Writing Introduction Section in a Research Paper/Thesis
How to Write the Introduction Section a Research
What to Include in a Research Introduction? This is a seriously critical question as a number of time the Editors’ decision to send the paper for review is based on how well-written is the introduction section. Normally, the Introduction should have the following elements
- Value of your topic in general.
- Value of your topic in your field/Area, why is there a need to study the concept?
- Existing research on your variables, what relationships have been studied
- Limitations/Gaps/Future Research directions on your topic based on previous studies on the variables, MUST be LATEST past 1 year
- The Theoretical Lens
- Contribution of your study to the body of knowledge
- Proposed structure of your thesis/paper
Critical Elements of a Research Introduction in a Research Paper/Thesis
Craft an effective research paper or thesis introduction. The foundation of a compelling introduction rests on the inclusion of seven essential elements.
Establishing General Topic Significance: Begin by elucidating the broader significance of your chosen topic. If your research is niche-specific, clarify why this particular topic is pivotal within its domain. Why is it deserving of scholarly attention?
Survey of Existing Research on Variables: Investigate prior research concerning the variables under examination. What relationships have been explored in earlier studies?
Identification of Limitations, Gaps, and Future Research Directions: Delve into the limitations and gaps within the existing body of knowledge. This necessitates current literature to substantiate the identified voids.
Theoretical Framework Identification: Define the theoretical framework that underpins your study’s relationships between variables.
Articulation of Study’s Contribution to Knowledge: Articulate how your research augments the existing body of knowledge. Specify the theoretical, practical, or methodological contributions.
Structure of Thesis or Research Paper: Conclude the introduction by outlining the structure of your thesis or research paper. This should align with the document’s format and enhance the introduction’s overall clarity and relevance.
Let’s explore each of these components further, offering examples and showcasing their application in research paper introductions.
- Establishing General Topic Significance: For instance, if the focus is on corporate social responsibility (CSR), emphasize CSR’s growing importance. Referencing a 2020 paper, we see how CSR has evolved into a business imperative, shaping ethical, legal, and commercial expectations.
- Survey of Existing Research on Variables: Investigating the relationship between CSR and organizational performance, we find varying findings in prior studies. Some indicate a positive correlation, while others suggest no association. This inconclusiveness highlights the need for further investigation.
- Identification of Limitations, Gaps, and Future Research Directions: By reading extensively, you can identify limitations in existing research. For instance, the limitations in career satisfaction and life satisfaction literature in higher education underscore the need for more comprehensive exploration.
- Theoretical Framework Identification: Specify the theory guiding your study. In one case, “knowledge-based view” is used to explain the role of knowledge-oriented leadership in project success. Complexity theory is another example, explaining complex consumer behaviors.
- Articulation of Study’s Contribution to Knowledge: Enumerate the contributions of your research. For example, a study on servant leadership’s impact on career satisfaction and life satisfaction across different countries contributes to cross-cultural leadership knowledge and leader-member exchange theory.
- Structure of Thesis or Research Paper: Conclude the introduction by outlining the document’s structure. This may include a description of the study’s context, conceptual model, hypothesis development, methodology, results, implications, limitations, and future research directions.
By analyzing introductions in research papers, you gain insight into effective composition. Reading extensively in your field helps you identify limitations, gaps, and theoretical frameworks. It also allows you to substantiate your arguments with references, making your introduction more persuasive.
Each of the mentioned element is presented with examples and detailed explanation in the following videos.