How to write an introduction for a research paper

Albert Einstein said, “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind. But creativity may not be conducive with quiet, as most people expect. As previous research shows, a busy life can correlate with a strong imagination. My study proves that the busier the lifestyle, the more creative the person, on average.”

How to write an introduction section of a scientific article?

An article primarily includes the following sections: introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Before writing the introduction, the main steps, the heading and the familiarity level of the readers should be considered. Writing should begin when the experimental system and the equipment are available. The introduction section comprises the first portion of the manuscript, and it should be written using the simple present tense. Additionally, abbreviations and explanations are included in this section. The main goal of the introduction is to convey basic information to the readers without obligating them to investigate previous publications and to provide clues as to the results of the present study. To do this, the subject of the article should be thoroughly reviewed, and the aim of the study should be clearly stated immediately after discussing the basic references. In this review, we aim to convey the principles of writing the introduction section of a manuscript to residents and young investigators who have just begun to write a manuscript.

Introduction

When entering a gate of a magnificent city we can make a prediction about the splendor, pomposity, history, and civilization we will encounter in the city. Occasionally, gates do not give even a glimpse of the city, and it can mislead the visitors about inner sections of the city. Introduction sections of the articles are like gates of a city. It is a presentation aiming at introducing itself to the readers, and attracting their attention. Attractiveness, clarity, piquancy, and analytical capacity of the presentation will urge the reader to read the subsequent sections of the article. On the other hand as is understood from the motto of antique Greek poet Euripides “a bad beginning makes a bad ending”, ‘Introduction’ section of a scientific article is important in that it can reveal the conclusion of the article. [1]

It is useful to analyze the issues to be considered in the ‘Introduction’ section under 3 headings. Firstly, information should be provided about the general topic of the article in the light of the current literature which paves the way for the disclosure of the objective of the manuscript. Then the specific subject matter, and the issue to be focused on should be dealt with, the problem should be brought forth, and fundamental references related to the topic should be discussed. Finally, our recommendations for solution should be described, in other words our aim should be communicated. When these steps are followed in that order, the reader can track the problem, and its solution from his/her own perspective under the light of current literature. Otherwise, even a perfect study presented in a non-systematized, confused design will lose the chance of reading. Indeed inadequate information, inability to clarify the problem, and sometimes concealing the solution will keep the reader who has a desire to attain new information away from reading the manuscript. [1–3]

First of all, explanation of the topic in the light of the current literature should be made in clear, and precise terms as if the reader is completely ignorant of the subject. In this section, establishment of a warm rapport between the reader, and the manuscript is aimed. Since frantic plunging into the problem or the solution will push the reader into the dilemma of either screening the literature about the subject matter or refraining from reading the article. Updated, and robust information should be presented in the ‘Introduction’ section.

Then main topic of our manuscript, and the encountered problem should be analyzed in the light of the current literature following a short instance of brain exercise. At this point the problems should be reduced to one issue as far as possible. Of course, there might be more than one problem, however this new issue, and its solution should be the subject matter of another article. Problems should be expressed clearly. If targets are more numerous, and complex, solutions will be more than one, and confusing.

Finally, the last paragraphs of the ‘Introduction’ section should include the solution in which we will describe the information we generated, and related data. Our sentences which arouse curiosity in the readers should not be left unanswered. The reader who thinks to obtain the most effective information in no time while reading a scientific article should not be smothered with mysterious sentences, and word plays, and the readers should not be left alone to arrive at a conclusion by themselves. If we have contrary expectations, then we might write an article which won’t have any reader. A clearly expressed or recommended solutions to an explicitly revealed problem is also very important for the integrity of the ‘Introduction’ section. [1–5]

We can summarize our arguments with the following example ( Figure 1 ). The introduction section of the exemplary article is written in simple present tense which includes abbreviations, acronyms, and their explanations. Based on our statements above we can divide the introduction section into 3 parts. In the first paragraph, miniaturization, and evolvement of pediatric endourological instruments, and competitions among PNL, ESWL, and URS in the treatment of urinary system stone disease are described, in other words the background is prepared. In the second paragraph, a newly defined system which facilitates intrarenal access in PNL procedure has been described. Besides basic references related to the subject matter have been given, and their outcomes have been indicated. In other words, fundamental references concerning main subject have been discussed. In the last paragraph the aim of the researchers to investigate the outcomes, and safety of the application of this new method in the light of current information has been indicated.

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September 10, 2021

research paper introduction

This is a complete guide on how to write an introduction for a research paper.

To be clear, writing the introduction section of a research paper isn’t rocket science, but it can be a little intimidating if you don’t know where or how to start.

To avoid confusion, and to make sure your research paper assignment is a lot less overwhelming, we’ve written this post to give you some handy tips you can use to write a more comprehensive and coherent introduction for your research paper.

Why is the Introduction for a Research Paper Important?

research paper intro important

Introductions form the thesis of the paper and usually provide a summary of the research issue you plan to investigate and report.

A good introduction for a research paper should do two things very well: make it clear what the topic under investigation is and explain the significance of the research and the results.

There’s no magic bullet to writing the introduction.

Some students opt to leave the introduction to be the final part of the assignment and work on the other parts of the essay first.

Others write the section first. Whichever approach you use, the aim should be to introduce your research in a way that sparks an interest for further reading.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

The right approach to writing a good introduction for a research paper is to write it as the last assignment.

First work on the other parts of the paper and then come back later to work on the introduction.

