How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper: Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Art

April 28, 2023

Do you want to learn how to write an introduction for a research paper quickly? With the right guide, it won’t take you even ten minutes! The first thing to know is what goals the introduction pursues. It helps you to:

  • Explain what your paper is about
  • Establish the background of the topic
  • Introduce your arguments
  • Outline how you’re going to prove them

There are several types of introductions students might have to write depending on the type of their essay. We’re going to tackle them both. By the end, crafting the first paragraph of your paper will be a walk in the park!

Basic Facts: Introduction Definition and Elaborations

Before seeing how to write intro for research paper, you should understand its definition. An introduction is the first section that outlines the background of the topic, presents relevant information about it, and describes what steps you plan on taking to prove your arguments. It could be argumentative or empirical, descriptive or narrative, and of many other types. Don’t worry, though: in most cases, you’ll only have to deal with the former two. They are applicable to the majority of college essays.

What should the introduction of a research paper include when it has an argumentative nature? A good essay writer should do what the name implies: to present their arguments in addition to arguments of the opposite side. The point is to address heated issues and prove that your position is superior by relying on credible sources. An empirical introduction follows other goals. It must describe the relevancy of your topic and outline an experiment you’re about to perform. The first type is based on secondary research; the second one is all about your personal analysis. You have to interview people, conduct research in your chosen setting or do something else to collect primary data. Now it’s time to see how to write them both.

Six Steps in How to Start a Research Paper

We’ve covered the basics, now we can see what parts a typical introduction has. Overall, there are six steps an interested student should take. If you worry about your assignment too much, contact experts and tell them, “Would you write my APA paper for me on a topic I want?” On the other hand, if you want to understand how to craft an introduction once and for all, seeing these steps will help you out.

  • Step 1: Create a compelling hook. Start writing the introduction of a research paper with a hook. The writer’s goal lies in announcing their topic in the most interesting way, such as by joking, shocking, or impressing their readers. For example, in an argumentative essay, it’s better to go with something astonishing or powerful. This is a possible hook: “Almost as many people die from e-waste as they do from different accidents.” This is a surprising statement as few individuals give much thought to the disaster that e-waste brings into our world. It might entice them into reading further.

When students write introduction for research paper of an empirical kind, they should use a more formal tone. Other than this, everything stays the same. An example: “The decision of Uber to launch driverless rides is a dangerous idea that can result in the sharp rise of unemployment and accidents.” Numerous people never heard about Uber’s plan; others didn’t consider what consequences it might have. A hook like this might intrigue them.

  • Step 2: Mention literature. All papers are based on sources. How to write a good research paper introduction on an argumentative theme? Mention what research was already done by other people. Following up on our e-waste topic: “Marchal (2019) discovered that 30% of people who have contact with e-waste experience severe health problems, with a big part of them facing death.” This sentence makes it clear that we’ll be relying on Marchal’s research in future paragraphs.

For empirical papers, students should mention at least one group of sources: “Alisson (2020), as well as Wordson and Piffley (2022), offered detailed data on how many drivers worked for Uber over the last decade. Valens (2022) investigated how many accidents happen in automatic cards.”

  • Step 3: Describe background. Wondering how to write introduction for research paper when it comes to the background? Easy: include about three or five sentences that outline your topic. For argumentative essays, explain what core an argument has: “An alarming number of people deny or minimize the negative effects e-waste has. They believe that it disappears legally and is handled in safe ways. However, research shows that this is not the case. Over 70% suffer after working with e-waste for at least a year.”

With empirical research, elaborate on previous research. Explain who did what & which limitations they might have faced: “Previous scholars focused on separate elements from Uber’s new plan. Alisson (2020), along with Wordson and Piffley (2022) concluded that Uber employed over 1 million people in the US alone. This means that the company is a large employer that gives a huge slice of the population a chance to earn their income. Valens (2022) proved that the rate of accidents in automatic cats stands at 52% for technical problems. However, these researchers did not combine their findings for establishing the outcomes Uber’s future plan might have.”

  • Step 4: Underline importance. When remembering how to write an introduction paragraph for a research paper, keep importance of your topic in mind. Prove why your work is great and why it deserves attention. Do this in argumentative essays: “If an e-waste issue remains unnoticed, in several years, more than a million people can die, and this number will keep growing.” This line warns readers about disastrous consequences of their ignorance.

In empirical essays, do the same but support your topic choice with literature examples: “It is crucial to predict how many people might suffer as a result of Uber’s decision by examining the loss of employment and risk of accidents together. Previous research was limited as it only explored individual elements. It proved that Uber is a significant employer and that automatic cars might be prone to accidents, but no effort was made to offer a detailed outline of consequences of its new plan, even though lives depend on it.”

