How to Write a Flawless and Convincing Research Paper Introduction

How to Write a Flawless and Convincing Research Paper Introduction
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write a Flawless and Convincing Research Paper Introduction
  2. What is an introduction of a research paper
  3. Purpose of the introduction in a research paper
  4. Function of the introduction in a research paper
  5. How to start a research paper
  6. Research paper format
  7. What is the structure of research paper introduction
  8. What makes a strong introduction
  9. What to avoid in an introductory paragraph
  10. A good research paper introduction example
  11. How to write a good introduction to a research paper
  12. Tips for creating a compelling introductory paragraph
  13. Conclusion

A term research paper refers to the expanded study that presents the interpretation, evaluation, or argument. Therefore, when you write a research paper, you build your content based on not only what you know but also what the experts in this subject know and the general existing knowledge on the topic. After getting the assignment to write a research paper, every student should start with the creation of an efficient research paper introduction. This part goes right after the title page and abstract of the research paper. The introductory part makes the first impression of the paper, so this is the first actual interaction of the reader with the paper. To use the opportunity to show the audience why your research paper is valuable and worth reading, the writer should get acquainted with all the crucial aspects of writing a compelling research paper introduction. We know that it is usually hard to find all the necessary information on what you search gathered in a single document. To ease the task and help you,  our experts did their best to create such a useful guide. After reading this article, you can start writing your research essay. This guide contains all the important information about how to write a research paper introduction and how to organize your writing process in a way you will not get stuck on any of the stages of essay writing.  


What is an introduction of a research paper

An introduction of a research paper is the very first paragraph of the writing. In other words, it is the first important thing the writer says, the first thing readers see or experience about your research paper. As a result, without a clear introduction, the audience will have problems figuring out what the writer will discuss.

     Purpose of the introduction in a research paper

The core purposes of the research paper introduction are:

  • lead the audience from a general topic to a specific field of research
  • establish the overall research context
  • summarize current background information about the research topic
  • state the purpose of the paper in the form of a particular hypothesis/ research problem/ question
  • explain the rationale in a concise manner
  • provide a methodological approach
  • highlight the potential study outcomes 
  • describe the structure of the research paper.

  Function of the introduction in a research paper

The research paper introduction serves as a road map to the whole paper. The core function of this part of the research paper is to answer several important questions:

  1. What am I studying?
  2. Why is the particular topic important to investigate?
  3. What was known on the specific issue before research?
  4. How will such a study advance readers' knowledge?

A well-written research paper introduction is essential because you will never get another chance to make an excellent first impression. Therefore, it is of vital importance to provide your reader with the best initial impressions about:

  •  the basic logic of your argument,
  • the overall quality of your research,
  •  the validity of your findings and conclusions
  • your writing style.

The opening paragraph of your research paper cannot be vague, chaotic, or error-filled, as it will create a negative impression. By contrast, it should be concise, appealing, and well-written to make your readers admired by your analytical skills, writing style, and research approach.

How to start a research paper

Even though the research paper introduction is the first section of the overall paper content, some writers prefer to finish this part of the paper very late in the research essay writing process. The reason for such an illogical order is the necessity to match all the structure of the paper content, including analysis or reporting analysis and conclusion. 

     Research paper format 

Before starting the research paper, it is necessary to know what style guide you need to use. Style guides are used to regulate the typography, in-text citations, grammar, and references of the research paper. The research paper format depends on the field of study. Mostly, research papers follow the APA style guide that fits the best for social science research, educational or psychological studies. According to the basic formatting APA rules, the research paper should follow:

  • 8 ½ * 11-inch paper
  • 1-inch margins - on the top, bottom, sides
  • 12 point Times New Roman
  • double-spaced
  • center-aligned cover page
  • left-aligned running header
  • right-aligned page numbers
  • indented the first line in each paragraph (the abstract is an exception)

What is the structure of research paper introduction 

There are several prior structural components of the research paper introduction that every writer should follow in order to establish an area to his research, identify the research niche, and place his research within the research niche. Therefore, here is a research paper introduction outline to provide you a clearer overview of the introduction structure and help the writer follow the rules of essay writing.  

college students

  • General statements about the topic
  • An overview of the subject of current research
  • Oppose an existing assumption
  • Reveal a gap in existing research
  • Formulate a research question/problem
  • Outline the key characteristics of the study
  • Describe important results
  • Give a brief overview of the structure of the paper
  • Formulate a thesis statement.

