How to Write an Article Introduction?
"A bad beginning creates a bad ending." Euripides
Now, with the preliminary preparations out of the way, we come to the article itself. Although the title and brief summary come first, I must say that experienced writers prepare them after writing the article. But you should have in mind (even if not on paper) the outline and an approximate title of the article you propose to write. You should also consider the level of readers for whom you are writing the article. This will give you a basis for determining which terms and processes require definition and explanation and which do not. Otherwise, if you don't have a clear purpose in mind, you can write in six different directions at once.
It is a wise policy to begin writing while the work is still in progress. This makes writing easier because everything is fresh in your mind. Moreover, the process of writing itself perhaps reveals incongruities in the results and perhaps reveals interesting side paths to follow. Therefore, start writing while the experimental system and material are still at hand. If there are co-authors, it would be wise to begin writing the work while they are around to consult.
Undoubtedly, the first part of a suitable text should be the Introduction. The purpose of the introduction is to provide sufficient background information to enable the reader to understand and evaluate the results of the present study without needing to consult previous publications on the subject. The introduction should also give the need and rationale for the current study. Most importantly, you need to state your purpose in writing the article concisely and clearly. Choose sources carefully to provide the most important background information. Most of the introduction should be written in the present tense, as it essentially talks about your problem and the established work on the topic at the beginning of your study.
Suggested rules for a good Introduction are as follows: (i) First, it should present with all possible clarity the nature and scope of the problem under investigation. (ii) It should evaluate relevant publications to guide the reader. (iii) It should state the research method. If deemed necessary, the reasons for choosing that method should also be explained. (iv) It should state the main findings of the research. (v) It should set out the main conclusions drawn from the findings. Don't leave the reader in suspense, let him follow the development of the evidence. An O. Henry-type surprise conclusion may be good literature, but it does not fit the mold of the scientific method.
Let me expand on the last point. Many writers, especially beginning writers, make the mistake (and it is wrong) of saving their most important discoveries until the end of the article. In extreme cases, authors sometimes leave important discoveries out of the Summary, perhaps in the hope of creating suspense while building to a well-disguised dramatic climax. However, among experienced scientists, this is considered a futile move. In fact, the problem with the surprise outcome is one where readers get bored and give up reading long before they get the gist. Reading a scientific article is not like reading a detective story. We want to know from the beginning that the servant made it (40).
REASONS FOR THE RULES
The first three rules for a good Introduction need little improvement, being well accepted by many scholars and even beginners. However, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the Introduction is to introduce (the article). Therefore, the first rule (definition of the problem) is the most important. And obviously, if the problem is not stated in a logical, understandable way, the reader will not be interested in your solution. Even if the reader engages with your paper—and unless you present the problem in a meaningful way, there is little chance of interest—he or she will not be impressed by the brilliance of your solution. In a sense, a scientific article is like any other type of publication. You need to have a hook in your introduction to grab the reader's attention. Why did you choose this topic and why is it important?
The second and third rules are linked to the first. The work done and the choice of method should be presented in such a way that the reader understands what the problem is and how you went about solving it.
These three rules then lead naturally to the fourth, the statement of the main findings and conclusions, which is the closing point of the Introduction. This road map from problem to solution is so important that some repetition in the Summary is often desired.
REFERENCES AND ABBREVIATIONS
If you have already published a Summary or preliminary note of the work, you must mention this (with attribution) in the Introduction. If closely related articles have been published or are about to be published elsewhere, you should also say so in the Introduction, traditionally at or near the end. Such resources help keep the relevant literature tidy for those who need to research the subject.
In addition to the above rules, keep in mind that your article may well be read by people outside your narrow field of expertise. Therefore, the Introduction is the best place to define any special terms and abbreviations you intend to use. Let me explain this by giving an example from a complaint letter I once received. The complaint cited an advertisement in the Journal of Virology. The ad advertises that a virologist is sought for the National Institute for Health (NIH) and includes An equal opportunity employer, M & It ended with F (Equal opportunity employer, Male or Female). Letter; He pointed out that the notation (M & F) could mean uscular and it Muscular and Fit, usical and latulent-Musical and Flashy Hermaphroditic Hermaphrodite, or nature applicant in his ifties.
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