Step by Step Guide for Writing the Introduction of a Research Paper

Final-year project (thesis or dissertation) writing can be a taxing endeavor that requires a lot of time, resources, and energy. However it has been found that writing is an act as much as a skill. An individual (a researcher, a student, or anyone else working in the subject of study) improves the more they write.

Every researcher should take certain essential factors into account when writing a dissertation. This series offers a step-by-step explanation on how to make the journey simple. The majority of theses, dissertations, and projects are composed of five chapters: an introduction, a literature review, a methodology, results and discussions, and a summary, conclusion, and suggestions (chapter five).

Each chapter and its contents would be examined, beginning with the introduction, in order to provide a thorough and incisive guide on how the project should be written.


A thesis or dissertation’s introductory chapter comes first. It includes crucial information including the study’s background, the issue statement, the research objectives, the research questions, the research hypothesis, the study’s scope, its importance, any limitations (if any), and operational definitions of words.

Background to the Study

The context of the study will demonstrate the applicability of the topics raised in the thesis or dissertation. It might involve crucial and necessary research. The context of the study is utilized to support the dissertation and show the applicability of a thesis question.

The backdrop of the study includes an evaluation of the research question, existing information on the subject, comparable studies on the subject, and comparable methods to the problem at hand. The researcher can explain how the study will address these gaps and build on prior research in the areas after discussing the contributions of other studies in the field (in the case of journal articles or researcher papers). Effective background and historical information must be provided under this topic.The background should be written as a summary of your knowledge of prior studies and the goals of the investigation. For instance, while researching a topic like “Branding and Firm Performance,” the researcher should carefully consider what the existing literature has to say about branding, how branding is measured, and how performance is viewed by various authors. The study’s background is presented before the problem is stated. The backdrop, study, and problem description must flow into one another.

Statement of the Problem

A statement of the problem refers to a topic of interest, a situation that requires improvement, a complication that has to be handled, or a crucial worry raised by existing literature, theory, or practice but unexplored to yet. The problem description makes clear what other people have done as well as what research tends to do. The problem statement outlines what is already known (previous literature has provided this), what the researcher wishes to know (direction of the study is provided by careful examination of previous literature), and why it is crucial to understand what is meant to be known (relevance of addressing the problem).A specific problem statement does not have to address every problem or gap found in the literature, which is another crucial point to remember. It might address a methodological problem. For instance, the majority of research might examine a pressing subject in an exploratory manner. The research could close this gap by turning this into an empirical study by using statistical methods to test a hypothesis and gauge the level of influence or effect.If a study has been conducted in a specific location (let’s say an advanced economy) and the researcher wants to reproduce it in a different geographical area, there may also be a gap (let say, an emerging economy). Research is not necessary if the problem has not been stated. The problem statement outlines the direction the research will take. The problem statement and the research goal must flow from one another.

Research Objectives

The study’s purpose is made clear by the research objective. It outlines the purpose of the study. It has both a general goal and detailed objectives. The research objectives may be stated as follows, using the case of “Branding and Performance” from above as an example:

“The study’s overarching goal is to look into the impact of branding on business performance. The particular goals are to;

determine how branding affects return on investments, look at how branding affects market share, and evaluate the impact of branding on profitability.
It’s also crucial to remember that the research questions and objectives should flow together.

Research Questions

A research question is a query that a study is centered on. It should be straightforward: it provides sufficient precise details so that one’s readers understand its intent without requiring further clarification. A research question is seen as a question that a study seeks to answer. To formulate a research question, it is imperative to first decide whether the study will be quantitative, qualitative or mixed (the would have been addressed in the statement of the problem). The answer to a research question will aid in the resolution of a research problem or question. Based on the example stated above, the research questions would be stated thus.

“In line with the research objectives, the following research questions were raised:

  1. How does branding influence profitability
  2. To what extent does branding impact market share
  3. In what way does branding affect the return on investments.”

From the research questions flows, the research hypotheses

Research Hypotheses

A research hypothesis is a tentative, precise, and verifiable statement or predictive statement about the potential result of a scholarly study regarding a specific gap in the existing literature, such as assumed differences between groups on a given item or correlation between variables. A hypothesis could be stated in the null (H0) or alternative (HA). The null hypothesis is a commonly used statistical key assumption that no causal relation or significance exists between two sets of observed data and measured phenomena based on a single exogenous variable. An alternative hypothesis is one in which the researchers anticipate a difference (or an effect) among two or more variables; that is, the linear relationship of the statistics is not due to chance. Based on the example above, the research hypothesis is stated in the null

Ho: Branding does not have a significant effect on profitability

Ho: Branding does not significantly influence market share


HA: Branding has a significant effect on return on assets

Significance of the study

The study’s significance is a formatted statement that describes why the current study was necessary. It justifies the significance of the research and considers its impact on the area of research, its impact on existing learning, and how others will benefit from it. It should state how it will benefit those in the academia, those in the industry concerned, government and policymakers, among others.

Scope of the Study

The scope of the study pertains to the parameters within which the study will be carried out; it is also called the scope of research. To define the scope of the study, it is pivotal to first identify all of the elements that will be considered in the thesis and where the thesis will be carried and why it will be carried out in that place. It could also indicate the period of time it will be carried out.

Definition of Terms

A comprehensive discussion of the technical language and metrics used during a study is referred to as the operational definition of terms. The purpose of this is to standardize the definition of keywords. For instance, how is branding defined in the study, and how is performance used in the study.

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