How Long Should The Introduction Of An APA Research Paper Be?


There is no standard length for an introduction of a research paper in the APA format. The length of a paper or a particular section doesn’t matter much as long as it presents and interprets the necessary information. You may write a small introduction in comparison to other sections of your paper, but it’ll be valid if it contains the following parts:

  1. Background.
  2. The first purpose of your opening section is to give the reader a clear understanding of your topic. You may write about the investigations that preceded your study beginning from the very first research related to your field to the current day.

  3. Importance.
  4. In this subsection, you should introduce your rationale and indicate whether it’s based on some previous investigations or raises a new idea that no one has researched yet. Then, you may briefly lay out your general objectives and methods that you’re going to use.

  5. Limitations.
  6. Unfortunately, there is no way to conduct ideal experiments in most cases. For example, you won’t ever have perfectly randomized samples for your tests. For this reason, it’s advisable to warn the reader about the limitations of your study before you present actual results.

  7. Assumptions.
  8. You should also list the assumptions upon which your experiments will be based. For example, when conducting an investigation on some educational topic, you may assume that students who go to the same school have the similar socio-economic background.

  9. Research question.
  10. The introduction should end with a clear statement of the main research question the answer on which you’re going to give in the Results section of your paper.

Try not to make your introduction very long. You shouldn’t mention many details about the parts that you’ll discuss in other sections of your paper. The main idea is to make the introductory section give a clear view on the following paragraphs.

It’s advisable not to start writing your paper with an introduction. It’s likely that you’ll slightly deviate from your initial outline when composing the body sections. If you compose an introduction first, you’ll need to make amendments in it each time when you deviate from your outline. Complete the body sections first and then write your introduction.

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