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Tips on how to write an introduction for a research paper

How to write an introduction for a research paper and get good grades

How long should an introduction in a research paper be, and why do you need a well-structured introduction? Writing an introduction for a research paper is no easy deal, as it needs to grab the attention of your readers. It is the first order of business when writing a research paper, as it provides a detailed explanation of what your paper is going to be about. An introduction to your research work should make the readers more inclined to show interest in your paper. It also demonstrates to the audience why you needed to carry out research in the first place and who can benefit from your research paper.

The role of introduction in writing

An introduction to the research paper holds the people’s attention and sets the tone for your academic writing. One of the reasons you should always provide adequate context for your introduction is your audience’s expectations: they have to know whether your research is worth their attention. You set the stage for further contributions when you start an introduction with a captivating sentence or a thought-provoking question that piques the reader’s curiosity. 

A research paper introduction should accomplish several goals at once:

  • Provide direction for your research and outline the specific research topic.
  • Gain the audience’s attention and promote the importance of your research.
  • Identify the main issue of your research work and explain your contribution.
  • Emphasize the importance and novelty of your research.
  • Define your approach to conducting research. 
  • Introduce the key points of your research paper.

If you are thinking about how to write an introduction for a research paper, we recommend defining the aim of your intro first. Does it provide enough information for the readers who are not familiar with your research problem? Is it relevant? Your research paper introduction lays the groundwork for your entire research, so you should never underestimate its role in an academic assignment. 

What makes a good introduction?

Generally, an introduction to a research paper follows a specific format. For example, crafting a research paper introduction should always include some sort of hook to get the reader’s attention, as well as deliver the main point of your paper to readers. It should also feature the following elements:

  • What information do you have on the subject? This will inform your readers about the amount of knowledge you currently possess and whether you know how to use that knowledge.
  • What information needs to be added on the subject? This will bring the audience to the justification of your research, as you are engaging readers with research paper introductions that feature an innovative idea or a novelty concept.
What are your plans and objectives? When writing a research paper introduction, you should always include your aims (objectives). Another key element of a research paper introduction structure is a research hypothesis (a statement that will be explored, tested, and examined).
Introduction to Argumentative Paper Introduction in Empirical Paper
Presents a thesis statement Presents a research question

Introduces the main issue of the paper in one or two sentences (the issue that the rest of the paper will provide evidence for)

The research question is presented clearly and directly, with no additional information or background

Your position on the main issue should be stated in a clear and direct manner, with no vague explanations or factual evidence provided at this point

The research question can either be presented directly (in the form of a question) or indirectly (in the form of a statement)

You don’t have to provide any arguments for your position in the argumentative paper introduction 

You have to include a hypothesis in the past tense as a part of your empirical paper 


Example (Argumentative) Example (Empirical)

This research paper argues that high school students need to be given more freedom in choosing how they conduct themselves in class, which would improve their academic performance.

It was hypothesized that the introduction of a rigid dress code in schools would decrease discipline and student discontent because it would limit students’ freedoms.

How to craft a compelling research paper introduction

Research paper introductions can greatly affect how your college counselor evaluates your paper. Knowing these research paper introduction guidelines, you can transform your introduction within minutes:

Introduce your topic

Starting your introduction with a hook is one of the most effective strategies for research paper introductions. A hook is a sentence that captures the reader’s attention and makes them stay for more information pertaining to your research. The rule of thumb here is to make your hook as relevant and simple as possible. Your audience should easily understand the subject of your paper. Don’t go for the research paper introduction that is overly creative or wordy. Include an exciting fact, a statement that will ignite the reaction or an interesting statistic with evidence.


  • Are humans responsible for every ecological disaster on the planet?
  • Is it true that most people have a cell phone addiction?
  • Are teachers responsible for imposing the rigid dress code in high school? 

Provide background

An introduction to a research paper should always feature relevant background. If you are writing an introduction to a research paper for the first time, you must examine the recent research materials that relate to the theme of your paper. 

