How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper


Writing a succinct introduction is as important as writing a concise abstract. One of the main differences between an abstract and an introduction, however, is that the latter is not as limited in the number of words as the former. So, it might be really challenging for one to know how to make it informative and at the same time not too wordy. Nonetheless, it is really important to pay sufficient attention to writing an introduction for a research paper, as it provides your readers or audience with a rationale on why you have chosen to research a certain topic and what lies behind the study you have conducted. Despite the fact that the introduction is the first section of the paper, it is advisable to write it on the final stage of writing your research paper. In such way, you will not miss out on any important information that has to be included.

It is equally important to highlight on the differences between an abstract and an introduction. An abstract provides a summary of the research: it mentions the topic, the importance of the research, objectives, outcomes, etc. An introduction, on the other hand, provides background information on the very topic chosen by you and centers your research. In particular, it provides information on how you would solve the research question, provides a strong and concise argumentative thesis statement and paper hypothesis.

How to Organize Your Introduction?

Background Information

Providing an introduction to your research paper entails setting the context to your experiments, findings, and conclusion. Thus, it is required to briefly provide background information on the subject (which might as well include historical background: how the research of the topic evolved). Make sure you do not get carried away with presenting too much general information – rather assume that your audience is already well-versed in the topic of your research. Touch only on the relevant content.

Topic Significance

From your introduction, it should be clear to the reader why your research is important. In particular, do your research from scratch (if other researchers have overlooked some topic) or if you are extending some previously conducted research.


Here you focus on any possible limitations that you may encounter while conducting your research. Actually, the limitations mentioned can help one evaluate the validity of your research.


Any research is based on some assumptions. Therefore, it is important for you to mention them in the introductory paragraph. For example, if your research focuses on education, then you might put forward the assumption connected with the economic background of students entering higher educational establishments, etc.

All in all, you should keep in mind the following points:

  • Make sure you carefully follow the structure of the introduction and make it as clear and concise as possible.
  • Make it clear for readers how your research paper will develop after the introduction.
  • Make sure to draft an outline before you start to write the introduction. It will help you stay focused.