How to write a research paper intro paragraph

Research papers are considered to be a critical part of the academic career of a student. Writing research papers help the students in conducting future scholarly work. These papers help individuals regardless of their professions. Whether a person is a scientist or an instructor or a business person or a student, research papers facilitate individuals. Regardless of the field or profession, a person will most likely be asked to write a research paper at some point. Individuals feel intimidated by writing research papers. After all, writing research papers require a lot of time and effort also methodologies and tools to analyze the results. However, writing a research paper presents an opportunity for individuals to gain expertise on a certain subject and share their understanding with the readers. When it comes to the research papers, an introduction paragraph is of utmost importance.

The introduction paragraph helps the authors to set up their topic and approach the readers. It also enables them to provide background information on the topic and present their positions. The introduction paragraph also facilitates the authors in providing an overview of the paper. It seems that most people find writing an introductory paragraph a frustrating and a slow process. The reason for this is that an introductory paragraph is not just an introduction. It presents an entire thesis of the research paper and presents an outline of the information contained in the body paragraphs. Students often lose their track of thoughts while writing an introductory paragraph.

A good introductory paragraph will provide a solid foundation and encourage readers to further read the research paper. This article presents useful tips and tricks that will make the research paper introduction hook the readers by grabbing their attention.

Introducing the topic

The author should introduce the topic and inform the readers of the importance of the topic. Also, the author should hook the readers by using an attention-grabbing fact or a statistic. A hook is a catchy opening sentence that conveys the importance of the topic and also grabs the readers’ attention. In addition to interesting facts or statistics, anecdotes, quotations, or a question are also attention-grabbing. A hook does not necessarily have to be deeply creative. The authors should keep in mind that clarity is of utmost importance. They should not ignore clarity while focusing on catchiness.

Describing the Background

Provide the context and narrow down the topic in the introduction paragraph. However, the background differs with the type of research. In argumentative papers, a general background is required whereas, in empirical papers, previous research is mentioned.

Narrowing down the topic

The introductory paragraph should describe the broad research area and then narrow it down to the focus area. This will help the authors in explaining the perspective and providing a birds' eye view of the area of study. The research theme should be mentioned in the introductory paragraph.

Stating and Aims and Objectives

The authors should mention the aim and objective of conducting the research. The readers should be told the importance of conducting the research and what will it achieve.

Providing In-text Citations

Any material taken from outside sources should be cited. The author should give proper credit to others’ work. Citations and referencing increase the reliability of the research article and also lends credibility to the author. Also, the readers can confirm the facts by verifying them from outside sources. However, the introduction should not overflow with citations. Excessive citations should be avoided in the introductory paragraph. Rather, they should be used in the literature review section.

Explaining Key Terms

The author should describe the key terms used in the research paper. All the concepts should be made clear to the reader in the introduction to avoid confusion. The keywords can include single words or a group of words related to the topic.


The introduction should be short and brief. However, its length should depend on the overall length of the research paper. The journal guidelines should also be checked to see if there is any word count requirement.

Follow the Journal Guidelines

Many journals have specific requirements regarding what should be included in the introductory paragraph. For instance, some journals specify the maximum number of words, or some journals require aims, background, or hypothesis. Therefore, the authors should follow the guidelines.

Avoid including unnecessary details

The authors should avoid sharing unnecessary details in the introduction section. The introductory paragraph should include the gist of the sections rather than the detailed information. For instance, the author should provide the methodology used rather than go into a lengthy discussion. A lengthy discussion should be done in the methodology section. The introduction should provide a preview of the sections of the research paper.

Stating Hypothesis or Research Question

The introduction section should include the research question or hypothesis. The hypothesis is formed in the empirical studies. Whereas, the research questions are usually included in the exploratory research. Both research question and hypothesis help the authors in shaping the research. They guide the readers.

While drafting the research paper, the introduction should be the first thing that an author should plan. It serves as a roadmap and also presents an outline or an overview of the research paper. The introduction paragraph should clearly state the background, aim, research question, and hypothesis of the study. The introduction needs to hook the readers and guide them regarding what is going to come next in the research paper. The introduction paragraph sets the scene for what follows in a research paper. It presents an overview of the research paper’s sections, including methodology, results, and discussion sections.

These tips will enable the authors to write effective introductions that hook the readers and capture their attention. These introductions will be both concise, and to the point and they will effectively present an overview of the research paper.