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Writing a Research Paper Introduction – A step-by-step reference
Writing a Research Paper Introduction – A step-by-step reference
The introduction is the first chapter of a research paper. It starts from the research proposal stage, but it is critical to understand the difference between the introduction of a research proposal and that of a research paper. At the proposal stage, the introduction is presented in a future tense expressing the intensions and expectations of the researcher, whereas that of the research paper is in the past tense, revealing what actually happened.

A research paper Introduction plays an essential role of preparing the reader’s mind to follow the paper as it unveils the problem, the researcher’s intervention, intentions and expectations.

Sections of a research paper introduction

The introduction constituents and sequence majorly depend on the type of research and format undertaken.
Background: Reveals an identified and well defined problem, exploring its history and nature with reference to the existing literature. It should indicate the root of the problem, its extent, the affected, previous investigations, etc.; highlighting the research paper introduction in general, and ensuring proper perception of the situation at hand.

Statement of the problem: Is the core of the issue/problem and must be clearly defined. It states exactly what the problem is, justifying that the study narrows or bridges the gap between what it is and what it ought to be.
Purpose of the study: Is derived from the statement of the problem. It states why one decides to study the problem and the role of his/her research to solve the problem.
Objectives of the study: These constitute the targets a researcher intends to achieve. They act as a yardstick for the research exercise and must be specific, measurable and achievable.
Research questions: These are research guiding questions generated from objectives. The researcher needs to answer them as part of the investigation.
Hypotheses: These are guiding predictions of the outcome of the study. Basing on research questions, an assumption derived form existing theories, personal observations and experience is made. A hypothesis provides a tentative answer to the problem, allowing for further investigations. Hypotheses are common for descriptive and explanatory research.
Scope of the study: Is expressed in terms of a geographical area, say village, town or city; and in terms of content – showing the extent of knowledge coverage.
Significance of the study: Shows how meaningful and useful the research is; as well as indicating the beneficiary group(s).
Assumption: Situations under which the research is may not be exact, so for easy of work the researcher may assume what he/she has exactly considered in his/her investigation.
Delimitations: These are advantageous factors affecting one’s research exercise.
Limitations: These are disadvantageous factors affecting one’s research exercise.
Definition of key concepts/terms: Due to ambiguity and varying meanings of words/terms/concepts, the researcher needs to be precise giving exact meaning of what he/she intends to communicate.
Abbreviation: Abbreviations may be misunderstood, so clear full meanings avoid confusion.

Writing a research paper introduction is crucial, and you should be able to exactly tell the components of your introduction. You can consult your supervisor for advice or get further help from

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