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A good introduction will provide a solid foundation and encourage readers to continue on to the main parts of your paper—the methods, results, and discussion.In this article, we present 10 tips for writing an effective introduction.After the title and abstract, the introduction is the next thing your audience will read, so it’s vital to begin strongly.
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It’s such an important section—setting the scene for everything that follows—that many authors write the methods, results, and discussion sections in full before completing the introduction.
I hope these tips help you to write effective introductions that capture the attention of readers and reviewers.
I would like to close with one last piece of advice: When you begin drafting a paper, the introduction should be one of the first things you plan.
The introduction serves as the roadmap for your paper; by clearly stating the study’s background, aims, and hypothesis/research question, the introduction can guide you as you write the rest of the paper.
Although references [4-15] might provide a good overview of the topic, this sentence doesn’t provide enough context or explanation for these past studies.
If all of these references are worth citing, they should be discussed in greater specificity.
For example, “A significant association has been found between X and Y in men [4-7], women [8-11], and children [12-15].” For research in empirical sciences, stating a hypothesis can be an effective way of framing the research.
For example, instead of stating “In this study, we show that X is related to Y by method A,” you could say, “In this study, we hypothesize that X is related to Y, and we use method A to test this hypothesis.” For research in formal sciences or exploratory research, you could consider stating a research question instead: “In this study, we examine the following research question: Is X related to Y?