Components of a Research Paper Introduction

You will, by the time of starting to write an introduction, have a topic. Usually, the topic is a broad way of presenting the major issues. As you write on, including the introduction, you will have to provide further details on these general issues. Here's how to write a good introduction:

  • Ask what the question is: This helps to formulate the problem. Every good research paper will seek to provide an answer to a given research question. This question is the basis by which a thesis is formulated. Usually, previous research has sought to answer previous domineering questions. Yours will be to give an answer to a new question asked by others or yourself. For instance, if you have a broader topic such as "Modern Methods of Administration", ask yourself "what do are the modern methods of administration I would like to tell readers about?" However, more specific questions help to draft a more specific thesis statement (one which narrows on only one issue). For instance, "which are the most prevailing modern methods of administration?"  

  • Say what others have find out on the matters: This forms the background of the paper. A research paper introduction is basically a highlight of the whole paper. One section in the paper will highlight the findings from other researchers. Highlight some of the findings in one or two sentences in the introduction, after stating the main problem.

  • Key challenge: A key challenge will expose weaknesses of previous research in answering the present question. That is the gap you will delve into filling via your own research. The key challenge proves that the academia, stakeholders or individuals either need new ways of dealing with the prevailing problem, or that they need a further understanding of the problem.

  • Here's my solution:  This forms the hypothesis or objectives of the study. The proposed solution is yet to be proved in the discussion that proceeds. Hypotheses, which are important aspects of your proposed solution, will be tested either true or false by the proposed methods. Your solution must provide answers to the question without wavering. It must be informed by the current existing information about the problem.

It is advisable to read widely before coming up with the introduction. As can be seen, most of the issues in the introduction section will be developed from an understanding of present problems that need current answers - answers that are yet to be provided in the existing literature/experiments. This is how a traditional research paper differs from a literature review paper. 


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