How to create a catchy research paper introduction

The introduction is one of many components to a research paper, and writing a catchy introduction is necessary to hook your reader. Your introduction should begin with the broad basis of the research paper and narrow it down to your field of study, using rationale to support every step along the way.

The best way to visualize the introduction is to picture an inverted pyramid. Your introduction starts with the wide overview and then it narrows toward the thesis at the tip.

The introduction is where you inform your readers about the reason for the research and why your work is essential. You don’t have a word limit with the introduction, but you still want to ensure it is concise. This is often the bane of most researchers because it is very tempting to try and include every single point in the introduction, even if there isn’t space for it.

If you have a longer research paper, the outline can be used to create the introduction. You want to review the paper and address the research problem or thesis. It should then explain how you will solve this research problem or this thesis. This is the part where you hook the reader and lead them to read the rest of your paper.

As you write your introduction, aim for a target audience that has solid knowledge of your field. If, for example, you are writing a research paper on evolutionary adaptations, you don’t have to explain Darwinism in your introduction. This is far too remedial and unnecessary.

Background

Your introduction needs a background that takes up no more than one or two paragraphs and explains the history of your field or the research problem.

Importance

This is where you explain the importance of your research and the results it produced. You want to explain the impact that your research will have.

Limitations

Highlight any weaknesses involved in your experiments. Don’t wait until the discussion section to point them out.

Assumptions

Point out any assumptions that you made in your research.

Overall, keep your introduction short. A rambling introduction will turn readers off of your paper rather than on to your paper. If you stick to your outline very closely you can stay on your mark. Make sure that you define the problem and logically end your introduction at your thesis statement or research question. You want your reader to know exactly what you are going to achieve with your work once they reach the end of the introduction.

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