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Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Writing an Introduction Tips for users of Research design explained. Next
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Key steps in writing the introduction 1.Consult the literature without plagiarizing it.Consult the literature without plagiarizing it. 2.Provide reasons why the general topic is important (e.g., cite other notable research on the topic)Provide reasons why the general topic is important 3.Provide reasons why additional research must be done (identify flaws or gaps in previous research) and provide reasons why your hypothesis might be supportedProvide reasons why additional research must be done 4.State your hypothesisState your hypothesis 5.State reasons why your method is the best way to test the hypothesis (e.g., you used techniques that were the strengths of other studies, you avoided techniques that were the weaknesses of other studies.State reasons why your method is the best way to test the hypothesis 6.Refine your introduction.Refine your introduction
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Consult the literature without plagiarizing Much of your Introduction will be based on what you have read from other sources. However, you should not plagiarize: steal ideas or words from others without giving them proper credit. Plagiarism is a very serious offense. At some schools, the penalty for being caught plagiarizing is being kicked out of school. Being caught plagiarizing can leave a blot on your reputation that may follow you the rest of your life--especially if you try to go into an academic career or a career that puts you in the public eye (e.g., politics). Plagiarism can involve copying somebody's work without giving them credit. However, even if you don't copy their work, you can be guilty of plagiarism. That is, paraphrasing or summarizing someone's work without giving them credit is considered plagiarism. Thus, you could plagiarize someone unintentionally.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Examples of unintentional plagiarism You read an article. You dont take notes on it and you dont think you got anything from it. However, when it comes time to write your paper, some things come to your. You believe those things are your thoughts. However, they are really some things you remember from the article. Result: You are plagiarizing.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Examples of unintentional plagiarism You paraphrase a section of an article, but dont cite the article. Result: You are plagiarizing.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Examples of Unintentional plagiarism You took some notes from a source, but you cant remember what the source is. Because you dont know the source, you decide not to cite it. Result: You are plagiarizing.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Avoiding plagiarism One way to avoid plagiarism is to take extensive notes on what you read (you may also want to have a paper or electronic copy of the articles you do read). Put quotes around any words that you copy and write down the page number for the quote.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Avoiding Plagiarism Start your notes by copying down the APA style reference for the source. Thus, the first part of your notes on a source might look something like this: Source: Frank, M. G. & Gilovich, T. (1988). The dark side of self- and social-perception: Black uniforms and aggression in professional sports. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 74-85. Quotes: black is seen, in virtually all cultures, as the color of evil and death. (p. 74)
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Showing that the research area is important Your first paragraph should show that the general topic is important. Note that in the sample paper (see Appendix B), Frank and Gilovich begin the introduction by showing that their general topic (the color black being associated with evil) seems to be part of American culture. Specifically, in the first paragraph, Frank and Gilovich try to convince us that we typically associate black with evil by giving us several examples of how, in American culture, we have used black to symbolize evil. In their second paragraph, they give more scientific evidence that black is associated with evil--and show that the association between black and evil is common not only in the U.S., but is a fact of life in virtually all cultures.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Showing that the research area is important Writing the first section of the introduction (why the research area is important) is fairly easy for at least two reasons: 1. You probably find the area interesting, that's why you decided to pursue this topic as opposed to the millions of other areas you could have researched; and 2. If there has been previous research on this topic, previous researchers have talked about the importance of the topic. Therefore, you have several models of how to write this section. However, do not plagiarize from these sources.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Examples of ways to introduce your general topic To start your introduction, you might start with a sentence like one of the following: –A large proportion of everyday behavior concerns ___. For example,... –Dissonance theorists have emphasized the importance of _____. –There has been much recent interest in the area of ____. –The evidence is that ____ is quite common; estimates suggest that 30% of all teenagers have _____ –For centuries, people have contemplated …