We do recommend doing this for the simple reason that with the other parts covered, you get a clear picture of the main points and ideas to include in the introduction.

Remember, the aim of the introduction is to get your readers to look into your research paper with the depth that it deserves.

By telling them exactly what to expect in the paper, you easily grab their attention and pique their interest to read further.

With that said, below are some handy tips that you can use to write a good introduction for your research paper.

1. Understand Your Research Theme

The human attention span is so short that you have only a few seconds to grab their attention. If the introduction of your research paper is boring or too general, you lose them completely, which means your paper may not attract the attention that it should.

A creative way to hook readers to introduction of a research paper is to use the inverted triangle strategy.

Here’s how this works

The first sentence of the introduction should be about the general topic you wish to explore in your research. You then follow this some details about the specific research question.

By starting from a broad topic and then narrowing down to a broad topic, it’s easy to draw a reader’s attention and interest to explore the topic in question even further.

2. Explain Important Terms

You will use some key terms in different sections of your research paper.

So it’s important to make sure you explain them in the introduction to avoid confusion.

By explaining the key terms in the research paper, you make it easy for readers to understand your investigation.

3. Be Original

Writing a research paper is like holding a contest. You have to craft every section a way that grabs the attention of the reader.

You’re fighting to stand out, and it’s not an easy battle given the number of students you’re competing with. To stand out from the others, you have to be original.

Humans have no limits when it comes to creativity, and you’re not an exception. Provided your creativity doesn’t bend the rules of formal writing, at least in the case of a research paper, you’re good to go.

Being original doesn’t mean re-writing pre-written introductions on the topics so they pass plagiarism. It means trying your best to come up with solid, reasonable, and interesting ideas that no other student in your class has.

Here are two interesting examples:

  • If you’re exploring a topic in humanities, consider starting the introduction to your research paper with a story or a relevant quotation
  • If you’re a science or medical student, include some scientific facts or less known medical anecdotes in the introduction to keep reader hooked.

The two example above are effective strategies that we’ve used in our research paper writing service and they tend to earn students high scores almost all the time.

4. State the Thesis Statement

While it marks the conclusive part of the introduction, a thesis statement is an important part of the assignment because it transitions a reader from the introduction to the actual research.

The statement should be a sentence long – and you can have a maximum of only two sentences if you wish to give it a bit of a stretch.

Make sure the statement supports everything you said before b putting all your ideas in a logical, concise way.

Generally, your thesis statement should:

  • Give a reader clear information on the topic
  • Be as engaging and precise as possible
  • Highlight the significance of the main issue

5. Mind the Length of the Introduction

There’s no specific word limit for the introduction for a research paper. That leaves you with the option to find a length that’s ideal for you.

It shouldn’t be too long or too short, just the ideal length necessary to grab the attention of your readers and to communicate your message.

You may have to re-read the introduction and make it shorter or longer depending on the depth of your research. Doing so is important for two reasons:

  • It helps to ensure you don’t leave out important information
  • You’re able to delete unnecessary words and phrases while retaining the intended message for your audience.

6. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed with college and university work that writing your research paper in good time becomes difficult.

However, many assignments should not be the reason why you fail to get your research paper completed.

Take advantage of our research paper writing help and get professional academic insight to complete the assignment on time.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

How to Write an Introduction for a research paper

A research essay introduction is one of the most important parts of a project, although it is often one of the places students put the least time and effort. Although other sections of a scholarly paper, such as hypothesis and research methods, are vital, a less obvious yet essential part is the intro. When first starting to write your research paper, take time to write a superior introduction using the tips below to set yourself apart from the others.

What is the Introduction in a Research Paper?

The introduction is a key element in the paper, for many reasons. As the first section of a project, the intro explains a research topic well. It also offers the writer an opportunity to grab a reader’s attention and earn their trust so that they continue through sections that follow it and believe in the research. By gaining credibility through lines introducing the topic, student essay writing has the potential to gain support for their work, a good mark in the class, or another goal.

Furthermore, the beginning section will outline the benefits of a paper and sets a reader up for what will come in the next pages. Without a proper introduction, a reader might question or struggle to understand concepts from the beginning or stop reading. Unfortunately, those problems can lower the paper’s overall quality. That’s why our research paper help service exists, we try to provide help with such problems for our customers.

Best Ways to Come Up with a Sound Opening Paragraph

Rather than worry about how to start your paper, follow these specific points. Firstly, before you even begin writing a research report introduction, ensure that you know your topic well, have done a thorough literature review, research is complete, and conclusions are drawn. As a perfect introduction touches on all of these things, it’s important to have that work done before sitting down to write it.

Now, it’s time to type on a computer or write by hand the report’s intro, depending on which method you prefer. As you craft an opening paragraph, be aware that you’re setting the tone for the entire report. While it is academic, it need not be dull or overly detailed. But it also must not give personal opinions using a term like “heartbreaking” or “sad.” Instead, use an objective writing voice that makes for a professional tone.

How to Structure an Introduction for a Research Paper

A structure for a sound opening paragraph is as follows, in this same order:

  1. Hook sentence
  2. Background research overview
  3. Strong thesis statement

A hook sentence at the very start of a report captures the attention of the reader. It’s this “hook” that keeps a person reading past the introduction or not reading any longer. Put in an effort to craft an excellent sentence that draws the reader in as you likely have a lot invested in this project.

After a hook sentence is an overview of the research background. Essentially, you are explaining what has been done in the topic area, which you will describe in more detail later in the paper. This way the reader won’t have a surprise later with a section that they’re not expecting to read.

