It’s actually very simple and has only two parts. Here are the two things you need:
First know what needs to be in there. 2. Then, compose it in the most dramatic way that propels your reader forward.
Let’s cover both:
For instance, you know that the introduction to an academic journal article should have a simple explanation of how you are going to answer a research question that derives from a literature you participate in and a context that you study.
For instance, if I’m writing about importing of African film and there are two major and different bodies of literature and scholarship on migrating film, my introduction has one paragraph on each of these bodies of literature.
Simple, easy peasy. I know two things that gotta go in there.
Then I ask questions about these issues and propose ways to answer them. Not the giving away the answers, but proposing ways to answer them. You could also call this your “methods” statements.
There you go, another key ingredient.
Then I kind of know my important questions, for example:
Has recent influxes of African migrants to NYC influenced the foreign film scene there?
Who is it that curates what is shown and how aware are they of communities nearby?
I draw from interviews with 17 museum curators and directors of small art cinema theaters to investigate these questions.”
And now it’s time to define my terms, such as what constitutes a line of communication with local immigrant populations and what does not. I define my categories and explain the theoretical terms I’m using.
Another element I know has to be in there. And then I’m ready to go.
Now it’s time to suck the reader into your world
And two favorite ways to start the middle portion of the text is to lead with shocking or anecdotes statistics. Other effective ways to launch include:
- in certain disciplines you can start with an argumentative proposition such as “The constant service of foreign film curators to the taste of upper class educated New Yorkers completely reifies the nature of “foreign-ness” in utter disregard of other local populations.”
- Or, you can take the colder and more measured stance of theory: “Scholars of transnationalism focus on the permeability of national imaginaries, but these actually help solidify divisions of another kind, thus solidifying certain borders.”
Try one of the numerous methods to suck your reader in, and then launch into it.
The next thing is to propose your possible argument in clear and uncertain terms, even if it is yet to be decided whether it is true or not (hint: it should be true!)
An academic article should have a bit of mystery, but remain absolutely clear as to what that mystery is. Rather than force your reader to guess, “What the heck is this about?” you should say you are up to clearly and early on.
Very simply you should have something to say to which someone could reply “I agree” or “I disagree”.” One could agree or disagree to what you have to assert.
Questions are What Drive the Journal Article
So you start with questions and then propose a possible answer. My most preferable method to write openings is to begin with human nature which always wishes to consider an answer to a question you asked in the opening. Your readers won’t be able to stop reading your post until they find the solution. You’re making use of the component of fascination and your readers will not be able to stop merely at the introduction.
Continue the process with your data, research, and some baseline facts, but make sure these are intriguing. People love weird and surprising facts, especially if it may be backed up by good proof.
For example: Over 66.9% of American adults believe the end-times are coming within the next five years, and the percentage of such Americans has increased by at least 9% for each of in the last five years. (I made that up—it’s an example).
By inserting the above example in the beginning of any section in an article the reader may want to know why all these people believe this, and why that number keeps on increasing recently. People just cannot resist wondering why, why, why?
Starting off with a story works just as well. People love stories since they are able to connect and identify with the situations and people. A good storyline has its reader captivated as though they were reading a novel. You can use great personal anecdotes, real accounts, or composite accounts, as ways to launch any section in your article so as to get lots of people to read along.
For example: “It was such an enormous explosion in such a small town, which is why I wondered—why didn’t it appear in the newspapers the next day?”
The preceding example contains the properties of a narrative hook: a situation, a question, a setting and a character, all in one sentence. That story can be used in an article about illegal dumping in a forest village somewhere, for instance. Anyone would desire to understand why and as a result might wind up reading the entire article or at least be propelled to the next section.
Of course, you are going to need a literature review.
In every genre it belongs in a different place. Study your model texts to find out where.
Literature reviews offer you a quick guide to a particular subject or are a stepping stone if you have limited acquaintance with a field.
Ask yourself questions to get a more rounded view of what needs to be in there, because for many scholarly readers, the depth and breadth of the literature review often signals the credibility of the author in their field.
Search in the subject or in your location of interest for other lit reviews and read them to obtain a sense of the kinds of styles you may want to strive for in your very own review study or find approaches for arranging your review sequence. You can basically type the word “literature review” and your area of interest in your online search engine together, and find all kinds of short articles of this kind on the internet or in a database.
For professional scholars, they are useful reports that keep them updated with what is happening in the area of expertise. Complete understanding of the literature of the subject is important to most research papers.
But it can’t be too broad and you are going to have to narrow down your field.
There are hundreds or even thousands of articles and books in every area of study. The narrower your topic, the easier it’ll be to restrict the amount of sources to be able to get a good sense of the material you will need to either skim or read. Your reader will most likely not expect you to read everything that’s out there on the topic, so you will make your job easier if you first limit your range.
Ask yourself questions to determine your priorities. For example: “If I could read only one book from the 1920’s on the subject of prohibition, what would it be?” Questions such as this help you to ascertain quickly the most seminal pieces on the subject.
Consider whether you have a mix of current sources and important landmarks from the past. Some disciplines require that you use material that is researched and written as close to the present as possible. For instance, in the sciences, treatments for medical issues are constantly transforming and you have to sort through some other current bibliographies or literature reviews in the area to get a sense of what is the state of the art. You may want to re-consider or re-frame your research question based upon what is and is not currently on the radar for scholars in this field.
As you launch middle sections of your paper, from questions, data, stories, or literature reviews, it is your opportunity to say latest thing on the topic. This enables you to have the first framing on the concerns you are raising in your paper, to propagate your ideas, to show the value of your concepts, and to move your reader into a brand-new view of the topic.
Your want your readers to be thankful they read your paper.
Your article provides your reader something to take away that will certainly assist them see things in a different way or value your subject in personally appropriate methods.
Each section serves as a bridge that carries your readers from their concerns into the field of your analysis, and is a bridge to assist your readers make the shift back to their concerns. You want them see why all your analysis and details need to matter to them after they put the paper down.
Transitions can be the most tough parts of documents to compose. They frame your ideas and bridge your concepts for the reader. It’s very simple to round off a section article with a some pious beliefs. Don’t clutch at worn out expressions. But don’t leave it to the reader to figure out where you stand either. Your prose should inform the reader how and why it is that exactly what’s been provided is substantial for practice, policy or more research study. They have to clearly know how it is that the article makes a contribution to our understanding. That way the reader knows why what’s coming next was composed in the very first instance. You might repeat the argument that has actually been made in the last part, but without duplicating it ad nauseam. No-one wishes to read something then read all of it over again in different parts.
By moving your work along in this manner, you keep the reader on her toes
And your academic prose moves at a good pace, which puts you head and shoulders above a lot of the dry, difficult prose that is out there now. You will see a big increase in the amount of articles you publish and the success of getting a job and getting tenure if that is your goal.