Chapter 3: Writing the Introduction Section

Goals of an Effective Introduction Section

There are three main goals for an effective Introduction:

  1. Establish a research territory that fits into the existing literature;
  2. Identify a niche in the literature where your study fits;
  3. Address the niche by filling the “gap” in the literature.

The image below provides a visual way to understand the three goals:

Three concentric circles. The largest is establish a territory (overview), the middle is identify a niche (problems), and the smallest is address the niche (solution).

These goals contribute an answer to the question of why an Introduction is considered more broad or general than other parts of a research article. By establishing a territory, identifying a niche, and addressing that niche, a writer generally needs to focus on the bigger picture, the problem, and a potential solution. As you can see in the figure, the Introduction becomes more specific with each goal; the problem is more specific than the territory, and your proposed solution to the problem will be even more specific than the problem. The concentric circles get smaller and smaller, indicating this narrowing of content into more and more specific ideas.

Next, we’ll examine each of these three goals in-depth and give some examples.


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