37.6 Writing scientifically: Introduction

The introduction has many purposes:

  1. To gain the interest of readers, and encourage them to read more of the article.
  2. To set up the context and background for the paper.
  3. To define the language and definitions used in the study.
  4. To allow the reader to become familiar with the theoretical groundwork of the subject.
  5. To state the purpose of the paper: Why it was written, and what the authors hope to learn.
  6. To show how the research fills a gap in existing knowledge.

The introduction provides a clear statement of the study’s RQ (sometimes stated as the Purpose, Aim, Objective, etc.). The introduction often includes a literature review too, though sometimes a literature review is a separate section.