The Research Paper: Making the Introduction

In a major undertaking, such as your research paper, every aspect of the project is important. However, because of the magnitude of such a project, it can be difficult to complete certain parts. In a standard essay, the introduction is just a few sentences, usually just a paragraph or possibly even two. But in a research paper, this can easily stretch to several paragraphs, which is why many students have difficulty starting and completing it.

If you feel the same, read on to learn about how to make your Introduction.

The Purpose of the Intro

The Introduction of a research paper paints a picture of the paper’s context. This allows the reader to understand why the study was undertaken and what it hopes to achieve. If done well, your reader will want to know more about the issues in the Body. If not done well, your reader may be confused about the purpose of your paper or even your methods.


This portion of the Introduction explains the situation of your paper’s problem, allowing the reader to understand how the issue affects whatever or whoever is involved. To make your background more compelling, it is good to include data about the issue.

Research Plan

This part presents how you will attack the research. The reader needs to know what methods you will use and what kind of data you plan on viewing to analyze the problem. It should also mention the limitations of your project, namely what you will and will not be investigating.

From the teacher’s viewpoint, the research plan shows if the study is feasible and whether you understand what you are doing or not.

Rationale and Significance

Here, you explain why it is necessary to discover more about your topic. This is also where you mention what other sectors in society may be interested in learning about what you are uncovering so that it can help them too.

This section should be very convincing, so your teacher will agree to the purpose of the paper. If not, you may be asked to choose something else or investigate the problem from another angle.

Definition of Terms

In this part, the important terms will be defined for the reader. 

Some of these may be dictionary-type explanations for the reader to know. Many others, however, will state what you mean in the study. For example, in a research about school subjects, you might define “STUDENT” as only those in a particular grade (12th grade) who are regularly attending class and submitting assignments.


In this part of the Introduction, you express your stand on the issue. This gives the reader an idea of what you will be trying to prove or disprove in the study. Remember, the goal of your paper is not to be “correct,” but to enlighten everyone about the truth of the matter. So form your hypothesis according to what you think the initial evidence seems to suggest to you because what you initially believe will affect the progress of what factors you will look at.


As the beginning of your research paper, it is important that you clearly present what your reader will expect to see. Consider some of the pointers above to help make your paper something to be proud of.

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