Lastly in an introductory paragraph is the thesis statement. It is essential because the thesis is the basis for the entire paper. It is the main point of your report or what you will argue, summed up in 1-2 sentences.

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What to Include in the Introduction of Research Paper Writing + Examples

Next, in this guide are useful tips and examples of those three sections of the introduction. Let’s start with a hook sentence. It can be interesting or shocking to the reader. While some hooks are funny, that humorous tone doesn’t fit with a science paper that you want to be taken seriously so avoid using a joke as your opening sentence.

Different Kinds of Hook Sentences

  • Five popular types of hook sentences are:
  • Statistics or numbers – Approximately 28% of grade 6-12 students in the U.S. have been bullied.
  • Common misconceptions – When earthworms are cut, the frequent expectation is that two small worms will result. However, that’s not completely accurate.
  • Quotes from famous people – Albert Einstein said, “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind.”
  • Questions – Is a lower household income more likely to result in divorce than a higher income?
  • Interesting facts – An average job opening gets 250 resumes.

Choose which hook sentence will capture the reader’s eye and ensure a topic relates to your research paper writing introduction. For example, an interesting fact hook listed above would be a terrific start to a report on which resume template is the most effective for millennial job seekers. But it would not fit with a report on planets at all.

Please note that if you cannot contain your hook in a single sentence, then it’s fine to make it two sentences. The main thing is to draw in a person reading it, so if one sentence doesn’t suffice then make it two.

General Background Sentence

After a hook, summarize the scientific background info you have collected in a sentence or two. For instance, if you began with the Albert Einstein quote above, you might then write, “But creativity may not be conducive with quiet, as most people expect. As previous research shows, a busy life can correlate with a strong imagination.”

This example is effective because the reader anticipates you will discuss this research later in a paper. They now are curious to learn more and, therefore, will keep reading.

Thesis: The Final Part of the Report Introduction

A third element is the thesis statement. As earlier explained, it is an argument or what you intend to prove in your paper.
Continuing with the Albert Einstein example, a good thesis is, “My study proves that the busier the lifestyle, the more creative the person, on average.” It states your position on the main topic; it is your idea that you intend to prove in the coming report sections.

Putting it all together, here is a sample of a sound opening paragraph:

Albert Einstein said, “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind. But creativity may not be conducive with quiet, as most people expect. As previous research shows, a busy life can correlate with a strong imagination. My study proves that the busier the lifestyle, the more creative the person, on average.”

Creating a Powerful Research Paper Introduction: Smart Student’s Tips

When writing a paper, here are a few more things to help you:

  • Write an introduction after the rest of the paper. While this might seem strange, it’s helpful to have clear ideas of what your proposal is and the main points to include in the intro; that’s easier to do after you’ve written the body.
  • Don’t make an introduction so long that you lose the reader’s attention. Give them the main points as described above and avoid run-on sentences.
  • Link the sentences together so that they flow smoothly.
  • Keep the same tone in the introduction as the rest of the article.

While writing a great intro for a research project is hard work, it doesn’t have to be boring. Make your report about a subject that interests you and you’re more likely to enjoy the process. Lastly, as with most things, the more you practice how to write an introduction in the research paper, the easier it’ll become over time. Also, you can get some ideas for your business research paper topics in our blog section.

Do you need help with a project? Let us know; we’re here to help!

If there’s anyone who knows how a good paper looks, it’s Cynthia. As a former English teacher, she has seen so many of them that she can easily give advice at AssignmentBro blog from the comfort of her sofa now.

How to Write an Introduction to a Research Paper?

A research paper is a particularly important academic assignment because it usually takes a huge part of the overall grade for a course. Unlike writing simple essays, writing a research paper is a much more difficult task since it requires thorough work with credible academic sources and interpretation of the findings received. In this paper, the student should demonstrate the best writing, analytical, and critical-thinking skills. To get a good grade, the student should consider a lot of important aspects and a good beginning is one of them.

Knowing how to write an introduction to a research paper, you will be able to engage your reader and help them understand your purpose better. One cannot doubt the fact that a good start is important in everything. When it comes to writing an academic research paper, a good introduction allows the reader to understand the relevance of the topic chosen. If you lack the sufficient skills or experience to write a perfect research paper introduction, make sure to check our guide that contains helpful secrets.

What Is an Introduction?

Before we tell you what is the role of an introduction in a research paper, let`s find out what is an introduction. An introduction in a research paper is the part that is placed at the very beginning. Many students consider this part the most important in the paper as it allows to make a good impression on the reader. Actually, a good research paper introduction should make the reader want to continue their reading.

By engaging the reader, an introduction plays a particularly important role in the writing process. Many researchers prefer to work on this part only when the rest of the paper is written. Such a strategy is pretty clear as it helps avoid numerous revisions. Of course, when the paper is written, you have a broad picture of the points discussed in the paper. Thus, you can easily introduce them in the first paragraph.

How to Write an Introduction to a Research Paper?

