The Introduction Section is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows writers to orient readers to a general topic, explain why research in this area is important, and link the present study to the tradition of research in the area. This background information is intended to convince readers, particularly readers who are not specialists in the area of the research, of the relevance of the study. Since these “non-experts” may include managers, assessors and other “gatekeepers” who read Introduction Sections to monitor the work of research personnel, it is essential that writers are able to explain the reasons why their work is of significance.
Secondly, the Introduction gives writers a chance to pinpoint a problem or gap in knowledge that that the study attempts to address. In this way, writers can offer further evidence that the present work is valuable and necessary.
Finally, writers are able to state explicitly the precise aims of the present study. By doing so, they stake out their own territory, creating a niche for themselves in the highly competitive world of research.
A helpful model for composing an Introduction Section is the CARS ("Creating A Research Space") Model, proposed by John Swales (1990). The CARS Model consists of three moves which can be used by researchers to structure information in Introduction Sections of research articles. Although originally intended to describe engineering articles, the CARS model has since been found to accurately reflect text organization in a wide range of scientific fields.
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