PROVIDENCE UNIVERSITY Introduction- Establishing a Context College of Management Wu-Lin Chen(firstname.lastname@example.org) Department of Computer Science and Information Management
Abstract Introduction Discussion Method Results Typical Sections of a Research Paper
What is an Introduction? • An introduction • serves as an orientation for readers of the report • gives readers the perspective they need to understand the detailed information coming in later sections
General Specific Five Stages in the Introduction Section • The introduction can be divided into five stages • Stage I: the setting • Stage II: already studied • Stage III: investigation needed • Stage IV: purpose • Stage V: value
Five Stages • Stage I (the setting): General statement(s) about a field of research to provide the reader with a setting for the problem to be reported • establish a context, or frame of reference • help readers understand how the research fits into a wider field of study • Stage II (already studied): More specific statements about the aspect of the problem already studied by other researchers • Stage III (investigation needed): Statement(s) that indicate the need for more investigation • Stage IV (purpose): Very specific statement(s) giving the purpose/objectives of the writer’s study • Stage V (value): Optional statement(s) that give a value or justification for carrying out the study
Writing Up the Setting • Start with obvious, generally accepted statements about the area in which you are working • Then, step by step, move the reader closer to your specific topic • For example: • establishing a “universe” for your reader • isolating one “galaxy” within this universe • leading your readers to one “star” in the galaxy
Organization for the Setting • Begin with accepted statements of fact related to your general area (your “universe”) – use generic noun phrase • Within the general area, identify one subarea (your “galaxy” which includes your topic) – use specific noun phrase • Indicate your topic (your “star”)
Writing Skills • Link sentences by making use of old and new information to lead readers smoothly through the ideas in Stage I • Place old information (some facts have been known to the reader) at the beginning of sentences • Place new information at the end
Writing Skills (Cont.) • Old/New information order Plants obtain atmospheric CO2 required for photosynthesis by diffusion through open leaf stomata. Old New can create large water potential differences between the leaves and the soil surrounding the roots. This process
Language Conventions • The setting starts with factual statements • It is conventional to use nouns that refer to objects or concepts at the highest possible level of generality • English offers several ways to construct these general nouns • Generic Noun Phrase • Specific Noun Phrase
Generic Noun Phrase • In stead of referring to specific things, we often refer to entire classes of things in the setting • When you are write sentence that contain nouns referring to an entire classes of things, you should use generic noun phrase to carry this meaning • There are different ways to write generic noun phrase • Countable nouns • Uncountable nouns • Countable nouns with the
Generic Noun Phrase (Cont.) • Countable nouns • Alluvial diamonds are of consistently higher than diamonds recovered from source kimberlites. (Plural) • A new diamond mine may take several years before coming into full production. (singular, meaning “any new diamond mine”)
Generic Noun Phrase (Cont.) • Uncountable nouns • Thirty years later, alluvial diamond production had more than double. (meaning “all alluvial diamond production”)
Specific Noun Phrase • Used to refer to specific items and concepts in order to move readers from general area toward your specific topic • i.e. nouns that refer to particular, individual members of a class rather to the class as a whole • Nouns that refer to particular, individual members of a class can be written in several ways • Referring to assumed or shared information • Pointing back to old information • Pointing forward to specifying information
Specific Noun Phrase (Cont.) • Referring to assumed or shared information • Use the definite article the if you assume your readers share knowledge of the specific thing you are referring to • EX: In recent years the growth of desert areas has been accelerating in the world.
Specific Noun Phrase (Cont.) • Pointing back to old information • Use the definite article the when referring to a specific thing which you have already mentioned (the first mention usually uses the indefinite article a/an) • EX: New Mexico Solar Energy Institute is developing a computerized diagnostic assistant for solar domestic hot water systems. The computer-implemented assistant will be used at naval shore facilities throughout the world.
Specific Noun Phrase (Cont.) • Pointing forward to specifying information • Use the definite article the when the specific meaning is made clear in a following phrase or clause • EX: The gas which is produced in the western states is used primarily for home heating.
Guidelines for Making Generic and Specific Noun Phrase • Is the noun meant in a general or a specific sense? • If it is specific, use “the” before the noun. If it is general, ask yourself a following question: • Is the noun countable or uncountable? • If it is countable, use a or an (singular) or –s on the end (plural). If it is uncountable, use no article or –s ending.