No matter if you prefer to write this paragraph at the beginning or at the end of the writing process, it should be done properly in accordance with the academic standards. So, basically, your introduction should include a hook, a thesis statement, and background information if necessary. Below, you will find a few tricks that will help you make your introduction truly outstanding:

  1. State your topic clearly. Actually, your reader should understand what topic you are going to discuss in your paper and how you are planning to do it right after reading your introduction. You may start by discussing the broad issue gradually narrowing it down to your topic. This technique is called the inverted triangle and it turned out to be very effective for grabbing the readers` attention;
  2. Be original. A good hook is an integral part of your introduction. To engage your reader, you may include a specific fact, statistics, an anecdote, or a quote of a famous person that is related to your topic. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of a hood hook because it allows the writer to catch the reader’s attention and make them follow the writer’s ideas;
  3. Explain the unknown terms and concepts. If your reader is confused because of many sophisticated terms and concepts in your paper, they will probably put your paper away. Thus, you should understand the expertise of your target audience and explain some terms if necessary. Keep in mind that by making your paper clear and understandable for your reader, you will reach your goals easier;
  4. Pay attention to the length of your introduction. It always depends on the overall length of your research paper. For example, if your paper is 5-page long, your introduction will take less than a page. However, if the professor’s prompt requires writing a 15-page research paper, you may make your introduction fit 1 page or even more. In order to check out the right proportions, make sure to look for the great examples of the well-written research papers and you will definitely understand how long your introduction should be. Actually, studying the well-written and properly structured research paper examples is a very good technique for boosting your writing skills;
  5. Pay attention to keywords. Also, writing a research paper requires using the keywords in the introduction. These words should help the reader understand what points are discussed in the paper;
  6. Use smooth transitions. Your reader should not experience any difficulties with understanding the flow of your ideas. For this purpose, make sure to use smooth transitions.

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Writing a Research Paper Introduction: Thesis Statement

Many students experience some difficulties with writing a thesis statement because they fail to recognize its purpose. Basically, a thesis statement is the main idea of your paper that defines your direction. Usually, it is written at the end of the introduction and takes only one-two sentences. A thesis statement is always clear, strong, and debatable. Pay attention that when writing a research paper, you should begin each of the paragraphs with a clear topic sentence that is related to your thesis statement. Therefore, your thesis should be pretty multifaceted. Overall, your thesis statement is your main argument that will be supported throughout your main body.

How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes. Revised on December 6, 2021.

A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay. It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.

The main goals of an introduction are to:

  • Catch your reader’s attention.
  • Give background on your topic.
  • Present your thesis—the central point of your essay.

This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.

Essay introduction example

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Table of contents

  1. Step 1: Hook your reader
  2. Step 2: Give background information
  3. Step 3: Present your thesis statement
  4. Step 4: Map your essay’s structure
  5. Step 5: Check and revise
  6. More examples of essay introductions
  7. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction

Step 1: Hook your reader

Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.

Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.

Examples: Writing a good hook

Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.

  • Braille was an extremely important invention.
  • The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly why the topic is important.

  • The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
  • The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.

Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.

  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.

Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.

Step 2: Give background information

Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:

  • Historical, geographical, or social context
  • An outline of the debate you’re addressing
  • A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
  • Definitions of key terms

The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument.
Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.

How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:

Example: Background information The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use.

How to Write an Essay Introduction

“This is a story I want to tell you about the time I almost set myself on fire in my car while going 200 miles per hour and trying to get away from the cops.” – Fortunately, I don’t have such a story to tell, but I bet that I grabbed your attention. “How did I do that?” – you may wonder. Well, that’s what we call an effective hook. Basically, it is a catchy opening line that grabs a reader’s attention and makes them want to read further. A powerful hook and an engaging introduction are two key elements for success when writing an essay. If you may also be wondering how to write an introduction for an essay, continue to read on! This is the ultimate guide for writing a perfect essay introduction to get your readers engaged.

Introduction Definition

In a nutshell, the introduction paragraph of an essay is the first paragraph of the paper. Therefore, it is also the first thing your reader will see in your essay.

What is the purpose of an introduction paragraph? A good introduction performs two functions. Firstly, it tells the reader what you are going to be talking about in your paper; simply put, it should identify the essay topic and give some insight about the essay’s main point. Secondly, it has to evoke interest and motivate the audience to read the rest of your paper.

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How Long Should an Introduction Be?

Generally, there are no strict rules about how long an introductory paragraph should be. Experienced essay writers will usually shape the lengths of their introductions with the overall length of the paper in mind. For example, if you are writing a paper following the standard five-paragraph essay structure, you would want to keep your opening clause concise and have it fit into a single paragraph. However, when writing longer papers, let’s say a 30-page paper, your introduction can take up multiple paragraphs, and even several pages.

Although no strict rules apply, experienced writers recommend that your introductory paragraph(s) be between 8% and 9% of your essay’s total word count.

What Makes a Good Introduction

A powerful introductory paragraph should meet all of these requirements:

  • Have a hook at the beginning of the paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • It should provide background information about your topic.
  • It should give readers an idea about the main points and claims that will be discussed in your paper.
  • It should provide all the necessary information in regards to time frames, characters, setting, etc.
  • At the end of your introduction, there needs to be a clear thesis statement that reflects the main idea of your essay.

What Are the 3 Parts of an Introduction Paragraph?

What should an introduction include? It usually consists of 3 parts: a hook, connections, and a thesis statement. Let’s look at each element in detail.

Part 1: Essay Hook

A hook is one of the most effective introduction starters for an essay. A hook has the purpose of catching the reader’s attention (always in a single sentence). In other words, it is an attention grabber.

Now, let’s answer the question “how to make an interesting hook?” There are several different strategies you can use to create a powerful hook:

  • A shocking fact
  • An anecdote
  • A question
  • A short summary
  • A quote

And here is what to avoid when using a hook:

  • Cliches
  • Dictionary definitions
  • Generalizations
  • Sweeping statements that include words like “everywhere”, “always”, etc.

