Unless you provide the background information needed for the reader to understand your choice of the subject and why your study is important, they will not be able to grasp the significance of the findings of your research, regardless of how significant and fascinating they are. 

Research papers should include a background of study statement that provides context for the study. A reader’s interest in the rest of the study is determined by the quality of the background. It is therefore imperative to write an engaging and effective background. How should a study’s background be written, and how should it be presented?

What is the background of study in the research paper?

The background of a study outlines how your research began, your interest in the subject, and the development of your study question. In other words, you should provide a broad overview of the research that you performed, followed by a discussion of what motivated you to choose the particular problem that you studied. 

Your topic should be clearly understood by the reader. Whether and to what extent you need to explain your background depends on what you are writing about. 

A research paper’s background section

The background of a research paper acts as the first element readers will notice; so it is important that it is informative and fascinating enough to get them interested in reading further. In the background, the volume and the specifics vary according to the research paper, particularly if the topic is complex or novel. 

Complex studies can sometimes be simplified by a simple background. Reviewing previous literature on the topic of your study is typically part of your research background. After identifying the gaps in existing knowledge, you should explain how your study will fill them.

The difference between the background of the study and the introduction section

There are a number of ways in which your introduction differs from your background. In the introduction, you provide preliminary information about the paper that is likely to be studied by the reader, but in the background section, you explain why the paper is relevant. 

In your study’s background, you discuss the topic in great detail, in contrast to the introduction, which provides an overall view of the topic. You should conclude your introduction with reasons for conducting research, objectives, and research goals, not your background, other than when it is incorporated into the introduction.

Here are the steps to writing a background of study

  1. Defining the research topic and identifying the target audience is the best way to start the background.
  2. Provide a detailed discussion of all concepts, terminology, keywords, and information that may feel new to the intended audience.
  3. Examine the relevant literature in depth to learn more about the essential requirements. 
  4. Read carefully and make notes. Cite your sources when you are done.
  5. Be sure to strike a balance between emphasizing key points, as well as communicating to a wide audience.
  6. History is a significant source of current issues. Add relevant data in the background if your research relies on historical information.
  7. Provide an explanation to help people understand the research if it is groundbreaking or novel.
  8. Develop a compelling narrative around the research theme to increase engagement. Don’t forget to add the necessary infographics.

Here are some things to avoid in a study’s background

In the case of your research paper, when you established the background in an organized manner, you would have been able to lead the reader seamlessly throughout. Nevertheless, you should be careful as well, here are a few points to keep in mind.

  • Avoid unclear language at all costs. Consider your reader as unaware of any complex details about your research while writing.
  • Avoid writing an excessively long or short background. Write concisely while not forgetting to include everything that is important.  
  • Don’t devote time to topics that don’t relate to the main thrust of the research.
  • Putting information without a structure is a disorganized approach. A chronology should be followed for the background, and subsections should be ordered logically.
  • Be sure to cite every source.

For more information on how to write research articles and papers, please visit our blog

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