Guidelines for Writing the Introduction of a Research Paper

The first chapter of your Final Year Project, the Introduction, should aim to get your reader interested in your research.

How can this be done? What could be included?

Look at the list below of 11 possible types of information that you could include.

S/NTITLE

1.

Give background information about the topic

2.

Refer to the important findings of other researchers

3.

Identify the need for further investigation

4.

Indicate your plans for further investigation

5.

State your hypothesis/research questions

6.

State your aim

7.

State your objectives

8.

Indicate the scope of your study, i.e. the width versus the depth of your research

9.

Refer to any limitations of your study

10.

Give a definition of key terms

11.

Outline the content of each chapter

Not all projects would need to include all these eleven areas. Some of the information will be covered more fully in other chapters, e.g. the findings of other researchers will be dealt with in more detail in the Literature Review chapter. Please note that every project is different and you therefore need to consider carefully what you should include. Use the above points as a menu from which to choose what is most appropriate for your own work.

If you need to include a number of these topics in your project, the use of sub-headings would make the structure of your introduction much clearer for the reader.

Click on the following 17 extracts from the Introduction chapter of PolyU, a HongKong Polytechnic student Final Year Projects and identify the type of information given in each extract.

Click here to read the Introduction to a student’s Final Year Project.