After pitching an effective hook, you should provide a broad overview of your main topic and state some background information for the subject matter of your paper. If you are wondering how to start an essay introduction, the best way to do so is by providing a broad explanation of your theme and then leading your readers into specific points. Simply put, you should first give some general information and then gradually narrow it down into your specific points.

The 5 Types of Hooks for Writing

Apart from the strategies mentioned above, there are even more types of hooks that can be used:

  1. A Common Misconception — a good trick is to begin with is to claim that something that your readers believe in is not true

Example: “Although many falsely believe that people working from home are less productive – employees who get such work-life benefits generally work harder.”

  1. Statistics — statistical data can be a perfect hook for persuasive essays and serious topics that require delving into numbers.

Example: “A recent study showed that people who are satisfied with their work-life balance work 21% harder and are 33% more likely to stay at the same company.”

  1. Personal Story — sometimes personal stories can be an appropriate hook, but only if they can fit into a few brief sentences (for example, in narrative essays).

Example: “When I had my first work from home experience, I suddenly realized the importance of having a good work-life balance; I saw plenty of the benefits it can provide.”

  1. Scenes — this type of hook requires making the readers imagine the things you are writing about. It is most suitable when used in descriptive and narrative essays.

Example: “Imagine you could have as much free time as you wish by working or studying from home—and spend more time with your loved ones.”

  1. Thesis Statement — some essay writers start directly with their thesis statement. The main trick here is that there is actually no trick.

Example: “I strongly believe that there is a direct correlation between a healthy work-life balance and productivity in school or at work.”

Part 2: Connections

After you have provided a hook and some background information regarding your essay topic, move on to giving readers a better understanding of what you are going to talk about throughout your paper. In this part of your introduction, you should briefly mention your key ideas in the same order in which you will go on to discuss them, and gradually lead your reader(s) to your thesis statement.

Some of the key questions to answer in this part of your introduction are:

Answering these questions in 2-3 sentences each will help you ensure that you provide your readers with complete information about the topic of your essay. However, be sure to keep these sentences concise and straight to the point.

Your main goal is to gradually move from general information about your subject matter to something more specific (i.e. your thesis statement). To make this process more simple, think of your introduction as of an upside-down triangle. In this triangle, the attention grabber (read hook) is at the top, followed by a broader explanation of the topic, and ending with a very specific claim. Here is a simple tip for how to write an essay introduction following this “upside-down triangle” strategy:

  • Make each sentence in your introduction a bit more narrow and specific than each previous one. This simple trick will help you draw your reader(s) into the main part of your paper gradually.
  • Let’s say you are writing a paper about the importance of a good work-life balance. In this case, you can use a question like “Have you ever thought of how a good work-life balance can influence different spheres of your life?” or another hook, then you can continue on by providing general facts and statistics, and finally, you can narrow down your topic to match your thesis statement.

Part 3: The Thesis Statement

If you are wondering how to write an introduction in the best possible way, you should pay special attention to formulating your core statement.

Without a doubt, your paper’s thesis is the most important part. It has to be included in the introductory clause of your paper—as your entire essay revolves around this statement. In a nutshell, a thesis statement provides your audience with a brief summary of the paper’s key claim. Your key claim is what you are going to be revealing or arguing about in the body section of your paper. As a rule, a good thesis statement is very concise (disclosed in one sentence), accurate, specific, clear, and focused. Your thesis should typically appear at the end of your introductory paragraph/section.

To give you an even better idea of what a good thesis should look like, here is a sample statement for an essay about the importance of an adequate work-life balance:

Thesis Statement Example: “To boost the overall productivity of employees, large corporations should create comfortable and flexible working schedules for their workers, therefore, helping them have better work-life balance.”

3 essay introduction parts

Catchy Introductions for Different Essay Types

Although introductory paragraphs usually follow the same set structure, the content placed within its text may differ. The differences in context are defined by the type of essay you will work on, as well as its overall purpose.

When it comes to writing an academic essay, students face four key types of papers most often. These include narrative, analytical, persuasive, and personal essays. Since the purpose of each essay type is different, it is implied that different content should appear within these introductory paragraphs. Here is a complete guide for different paper types with good essay introduction examples:

Narrative Introduction

  • A Narrative essay is a type of writing that requires the writer to tell a story. Basically, simple storytelling is the main purpose of such papers, which makes this type of essay much different from others.
  • The hook for such paper will usually be an intriguing sneak peek into a certain part of the story that indirectly relates to the thesis statement. Additionally, when writing such an essay, a writer should ensure that every claim included in the introduction should relate to some important moments in the story that have also had a significant impact on the story’s outcome.
  • The thesis in narrative writing is usually the theme or main lesson learned from the story.

Narrative introduction example: “ONCE there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids. They were sent to the house of an old Professor who lived in the country, far, far away from everything. He had no wife and he lived in a very large house. He was a very old man with thick white hair. The children liked him at once.” The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis

Analytical Introduction

    • is another common essay type. Unlike narrative papers, an analytical paper aims to dissect an idea and educate its readers about a certain topic.
  • When writing such a paper, students can use any valuable information that is directly related to their thesis statement as a hook for their introductory paragraph. For example, a good hook would be a rhetorical question or a relevant and informative sentence that gives its readers clues about the paper’s main point.
  • The middle part of the introduction should include three critical pieces of information that help to validate the analytical thesis.
  • Since the core purpose of this paper is to analyze subject matter and educate readers, a well-researched and thought-out claim will make a perfect thesis. However, it is important to ensure that this claim should not have any actual weight at the beginning. It should be phrased factually, although technically, it will still be theoretical.

