Research article introduction Pàgina següent

Aim: Become familiar with the function and structure of opening paragraphs in research articles as well as on the steps to take when writing one.

A research article is a type of academic writing that implies a critical stance and a certain level of abstraction since it proposes the exploration of an idea. Research articles require you to review the academic literature in the field, and to reflect on your personal insights on the issue. The final result should be a carefully organized combination of external evidence from several sources and your individual thoughts.

The introduction is a crucial component of the research article. It sets the tone and topic of your work, informs the reader of what is to come, and encourages him/her to read further. Of course, a class assignment would be read no matter how bad the introduction is. But, in real life, if the introduction does not make a good impression your reader will probably conclude that your research article is not worth reading.

Research articles may come in all shapes, lengths, and disciplines. In general terms, however, they can be divided into two main types: analytical articles (those which analyze the different aspects of an issue), and argumentative articles (those which defend a particular position on a controversial issue). Click here to see an example of introductory paragraph of both types:

As you can see, different types of research article require slightly different introductions. The analytical introduction presents a specific issue (this is called a "purpose statement", e.g. the moral in The Wizard of Oz) about which you have no prior position, and hints at the existing views and beliefs. The argumentative introduction, on the other hand, takes a clear stand on the issue (this is called a "thesis statement", e.g. Dorothy feels lonely) and provides evidence to back up this position.


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