--以下来自《English for Writing Research Papers》
What's the buzz?
1) Read this extract from an editor's letter to an author whose Introduction wasconsidered by the editor as ‘unsatisfactory’
The Introduction of your paper is not just a historical summary. It is a constant comparison between what OTHERS have done and what YOU did or are proposing to do
Present the novelty of your approach and results in the context of what has already been done.
Citing key papers without stating how specifically you build on them is insufficient.
Describe, with at least one sentence. (i) what others havc done, as far as rclevant for the direction of your paper, and (ii) how your contribution is original and distinguishes itself from preyious work.
2) Now answer the questions
● Compared to the other sections in a cp-: how difficult is it to write the Introduction? Why?
● How important is the Introduction? What should it include?
● How do you decide which papers to cite and which to omit?
The Introduction presents the background knowledge that readers need so that they can appreciate how the findings of the paper are an advance on current knowledge in the field. A key skill is to be able to say the same things that have been said many times before but in a different, interesting, intriguing way,
This chapter tells you how to write the Introduction, excluding the Review of the
Literature which is covered in the next chapter.
First, you need to have a thorough knowledge about every thing that has been previousty written on the topic and decide what is important for the reader to know.
Then, you have to give the reader the tools for understanding the meaning and motivation of your experiments.
Finally. tell your readers how you plan to develop your topic Give them a roadmap to follow - show them what your line of argument is.
14.2 How should I structure the Introduction?
Can I use subheadings?
An Introduction generally answers the following questions. You can use the answers to these questions to structure your Introduction.
.What is the problem?(如何构建引言?是否可以使用副标题)
Are there any existing solutions (i.e. in the literature)?
● Which solution is the best?
What is its main limitation? (i.e. What gap am I hoping to fill?)
● What do I hope to achieve?
Have I achieved what I set out to do?
If your Introduction is more than a couple of pages, subheadings will make it much more ‘digestible’ for the reader.
14.3 How does an Introduction differ from an Abstract?
There is some overlap between an Abstract and the Introduction. However, a fte-quent problem is that authors may cut and paste from their Abstract into their Introduction, which can be very repetitive for readers.
Below are the first two sentences from the Abstract and Introduction from a paper(or ‘Letter' as it is called in the journal where this study appeared) entitled.
Fragmentation of Rods by Cascading Cracks: Why Spaghetti Does Not Break in
Half by Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch. These sentences highlight the dis-tinct ways that an Abstract and Introduction should be written
ABsrRAcr When thin brittle rods such as dry spaghetti pasta are bent beyond their limit curvature, they often break into more than two pieces, typically three or four. With the aim of understanding these multiple breakings, we study the dynamics of a bent rod that is suddenly released at one end
INTRoDUcnoN The physical process of fragmentation is relevant to several areas of science and technology. Because different physical phenomena are at work during the fragmentation of a solid body, it has mainly been studied from a statistical viewpoint.
I suggest you use a similar comparison between Abstracts and Introductions taken from your chosen journal, to see what parts from Sects. 14.5 and 14.7 are covered in the Introduction. In the spaghetti paper, Parts 1-8 are condensed into eight sentences, Parts 9 and 10 are not mentioned
● how they are structured differently what elements from the Abstract the Introduction expands on
● how sentences from the Abstract are paraphrased in the Introduction
● what information is covered in the Abstract but not in the Introduction, and vice versa
● the relative word counts. This will give you an idea of the proportionate lengthof the Introduction compared to the Abstract. In the spaghetti paper the
● Abstract is 1 16 words, and the Introduction 20I words, so the Introduction is approximately twice as long.
14.4 How long should the Introduction be?
There is no definitive answer to this question.
Find the most cited papers in your field, and note the proportion of space given to the Introduction relative to the other sections. Adopt the same proportion.
I have noticed that the longer the Introduetion in relation to the rest of the paper, the lower the level of innovation. Often authors write a huge introduction to hide the fact that they have very little to say about their actual research. Reviewers are aware of this trick!
Think about introductions in other areas of life - in a 10 minute oral presentation at a conference would you want cight minutes of introduction? In a 20 minute TV interview with a famous personality, would you want 10 minutes of introduction before the personality even utters a word? I know that presentations and interviews cannot be directly compared to research papers, but the basic idea is that both viewers and readers want the same thing: the meat.