It establishes the scope, context, and significance of the research being conducted by summarizing current understanding and background information about the topic, stating the purpose of the work in the form of the research problem supported by a hypothesis or a set of questions, explaining briefly the methodological approach used to examine the research problem, highlighting the potential outcomes your study can reveal, and outlining the remaining structure and organization of the paper.
In addition, concluding your introduction with an explicit roadmap tells the reader that you have a clear understanding of the structural purpose of your paper.
In this way, the roadmap acts as a type of promise to yourself and to your readers that you will follow a consistent and coherent approach to addressing the topic of inquiry.
A vague, disorganized, or error-filled introduction will create a negative impression, whereas, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will lead your readers to think highly of your analytical skills, your writing style, and your research approach.
All introductions should conclude with a brief paragraph that describes the organization of the rest of the paper.
It is often useful to review the introduction late in the writing process. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sharpling, Gerald. “Introductions in Research Articles: Variations Across Disciplines.” Giving the dictionary definition of words related to the research problem may appear appropriate because it is important to define specific terminology that readers may be unfamiliar with.
This is appropriate because outcomes are unknown until you've completed the study. 63-70; Resources for Writers: Introduction Strategies. However, anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and a general dictionary is not a particularly authoritative source because it doesn't take into account the context of your topic and doesn't offer particularly detailed information.In other words, not only should you tell the reader what it is you are studying and why, but you must also acknowledge why you rejected alternative approaches that could have been used to examine the topic. " An equally important question to ask yourself is, "When do I begin?Obviously, the first limiting step was the choice of research problem itself. " Research problems in the social sciences rarely rest in isolation from history.A formal definition is based upon a concise, logical pattern that includes as much information as it can within a minimum amount of space.The primary reason to include definitions in your writing is to avoid misunderstanding with your audience.Think of the structure of the introduction as an inverted triangle of information that lays a foundation for understanding the research problem.Organize the information so as to present the more general aspects of the topic early in the introduction, then narrow your analysis to more specific topical information that provides context, finally arriving at your research problem and the rationale for studying it [often written as a series of key questions to be addressed or framed as a hypothesis or set of assumptions to be tested] and, whenever possible, a description of the potential outcomes your study can reveal. Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick; Samraj, B.After you complete writing the body of the paper, go back and review introductory descriptions of the structure of the paper, the method of data gathering, the reporting and analysis of results, and the conclusion. Also, placed in the context of a particular discipline, a term or concept may have a different meaning than what is found in a general dictionary.Reviewing and, if necessary, rewriting the introduction ensures that it correctly matches the overall structure of your final paper. If you feel that you must seek out an authoritative definition, use a subject specific dictionary or encyclopedia [e.g., if you are a sociology student, search for dictionaries of sociology].Delimitations refer to those characteristics that limit the scope and define the conceptual boundaries of your research. A good database for obtaining definitive definitions of concepts or terms is Credo Reference.This is determined by the conscious exclusionary and inclusionary decisions you make about how to investigate the research problem. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper. A common question asked at the start of any paper is, "Where should I begin?