Quick Pointers For A Research Paper: The Introduction

By | August 6, 2020

The first step is often the hardest. This is certainly true when writing the introduction of a research paper.  As an essential part of the paper itself, it must be done right so that your paper is a good one.

The main parts of the introduction to be explained here are the background, research scope, rationale, hypothesis, and other inclusions.

1. Background of the paper

Similar to the beginning of a good story, the background gives the reader the context for why the paper was made.  It may explain the history of what has happened so far and share some issues affecting society.

For example, in a paper about mobile games and their effects on learning, the background might discuss how this is the most popular form of entertainment today by presenting surveys and recorded interviews about why kids love them. It may also share issues that parents have about the games’ effects on their children’s studies.

2. Research scope

In this portion of the introduction, you will briefly explain how you will go about the research and what you will and will not look into.  This gives the reader the idea of the plan.

Returning to the mobile game example, you might mention that your study will look into the effects of games and the studies of high school juniors and seniors in your school only.  It may also limit these games to just the non-educational ones that involve online cooperation like Dota 2 or League of Legends.

3. Rationale

In the rationale, you defend why your research needs to be made.  Here you explain how helpful it will be to discover the answers to the problem and how others will benefit.

Again, for the mobile game research, you can say the paper aims to confirm if mobile games are really a hindrance to learning or if there is something else affecting studies. You can mention how the research can help the school administration, community leaders, and game developers.

4. Hypothesis

This is where you share your idea of what you expect to discover.  Your side on the issue becomes the recurring theme throughout the paper as you seek to determine if you are correct.

Since research is a journey, you don’t have to have the “correct” hypothesis.  That is not the point.  If it turns out you are “incorrect,” it is okay provided that you and the reader have now discovered the true answer to the question.

5. Other Inclusions

Depending on your teacher and the purpose of the paper, your introduction might include other things.  Some teachers require you to present an outline of the paper.  Other teachers might ask for related researches in the introduction.

Should any of these be needed, simply ask for an example to view so that you’ll know what you need to create for your paper.


Although not everybody may be inclined to writing, having a great introduction to your research paper is important to convey to the audience (like your teacher!) what they are about to read.  Take note of the tips above to have an outstanding research paper.

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