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INTRODUCTION

Assoc Prof Dr Nor Fariza Mohd Nor
Editor-in-Chief
GEMA Online ®Journal of Language Studies
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
www.ejournal.ukm.my/gema
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities,
UKM
Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Introduction
• Editor-in-Chief to decide whether or not the article is worth
considering.
• Introduction also serves as part of the ‘shop window’ of the final
version of the article:
i. hard-pressed readers will check the title, abstract and
introduction to decide if the
ii. content and methodology of the article are relevant to their
own research interests
• Sets a compelling stage that invites your readers into your research
world - The introduction ‘showcases’ the article.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Cont
• Introduction will establish the foundation upon
which your readers will approach your work.
• This section is all about placing your work into the
broader research context, and then narrowing your
focus to identify specifically what you plan to do in
the paper: i.e., your research goals and objectives.
• How long?
- Depends on the discipline and the journal you are
writing for.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Hourglass model of a journal paper.
• Introduction holds the sand of knowledge that we
currently have (the top bulb);
• The sand trickles through the neck (your research), it
builds up a new base of knowledge (the bottom
bulb).
• Thus your paper traces that journey from the top of
the hourglass to the bottom, answering the
questions in the infographic along the way.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Introduction
• Executive summary that gives the reader and enticing glimpse of what is
to come (Perry, 2003: 658)
• It explains why the author carried out the research, and gives the
background the reader needs to understand.
• The study must be contextualized within the topic/field.
• Funnel approach - start with some general background information on
your subject, becoming more narrow and specific in focus as you work
toward a description of your study.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
FUNNEL APPROACH
KNOWN – the big picture significance and
previous work

UNKNOWN – the specific
gap in knowledge

QUESTION
(specific,
Unresolved)

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
What is known: Tips
•Begin with a strong statement that reflects your
subject area – use key words from the title or the key
1 words to help you focus.

• Avoid stating too many obvious facts that your target readers
would know - be precise about the area of focus so that readers
can properly orient themselves before diving into your paper.
2a.
•i. Write down your hypothesis or purpose first.
•ii. Worked backward to think about what background information your
reader needs to appreciate the significance of your study.
•iii. Write until you reach the point where your readers would be
2b. comfortable understanding the statements you make but might not be
fully confident to explain all the aspects of those facts.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
What is known
• Cite relevant, up-to-date primary literature to support
your explanation of our current base of knowledge –
include any significant works that might contradict your
argument and address the flaws with that opposing line of
3 thought – to rationalize your study.

•Provide clear indication of the following –core
research problems, research objectives, context
4 of study, unit of analysis (optional)

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
The gap
Highlight areas where too little information is
available. However, don’t stop at saying “little is
known about…” You must elaborate and inform
your readers why it is important to unearth
additional information about this knowledge gap.

You are proposing a solution to a
State your problem (the gap) you observed
in our current knowledge base.
purpose/hypothesis As such, your Introduction must
clearly. convince your readers that this
problem needs solving.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Introduction
• Defines the nature and extent of the problem/s studied;
• Relates the research to previous work (usually by a brief
review of the literature clearly relevant to the problem); Be
selective, not exhaustive, in choosing studies to cite and
amount of detail to include. (In general, the more relevant an
article is to your study, the more space it deserves).
• Explains the objectives of investigation; and
• Defines any specialized terms or abbreviations to be used in
what follows – to enable your reader to have a clear
understanding.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018
Introduction
• Move from general to specific: problem in real
world/research literature -->your study.
• Engage your reader: answer the questions, "What did
you do?"
• Make clear the links between problem and solution,
question asked and research design, prior research
and your study.

Nor Fariza - Journal Publication 2018