Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide

The insertion to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the proofreader. It has several key goals :

  • Present your topic and get the reader interested
  • Provide background or summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Detail your specific research problem
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The introduction looks slenderly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empiric research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources .
The five steps in this article will help you put together an effective presentation for either character of research newspaper .

Step 1: Introduce your topic

The first job of the introduction is to tell the subscriber what your topic is and why it ’ south interest or crucial. This is broadly accomplished with a impregnable afford hook.

The crochet is a hit afford prison term that clearly conveys the relevance of your subject. Think of an matter to fact or statistic, a potent statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the proofreader wondering about your subject .
For model, the watch could be an effective hook for an argumentative newspaper about the environmental impact of cattle farming :
Argumentative paper hookAre cows responsible for climate change?
A more empirical composition investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the adopt hook :
Empirical paper hookThe rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls.
Don ’ triiodothyronine feel that your pilfer necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are inactive more crucial than catchiness. The winder thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas .

Step 2: Describe the background

This part of the insertion differs depending on what approach your newspaper is taking .
In a more argumentative newspaper, you ’ ll research some general background here. In a more empirical composition, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in .

Argumentative paper: Background information

After you ’ ve caught your lector ’ s attention, specify a bite more, providing context and narrowing down your topic .
Argumentative paper background A recent sketch ( RIVM, 2019 ) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia water and enter the standard atmosphere. The cogitation ’ s calculations show that agribusiness is the chief source of nitrogen befoulment, accounting for 46 % of the country ’ sulfur total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1 % each, the industrial sector for 1 % .
Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction international relations and security network ’ t the identify to get excessively in-depth ; if more background is necessity to your composition, it can appear in the body .

Empirical paper: Describing previous research

For a paper describing original research, you ’ ll alternatively provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a kind of miniature literature review —a sketch of the stream department of state of research into your subject, boiled down to a few sentences .
This should be informed by genuine betrothal with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a entire literature inspection, but a absolved feel of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own oeuvre .
Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to .
Empirical paper background respective empiric studies have been conducted into Facebook custom among adolescent girls ( Tiggermann & Slater, 2013 ; Meier & Gray, 2014 ). These studies have systematically found that the ocular and synergistic aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body double issues. Despite this, highly ocular social media ( HVSM ) such as Instagram have so far to be robustly researched .

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Step 3: Establish your research problem

The future measure is to clarify how your own research fits in and what trouble it addresses .

Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance

In an argumentative research composition, you can merely country the trouble you intend to discuss, and what is master or authoritative about your controversy.

Argumentative paper research problem While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a free radical one, but commensurate with the emergence .

Empirical paper: Relate to the literature

In an empirical inquiry paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions :

  • What research gap is your work intended to fill?
  • What limitations in previous work does it address?
  • What contribution to knowledge does it make?

You can make the connection between your trouble and the existing research using phrases like the follow .

Phrase Connection
Although x has been studied in detail, insufficient attention has been paid to y. You will address a previously overlooked aspect of your topic.
The implications of x study deserve to be explored further. You will build on something suggested by a previous study, exploring it in greater depth.
It is generally assumed that x. However, this paper suggests that y … You will depart from the consensus on your topic, establishing a new position.

Step 4: Specify your objective(s)

now you ’ ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper .
The manner you frame this varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis instruction, while an empiric newspaper generally poses a research wonder ( sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer ) .

Argumentative paper: Thesis statement

The dissertation statement expresses the position that the rest of the newspaper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should submit your side clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point .
Thesis statement This paper argues that the dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, specially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming .

Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis

The inquiry question is the doubt you want to answer in an empirical research newspaper .
Present your research wonder clearly and directly, with a minimal of discussion at this decimal point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discourse and investigating this motion ; here you just need to express it .
A inquiry interrogate can be framed either directly or indirectly .

  • This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
  • We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.

If your research involved test hypotheses, these should be stated along with your research interrogate. They are normally presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper .
For example, the follow hypothesis might respond to the research question above :
Hypothesis It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body effigy concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings .

Step 5: Map out your paper

The final contribution of the insertion is often dedicated to a brief overview of the respite of the wallpaper .
In a paper structured using the standard scientific “ insertion, methods, results, discussion ” format, this international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate constantly necessity. But if your newspaper is structured in a less predictable manner, it ’ s crucial to describe the determine of it for the proofreader .
If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the show tense.

  • This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
  • This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …

Research paper introduction examples

Full examples of research newspaper introductions are shown in the pill below : one for an argumentative wallpaper, the other for an empiric paper .

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

Argumentative paper introduction Are cows creditworthy for climate change ? A late study ( RIVM, 2019 ) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the standard atmosphere. The study ’ s calculations show that department of agriculture is the main reference of nitrogen contamination, accounting for 46 % of the nation ’ sulfur total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1 % each, the industrial sector for 1 %. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a revolutionary one, but commensurate with the topic. This composition argues that the dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, specially cattle farmers, to conversion to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the insufficiency of current moderation measures, then discusses the respective advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds .
Empirical paper introduction The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the preponderance of torso image issues among women and girls. This correlation coefficient has received meaning academician attention : versatile empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook use among adolescent girls ( Tiggermann & Slater, 2013 ; Meier & Gray, 2014 ). These studies have systematically found that the ocular and interactional aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body effigy issues. Despite this, highly ocular social media ( HVSM ) such as Instagram have so far to be robustly researched. This newspaper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram consumption on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram practice would be associated with an increase in body effigy concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings .

Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction

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