Imagine our entire plane of knowledge as an incomplete puzzle—the pieces snapped together are what is established, or what is known.
The missing piece is the “gap” in knowledge, or what is currently unknown.
You can ask general questions here to guide your readers to the problem and show them what we already know: For instance Many researchers have difficulty when it comes to deciding WHEN to write their introduction.
It is important to consider the order your draft your research paper, for as you recall, everything else in the research paper must flow from the Introduction.
This is what your study will be helping to explain.
Therefore, the context you provide in the Introduction must first show that there is a knowledge gap and identify where it is, explain why it needs to be filled, and then briefly summarize how this study intends to fill that gap and why.The introduction consists of background information about the topic being studied; the rationale for undertaking this study (for “filling a gap” with this particular information); key references (to preliminary work or closely related papers appearing elsewhere); a clarification of important terms, definitions, or abbreviations to be used in the paper; and a review of related studies in which you give a brief but incisive analysis of work that heavily concerns your study.It could be a very similar study or one that supports the findings of your study.First and foremost, they summarize the motivation for, and the outcome of, the work in an abstract, located before the Introduction.In a sense, they reveal the beginning and end of the story — briefly — before providing the full story.Therefore, because it is one of the most difficult sections to nail down (since there are so many elements to include and little space to do it), consider writing the introduction second-to-last, after writing the Materials and Methods, Results, and the majority of the Discussion sections, and just before writing the brief conclusion that comes at the end of the paper.This will ensure that you effectively lay a groundwork for the rest of your paper, and you can use the research you have already compiled to ensure that everything in your introduction is pertinent and accurate.Papers that report experimental work are often structured chronologically in five sections: first, Introduction; then Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion (together, these three sections make up the paper's body); and finally, Conclusion.(Papers reporting something other than experiments, such as a new method or technology, typically have different sections in their body, but they include the same Introduction and Conclusion sections as described above.) Although the above structure reflects the progression of most research projects, effective papers typically break the chronology in at least three ways to present their content in the order in which the audience will most likely want to read it.For more information and tips on manuscript writing and journal submissions, check out our Resources page.Scientific papers are for sharing your own original research work with other scientists or for reviewing the research conducted by others.