As in many endeavors in life, the hardest part is often starting it. For your research paper, this means making your introduction.
Like the beginning of a movie, your paper’s introduction sets the mood for the reader. If this is done poorly, the reader may be confused about your paper’s purpose, or the reader may be bored, thinking it is another half-baked effort.
This is why much effort should be given so that things start well for whoever reads it.
- The Background
The first part of the intro is the background, which provides the reader with information about the context of your paper’s problem. The idea is to assume that whoever is reading the paper is not an expert on the topic, so they will need background info to understand your study’s purpose.
In this part, it is good to include past and current facts to show what the situation was like before compared to now. Be careful, however, not to share too much, or the reader may become confused about what your paper is aiming for.
- The Hook
The hook is a writing technique that attempts to attract the reader’s attention. Not all topics are exciting at first glance, so the hook is used to get the reader to feel that it is beneficial for them to read more about what you have written.
The hook may be an important fact or statistic that stands out. It may also be a strong or controversial statement or a popular quote. One more method is to share a related story so that the reader understands the situation more. Regardless, the hook is often integrated into the background somewhere (beginning, middle, or end) that will make the biggest impact.
- The Significance
This portion of the introduction directly points out how important your paper is. Here, you state who will benefit from your research so that your reader knows the magnitude of what you are doing.
- Scope and limitations
There are many factors involved in a problem. However, not all of these can be investigated at the same time. Thus, the purpose of the scope and limitations is to inform the reader about the boundaries of what you are going to do.
For example, if you are testing the effects of online games on students’ inability to sleep early, you might point out that you only tested certain types of games and not the whole range of games available. You may also say what grade levels were chosen for the study and why.
- The thesis statement
The thesis statement is what you believe will happen as you investigate the problem. It is a very important part as your study will revolve around this. A good thesis statement is clear and specific, not ambiguous nor too broad.
Although it is just the initial part of your research paper, the introduction must be done well. So consider the pointers above for your paper to begin well.