Chapter 3: Writing the Introduction Section

Chapter 3 Synopsis: Writing Introductions

We have now reviewed the three communicative goals and a variety of strategies that you can use to help write the Introduction section of a research article. The image below provides a snapshot of this chapter:

Goals and strategies for Introduction sections, including Establishing a Territory, Identifying a Niche, and Addressing a Niche

Key Takeaways

There are 3 goals for Introduction sections:

  1.  Establish a Knowledge Territory: Demonstrate what you know and what has already been established in the field while holding the attention of the reader so that they are interested enough to keep reading.
  2. Identify a Niche: Point out exactly what is the problem or gap in the literature, which sets the reader up for the third and final communicative goal of an Introduction.
  3. Address the Niche: Justify the research without being formulaic; as a writer, you have the freedom to present your research in whatever way you feel best accomplishes these communicative goals.

We’ll now move on to the next section of a research article: The Methods.

Other resources:

The literature review section of the research article is commonly included in the Introduction section and regularly follows the outlined goals and strategies prominent in published Introductions. The literature review is a complicated component of the research article and requires a comprehensive synthesis of relevant research; this critique can serve as a means for authors to expose the need for the current research project based on insufficient, contradicting, or problematic findings from the past. Read more about techniques for writing a literature review from these two web resources:

Explore + Apply

Before you begin applying what you’ve learned in this chapter to your Introduction section, explore published writing in your discipline or in a target journal that you’ve identified. Look for the goals and strategies presented here to see where you might find similarities and differences that are discipline- or journal-specific.


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