The rationale for a research paper: how to write it properly?

writing a rationale paper

The rationale of the research paper is the part of the text that conducts the theses of the studies. In fact, your rationale explains the necessity of your paper and why the examiner or a regular reader has to pay attention to your research paper.

In fact, the rationale is the purpose of your work, and even though this part is considered to be an easy one, many students face issues writing it. The rationale of your work contains the background of your research and answers the question of why it is important to research the current topic. The main purpose is to create the discussion before your article, give a brief conclusion of your article. This way you will give an opportunity to see the problem of the topic you have chosen.

How to write a correct rationale?

The common rule for writing a rationale for your work is giving a clear and certain description of your research. You have to provide a bibliographical review of your work in some cases. In other cases, your professor will require you to use different terms to explain the necessity of researching the exact issue you have chosen (such as health issues, social issues, etc.).

You need to give a pre-observation of your article, telling why the topic is important and what observation you have made during the research. You need to give all the evidence of the importance and a short essence of your article.

And when you have given all the necessary information about your research, you have to give the purpose.

How to present the purpose of the research paper?

There many different ways to present the rationale of the research paper to the people who read it. Depending on the tone of your article, you have to choose different methods of justifying your research.

Many articles need more information than just the info about telling the importance of your research paper. You have to include different research tools you have used while making it up.

For example, if you are investigating some issues in a local place, like a hospital, you have to show that the investigation was never completed before you have done it. This way, you will have an opportunity to create an image of innovative work, which will lead to the description of the issue the place you have been examining.

You will have an opportunity to give enough justification for your theses since no one managed to deal with this issue before you did.

However, you need to know that adding information about previous research or investigations is always important. You have to show that there have been already some pieces of information examined, but you still have an opportunity to show that you are ready to fill all the gaps previous works have.

In theoretical research, enough justification will be that there are not enough data about the question you are going to examine. This way, you have to provide a combination of different literature data, making up the whole research on some topic. Still, there are three different methods to show the importance of your work.

  • Methodological method. This method requires talking about the lack or presence of earlier studies, the sources they were based on, and why they were not fully correct. Also, make sure to give information about the fact that the resource used for the research was questionable.
  • Contextual method. With the help of it, you provide information about recent studies on the topic and how important it is to mention the changes in the subject.
  • Conceptual method requires telling the importance based on the ideological backgrounds.

How to present your rationale?

The presentation of the rationale is an integral part of the text. In fact, this part requires the facts of why the theme is important. So avoid rewriting the conclusion of your research.

You don’t need to have the completed article for your presentation. If you are working on a text, your rationale has to be presented at the start of the text. This way, you will be able to show its importance, creating an atmosphere of reading your research of yours.

Sometimes, the rationale is presented to the examiner even before drafting the full work to clarify why the topic is important for the research.


The rationale is one of the simplest parts of the text but is a major one if we are talking about the structures. In fact, your main task is to show why your research is vital for society.

So, you need to explain the importance, using the context of the situation and the context of previous research, and make sure that the reader will be interested in further learning your theme.