Analytical introduction example: “. Hence even though presidents, CEOs, and generals still have their daily schedules full of economic crises and military conflicts, on the cosmic scale of history humankind can lift its eyes up and start looking towards new horizons. If we are indeed bringing famine, plague, and war under control, what will replace them at the top of the human agenda? Like firefighters in a world without fire, so humankind in the twenty-first century needs to ask itself an unprecedented question: what are we going to do with ourselves? In a healthy, prosperous, and harmonious world, what will demand our attention and ingenuity? This question becomes doubly urgent given the immense new powers that biotechnology and information technology are providing us with. What will we do with all that power? . ” Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari

Persuasive Introduction

    • has only one purpose – to persuade readers of something. You can do this by means of using persuasive techniques like ethos, pathos, and logos.
  • A hook statement in such a paper can really be anything – from an interesting fact to even humor – you can use whatever strategy you wish. The key tip is to keep your hook in-line with your thesis and ensure that it can also serve as a ground for further argumentation.
  • As a rule, writing a persuasive essay requires providing at least three supporting facts. Therefore, you should include a brief outline of each of your three points in the middle of your introduction to gradually guide readers into the main topic of your paper.
  • Lastly, the thesis statement for such a paper should be the main claim that you are going to be arguing about. It should be a well-thought-out and confidently written sentence that briefly summarizes the point of persuasion for your entire essay.

Persuasive introduction example: “Most people know that Abraham Lincoln lived in a log cabin, wore a stovepipe hat, wrote the Gettysburg Address, and led America through a terrible war. But did you know that our sixteenth president loved to tell silly stories, read funny books, collect jokes and puns, and laugh, laugh, laugh? This unusual biography reveals many reasons why Lincoln was a towering president. It wasn’t just his speeches, his wisdom, or his height. It was his rich sense of humor, too. What better way to thrive in tough times (and to lead others through) than to laugh, loudly and long?” Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country), Kathleen Krull

Personal Introduction

  • A Personal Essay is the last type of academic writing that is often faced by students. In a nutshell, this type of essay is a creative nonfiction piece that requires the author to reflect on his or her personal experiences. The purpose of such a paper is to share a story, discuss the lessons that certain experiences taught you, etc. This is the most personal type of writing, which makes it quite different from all of the other paper types.
  • A hook for such an essay can also be anything you wish. It will be appropriate to use a relevant quote, question, joke, piece of information related to the main story, or anything else. Then, you should follow it with a brief explanation of the background of your story. Finally, a thesis statement can be a short outline of how certain experiences affected you and what you’ve learned from them.

Personal introduction example: “That felicity, when I reflected on it, has induced me sometimes to say, that were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults of the first. So I might, besides correcting the faults, change some sinister accidents and events of it for others more favorable. But though this was denied, I should still accept the offer. Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing most like living one’s life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing.” The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin

Tips for Writing a Winning Introduction Paragraph

As you now know how to start a good introduction and have some clear introduction examples to get you started, let’s quickly go through the key takeaways of what you should and shouldn’t do when writing your introduction.

  • Keep in mind the purpose of your assignment and ensure that your introduction is in-line with it.
  • Use an engaging and appropriate hook that grabs the reader’s attention from the first line.
  • Be clear by letting your readers understand your stance well.
  • Explain key terms related to your topic, if necessary.
  • Show that you understand your subject.
  • Provide your reader(s) with a metaphorical roadmap that will help them understand what you are going to cover in the paper.
  • Be concise – it is recommended that you keep your introductory paragraph about 8-9 percent of the total number of words in your paper (for example, 160 words for a 2000 words essay).
  • Make a clear and powerful thesis statement.
  • Keep it engaging.
  • Ensure that your introduction makes a logical and smooth transition into the body of your paper.
  • Request assistance from the EssayPro team if you feel like using some professional essay help!

Don’ts

  • Include too much background information.
  • Go off the topic or include unnecessary sentences.
  • Make your introduction too long (unless you are writing something like a 30-page paper).
  • Give it all away. Leave some things hidden so that you can keep your reader(s) engaged and then reveal them later.
  • Use cliches or generalizations.
  • Be too broad.
  • Use too many quotes.

Video Guide: How to Write an Essay Introduction

Still Can’t Think of a Perfect Intro?

When assigned to write an essay, students end up with a ton of questions, including “How to structure an essay?”, “How to choose a good topic?”, “How to conduct research?”, etc. Yet, one of the biggest questions is “How do you write a good introduction?” Hopefully, our guide helped you grasp the key takeaways for how to create a flawless introduction paragraph for an essay. But if you are still struggling with that, keep in mind that you can always send us your “do my homework” request to get professional assistance from our essay writing service. Here at EssayPro, we employ only the best essay writers who are committed to students’ success.

Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

Offers detailed guidance on how to develop, organize, and write a college-level research paper in the social and behavioral sciences.

Definition

The introduction leads the reader from a general subject area to a particular topic of inquiry. It establishes the scope, context, and significance of the research being conducted by summarizing current understanding and background information about the topic, stating the purpose of the work in the form of the research problem supported by a hypothesis or a set of questions, explaining briefly the methodological approach used to examine the research problem, highlighting the potential outcomes your study can reveal, and outlining the remaining structure and organization of the paper.

