Project Introductions: What They Are and How To Write Them
Updated June 24, 2022
Creating and delivering projects are important elements in business growth and development in a range of industries, including academia, engineering and marketing. For lengthy and highly detailed projects, introductions can provide readers with helpful context and background knowledge. If your profession requires you to complete research projects or submit proposals, understanding best practices for project introductions can help you create effective content that reflects positively on you or your business. In this article, we discuss what a project introduction is and how to write one.
What is a project introduction?
A project introduction is a paragraph or paragraphs explaining what a project is about. It should include key details about the project that give the reader enough information to understand the purpose and scope of the project. You may use project introductions for:
Project introductions are common in various industries, including:
Education: Learning institutions, especially colleges and universities, employ project introductions when applying for grants and other resources.
Research: Scientists and other researchers include introductions at the beginning of their final research reports.
Construction and engineering: Construction and engineering firms may use project introductions as part of their proposals when competing for major projects or as the opening to technical reports.
Marketing and advertising: Marketing and ad agencies also submit proposals with introductions to potential clients explaining their interest in a new project or campaign.
How to write a project introduction in 12 steps
Here are the steps you can follow to write an effective project introduction:
1. Write the project introduction last
Because a project introduction discusses the main points from your research or proposal, you should write it once your project is complete. This way, the introduction contains accurate, relevant information.
2. Identify the purpose of the project
Your introduction should discuss why you completed the project. Depending on your industry and role, your project's purpose may involve:
The problem you're trying to solve
The grant you're applying for
The medication or treatment you're studying
The project you're trying to secure
3. Discuss how you completed the project
Your introduction should briefly discuss the method you used to complete your project, such as the research design. This is an element that usually appears in research papers and other technical reports. For example, your introduction may explain that you used a double-blind study, a survey of 1,000 participants or a review of published literature.
Related: Types of Research Methods
4. Describe any challenges you faced
If you experienced any difficulties when working on your project, you can state these in your introduction. This helps the reader understand the scope of your project and its limitations. Some types of challenges may include a lack of published research, a low number of study participants or possible biases in self-reported outcomes.
5. Provide background information
If relevant, you can discuss important background information in your introduction. This helps provide more context for your readers and gives more insight into your motivation. You can also use background information to explain why your readers should care about your project and its results.
For example, if you're writing about a new piece of technology, you might mention the major developments that helped make the technology possible or previous iterations of the equipment.
6. Include an outline of the project
In your introduction, you can outline the major components of your project. For instance, consider a grant proposal that a college is submitting. The introduction may have a statement such as, "This proposal includes a discussion of qualifications, an estimate of associated costs, a list of objectives and the proposed findings."
7. Add a thesis statement, if necessary
For research papers, reports and other academic documentation, your introduction generally ends with a thesis statement. The thesis statement states the main points you are going to discuss in your paper or essay. For example, here's a thesis statement for a research paper about educational styles: "In this report, we examine the success rates of visual, auditory and verbal instruction in 300 middle school science students."
8. Be clear and concise
Your introduction should be direct and brief. Aim to keep your introduction to one page or less. Use the introduction to gain readers' attention and encourage them to engage with your project. Try to avoid repeating information from your project or providing too many details in the introduction. Instead, limit your introduction to more general explanations.
9. Consider subheadings
If your introduction is long, you might use subheadings to help organize your information. This can help enhance the clarity and readability of your content. Subheadings in your introduction may include:
10. Write for your audience
When writing a project introduction, your style and tone should match the rest of your project. You should also consider your audience when determining the vocabulary and technical terminology you use. You want your audience to be able to understand your writing.
11. Proofread your introduction
Once you complete your introduction, it's important to proofread your writing for correct spelling and grammar. Consider asking a colleague to review your introduction to make sure the information is well organized and easy to read.
12. Format your introduction
With the final version of your introduction, incorporate the appropriate formatting and styling to match the rest of your project and other necessary specifications. For instance, if you are submitting a thesis for graduate school, your professor or department typically defines the style and format you should use. A request for a proposal from clients may also detail how they'd like you to format your proposals.
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