The goals of the research paper introduction
Research paper writing is a lengthy process that requires patience and perseverance. Depending on the course and your academic level, your research paper will require different levels of formatting. You might only need to write a three to five page paper or one with ten or more pages. You might need just a few sources or enough sources to fill two or three works cited pages. Regardless of the length, style, and substance of your paper, there will be one necessary component: the introduction. Depending on the type of research paper you write, your introduction will have different goals.
Persuasive Research Paper
In a persuasive research paper, the goal of the introduction is to get the reader’s attention and introduce your claim. Most persuasive research paper introductions will have at least one long paragraph or a few shorter ones. The hook should directly relate to the claim and include a statistic, quote, fact, or anecdote that will get the reader interested in the topic. The claim should be presented near the end of the introduction and everything in between the hook and claim should connect the two pieces together.
Scientific Research Paper
In a scientific research paper, the introduction will be quite different. This type of research paper does not require the creativity needed in a persuasive research paper because the science is what will get the reader’s attention. Most scientific research papers will use the introduction as the means to develop the problem and why it needed to be solved. The scientific research paper introduction does not come at the beginning of the paper; it usually follows the abstract, so the readers have a good idea of what your paper will be about before they read the introduction. This is why the introduction usually not only addresses the problem and solution, but it also addresses why the problem is worth solving in the first place. In some scientific research papers, the introduction could be up to four paragraphs in length.
Analytical Research Paper
This is still a persuasive style of research paper, but with the goal of exploring an idea rather than proving a point. In an analytical research paper, students often begin with a guiding question. This helps the reader quickly understand the goal of the paper. This may not be as attention-grabbing as a startling statistic or clever anecdote, but the guiding question will immediately show the purpose to the reader. The claim for the paper will appear near the end of the paragraph, like in the persuasive paper. The claim should also be the answer to the question presented at the beginning of the introduction.