cyberbullying victims experience lower self-esteem, increased anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicidal ideation, and impaired academic performance. This is a serious problem that has begun to affect children, teens, and adults of all ages. To solve this problem, we need to take a proactive approach. The government needs to recognize the severity of the situation and put in place more laws that punish perpetrators of this crime. Parents need to keep a closer eye on their kids and monitor their devices. Schools need to be more proactive in educating students about how to avoid being bullied and what to do when they are being bullied. Most importantly, the bullies themselves need to learn that what they are doing is unacceptable.
Sample introduction for a research paper about Blockchain technology
Blockchain technology is the foundation of cryptocurrencies. The blockchain, in a nutshell, is a distributed ledger where every transaction that occurs within the network is verified and shared with everyone on the network. It’s important to note that transactions are not made public, so no personal details are shared. The transactions are encrypted, so hackers can’t steal them. It’s also impossible to make a fake transaction because the data can be validated. A hacker would need to hack into multiple computers simultaneously in order to do that. The system is designed so that there are always three copies of the data and the data is automatically updated on each computer in real time. Once a new block is created, all the computers in the network compete to validate it. If they agree that it’s valid, then they approve of adding a new block of data to the chain. Overall, blockchain promises to revolutionize the way we interact with one another and exchange goods. However, it is still a relatively new concept that needs to go through many stages of testing before its potential is fully realized.
Research Paper Introduction Final Remarks
The introduction should be short and concise. This is the part of the paper that grabs your reader’s attention and hooks them in to continue reading. Think of it as the opening of a novel that pulls you in from the first sentence.
Make sure to include a thesis statement at the end of your introduction, which is a sentence that explains what your entire paper will be about. Your reader should know exactly what they are going to read by the end of your introduction.
And remember the introduction is not the place to discuss your thoughts on the topic, but rather to summarize what your paper is about.