Writing The Introductory Section Of A Research Paper
The introduction of your research paper is one of the most important parts of it. It is that part that people see first, so it tends to set the tone for how they view the entirety of the work. In some cases, it can even determine whether or not they will even continue to read your work at all. When viewed in that light, it is easy to understand why you ought to prioritize your introduction and ensure that it is of the highest quality.
Introduction vs. Abstract
Since you will likely have an abstract as well, it is necessary to understand the difference between the introduction and the abstract. The major difference is that the abstract covers the paper completely, spelling out the purpose of the paper, the work done and the conclusions reached. On the other hand, the introduction sets the background of the work, highlighting the rationale behind the work and explaining exactly what you set out to accomplish.
You should use the introduction to set the scene for the work and give your paper a context in which it should be viewed by the readers. You should also explain what the problem is and the research that has been done on it in the past, as well as how your paper differs from the previous work done. Whether your research is into a completely novel area or is building on previous work, you should spell out its importance, your objectives and methodology. Explaining the background properly would help people who pick up the paper to immediately have an idea about its context and how it fits into the body of research material about the subject.
Further in the introduction, you should highlight any limitations that you can foresee in the course of the work. This includes any weaknesses or shortcomings in the experiment that might affect the validity of the results. You should also spell out any assumptions that you will be making during the research. These factors are unavoidable in any research work, and it helps to clarify them at the beginning of your work.
Keep It Short
Lastly, try to keep the introduction short. A long, winding introduction will make people lose interest in your work. Follow the outline and ensure that the problem is clearly defined so readers understand why it’s important that they read your paper.