Essay Scientific Research

Providing background information in the introduction of a research paper serves as a bridge that links the reader to the topic of your study. Precisely how long and in-depth this bridge should be is largely dependent upon how much information you think the reader will need to know in order to fully understand the topic being discussed and to appreciate why the issues you are investigating are important.

From another perspective, the length and detail of background information also depends on the degree to which you need to demonstrate to your professor how much you understand the research problem. Keep this in mind because providing pertinent background information can be an effective way to demonstrate that you have a clear grasp of key issues and concepts underpinning your overall study. Don't try to show off, though! And, avoid stating the obvious.

The structure and writing style of your background information can vary depending upon the complexity of your research and/or the nature of the assignment. Given this, here are some questions to consider while writing this part of your introduction:

  1. Are there concepts, terms, theories, or ideas that may be unfamiliar to the reader and, thus, require additional explanation?
  2. Are there historical elements that need to be explored in order to provide needed context, to highlight specific people, issues, or events, or to lay a foundation for understanding the emergence of a current issue or event?
  3. Are there theories, concepts, or ideas borrowed from other disciplines or academic traditions that may be unfamiliar to the reader and therefore require further explanation?
  4. Is the research study unusual in a way that requires additional explanation, such as, 1) your study uses a method of analysis never applied before; 2) your study investigates a very esoteric or complex research problem; or, 3) your study relies upon analyzing unique texts or documents, such as, archival materials or primary documents like diaries or personal letters that do not represent the established body of source literature on the topic.

Almost all introductions to a research problem require some contextualizing, but the scope and breadth of background information varies depending on your assumption about the reader's level of prior knowledge. Despite this assessment, however, background information should be brief and succinct; save any elaboration of critical points or in-depth discussion of key issues for the literature review section of your paper.

Background of the Problem Section: What do you Need to Consider? Anonymous. Harvard University; Hopkins, Will G. How to Write a Research Paper. SPORTSCIENCE, Perspectives/Research Resources. Department of Physiology and School of Physical Education, University of Otago, 1999; Green, L. H. How to Write the Background/Introduction Section. Physics 499 Powerpoint slides. University of Illinois; Woodall, W. Gill. Writing the Background and Significance Section. Senior Research Scientist and Professor of Communication. Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions. University of New Mexico.

IELTS Scientific Research Essay

This is an IELTS scientific research essay.

For this essay, you need to discuss whether the funding and controlling of scientific research should be the responsibility of the government or private organizations.

Governments should be responsible for funding and controlling scientific research rather than private organizations.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

This is a fairly complex topic so you may want to do an internet search and do some reading about it before you attempt to write a practice answer.

The model answer below puts forward two ideas against private organizations holding such responsibility.

There are more arguments around the topic in opposition to this that could be discussed, but with 40 minutes to plan and write your answer you will need to choose carefully which ideas you want to present.

Note the way that the body paragraphs have been organised in a comparison / contrast style.

You are asked which of the two is best placed to manage research so it makes sense to compare the relative benefits / disadvantages of each. 

Another way to approach this scientific research essay would be to present ideas for and ideas against in separate body paragraphs.

Model Essay

Scientific Research Essay - Model Answer

Undertaking scientific research is imperative if countries want to progress and compete in a globalized world. However, the funding and controlling of this research remain contentious issues. In my opinion, the government should have the predominant responsibility for these.

One of the first issues is the knowledge that we gain from research. If governments are responsible then they are driven by the need to make advances in knowledge in order to improve people’s lives. This is because they are accountable to the public and the research is paid for by taxes. On the other hand, private organizations are driven by profit. This may mean that some research that could be valuable to society may not begin because there is no monetary gain.

Another issue related to this is the research process. When the funding for research comes from the same organization that is going to gain from a favorable outcome, there is a strong potential for biased results. Taking drugs companies as an example, legislation usually requires rigorous trials for new drugs that can take many years to complete. The companies have large amounts of money invested in such research and the need for positive results is paramount. It is difficult for a scientist to remain impartial in these circumstances. However, if this is controlled and funded by governments, their accountability means that such conflicts of interest are less likely to occur.

On balance, I would argue that although it is not realistic to remove all opportunities for privately funded research, governments should have the main responsibility for the monitoring and controlling of this. Strong checks and balances need to be in place to ensure future research is ethical and productive.

(281 Words)

Check out more science vocabulary 


The essay is well organized.

The opinion is clearly presented in the introduction and this opinion is then supported in the body paragraphs and summarized again in the conclusion.

There are topic sentences which state clearly what each paragraph is about:

One of the first issues is the knowledge that we gain from research.

Another disadvantage related to this is the research process.

The body paragraphs then go on to develop each idea giving reasons and examples. 

In the first body paragraph a comparison is made between the government and private sector in terms of knowledge.

In the second a comparison is made in terms of the research process

There is no repetition of ideas.

There is some good use of high level vocabulary, phrases and collocations such as:

  • imperative
  • contentious
  • accountable
  • monetary gain
  • favourable outcome
  • rigorousparamountremain impartial

There is also a good mix of complex sentences with examples of adverbial clauses, relative clauses and noun clauses.


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Governments should be responsible for funding and controlling scientific research rather than private organizations.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

Write at least 250 words.

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