With every piece of literature, the introduction is the key to catching a reader’s attention. Unlike other works, though, the function of an academic paper’s introduction is not only to do this, but also to demonstrate the author’s authority on the subject they are writing on.
Introductions shouldn’t hold the meat of your paper, but they should be well thought out and structured. They need to include a lot of information without saying the outcome or overpowering the reader with too much content.
The Importance of an Introduction
When you’ve done the hard work and compiled your research together to develop an outcome, the next part is to take the skill you have with words and join it with your knowledge to share it with your potential future readers. The part they’ll read first is the introduction, and this is where they will learn exactly what you are putting in your paper that tells them if they’re in the right place or not.
For many writers, the intro is the hardest part to pen. It includes your rationale, so sometimes it’s easier to write the rest of the paper and come back to the intro later. But it can’t be overlooked.
The reader of the paper should be able to tell right away what they are going to be learning and determine if it’s of interest to them or not. You have to engage them right away and demonstrate your knowledge and authority on the subject so the reader continues to read and then, hopefully, use and cite your research to help your citation indicators increase for your scholastic impact.
How to Structure Your Intro
As you are putting together your research, the idea of how you will want to format your introduction should be at the forefront of your mind. Consider these sections and make sure you include them in your introduction:
● What area are you researching? Make sure you explain and spotlight the importance of the topic, why it is relevant, and how you are the authority. You can do this by generalizing the topic through statements or including current research that has been done regarding the subject you are covering.
● Explain the niche your research is including that has not been covered previously or was not covered sufficiently. You may be opposing a current assumption, demonstrating a missing piece in a previous theory that was thought to be cohesive, bringing up a research question or problem that needs to be further understood, or using your knowledge to enhance a discipline that already is cemented in tradition, which is frequently used in literature studies.
● Include the overview of your findings as far as how they are relevant to the research niche you propose to be writing about. This will cover the intent behind your study in the first place and outline the key points that the reader should be aware of before they continue reading. You can include your important results, but not in descriptive detail. Also include an overview of what you’ll be covering in the paper by breaking it down into the overall structure.
These factors are important in your introduction. The length of the intro depends on the overall length of your paper, but ultimately, it should answer the questions of what you were studying, why the topic was important enough to warrant investigation, and what was already known about the topic before you began researching, as well as what your new research brings to the table.