The Introduction gives the background of the study. It should NOT start with a description of the study organism; it should be general.  The Introduction explains WHY THE STUDY WAS DONE, WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT, and HOW IT FITS WITH OTHER STUDIES. It should include an explanation of the background of the general problem or area being investigated, telling why the problem that you will study is of interest, and outlining what information is already known about the problem. It should be clear and concise. If the information is not relevant to the topic or scope of the study, it should not be included.

In writing this section of your report you should use past research, i.e., references (from books, journals, textbooks, laboratory guides, etc.) to logically develop hypotheses. Be sure to keep track of where you get this information and include all references cited in your text in the References section at the end of the report. Information from past studies must be properly paraphrased and cited. (See References and Citations section for further information.)

The Introduction should also present the question you are trying to answer, the goals of your experiments, or, in scientific terms, the hypotheses you are testing. You may include what outcome(s) you expect, and how it would help support or refute your hypotheses or answer your questions. Therefore, at the end of the Introduction, state clearly and concisely the aims of the study, and then state the hypotheses to be investigated. Note that aims and purposes of a study are not the same as hypotheses. For example, the aims of the study may be to extend the scope of some previous study or to critically test multiple explanations of a phenomenon, whereas hypotheses state succinctly what you are predicting.

Introduction Formatting

  • usually 1-2 pages