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Understanding introductions

exercise

As you learned before, the purpose of the introduction of a research article is to give background to the research, to justify the need for the research and to state the research aims.

We can see the introduction moving through a number of stages from general to specific, building the argument for the research step by step.

Click on the stage link to see an explanation of each stage.

levels of specificity Stage and purpose of the stage Explanation of stage  
1. ESTABLISHING THE FIELD

- asserting importance of the topic
- stating current knowledge - (generally)

General: introduces the topic by showing that the field is significant, and/or the research is relevant by stating or summarising what is known

2. SUMMARISING PREVIOUS RESEARCH

- from the perspective of this research

Less General: summarises from the perspective of this research and showing the relationship between this research and the whole field

3. PREPARING FOR PRESENT RESEARCH

- indicating a gap
- raising a question

Specific: justifies the need for this research by showing there hasn't been enough done in this field yet or there have been problems or errors in previous research

4. INTRODUCING PRESENT RESEARCH


- stating purpose and aims

Most specific: clarifies the authors' research or purpose for writing the article, e.g. a report of their own research or a review of the literature

Click Next or on the exercise icon for a more specific example.