Establishing the importance of the topic for the discipline
* X is at the heart of our understanding of ….
* X is an increasingly important area in applied linguistics.
* Investigating X is a continuing concern within ….
* Central to the entire discipline of X is the concept of ….
* X is a major area of interest within the field of ….
* The issue of X has received considerable critical attention.
* One of the most significant current discussions in legal and moral philosophy is …
Indicating the focus, aim, argument of a short paper
* This paper contests the claim that ….
* This paper will review the research conducted on
* This paper will focus on/examine/give an account of ….
* This paper seeks to remedy these problems by analysing the literature of ….