Academic writing Introduction


25.1 Some conventions(一些规则习惯)

Every professional paper should have at least one or two introductory paragraphs. In the Introduction the writer sets the stage for the main topic. It provides information for the reader about the paper, without giving the details of the work and conclusions. Often the Introduction is used to put the research into perspective, by stating how it relates to other technical and institutional work. The Introduction can range from half of a page to two pages.

The purpose of the Introduction is to supply sufficient background information to allow the reader to understand and evaluate the results of the present study without referring to previous publications on the topic. The introduction should also provide the rationale for the present study. The writer should state briefly and clearly his purpose in writing the paper. Much of the Introduction should be written in the present tense because the writer will be referring primarily to the problem and the related established know-ledge at the beginning of the work.

(i) It should present the nature and scope of the problem investigated. Since there might be many perspectives from which the writer can approach the problem, narrowing down the scope of work and de-limiting the boundary of the study becomes necessary.

(ii) The Introduction is the proper place to define any specialized terms or abbreviations intended to be used.

(iii) The Introduction should also inform the reader of the general purpose of the paper and illustrate the primary objectives of the research.

(iv) It should review the pertinent literature to orient the reader. In science and engineering studies the literature is reviewed for several reasons, for example, to learn from the work of others, to give credit to similar and relevant studies, to help the reader in further study to the topic, problem or theory. In professional work it is essential to make it clear what contributions have been made by others, and what the cur-rent work has achieved and contributed to further understanding. The reader must never be in doubt what has already been established in the literature before, and what the reported study has contributed.

(v) The Introduction may also talk of the arrangement of the writing at the end of the Introduction. In long papers, the mention of the arrangement of the writing enables the reader to understand the pa-per more easily, and can make the reader feel convenient in further reading.

25.2 Stabilized structure(稳定的结构方式)

1.Establishing the scope of research(表示研究/讨论范围)

Step l Claiming centrality(表明讨论中心话题)


Step 2 Making topic generalization(s)(总括所研究话题的现状)


Step 3 Reviewing previous research(综述前人研究)

2.Establishing a niche(确立研究/讨论话题)

Step l A Counter—claiming(反驳前人观点)


Step l B Indicating a gap(表明前人研究空白)


Step l C Question—raising(提出问题)


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