Key Elements of the Research Proposal. Prepared under the direction of the Superintendent and by the 2010 Curriculum Design and Writing Team. Baltimore County Public Schools.

Importance of a Good Introduction

Think of the introduction as a mental road map that must answer for the reader these four questions:

  • What was I studying?
  • Why was this topic important to investigate?
  • What did we know about this topic before I did this study?
  • How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding?

According to Reyes, there are three overarching goals of a good introduction: 1) ensure that you summarize prior studies about the topic in a manner that lays a foundation for understanding the research problem; 2) explain how your study specifically addresses gaps in the literature, insufficient consideration of the topic, or other deficiency in the literature; and, 3) note the broader theoretical, empirical, and/or policy contributions and implications of your research.

A well-written introduction is important because, quite simply, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. The opening paragraphs of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions about the logic of your argument, your writing style, the overall quality of your research, and, ultimately, the validity of your findings and conclusions. A vague, disorganized, or error-filled introduction will create a negative impression, whereas, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will lead your readers to think highly of your analytical skills, your writing style, and your research approach. All introductions should conclude with a brief paragraph that describes the organization of the rest of the paper.

Hirano, Eliana. “Research Article Introductions in English for Specific Purposes: A Comparison between Brazilian, Portuguese, and English.” English for Specific Purposes 28 (October 2009): 240-250; Samraj, B. “Introductions in Research Articles: Variations Across Disciplines.” English for Specific Purposes 21 (2002): 1–17; Introductions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; “Writing Introductions.” In Good Essay Writing: A Social Sciences Guide. Peter Redman. 4th edition. (London: Sage, 2011), pp. 63-70; Reyes, Victoria. Demystifying the Journal Article. Inside Higher Education.

Structure and Writing Style

I. Structure and Approach

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions for the reader:

  1. What is this?
  2. Why should I read it?
  3. What do you want me to think about / consider doing / react to?

Think of the structure of the introduction as an inverted triangle of information that lays a foundation for understanding the research problem. Organize the information so as to present the more general aspects of the topic early in the introduction, then narrow your analysis to more specific topical information that provides context, finally arriving at your research problem and the rationale for studying it [often written as a series of key questions to be addressed or framed as a hypothesis or set of assumptions to be tested] and, whenever possible, a description of the potential outcomes your study can reveal.

These are general phases associated with writing an introduction:

1. Establish an area to research by:

  • Highlighting the importance of the topic, and/or
  • Making general statements about the topic, and/or
  • Presenting an overview on current research on the subject.

2. Identify a research niche by:

  • Opposing an existing assumption, and/or
  • Revealing a gap in existing research, and/or
  • Formulating a research question or problem, and/or
  • Continuing a disciplinary tradition.

3. Place your research within the research niche by:

  • Stating the intent of your study,
  • Outlining the key characteristics of your study,
  • Describing important results, and
  • Giving a brief overview of the structure of the paper.

NOTE: It is often useful to review the introduction late in the writing process. This is appropriate because outcomes are unknown until you’ve completed the study. After you complete writing the body of the paper, go back and review introductory descriptions of the structure of the paper, the method of data gathering, the reporting and analysis of results, and the conclusion. Reviewing and, if necessary, rewriting the introduction ensures that it correctly matches the overall structure of your final paper.

II. Delimitations of the Study

Delimitations refer to those characteristics that limit the scope and define the conceptual boundaries of your research. This is determined by the conscious exclusionary and inclusionary decisions you make about how to investigate the research problem. In other words, not only should you tell the reader what it is you are studying and why, but you must also acknowledge why you rejected alternative approaches that could have been used to examine the topic.

Obviously, the first limiting step was the choice of research problem itself. However, implicit are other, related problems that could have been chosen but were rejected. These should be noted in the conclusion of your introduction. For example, a delimitating statement could read, “Although many factors can be understood to impact the likelihood young people will vote, this study will focus on socioeconomic factors related to the need to work full-time while in school.” The point is not to document every possible delimiting factor, but to highlight why previously researched issues related to the topic were not addressed.

Examples of delimitating choices would be:

  • The key aims and objectives of your study,
  • The research questions that you address,
  • The variables of interest [i.e., the various factors and features of the phenomenon being studied],
  • The method(s) of investigation,
  • The time period your study covers, and
  • Any relevant alternative theoretical frameworks that could have been adopted.

Review each of these decisions. Not only do you clearly establish what you intend to accomplish in your research, but you should also include a declaration of what the study does not intend to cover. In the latter case, your exclusionary decisions should be based upon criteria understood as, “not interesting”; “not directly relevant”; “too problematic because. “; “not feasible,” and the like. Make this reasoning explicit!

NOTE: Delimitations refer to the initial choices made about the broader, overall design of your study and should not be confused with documenting the limitations of your study discovered after the research has been completed.

ANOTHER NOTE : Do not view delimitating statements as admitting to an inherent failing or shortcoming in your research. They are an accepted element of academic writing intended to keep the reader focused on the research problem by explicitly defining the conceptual boundaries and scope of your study. It addresses any critical questions in the reader’s mind of, “Why the hell didn’t the author examine this?”

