The instructions for submitting a paper to your professional organization require that you write a 200-word abstract. Your team’s template for technical reports requires an executive summary. You would like to write an introduction for a paper or report. But what is the difference between an abstract, an executive summary, and an introduction? And how do you write each? In previous blogs, we reviewed a 5-Question Method for Writing Abstracts and a 5-Question Method for Writing Executive Summaries. Now let’s explore the introduction.
While a short paper/report may require only a one or two-sentence purpose statement, longer papers/reports may require an Introduction—an expanded purpose statement.
A purpose statement describes the paper’s or report’s purpose and scope. For example, “This paper provides an overview of recent online articles and fact sheets about the Ebola virus.”
In addition to defining purpose and scope, a well-written introduction motivates readers to read the paper/report. By providing context, the introduction prepares readers to focus on, fully understand, and assess the significance of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations you present in the body of the paper/report. To provide context, you clearly explain information such as the following: Read more ›