How to Write Background of the Study Section in Research: 3 Tips

Learn how to craft a compelling Background of the Study section for your research paper with these 3 essential tips. Improve your academic writing skills and strengthen your research foundation.

How to Write Background of the Study Section in Research: 3 Tips

Derek Pankaew

How to Write Background of the Study Section in Research: 3 Tips

The background of the study is a crucial section in any research paper. It sets the stage for the research by providing context, explaining the significance, and highlighting the gaps that the study aims to fill. Crafting an effective background section can make a significant difference in how your research is perceived and understood. This article will provide three essential tips for writing a compelling background of the study: establishing the context, identifying the research gap, and justifying the significance of your study.

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Tip 1: Establish the Context

Establishing the context is the first step in writing the background of a study. This involves providing a broad overview of the research topic, discussing relevant theories and concepts, and highlighting key studies in the field.

Provide a Broad Overview of the Research Topic

Begin the background by defining the research topic. This broad overview helps readers understand what your study is about and why it is important. Explain the central theme of your research, including the main issues or problems that led to the research. For instance, if your research topic involves an issue in public health, describe the current state of public health, including any prevailing trends, statistics, or significant changes that have occurred over time.

Discuss Relevant Theories and Concepts

Once you have set the stage with a broad overview, delve into the relevant theories and concepts in the literature review section. This section of a research paper should provide a theoretical framework that underpins your study. Discuss major theories that are relevant to your research topic and explain how they relate to your specific research problem or question, providing a solid theoretical base for your study background. This helps to anchor your research within a specific theoretical context, providing a foundation upon which your study in a research paper is built, serving as critical background information.

Highlight Key Studies in the Field

Highlighting key studies is essential for situating your research within the existing body of knowledge. Conduct a literature review to identify significant studies that have been conducted on your research topic. Summarize these studies, focusing on their findings and contributions to the field to enrich the literature review section of your research project. This not only demonstrates your understanding of the existing research but also helps to identify the gaps that your study aims to address, providing a strong background information context.

Tip 2: Identify the Research Gap

Identifying the research gap is a critical component of the background of the study. It involves analyzing existing literature critically, pointing out limitations or unanswered questions in current research, and explaining how your study addresses these gaps.

Analyze Existing Literature Critically

To identify the research gap, you need to analyze the existing literature critically. This involves more than just summarizing previous research; it requires a thorough examination of the strengths and weaknesses of existing studies in the context of your research objectives. Evaluate the methodologies used, the scope of the studies, and the robustness of their findings. This critical analysis will help you to pinpoint areas where further research is needed, thus setting clear research objectives.

Point Out Limitations or Unanswered Questions

Based on your analysis of the literature, identify the limitations or unanswered questions in current research. These could be methodological limitations, gaps in the data, or areas where existing studies have conflicting results. Highlight these gaps clearly, as they form the basis for your specific research problem or question. For example, if previous research has not adequately addressed a specific aspect of your research topic, point this out and explain why it is important to investigate further with a particular research question in mind.

Explain How Your Study Addresses These Gaps

After identifying the research gap, explain how your study aims to address it. Describe the unique approach or methodology that your study employs to fill these gaps, which are often detailed in the literature review section and background information. This section should clearly outline the objectives of your research and how they align with addressing the identified gaps. By doing so, you demonstrate the relevance and importance of your study in advancing the field, which is essential when you write a background.

Tip 3: Justify the Significance of Your Study

Justifying the significance of your study is the final tip for writing an effective background section. This involves explaining the potential impact of your research, connecting your study to real-world applications or problems, and emphasizing the novelty or unique approach of your study mentioned in the introduction section.

Explain the Potential Impact of Your Research

Begin by explaining the potential impact of your research on the background of your study, setting the stage for your research aims. This involves discussing the broader implications of your study and how it contributes to the field of study. Describe how your findings could influence future research, policy-making, or practice. For instance, if your research addresses a significant public health issue, explain how your findings could inform public health policies or interventions.

Connect Your Study to Real-World Applications or Problems

Next, connect your study to real-world applications or problems. This helps to demonstrate the practical relevance of your research, a crucial aspect when you write a research paper to show its significance. Describe specific examples of how your research could be applied in real-world scenarios, illustrating the practical implications in the study background information section. For instance, if your study involves developing a new technology, explain how this technology could be used in industry or by consumers. This connection to real-world applications makes your research more tangible and relevant to a broader audience, demonstrating the potential impact of your research study. When you write a research paper, highlighting these connections can be crucial.

Emphasize the Novelty or Unique Approach of Your Study

Finally, emphasize the novelty or unique approach of your study, which is a key element in the introduction section. Highlight what makes your research different from previous studies and why this is important to understand the research in the context of your research aims. This could involve a novel methodology, a new theoretical perspective, or a unique combination of variables, all contributing to a well-defined research study. By emphasizing the uniqueness of your study, you underscore its contribution to the field and its potential to advance knowledge, specifically addressing a particular research question. This understanding is essential when learning how to write a research study.


In conclusion, writing an effective background for the study is crucial for setting the stage for your research paper. By following these three tips—establishing the context, identifying the research gap, and justifying the significance of your study—you can craft a compelling background section that clearly articulates the importance and relevance of your research. A well-written background not only provides context and justification for your study but also engages your readers and sets the stage for the rest of your research paper.

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