Monday, August 26, 2019

How To Make an Introduction for a Thesis Paper

Creating a research title is a tedious task, let alone writing an introduction. Writing for a research paper is entirely different from writing for a school paper.  And, of course, for you to write your own, you have to read multiple related works of literature first. Having read a multitude of literature will give you a better understanding of the direction and identify the gap in literature you have read.

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          What the students need to know is that the introduction is the part where the research professor will check first, so expect a handful of corrections in this part of the manuscript. Therefore, it is essential that you take the time and make sure that you get it right. What is important in writing for the research introduction is that you don’t use fancy words or cliché to make your point. You have to be clear and on point in presenting the studies.
      The introduction of writing is going to set out your rationale, which is what research will be based around. Also, the readers should be able to tell from the beginning with regard to the context of the study. If not, it will be vague and more confusing for them.
      In addition, it is important that you make the beginning of your research paper interesting and engage with your readers from the first line.  Also, readers should be able to identify the problem situation in the first paragraph. This will make sure that people continue to read the research and learn about what you have found out.  

This is an example of a poorly-written introduction:
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Issues from the poorly-written introduction above:

1.   The opening statement is vague. Since this is an opening line, make the statement more engaged to get the attention of the readers. From the given example, include in the statement how the application of ionizing radiation helped the physicians throughout the world. Read the examples below:

 Example 1

Vague: More patients worldwide are being treated for end-stage renal disease (Barckley, 2014). Moreover, he stated that an estimated 2 million patients worldwide and nearly 750,000 patients per year in the United States are affected by end-stage renal disease.

Suggested: An estimated 2 million patients worldwide and nearly 750,000 patients per year in the United States are being treated for end-stage renal disease (Barckley, 2014).

  Example 2

Vague: The primary health care workers play an important role in community health care setting. Health promotion, disease prevention, and substance involvement screening test, are various activities that the primary health care workers openly engaged in the Rural Health Unit (Hall, et al., 2016)

Suggested: The primary health care workers play an important role in community health care setting, i.e. health promotion, disease prevention, and substance involvement screening test, and are openly engaged in the Rural Health Unit (Hall, et al., 2016).

2.  It is assumed that the author read several studies but it should be properly cited. For example, "Several studies (Menith, 2014; Patel, 2016; Renier, 2017; & Lisbon, 2019) concluded that..."

3.   A research paper is based on scientific evidence and not the opinion of the author. The use of "I believe" is not appropriate for a thesis paper.

4.  In an undergraduate thesis paper, sources coming from references, government reports, unpublished thesis or dissertation are generally allowed, however, majority of your references should come from published journals. Let's say 70% for the sake of argument. In the given example, newspaper articles are not scientific sources. For the purpose of publication, refrain from using articles apart from research journals like grey literature (unpublished studies), blogs, web articles, Wikipedia, etc. Make it sure that 60% will come from subscription research journals and 40% from open access research journals. 

5.  The author did not properly cite the statement. As per APA format (6th edition), it should be "Rumanek and Kudlas (year)"... Also, rephrase the statement and avoid direct quotations.

6.     This sounds like a feature article and not suited for a research/thesis paper.

7.  The author did not properly cite the statement. As per APA format (6th edition), it should be "Sheetz (year)...". Instead of "said", opt to use a more formal word like "stated", or "according to".

8.  This statement should be properly cited. If it is not cited, it means that the idea comes from the author.

Below is your guide in writing for your introduction. This guide is separated per paragraph for you create an idea on how to write it yourself.

First Paragraph: Indicate the problematic scenario. A research article should be precise and straight to the point. Refrain from vague statements.  In the first paragraph, you already describe the situation and the problem which drives you to write your paper. In the sample article, the author is precise on the reason why medical imaging was successful in the use of ionizing radiation. 

