Introduction for a Scientific Manuscript

  • End with Your Topic Statement in the Form of a Hypothesis
  • Write the Introduction Last                                                

Write the Introduction last, because it is difficult to balance the general context and specific focus required for this
section.  If you need to write the Introduction first to set the stage for your own thinking, resist the temptation to
perfect it, just write a rough draft.  By the time you have finished the rest of the paper, it will likely need substantial
modification, as you may have unexpected results that change your story, even your hypothesis.  Thus, plan on
spending a lot of time on this section.  The same concerns apply to Conclusions and the Abstract.

I suggest a 3 paragraph approach for the Introduction:  In the first paragraph, introduce the problem/topic (for
example, Breast Cancer).  In the second paragraph, focus your discussion on a more specific feature of the
problem/topic (maybe a specific gene or protein.)  In the third paragraph, discuss an very specific feature of the
problem/topic that you will address in your report (maybe the regulation of the promoter by a protein kinase.)  Of
course, you will answer this question in your discussion!
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