  • Example: Empirical studies were conducted to demonstrate the mental awareness of high school students dealing with the pressures of everyday life. The studies showed a direct correlation between imposing a rigid uniform code and the steady decline in the student's academic performance due to too much stress.

Define your research question

Writing a research paper introduction will also require students to identify the key research problem. If you are writing an argumentative research paper, a research problem is a statement that you intend to discuss over the space of your work. An empirical research paper addresses the gaps in knowledge that need to be filled by your research paper introduction.


  • While some efforts have been made to alleviate the high school policies, the dispute still remains unsolved. The approach suggested here may be deemed controversial, but it can counter the effects of rigid laws that limit students’ freedom.
  • It is generally assumed that high school students need to be subjected to dress code rules, a fact confirmed by a variety of high school authorities. However, this paper suggests a different approach to an existing issue based on the studies conducted the previous year.

Determine your objectives 

A research paper should always have a specific objective or a list of objectives that you need to pursue while writing. If you are still perfecting the art of writing a research paper introduction, one of the best introduction writing tips for research papers is defining your research objectives based on the academic paper type.

An argumentative paper will have its goals laid out in the introductory thesis statement. A thesis statement is the key statement that shows where you stand on the issue. When writing your objectives for the research paper, you should not provide additional arguments for a statement. You will follow up with the details once you have established your opinion and set the tone for the academic work.

  • Example: This paper argues that students need to be given more freedom of expression when attending school, which will validate their feelings as creative individuals and inspire them to become more academically accomplished.

An empirical paper objective in a research paper introduction should always include a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an idea or assumption proposed for discussion so that it can be debated, tested, and examined over the space of the research paper. Generally, the empirical paper objective is written in the past tense, which indicates that you have already conducted research in that direction.

  • Example: It was theorized that students given explicit permission to express themselves through their fashion choices exhibited an enhanced academic performance and a better mental state compared to their peers attending boarding schools with a conservative dress code.

These research paper introduction examples summarize the key points of your research and make the audience follow your reasoning. A thesis statement in research paper introductions is another element of the research paper that helps you define its purpose and make sure the audience is aware of the paper’s central points.

Top recommendations for a great introduction

How to write an introduction for a research paper that will make your college counselor proud? If you are one of those students who is constantly worried about writing a captivating thesis statement, we know the solution. You can finally give up the practice of starting every conversation with “Write my essay for me” as a call for help. A professional essay writing service will complete the assignment for you and deliver your research paper introduction on time. 

Understanding the importance of a compelling research paper introduction, we have shortlisted the best tips that you can use for an effective intro:

  • Focus on a specific statement that will grab attention. Also known as a hook, this statement is a sentence that can help the audience understand your point and pay attention to what you are trying to say in your research paper introduction. You can use a controversial statement as an ideal hook or provide an alternative view on the subject that has already been discussed in the previous papers. Your hook should be thought-provoking, memorable, and trigger an emotional response from readers.
  • Present the information in a logical order. You can start writing an introduction with broad strokes. Discuss the overview of the paper, mention your topic, and deliver a sentence or two that will contain some background information to help the readers get familiar with the issue. Once you have presented the bigger picture, zoom in on the details that you want to address. 
  • Stay concise, and don’t make your introduction too long. An introduction is like an opening act to your research paper. It allows your readers to anticipate what the paper will be about. If you look through the examples of strong research paper introductions online, they are never ambiguous or feature complex terms. On the contrary, your audience should immediately understand the point you are trying to convey. We recommend leaving arguments and statistics for the body of the paper. Your introduction should be brief and never overload the audience with data.
  • Make your research paper introduction the last part of your research. One of the research paper introduction best practices is to write it after you have finished writing the body of the paper. This may sound confusing, especially if you already know what the topic of your paper will be. However, saving the introduction for the last will help you avoid cramming all the information into one paragraph or making your introduction identical to your conclusion.