III. The Narrative Flow

Issues to keep in mind that will help the narrative flow in your introduction:

  • Your introduction should clearly identify the subject area of interest. A simple strategy to follow is to use key words from your title in the first few sentences of the introduction. This will help focus the introduction on the topic at the appropriate level and ensures that you get to the subject matter quickly without losing focus, or discussing information that is too general.
  • Establish context by providing a brief and balanced review of the pertinent published literaturethat is available on the subject. The key is to summarize for the reader what is known about the specific research problem before you did your analysis. This part of your introduction should not represent a comprehensive literature review–that comes next. It consists of a general review of the important, foundational research literature [with citations] that establishes a foundation for understanding key elements of the research problem. See the drop-down menu under this tab for ” Background Information ” regarding types of contexts.
  • Clearly state the hypothesis that you investigated. When you are first learning to write in this format it is okay, and actually preferable, to use a past statement like, “The purpose of this study was to. ” or “We investigated three possible mechanisms to explain the. “
  • Why did you choose this kind of research study or design? Provide a clear statement of the rationale for your approach to the problem studied. This will usually follow your statement of purpose in the last paragraph of the introduction.

IV. Engaging the Reader

A research problem in the social sciences can come across as dry and uninteresting to anyone unfamiliar with the topic . Therefore, one of the goals of your introduction is to make readers want to read your paper. Here are several strategies you can use to grab the reader’s attention:

  1. Open with a compelling story. Almost all research problems in the social sciences, no matter how obscure or esoteric , are really about the lives of people. Telling a story that humanizes an issue can help illuminate the significance of the problem and help the reader empathize with those affected by the condition being studied.
  2. Include a strong quotation or a vivid, perhaps unexpected, anecdote. During your review of the literature, make note of any quotes or anecdotes that grab your attention because they can used in your introduction to highlight the research problem in a captivating way.
  3. Pose a provocative or thought-provoking question. Your research problem should be framed by a set of questions to be addressed or hypotheses to be tested. However, a provocative question can be presented in the beginning of your introduction that challenges an existing assumption or compels the reader to consider an alternative viewpoint that helps establish the significance of your study.
  4. Describe a puzzling scenario or incongruity. This involves highlighting an interesting quandary concerning the research problem or describing contradictory findings from prior studies about a topic. Posing what is essentially an unresolved intellectual riddle about the problem can engage the reader’s interest in the study.
  5. Cite a stirring example or case study that illustrates why the research problem is important. Draw upon the findings of others to demonstrate the significance of the problem and to describe how your study builds upon or offers alternatives ways of investigating this prior research.

NOTE: It is important that you choose only one of the suggested strategies for engaging your readers. This avoids giving an impression that your paper is more flash than substance and does not distract from the substance of your study.

Freedman, Leora and Jerry Plotnick. Introductions and Conclusions. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Introduction. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. Department of Biology. Bates College; Introductions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Introductions. The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; “Writing Introductions.” In Good Essay Writing: A Social Sciences Guide. Peter Redman. 4th edition. (London: Sage, 2011), pp. 63-70; Resources for Writers: Introduction Strategies. Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sharpling, Gerald. Writing an Introduction. Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick; Samraj, B. “Introductions in Research Articles: Variations Across Disciplines.” English for Specific Purposes 21 (2002): 1–17; Swales, John and Christine B. Feak. Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Skills and Tasks. 2nd edition. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004 ; Writing Your Introduction. Department of English Writing Guide. George Mason University.

Writing Tip

Avoid the “Dictionary” Introduction

Giving the dictionary definition of words related to the research problem may appear appropriate because it is important to define specific terminology that readers may be unfamiliar with. However, anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and a general dictionary is not a particularly authoritative source because it doesn’t take into account the context of your topic and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. Also, placed in the context of a particular discipline, a term or concept may have a different meaning than what is found in a general dictionary. If you feel that you must seek out an authoritative definition, use a subject specific dictionary or encyclopedia [e.g., if you are a sociology student, search for dictionaries of sociology]. A good database for obtaining definitive definitions of concepts or terms is Credo Reference .

Saba, Robert. The College Research Paper. Florida International University; Introductions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.

Another Writing Tip

When Do I Begin?

A common question asked at the start of any paper is, “Where should I begin?” An equally important question to ask yourself is, “When do I begin?” Research problems in the social sciences rarely rest in isolation from history. Therefore, it is important to lay a foundation for understanding the historical context underpinning the research problem. However, this information should be brief and succinct and begin at a point in time that illustrates the study’s overall importance. For example, a study that investigates coffee cultivation and export in West Africa as a key stimulus for local economic growth needs to describe the beginning of exporting coffee in the region and establishing why economic growth is important. You do not need to give a long historical explanation about coffee exports in Africa. If a research problem requires a substantial exploration of the historical context, do this in the literature review section. In your introduction, make note of this as part of the “roadmap” [see below] that you use to describe the organization of your paper.

Introductions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; “Writing Introductions.” In Good Essay Writing: A Social Sciences Guide. Peter Redman. 4th edition. (London: Sage, 2011), pp. 63-70.

Yet Another Writing Tip

Always End with a Roadmap

The final paragraph or sentences of your introduction should forecast your main arguments and conclusions and provide a brief description of the rest of the paper [the “roadmap”] that let’s the reader know where you are going and what to expect. A roadmap is important because it helps the reader place the research problem within the context of their own perspectives about the topic. In addition, concluding your introduction with an explicit roadmap tells the reader that you have a clear understanding of the structural purpose of your paper. In this way, the roadmap acts as a type of promise to yourself and to your readers that you will follow a consistent and coherent approach to addressing the topic of inquiry. Refer to it often to help keep your writing focused and organized.

Cassuto, Leonard. “On the Dissertation: How to Write the Introduction.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 28, 2018; Radich, Michael. A Student’s Guide to Writing in East Asian Studies. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Writing n. d.), pp. 35-37.

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