Tip: Writing an introduction

There are four ‘moves’ to an introduction to an academic piece; you can use them to introduce your research analyses.

  1. Lay out the field or context
  2. Describe the current thinking and/or research in the area
  3. Identify a problem, i.e., something that hasn’t been looked at, ‘solved,’ or examined fully. Use words such as ‘however,’ ‘despite this,’ ‘nevertheless.’
  4. Describe the current work by taking a position on the topic.

Here’s an example, just to give you a sense of how to use the above principles in your own writing:

“As schools increasingly embrace digital technologies in their day-to-day teaching and learning activities, students’ digital literacy has recently become the focus of much academic attention [MOVE 1]. Smith (2008), Brown (2009) and Jones (2010) have all argued that being digitally literate is essential if young people are to confidently, critically, and safely navigate the online world [MOVE 2]. However, having a ‘functional’ literacy — that is, simply knowing where to click on a screen to make things happen — is not enough [MOVE 3]. This analysis demonstrates that there are three main ‘tiers’ to digital literacy: functional, network, and critical literacy. I argue that if students are to be truly digitally literate in the digital world, then they must be able to operate across all three tiers [MOVE 4].”

If you’re interested in these ‘three tiers,’ then visit my blog post on my website. Also check out the post on ‘moves’ to a conclusion.

Start looking out for these ‘moves’ as you read academic journal articles — most academics are making them without even knowing, so now you know more than them 😉

Picture from nataliedee :)


About michaelsisley

Teacher, shambolic ruin, cricketer, singer, writer
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One Response to Tip: Writing an introduction

  1. Pingback: Research analysis 2: general feedback « 7840 Learning with Technology

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