Examples of effective introductions 

Argumentative paper

Are teachers to blame for imposing the rigid dress code in high school? There were empirical studies conducted to demonstrate the mental awareness of high school students dealing with the pressures of everyday life. The studies showed a direct correlation between imposing a rigid uniform code and the steady decline in the student’s academic performance as a result of too much stress put on an individual. While some efforts have been made to alleviate the high school policies, the dispute still remains unsolved. The approach suggested here may be deemed controversial, but it can counter the effects of the draconian laws that limit the students’ freedom.

Empirical paper

The popularity of influencers on social media has led to the rise of mental issues among social media consumers aged 16-18. Despite the number of full-scale studies conducted among UK and US consumers who are actively using Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, no direct correlations have been established between the decrease in self-esteem among adolescents and the time they spend scrolling through social media channels.

This research aims to investigate this correlation and confirm that the connection between excessive social media use and the declining mental state is real. To prove the relevance of this study, we have examined the effects of photoshopped photos on young people’s perception of themselves. This allowed us to address the gap in knowledge existing in the field and showcase real-life examples of young people suffering from unrealistic societal standards and social media pressure.

How to create an impressive thesis statement 

A research paper introduction has the power to arrange your points in a logical order. It organizes your thoughts about the subject and makes the readers follow your line of argument. A thesis statement, on the other hand, provides a brief summary of your research paper without going into a lot of detail and confusing the audience with complicated terms and concepts. It is an outline of your paper that you typically write at the end of your introduction paragraph. A thesis statement should have these three elements to be considered valid:

  • Your thesis statement should be succinct. Writing a research paper introduction means that you will need to adhere to the college guidelines in terms of word count. Your audience needs to understand the point straight away, not play a guessing game or analyze what you are trying to say simply because you have used more words than necessary.
  • Your thesis statement should be original. No matter what type of research papers you are working on, your thesis statement should present an innovative idea or concept. Your audience will be grateful for an original take on the topic or an analytical approach that has never been debated before. Do not repeat trivial statements like “Smoking is detrimental to your health” if you are not ready to back them up with an alternative approach or argument expressed in your introduction.
  • Your thesis statement should be logical. Every detail that you mention in the research paper thesis statement should be explained, debated, and discussed later. As you are transitioning from introduction to body in research papers, you have to make sure that your thesis statement is answered and supported in every paragraph of the paper.

How to write introductions that will help you improve your academic grades? In case you find it hard to understand the complexities of writing a thesis statement or struggle with a college research paper format, an expert writing service can help you create a coherent academic assignment that will be customized to meet your demands. 


An introduction to your research paper provides readers with the necessary background and context to understand the key message of your research. A brilliant introduction will combine several elements, namely the background information on the subject, the research question that will define your research style and methods, and the thesis statement you will address in the body of the paper. 

Your introduction needs to be structured properly in order to emphasize the importance of your research and as a way to provide a supporting argument for your claims. As you apply our strategies and methods to craft a compelling introduction, you will know the ins and outs of a successful introduction paragraph, how long should an introduction in a research paper be, and how narrowing down the topic of your introduction will help you zero in on your research problem or statement.

  • What should be included in an introduction?

    How to write an introduction that will make an impression on your university counselor? A good introduction will always include the background information that you have on the subject, what needs to be added to the audience’s knowledge about the subject, and the objectives you intend to address in the paper.

  • How long should an introduction in a research paper be?

    The ideal research paper introduction length should not be more than 500-1000 words. If you are not sure about the length of your introduction, you can check your university’s guidelines on how to create a proper introduction.

  • Can I start my introduction with a quote?

    Although using a direct quote is not frowned upon in the process of writing a research paper introduction, it is better to start an introduction without using any direct quotations.

  • How do I transition from the introduction to the body of the paper?

    You can use the linking words to ensure a smooth transition between the introduction and the body of the paper (“To get started,” “Let’s examine,” “For our first examination,” “Let us assume”).

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