There are four ‘moves’ to an introduction to an academic piece; you can use them to introduce your research analyses.
- Lay out the field or context
- Describe the current thinking and/or research in the area
- Identify a problem, i.e., something that hasn’t been looked at, ‘solved,’ or examined fully. Use words such as ‘however,’ ‘despite this,’ ‘nevertheless.’
- 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].”
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