Structure

The introduction to your paper should give the reader enough background information so that the context and purpose of your experiment are clear. Here are some tips about writing your introduction:

Read Read your laboratory notes, textbooks and, in some cases, other sources such as journal articles.
Draft Draft and re-draft your introduction a number of times. Leave the final draft until you have written up the rest of your report and you have a clearer understanding of how your results and your interpretation of your results relate to your aim and your introduction as a whole.
Write Two paragraphs is usually enough - you don’t need to write everything that is known about the topic. Your lecturer wants to see that you understand the topic, so try to use your own words combined with the technical language of your field.
Avoid Be careful not to copy your laboratory notes and textbooks. Also avoid quotations.

photoSarah talks about the challenges of writing research papers (1m17s):

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