Writing a Research Paper: why Introduction is so important?

When learning to write papers in grade school, many students pick up the bad habit of paying little attention to creating a great introduction for the paper. This is due largely to the fact that instructors place little emphasis on the paper introduction during that part of the learning process. However, as one progresses on to more complex assignments like research papers, it becomes increasingly important to create a quality introduction for the paper.

The Structure of a Great Introduction

Initially students are taught a very simplistic form of introduction. They’re instructed to state their thesis and then simply highlight some of the main points they will use to support it before segueing into the body of the paper. This simplified introduction rarely exceeds five or six sentences, and it is in no way sufficient for a research paper. A great introduction for a research assignment needs to accomplish a number of things which simply aren’t possible within the bare bones framework of a grade school style introduction:

  • Laying a foundation in topical knowledge for the audience
  • Providing a framework for the structure of the paper
  • Stating the thesis
  • Sharing the author’s motivation for choosing the thesis
  • Highlighting support for the thesis

Why are Research Paper Introductions so Vital?

There are a number of factors which contribute to making the introduction one of the most important sections in every research paper. Due to the length and typical complexity of this type of assignment, your reading audience will require some preparation before diving into the topic of the paper. Research papers often delve into a subject beyond the scope of layman’s knowledge, so it is vital that the author lay some groundwork before continuing.

Also, because research papers tend to be long, the organizational structure can be complex. One way to maintain a good flow throughout the paper is to mimic its overall structure in the introduction. This a great way to ease your audience into paper and create a cohesive final draft.

Finally, research papers make great demands upon your audience’s attention span. A lively, intriguing, well-structured introduction sets a positive tone for the entire paper. Even a well-researched paper with interesting material can make a poor impression if the introduction isn’t of high quality. After all, you only get once chance to make a great first impression. Don’t waste it—put some time, effort, and thought into writing your research paper introduction.