    What makes a strong introduction 

The strong sides of every essay introduction are:

  1. An opening hook ( catches the reader's attention).
  2. Background information (helps the reader understand the topic). 
  3. A thesis statement (presents the main point/argument).

    What to avoid in an introductory paragraph

The weak sides of each introduction and points that you should avoid are:

  • encyclopedia/ dictionary definitions
  • announcement of intentions
  • apologize
  • verbs used without object
  • examples
  • in-text citations
  • vague concepts
  • insufficient content.

A good research paper introduction example

To ensure making a perfect introduction to a research paper, check this research paper introduction example:


"The Evolution of the Actress: The Importance of Sarah Bernhardt

Looking back through history, it can be easily argued that the role of the actress in society has gone through a notable evolution. During the 16th Century, it was a rare occurrence for a woman to be seen on stage. Women's roles were played by young boys. It was not until the 17th Century that women first appeared on the English and Parisian stages. However, it was considered improper because women were expected to remain in the shadows, and actresses had to put themselves on display in order to work. As the role of actresses evolved and they were seen more frequently on stage, society considered them to have bad morals and be prostitutes. It was not until the late 19th Century that the view of an actress in society had reached a respectable level. This change was caused, in part, by Sarah Bernhardt. Sarah Bernhardt's fame and notoriety in film and on the French stage during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries made being an actress a respectable job for women in European society."


How to write a good introduction to a research paper 

To write an introduction paragraph well, it is necessary to follow several steps. These steps help the writer make the introductory paragraph, both engaging and informative. Moreover, organizing the introduction writing process effectively, the writer will easily follow the prime goals of the introduction, like catch the reader's attention, provide a background on the topic, and present a concise thesis statement.

Stage one: Hook the reader (set the tone for the whole research essay in one to three sentences)

Stage two: Review background (the context needed for understanding the topic and argument better; it can take four-five sentences)

Stage three: Thesis statement (narrow the focus and present exactly is planned to say about the topic)

Stage four: Edit and revise (Check whether everything included in the introduction paragraph is relative, review the tone, structure, and format)


Tips for creating a compelling introductory paragraph

 Whether you have any problems with writing essay starters or not, you can always use the list with diverse writing tips that will ease the organization of your writing process and strengthen your writing skills. Sometimes, to create a compelling introduction paragraph, the writer has to start with the other parts of the essay and tackle it just when all the ideas are fully formed. Otherwise, the introduction paragraph would be weak, which can lead to trouble with grades. If you are ready to succeed in the introduction writing, this wide range of writing tips for creating a compelling introduction part is for you:

  • Outline the thesis statement and main points first
  • Always end the introduction with a strong thesis statement
  • Summarizes your central idea clearly and succinctly
  • Use some "wow" factors relevant to the main argument/s
  • Start with a compelling fact /observation
  • Use transition from the introductory idea to a thesis statement
  • Do not write obvious things
  • Review the draft of the introduction with a critical eye
  • Keep your research paper introduction to 100 words or fewer
  • Define all the important terms
  • The introduction part should be one of the first things you plan.

If you dream of following the grading rubric perfectly, the writing tips mentioned above would fully fit your aim and help you write an introduction of your dream.  



If you were assigned to prepare a research paper, you should consider all the importation information that will cover the aspects of writing this document type. This guide was designed to help students navigate their research voyage through the development of a research question along with a thesis statement, do the research, write the paper, and correctly document the used sources. When it comes to the research paper introduction, its purpose is to lead the audience from the more general information to the narrowed research question, establish the research context, background information, state the purpose of the study, provide a methodological approach, and highlight the potential study outcomes, supporting the hypothesis. To ensure success in following the proper introduction structure, students should pay attention to the availability of the opening hook, background information, and strong thesis statement. 


If you still feel unsure about how to write a strong research paper introduction, you can receive academic assistance on any question related to the academic research online. Academic experts can perfectly follow any of the professor's requirements and help you get a high grade to improve your academic performance!