Skip to main content
* UC Irvine access only

Writing a Scientific Paper: INTRODUCTION

Discussion of how to understand and write different sections of a scientific paper. Discussions of how to write Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Data, and Discussion.
URL: http://guides.lib.uci.edu/scientificwriting

Citing Sources in the Introduction

It is important to cite sources in the introduction section of your paper as evidence of the claims you are making. There are ways of citing sources in the text so that the reader can find the full reference in the literature cited section at the end of the paper, yet the flow of the reading is not badly interrupted. Below are some example of how this can be done:

    "Smith (1983) found that N-fixing plants could be infected by several different species of Rhizobium."

    "Walnut trees are known to be allelopathic (Smith 1949,  Bond et al. 1955, Jones and Green 1963)."

    "Although the presence of Rhizobium normally increases the growth of legumes (Nguyen 1987), the opposite effect has been observed (Washington 1999)."

Note that articles by one or two authors are always cited in the text using their last names. However, if there are more than two authors, the last name of the 1st author is given followed by the abbreviation et al. which is Latin for "and others". 

From:  http://classweb.gmu.edu/biologyresources/writingguide/Introduction.htm

What is a "good" introduction?

This is where you describe briefly and clearly why you are writing the paper. The introduction supplies sufficient background information for the reader to understand and evaluate the experiment you did. It also supplies a rationale for the study.

Goals:
• Present the problem and the proposed solution
• Presents nature and scope of the problem investigated
• Reviews the pertinent literature to orient the reader
• States the method of the experiment
• State the principle results of the experiment