Please write up your introduction in the following five paragraphs, and do not make use of subheadings

  1. Practical phenomenon / problem

    • Establish the importance of the area of interest and the phenomenon
    • Mention your research question indirectly
      • do not explicitly formulate your problem statement, e.g., “therefore, the following problem statement is formulated: […]”
      • instead, define your problem statement indirectly: “therefore, it is crucial to study the drivers affecting […]". This is much more engaging!
  2. Why to study it?

    • Motivate your research question
    • Start with something like “Studying [ xyz ] is crucial to […]” or “The […] is worth studying because”
  3. What we know

    • Indicate in general terms what has been done in this area
    • Start with something like “My research relates to extant literature… (in at least three ways): First, […]” / “My research contributes to two literature streams: […]”
  4. What we don’t know

    • Identify important gaps, inconsistencies, and/or controversies in the relevant literature
    • Provide a concise statement of the manuscript’s purpose(s) and the contributions the manuscript makes to the literature
    • Start with something like… “Our research extends extant research by…” / “Therefore, as a first contribution, we […]”
  5. What you will do

    • Describe which data you will use, and
    • which methods you will use to study your research question.
    • Then, describe the flow of the next sections (“In what follows, we first review the extant literature on […]. Subsequently, we […]")