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Use past research to set the stage for your particular study After you show that your general area is important, the next step is to use past research to set up the current study. This section may be challenging to write, especially when much of the previous research does not seem to bear on your study. The key is to focus on the research that does bear on your study. Typically, such studies fall into one of three categories: 1. studies suggesting that your hypothesis is right, but their results are inconclusive because of a methodological problem; 2. studies suggesting that your hypothesis is wrong, but their results are inconclusive because of some methodological flaw--or because equally strong studies find opposite results; and 3. studies that are solid, but have ignored something (e.g., a type of participant, another variable) that you are going to study.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Look at how other Introductions set up studies You learn many things by seeing how other people do them. So, you should not be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to learn how to write introductions is to read introductions. But don't just mindlessly read introductions--note the authors' strategies and try to include those strategies in your writing. Ask how do other authors use past research to set the stage for their studies? For example, note how Frank and Gilovich (Appendix B) set the stage for their study. They argued that: + research has shown that black is associated with evil and death; + research suggests that dress can affect aggression; BUT THAT - existing research on dress and aggression is flawed - no research has been done to directly see if color of clothes affects aggression.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Use a table to help you set up your study Before you write the part of the introduction that sets up your particular study, you might make a table to help you organize your thoughts. On the next two slides, you will see two possible ways to set up those tables.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 One type of table that might help you write your introduction Reasons to believe the hypothesis is correct: Studies: Theory: Other (analogies, examples, logic) Reasons to believe the hypothesis is incorrect: Studies: Theory: Other (analogies, examples, logic)
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Another type of table that might help you write your introduction Studies/Findings supporting the hypothesis Studies/Findings suggesting the hypothesis is not correct Study's flaws/limitations All the studies that fail to support the hypothesis are alike in the following ways:
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Writing the rationale for your hypothesis If you used the table on the previous slide, you probably have a rationale for your hypothesis. But how do you state that rationale. You might get started by writing – Some indirect support for the hypothesis that ___ can be found in a study done by Jones (1996). –At least two lines of reasoning would lead one to predict that _____.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Writing the rationale for your study If there is a problem with the methods used in previous studies, you might write –However, past research was limited because (it did not use experimental designs, it used a limited sample, it used flawed measures). If previous research overlooked something, you might write –Past research has (ignored ____ or assumed ____ or did not directly test this hypothesis)
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 State your hypothesis After you have given some reasons to believe that your hypothesis would be supported, state your hypothesis. Be direct. For example, you might write –I hypothesized that –I conducted a study to test the hypothesis that – The hypothesis of the present study was – Thus, I predicted that –The prediction, based on Smiths (2012) findings, is that
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 You must state your hypothesis but sometimes you can wait. Must you always state the hypothesis right after you have reviewed the literature? No. There is some flexibility in the order of an introduction. For example, for the sample paper's (Appendix Bs) introduction, the sequence is 1. from our every day experiences, we know that black is associated with evil 2. from research, we know that black is associated with evil 3. could it be that wearing black causes one to be more aggressive? 4. there is some research to suggest this 5. however that research is flawed and indirect 6. there are problems in finding out the answer to this question 7. here's our solution to these problems 8. our hypothesis is (note that they only explicitly state the hypothesis in the very last sentence of their introduction).
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Explaining why your study is the best way to test the hypothesis Once you have established what hypothesis you are going to test and have given some reasons for why you believe that your hypothesis will be supported, you can start trying to sell the idea that your way of testing it is best. Note how Frank and Gilovich do this (Appendix B). They discuss the obstacles to testing the hypothesis, a possible solution, problems with that solution, and their solution.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Explaining why your study is the best way to test the hypothesis If you decide to end your introduction by summarizes why your study is the best way to test the hypothesis, you might start that section by writing –To determine if there was a causal relationship between these variables, I conducted an experiment. –To do a more _____ (direct, unbiased, rigorous, or real world) test of this hypothesis, I …
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Different Introductions for Different Studies By now, you should have a sense of how to write an introduction to a generic study. However, you will not be doing a generic study. Furthermore, your introduction will be affected by what kind of study you are doing. Therefore, in chapter 15, you will find advice about how to write an introduction tailored to the specific kind of study that you are doing.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 Refining your Introduction Outline it to make sure it makes logical sense. Ask yourself whether a reader could answer the questions on pages 118-119 of Research design explained. Compare it to the Introduction checklist in Appendix A of Research design explained. Triple check it to make sure you havent plagiarized. You should probably have at least one citation in most of your paragraphs. Make it clear how the work you have cited relates to your study.
Quit © Jolley-Mitchell 1996-2012 END Thanks for using Research design explained. More ancillaries are available from the texts website: http://wwwjolley- mitchell.com/StudyRDE/default.htmlhttp://wwwjolley- mitchell.com/StudyRDE/default.html
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