The successful use of ionizing radiation in medical imaging, i.e. X-ray examination and Computed Tomography (CT) scans, has tremendously advanced non-invasive procedures and helped physicians obtain a fast and accurate diagnosis of a patient’s condition. Although many patients benefit from radiation’s ability to visualize what is inside the body or to destroy cancer cells, ionizing radiation can also harm healthy cells (Seiths, 2018). Exposure to ionizing radiation can lead to blood disorders, cancer, and other non-cancer diseases, as the intense the energy of ionizing radiation can produce a molecular level change that may cause serious impairment, cell death, or eventually the death of the organism (Burch, 2013). In the hospital setting, two sources are the cause of inadvertent radiation exposure of patients and staff: (1) scattered photons and (2) secondary radiation from x-ray tube leakage (Badawy, Deb, Chan, & Farouque, 2016; Kahldoun & Chan R., 2015). Patients and Radiologic Technologists are both at risk of ionizing radiation exposure. However, Radiologic Technologists and other medical radiation staff are more at risk and suffer from a higher frequency of radiation exposure because they are responsible for manipulating the x-ray equipment. Radiologic Technologists that are given heavy workloads or perform routine interventional procedures experience the highest occupational radiation exposure and were found to be at risk of vision impairment and cataracts (Alnaaimi et al., 2017; Rumanek & Kudlas, 2018)

Second Paragraph: Outline similar studies or indicate the different results from the previous studies. After presenting the problem, the next paragraph should also contain the solutions that were made from the past. The more the studies, the more reliable your paper will be. Also, take into consideration to properly cite your sources.

The principles of radiation protection are to protect the patient and medical personnel from undue exposure to radiation (Lakhwani, Dalal, Jindal, & Nagala, 2018). Furthermore, concerns to protect the radiologic technologists and patients from the hazards of ionizing radiation have led to the regulation and standardization of professional practice (Sheetz, 2015; Daly, 2016; & Edwards, 2018).  Standardization of radiation safety practices has helped tremendously in preventing unnecessary radiation exposure to the patients and the radiation workers (Evette, 2017; Rikki, 2017; & Echart 2018).  In the Philippines, the standards of professional practice of Radiology are regulated by the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and the (2) Center for Device Regulation, Radiation Health, and Research of the Food and Drug Administration by virtue of RA 9711 (Alejano, 2016).  Oftentimes, Radiologic Technologists fail to follow radiation safety protocols may be because of lack of knowledge or inability to follow radiation protection protocols (Tirol, 2016). Santiago (2017) found that the skills of the Radiologic Technologists employed in the government hospitals increase as they age, but no relationship in terms of knowledge and attitude......

Third paragraph:  Spell out the approach of your study and indicate the research gap. You have already read numerous studies at this point and you now have a better understanding of the direction of your study. In this section, indicate your approach to answering the research gap.  The research gap is a research question which has not been appropriately answered in previous studies. This makes your research publishable because it only shows that you are not duplicating existing research. It shows that you have a deeper understanding of your chosen field and it shows that you will conduct the research that will fill the gap of the literature

To help address the deficiency in compliance with radiation safety protocols, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) shall be used as an evaluation tool. DEA  is a widely used technique for evaluating efficiency (Parte & Alberca, 2018). It is a linear programming based technique for measuring the efficiency of organizational units where the presence of multiple inputs and outputs makes comparison difficult (Charnes, Cooper, Lewin, & Seiford, 2013).In some studies (Vallejo, 2013; Gregory, 2015; & Jargini, 2018) regarded DEA as not enough tool to identify variable measurements. Therefore, efficiency drivers will be included to elicit variable measurements. The efficiency drivers will be in the form of personnel competence and the institution’s financial resources. (Liu, Lu, Lu, & Lin, 2013) reviewed the main branches of efficiency studies and revealed that identification of the efficiency drivers has attracted a remarkable impact in DEA studies.....

 Fourth Paragraph: Summarize Expectations. Indicate the objectives, purpose, and significance of your research.

