As a PhD student you will certainly come across instructions on how to start a research paper, or at least how to get started. The instructions that you find will be based on what stage of your research you are in and what you hope to achieve after you complete your dissertation. However, in this article I am going to give you a simple process that you can apply to start writing your introduction to your research paper.
How to start a research paper will be different for everybody, but there are some steps that you can use as an outline for your introduction. An outline is a great way to make sure that your paper flows well from start to finish. Introduction of research paper might consist of some other parts/ sections like the main purpose(s), a brief but detailed overview of what all the content is about, definition of terms, an explanation of concept names, an overview of prior research into the chosen topic, and a short but telling history of your chosen topic. In the summary paragraph all the ideas that you wanted to get across must be mentioned briefly.
If you followed the outline procedure, then now it’s time to write the introduction. You have already made the important points in the introduction paragraph, now it’s time to write the main thesis statement. This is the statement that you will be using to justify your research topic and to communicate to the reader why you think your chosen thesis is important.
Here are some writing tips that you might find useful to compose the introduction of your thesis:
Include an explicit statement of your main or central research question in your introduction. You should also include an outline of your main arguments in the conclusion. If your outline does not convey a clear direction to your reader, they will likely skim the entire paper and be unable to get the meaning of your topic and your arguments clear. To help your readers understand your hypotheses better you should identify them in the introduction.
Use a larger font (a ten-point font) than you would for regular text. People who read small fonts are easily confused when looking at large expanses of text, especially the introduction to your research problem. When your readers to open your paper they may find that your format for writing the introduction has changed, so try to keep your introduction consistent with your other work.
Make sure you formally introduce your hypothesis in the Introduction to your papers. After formally introducing your hypothesis, make sure you discuss a couple of things about it. You should identify why your hypothesis is important in your paper and how it came about. Next you should give a detailed description of your data and/or sources and how they fit together to form your hypothesis. This is important because your readers have already started to develop an interpretation of your paper based on your information they read in the introduction.
If your paper uses an argumentative strategy do not repeat that strategy in the conclusion. Rather mention briefly the results of your argument in relation to your literature review and then use a summary table to summarize your results. Your conclusion makes an important point about your work and should not just repeat what you wrote in the introduction.
In your introduction do not forget to acknowledge the audience. Sometimes people skip the introduction and just read the conclusion. Be sure to welcome and appreciate the reader. If you don’t address who the audience is, then the reader will assume that you forgot to respect their (and their research problem) in favor of rushing right to the conclusion. Finally, make sure to emphasize how your work matches up with other similar works in your field or in the literature.