  • Step 5: Introduce thesis or hypothesis. Thesis serves as the last sentence in your research paper introduction outline. It has to be strong and challenging in argumentative essays: “Despite the fact that some individuals deny catastrophic effects of e-waste, research shows that it increases pollution and causes various diseases, all of which may result in death.” This thesis presented both views: that belonging to the opposition and our own.

Empirical research deals with personal insights, meaning that you need a hypothesis here. You are making suggestions — you might prove them wrong or right in your work. Example: “It is hypothesized that Uber’s driverless plan will increase the level of unemployment by at least 7% and that rate of accidents will jump by 3%.”

  • Step 6: Outline. This step is optional. It’s relevant in large essays or when a professor asks his students to include it. Explain what you’re going to do in your paper, regardless of its type. Use such expressions as, “First, links between two variables will be explored. Second…” and so on.

Time for Practice: See Research Paper Introduction Example

Sometimes even all the theories in the world aren't enough to make a person understand something. This encourages multiple students to pay to write research paper because they don’t think they can do it by themselves. Thankfully, this is what practice is for! We’re about to share two examples with a perfect introduction, covering both argumentative and empirical kinds.

First, how to start an introduction for a research paper when it has an argumentative nature? We wrote one on the topic “The Ending of Supernatural Undermined All 15 Seasons.” This is a popular show, and if you’ve seen it, you probably have something to say about it, too, just like millions of other people! This makes this theme perfect for an argumentative essay.

Anyone who felt invested in a TV show knows how devastating a bad ending could be. As Elliot and Cordelia (2022) noted, a huge number of people worldwide can feel the impact of it, especially when one of the protagonists dies, or the writing becomes wildly illogical. Supernatural can boast of doing both. When its final episode aired in 2020, fans in every country left millions of frustrated comments complaining about their failed expectations. The death of Dean Winchester and the fact that the plot dismissed everything the show has become over its 15 seasons were the two biggest problems (Elliot & Cordlia, 2022). The fact that they happened underlines the gap that still exists between what writers and their audiences perceive as a good idea. While some people praised the finale of Supernatural for returning to its roots, the majority felt disappointed because the death of protagonist Dean Winchester happened out of the blue at the hands of a random character, and a plot that has been developing for over a decade became forgotten.

When writing an introduction for a research paper, we included a hook: it’s the first sentence where we appeal to other watchers of TV shows. Many people experience feelings of frustration with their favorite show, and this might encourage them to keep reading. Then we introduced the major source we planned on relying on throughout the paper; we outlined the background, explaining what happened and when. Finally, we emphasized the importance of exploring this topic and crafted a thesis where we mentioned views of opposition as well as our own position.

For more introduction examples for research papers, let’s review a sample of an empirical essay. It covers a topic with the title “How Many Refugees Fled Ukraine at the Start of Russian Aggression & On Which Dates.”

The attack of Russia on a smaller and independent country Ukraine has displaced millions of people. As Smit (2012), as well as Norings (2021), indicate, refugees pose one of the largest problems whenever a war is unleashed because they flood other countries, causing financial and societal chaos. Over eight million Ukrainians escaped the country after Russia attacked it on land and by air, sending missiles that destroyed countless residential buildings and critical infrastructure. It is vital to analyze how many escaped what cities and on which dates to gain a clearer picture of Russian aggression and its consequences. Rosenberg (2023), as well as Spike and Hallow (2022), offered numbers detailing who left when, but no scholar connected the dates with the cities along with events that happened there. This paper hypothesizes that the majority of refugees left during the first week because of missile attacks first and foremost. It is going to analyze what other researchers discovered on this topic, interview a sample of 100 refugees, and connect their answers. Finally, it will create a link between dates, numbers, cities, and events.

In this introduction outline for research paper, we created a strong hook that mentions pieces of staggering statistics about refugees who fled Ukraine. Then it suggests sources that it will focus on and describes the background and limitations previous scholars faced. It offers to apply a new approach by suggesting a hypothesis and detailing how a writer is going to address it. See more free writing samples if you want extra examples. The more of them you see and understand, the easier it’ll be to write your own introduction. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions left!

Enjoy Writing Introduction to Research Paper on Your Terms

Once you absorb all the information and tips we shared, you’ll have no problems writing an introduction for your essay. Select a good topic, develop a thesis, choose an intriguing background, and share your intentions. Make your thoughts compact but clear, and readers will show genuine interest in hearing what you have to say. If something goes wrong at any stage, get cheap research papers for sale from professionals. This could help you prepare for doing your task on your own without losing points. Believe in yourself, and in case any problems occur, let us know! We’ll be happy to answer your questions.