This study aims to determine the efficiency of radiation protection implementation in Level II and Level III hospitals in Region XI. Moreover, this study proposes extensive research which focuses on the implementation of radiation protection among medical radiation staff. This study shall create a comprehensive profile of the compliance of medical radiation staff to protocols on radiation exposure reporting, radiation protection implementation of private and government hospitals, and highlight their best practices. Upon the completion of this study, several new knowledge and possible policy for efficient implementation of the standards of professional practice would have been gained. First, the study will fill the gap in the literature concerning radiation protection and contributes to a better understanding of efficiency in radiation protection implementation. Second, the study will contribute to both private and government hospitals which will allow the researcher to compare the best practices of Level II and Level III hospitals in Region XI. Collectively, the results will offer the best comprehensive analysis of radiation protection implementation and secure a comprehensive review of radiation policies, procedures, and utilization in the region that can identify potential areas for improvement to reduce occupational hazard for medical radiation staff and patients.

Writing a research introduction is indeed a difficult task. As they often say, there is always a first time. And a journey of a thousand miles begins in a single step. My point is writing a good introduction takes time. It takes diligence, disciple, consistency, motivation, experience, education, and continuing education to really master the art of writing. 

Recommendations on How to Write a Good Research Paper
1. The first line in the introduction section should be engaging and active. Catch the readers attention by presenting facts.

2. Stay with the topic. Don’t detour your point to some topic which is not relevant. If the title is about the Effects of Social Media and Academic Performance. Focus your study by presenting the different findings from previous studies with a similar topic.

Many researchers (San Miguel, 2009; Choney 2010; & Enriquez, 2010) stated that students’ use of social media sites revealed a negative effect of the use of social media sites on students’ academic performance. However, studies of Harrath and Alobaidy (2016) revealed that there is a positive impact of this technology at their academic level through the useful and optimal use of social networking sites.

3. Provide substantial references. References should be traceable online, indexed, and coming from peer-reviewed and reputable publication journals.

4. Indicate the purpose of the study. This should be answered by answering these questions: What is the urgency to conduct the study? Did the study come from a recommendation from an institution or agency? Did it come from a current problematic situation?

5. Use transition words or phrases to make it easier for the readers to understand how the statements are connected. Transition words provide greater cohesion by making explicit or signaling how ideas relate to one another.

Examples of transition words or phrases are: and, in addition to, furthermore, in the contrary, in relation with,  moreover, besides, also, both-and, another, equally important, first, second, etc., again, further, last, finally, not only but also, as well as, next, likewise, similarly, in fact, as a result, consequently, in the same way, for example, for instance, ...

6. The grammar should reflect high-quality scholarly standards.

7. Follow your institution's format. No matter how good your writing is, how great the ideas and tables are presented but if you failed to follow their format, your research professor will not allow you to book bind your manuscript. Even publishing journals have their submission guidelines. Publication journals will not accept your paper without following the required format.

8. Use newer or more updated studies except for theories. Do not include studies that were conducted in the '80s or '90s or the year before you were born. Whatever was applicable back then may no longer be applied nowadays. 

9. Refrain from stating your own opinion; this is not a commentary or an editorial section. Unless otherwise, necessary, of course. I have read a study wherein the author stated her opinion, but she explicitly expressed that it was her opinion and not coming from other studies. She stated it like this:  In the researcher's point of view, cyberbullying is an act of.....

10. Be consistent in sticking to the direction of the study. The title should reflect the research objectives, statement of the problem, hypothesis, conceptual framework, research design, data analysis, data, questionnaire, and the result of the study. Check these links, to understand the flow of the study based on the research design:



  1. thank you! i have read several ways to make an introduction, but i've learn so much from this step by step guide.

  2. Please help me write my Theoretical Framework

    1. Hi, please use the contact form to email me with your concern. I'll be happy to help :-)

    2. hi, please check this link on how to write a theoretical framework

  3. Hi! Do you have any tips on how to write conceptual framework? Thank youuuuu. :)

    1. hi check this link

  4. thank you for your help


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