Entry Quiz

In a summary or short report, you are not required to write a full introduction; in fact there is not enough room to do so. It is also unnecessary to include the title 'Introduction'. All you need to write is a brief description of the purpose of the study. One to three lines is normally enough.

Use this quiz to see how much you know about writing an Introduction section.

Decide which of the introductions is most appropriate for an experiment in which you had measured the effect of artificial sweeteners on insulin secretion.

Rank the introductions 1 to 3 where 1 = most appropriate. When you have made your choices, click the Submit button and you will get your feedback.


The Aim

To investigate the relationship between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and insulin secretion

1. | 2. | 3.

Although this is only 13 words long, it doesn't provide any more information than the title. It would be more informative and powerful to say why we were embarking on the study.


Recent media reports have reported anecdotal evidence that the consumption of the artificial sweetener, aspartame, can precipitate Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, which is a defect in the ability of the body to respond to insulin. Since insulin resistance may be precipitated by frequent exposure to abnormally high insulin concentrations, it seemed important to determine if there was a link between the ingestion of aspartame and the hyper-secretion of insulin.

1. | 2. | 3.

This is a more informative answer than a but the only problem is that our aim is now 77 words and 7 lines long. Perhaps we could shorten it a little by leaving out some of the repeated terms.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that aspartame (an artificial sweetener) causes insulin resistance which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. Since insulin resistance can be caused by chronic hyperinsulinemia, the current study aimed to measure the effect of aspartame on insulin secretion.

1. | 2. | 3.

Not too bad, in fact the best of the three. We've halved the number of words to 35 and slashed the line count to 3. It still draws a link between the major public health problem of diabetes and aspartame. It even provides a potential mechanism for the link (aspartame may cause excessive insulin secretion which leads to insulin resistance which, in turn, leads to diabetes). Sure, there's a couple of unfamiliar words (eg, chronic hyperinsulinemia replaces frequent exposure to abnormally high insulin concentrations) but that's the purpose of 'sciency jargon'; it makes the write up more succinct.)

» Screen 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next: Structure