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Chapter 7, Page 144

  • You should explain what you are writing about and why it is important - simply saying that it interests you because of a long-standing personal interest is not enough
  • You might indicate in general terms the theoretical approach or perspective you will be using and why
  • You should outline your research questions and/or objectives:
    • With qualitative research, it is likely that your research questions will be rather more open-ended than with quantitative research. Totally open-ended research is risky and can lead to the collection of too much data, and a lack of focus, when it comes to writing up
    • See pages 147-8, & 152 on introductions in writing up quantitative and qualitative research
  • The opening sentence or sentences are often the most difficult of all:
    • Becker (1986) advises strongly against opening sentences that he describes as 'vacuous' and 'evasive'. He gives the example of 'This study deals with the problem of careers': it is much better to give readers a quick and clear indication of what is going to be meted out to them and where it is going