The introduction for an academic paper is typically between 300 and 500 words; it may be longer depending on the journal and the topic, but it is recommended that it is as concise as possible.

The Introduction of a scientific paper has two objectives: (1) to stimulate the reader’s interest and, (2) to provide enough detail for the reader to fully understand why the study was conducted, what was the objective of the study, and how it was performed.

The Introduction must include all the information needed to follow the development of your findings. Avoid information that is not directly related to the research question, as it will only distract the reader.

The structure of the Introduction should be as follows: (1) what was KNOWN about the research problem, (2) what was NOT KNOWN, (3) what was the research question, (4) what was done to answer the question.

In the following Document you will find an example of this structure. You will read a very short introduction that, despite its conciseness (around 70 words), is complete and well structured.

This structure should be present in your paper outline, before you start writing the Introduction in your first draft.

The following steps will help you to write the first draft of the introduction, according to the structure described above:

1. Begin the Introduction by providing a concise background account of the topic to be studied (what is known). Introduce the reader to the pertinent literature.

Do not give a full history of the topic. Only cite previous work that is directly related to the research question.

2. State the problem to be addressed (what is not known).

3. Establish the significance of your work by answering the following question: why was there a need to conduct this study?

4. State the research question or the hypothesis.

5. Describe the variables investigated, and concisely summarize the methods used.

After reading the introduction, your reader should know exactly what the research question was, why was the study conducted, and how the question was answered.

How to write the Introduction for an outstanding academic paper? Additional Resources

A complete guided course that will teach you to efficiently write an academic paper.  

Español English “How to write a scientific Paper” - Workshop. On-line

A collection of scientific papers with an excellent introduction.

You can use these manuscripts as models to write: (1) hypothesis-testing papers, (2) descriptive papers, (3) methodological papers, or (4) case reports.

+ How to create perfect paragraphs

+ How to use abbreviations effciently

+ Be a master at describing complex results

+ Prepare for manuscritp submission

+ Writing response letters to reviewers

+ Writing abstracts for science conferences

+ and more….

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