March 6, 2023 at 10:36 am #116710Betty Dawson
If your readers only read your intro and your conclusion, they should be able to find their way around and already be able to judge the quality of your writing. I think that’s why legend has it that some proofreaders will read those two parts carefully and just skim the rest…
Here are the steps I think it is important to go through in order to write an introduction that fulfills its function (taking the reader by the hand to show him how relevant the questions you are asking are and that you have an exciting idea of how to answer them and moreover that you are going to (un)show it to his step by step, according to a well-marked path and “evidence”):
1- A hook: a quote, a current event, an observation, an interview extract, a statistic, etc.
This information (which you will present in more or less detail), leads you to formulate the problem you have chosen for your research.
2- The problem: you question the elements reported as a hook to formulate the questions that guided your research. After having formulated an initial question, you formulate others…
3 – The presentation of your research process: to answer your questions, you had to adopt a strategy (observation, questionnaire, interviews, documentation, readings…), this is the moment to present it.
4- Presentation of your theoretical framework: in the wake of which authors have you built your reflection?
5- Announcement of the plan: in what stages will you answer the questions formulated in the problem? What will you (un)show in each of your parts?
I recommend that you read several introductions to books, articles, or dissertations, and see if these different elements appear in them. Pay attention to how the authors have chosen to bring their problem to life and take inspiration from the ways of proceeding that seem the most relevant to you.
Once you’re pretty much satisfied with your introduction (don’t be too a perfectionist, so that you don’t end up with a perfect intro and first part…and only two days left to finish writing your other two parts, your conclusion and finish “everything else”, i.e., your biblio, your layout, your proofreading, your printing, your binding, etc., etc., etc.), put it next to your detailed plan. On the other hand, you can find a writer for your paper to proofread it.
– Your introduction explains why it is really interesting (and fundamental) to ask the question you have asked yourself, and announces the thesis you will defend (the answer to the question posed in the problem).
– Your plan allows you to understand the steps you will go through to answer your question.
– The conclusion concludes: this means that you have asked yourself a question and answered it. Your conclusion affirms this answer, where you have ended up.
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