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Writing Introductions
Author: ADMIN (ukstudent at gmail dot com)
Published: Sat, 23-Sep-2006
Rating 5.94
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Writing Introductions. Article by Academic Phrasebank

There are many ways to introduce an academic essay or assignment. Most academic writers, however, appear to do one or more of the following in their introductions:

establish the context, background and/or importance of the topic
indicate a problem, controversy or a gap in the field of study
define the topic or key terms
state of the purpose of the essay/writing
provide an overview of the coverage and/or structure of the writing

Phrases which are commonly employed to realise these functions are listed below.

Note that for dissertations, introductions can be much more complex than this, and as well as the elements above may include the following: a synopsis of key literature/current state of knowledge, synopsis of methods, lists of research questions or hypotheses to be tested, significance of the study, recognition of the limitations of the study, reasons for personal interest in the topic.

Establishing the importance of the topic:

One of the most significant current discussions in legal and moral philososphy is ......
It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the .....
X is the leading cause of death in western industrialised countries.
X is a common disorder characterised by ......
X is an important component in the climate system, and plays a key role in Y.
In the new global economy, X has become a central issue for ......
In the history of development economics, X has been thought of as a key factor in .......
Xs are one of the most widely used groups of antibacterial agents and ......

Establishing the importance of the topic (time frame given):

Recent developments in X have heightened the need for ......
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in ......
Recent developments in the field of X have led to a renewed interest in ......
Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in ......
The past decade has seen the rapid development of X in many .......
The past thirty years have seen increasingly rapid advances in the field of......
Over the past century there has been a dramatic increase in ......
One of the most important events of the 1970s was ......
Traditionally, Xs have subscribed to the belief that ......
X proved an important literary genre in the early Y community.
The changes experienced by Xs over the past decade remain unprecedented.
Xs are one of the most widely used groups of antibacterial agents and have been extensively used for decades to .......

Highlighting a problem or controversy in the field of study:

However, these rapid changes are having a serious effect ......
However, a major problem with this kind of application is ......
To date there has been little agreement on what ......
More recently, literature has emerged that offers contradictory findings about .....
There is increasing concern that some Xs are being disadvantaged ......
Despite its long clinical success, X has a number of problems in use.
Despite its safety and efficacy, X suffers from several major drawbacks:
Concerns have been raised by several relevant bodies about the poor ......

One of the most significant current discussions in legal and moral philososphy is ......
One observer has already drawn attention to the paradox in ......
In many Xs a debate is taking place between Ys and Zs concerning ......
The controversy about scientific evidence for X has raged unabated for over a century.

The issue of X has been a controversial and much disputed subject within the field of .......
The issue has grown in importance in light of recent ......
One major theoretical issue that has dominated the field for many years concerns ......

One major issue in early X research concerned.......

Highlighting a knowledge gap in the field of study (for research):

So far, however, there has been little discussion about ......
However, far too little attention has been paid to ......
Most studies in X have only been carried out in a small number of areas.
The research to date has tended to focus on X rather than Y.
In addition, no research has been found that surveyed .......
So far this method has only been applied to ......
Several studies have produced estimates of X (Smith, 2002; Jones, 2003), but there is still insufficient data for .....
However, there have been no controlled studies which compare differences in ......
The experimental data are rather controversial, and there is no general agreement about ......

Focus and aim:

This paper will focus on/examine/give an account of ......
This paper seeks to address the following questions:
This essay critically examines/discusses/traces ......
The purpose of this paper is to review recent research into the ......
This paper will review the research conducted on ......
In this paper I argue that .....
This chapter reviews the literature concerning the usefulness of using ......
The aim of this paper is to determine/examine ......
The aim of this study was to evaluate and validate ......

Outline of structure:

The main questions/issues addressed in this paper are: a), b and c).
This paper has been divided into four parts. The first part deals with ......
The essay has been organised in the following way.
This paper first gives a brief overview of the recent history of X.
This paper begins by ...... It will then go on to ......
The first section of this paper will examine ......
Finally, .......

Chapter 2 begins by laying out the theoretical dimensions of the research, and looks at how ......
Chapter 3 describes the design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of ......
The last chapter assesses the ......

Explaining Keywords

While a variety of definitions of the term X have been suggested, this paper will use the definition first suggested by Smith (1968) who saw it as .......
Throughout this paper the term X will refer to/will be used to refer to .......
In this article the acronym/abbreviation XYZ will be used.


Copyright for this article belongs to Academic Phrasebank of The University of Manchester

This document was re-printed with the kind permission of John Morley. Original Source of the article is located here: http://www.phrasebank.man.ac.uk/introductions.htm



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