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The Research Paper Introduction Structure: 5 Basic Writing Rules

Creating the opening to a research paper can actually be quite a difficult thing. Just like a good novel, you will need your initial writing to pack a punch! It should do what every good academic beginning does: be clear, concise, well informed and well written.

Here are my 5 basic rules:

  • Unlike an abstract, there is no word limit for an introduction, but don’t take that as an invitation to waffle on about your expectations forever! It should simply be short and concise; an outline of the study you are commencing to present.
  • It is best to write a rough draft first; covering the main points you need to include. Then, as you come to write the main chapter content, you may find that you need to change parts to incorporate the new course of action you have taken.
  • Sometimes it is even best to write an introduction after you have written the chapters and conclusion. By writing it last, you can be sure that you have covered all the necessary information and expectations you wish to express to your reader.
  • You should begin with a broad overview of the subject before narrowing it down to the issue at hand, which should include: the problem, thesis and hypothesis. You should refer to how you intend to solve the problem being presented and where the reader may expect to be taken in the forthcoming pages. You should set out exactly what you hope to achieve and end it back at the question/thesis/hypothesis.
  • It might sound obvious, but checking your spelling and grammar is of the utmost importance. Once you have finished, be sure to double check for any mistakes. You do not want to be marked down on a mere oversight!

If you want more helpful suggestions, then there is plenty of assistance always available to you! For one thing, it is definitely worth checking out other past student essays to see how they have been handled. The more samples you look at, the better informed you will be. Just look in your library or online to find a plethora of examples. If you still require help, then don’t be afraid to ask your teacher, as I am sure they will be able to assist.

One last thing: do not underestimate how important the opening of your assignment is! The more time you spend on polishing it, the better it will be. Good luck!