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Introduction Section Overview – Psy330 – Dr. Kristin Davies

Introduction Section Overview – Psy330 – Dr. Kristin Davies
Paragraph One: A brief overview of the whole intro section
1) Get the reader’s attention using…
A) A statistic: Ex. “#,### children are diagnosed with Autism each year (Source, 20XX).”
B) OR a brief overview: Ex. “Autism is a disorder that makes social interactions challenging…(Source, 20XX)”
2) Introduce the current topic by describing previous work, and the GAP in that work:
Ex. “Previous work has investigated behavioral treatments for Autism (Source, 20XX), but not diet.”
3) Introduce the SPECIFIC, current research goal (will directly address the GAP):
Ex. “The current study sought to investigate the effectiveness of a dietary treatment for Autism.”

Paragraph Two: General information that introduces and defines variables
1) Identifying the general topic of your research.
Ex. Description of Autism: symptoms, possible causes etc.
(NOT YET treatments because this issue is more closely related to your current hypothesis!)
“Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life (Source, 20XX)….Symptoms of Autism include (Source, 20XX)….. Although the cause of Autism remains uncertain, research has identified several possibilities including vaccinations, genetics (Source, 20XX)….”

Paragraph Three: Details about studies that are most closely related to YOUR study
1) What are specific topics that are more directly related to the hypothesis?
Ex. TREATMENT for Autism – What HAS previous research on treatment for Autism found?
“Several types of treatments have been proposed to reduce the severity of Autistic symptom. Behavioral therapy typically consists of (Source, 20XX)….. While behavior therapy has been argued to be successful at reducing symptoms such as _____ and ______, many have argued that it is less helpful with ______(Source, 20XX.) A second popular treatment option for Autism is drug therapy. The most common medications prescribed for Autism disorders are ______. ______ and ______(Source, 20XX). These appear to be helpful with ____, but less helpful in reducing ______(Source, 20XX).

Paragraph Four: Identifying the GAP
1) Identify a “gap” in the previous research – what was NOT looked at?
In this paragraph you review previous literature with at least one of the following specific goals:
A) You can criticize flaws in previous research design (i.e. the method could be improved upon)
Ex. “An effective treatment for Autism may be more clearly identified using longitudinal methodology, following patients over longer periods of time. Thus far most studies conducted in this area have been cross-sectional (i.e. one time-point) in nature (e.g. Source A, 20XX; Source B, 20XX)…”
B) OR you may want to review earlier work, highlighting what has NOT yet been investigated at all
Ex. “To our knowledge, no research has yet investigated the use of dietary restrictions as a possible treatment for Autism. Diet may likely impact the severity of Autistic symptoms; previous survey research has found a positive relationship between levels of vitamin ___ and social functioning (Source, 20XX).”
C) Please note that you can also mention both issues if it makes sense for your topic!

Paragraph Five: Emphasize how your study addresses earlier gap(s), is crucial, and state the hypothesis
1) How does the current study address the gap that you mention in paragraph 4?
Ex. “Given the lack of research on this topic, the current study sought to examine the potential impact of a specialized dietary plan on Autism.”
2) Also re-emphasize why this work is important
Ex. “Autism is a debilitating disorder for the patient, and often leads to frustration among those close to the patient (Source, 20XX)…Current treatments may render negative side-effects (Source, 20XX)…An effective, safe treatment alternative would be beneficial…”
3) Finally, you would spell out the hypothesis and main variables
Ex. “We predicted that Autistic patients in an experimental group receiving vitamin__ would show improvement in social functioning 6 months after starting treatment, as compared to a placebo control group.”
Paraphrasing is to be used with citations.

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