Learn How to Write an Introduction to a Research Paper as the Pros Do


You’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression. That’s how important research paper introductions are. For many students, how to write the introduction of a research paper is a bit of an uphill task. However, if you get it right, you’ll have your audience clinging to every word. 

A great intro presents a topic and clarifies the research paper’s context. It latches on to readers to get them to go through an entire document. It also integrates a thesis statement that remains the focal point of the whole paper. 

This article takes an in-depth look at how to create flawless research paper introductions that will leave your professor craving for more.

Introduction vs. abstract: What’s the difference?

Many people, who don’t know any better often use both terms interchangeably. But, given their striking similarity, it’s common to get the two mixed up. There is, however, a difference.

The objective of an abstract is to inform readers of the goals and methods used to conduct the research. It also outlines all the key findings of a given study. You can think of it like a brief overview of what’s to come. Introductions, on the other hand, are used to whet a reader’s appetite to entice them into reading the whole paper.

Here’s how you write a research paper introduction.

1. Choose a topic

It may seem like an obvious step but it does play an essential part in creating an amazing research paper. Students who choose topics that are as dull as ditchwater, risk losing the oomph needed to write research papers. So, if at the very least you professor gave you free rein to pick a topic, pick one that won’t leave your readers bored to death.

2. Background information

Just like in any book or film, research paper introductions aim at setting the background. They give context to the project, therefore allowing readers to understand how a student’s work complements previously conducted studies on the subject. 

It’s for this reason that the first paragraphs should provide some background history. It should describe when the initial study on the topic was done and any other studies that have had an impact on the subject. 

However, introductions need to be brief. Ensure that you provide only the most relevant information.

3. The rationale behind your work

Your introduction should justify your research. Here’s what you need to think about:

  • Target audience and various citations of a study. 
  • Summary of your research paper and its educational value. 
  • The objective of your research and its practicability. 
  • Identification of potential problems coupled with their solutions. 

4. Hook 

A great hook captures your audience’s attention and makes them want to keep reading your paper. Some elements of a great hook include:

  • Literary quotes
  • Intriguing facts 
  • Rhetorical questions that inject a little humor
  • Emotion-provoking statements 
  • Famous quotes
  • Anecdotes 

5. Thesis statement 

You can’t have an amazing introduction without a thesis statement. It’s the P in PB&J. It’s the Kim to your Kanye. You get the drift. It is incomplete without a thesis statement. If you attempt to write a research introduction without including a thesis statement, your paper might just end up in your professor’s bin.

Bonus tips

Every student needs a bag of tricks to help them create a powerful introduction. Here are the top three: 

1. Less is more

Students that ramble in their research paper introductions end up losing marks and ultimately scoring a lower grade. Don’t resign yourself to this fate. Ensure that you follow your research paper outline strictly. That way, you’ll be able to structure your introduction accordingly. 

2. Clear definition of the problem

All research paper introductions should end with the thesis statement or hypothesis. At the end of introductions, professors should have a clear picture of what you’re trying to accomplish with the research paper. 

3. Organization

When writing an introduction, you may discover that your content is veering off course. When this happens, modify them as the last thing before submitting your paper.

You can’t go wrong with something catchy

Creating a research paper introduction is time-consuming. But, is ultimately the make or break of your paper. An excellent introduction will determine whether or not you’ll have your audience hooked from the get-go. 

Nonetheless, if you’re writing skills aren’t that great, but you still want a kick-ass introduction, we can help you do just that. Reach out to us today, and our team of expert writers will craft one just for you.